What Are DevOps Engineer Roles and Responsibilities in 2023?
In this blog post, we will dive into the various roles and responsibilities of a DevOps engineer.
Understanding the roles and responsibilities in DevOps can help you identify areas where you can develop your skills and grow in your career.
What Is DevOps?
The word "DevOps" is a combination of "Dev", meaning developers, and "Ops", meaning operations. It is a set of practices that aims to bridge the gap between development and operations. The goal is to improve the overall efficiency and collaboration of the entire software delivery process.
The use of automation is a central component of DevOps. By automating routine and repetitive tasks, DevOps engineers reduce the amount of time spent on manual processes, freeing up teams to focus on higher-value work. This can include automating everything from code builds, testing, and deployments to infrastructure provisioning, configuration management, and monitoring.
What Is Expected of DevOps Engineers?
When a company is seeking a DevOps engineer, there are a few key skills and characteristics that they look for. The most important of these is technical expertise.
To be a successful DevOps engineer, it is important to have proficiency in a wide range of technologies and tools, including cloud computing platforms, infrastructure automation tools, configuration management tools, containerization tools, and more.
If you are interested in learning more about the specific technologies and tools used in DevOps, please check out this video.
In addition to technical expertise, effective communication skills are also critical. DevOps is a collaborative process, and clear, effective communication is essential for identifying solutions and conveying information. The ability to listen actively, understand complex information, and present it in a way that is easy for others to understand is an important skill for any DevOps engineer to have.
DevOps Engineer's Role in the Company
Now let’s talk about your role as a DevOps engineer, which can be divided into three main categories.
The first one is to make it easy for the developers.
To achieve the goal of delivering high-quality software quickly, it is important to support the work of developers. This means you need to know how to automate the packaging, the testing, and finally deploying the application so that it can be used by end-users. The automation pipelines should ensure that only good and tested code makes it into deployment.
The ultimate goal is to allow developers to concentrate on writing code without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure.
The second one is to make it easy for the operations.
After the developers have completed their tasks, they hand over responsibility to the operations team. The operations team focuses on support functions such as product onboarding and customer feedback. To effectively carry out their responsibilities, the operations team must have a comprehensive understanding of the product, so that they can identify areas for improvement.
As a DevOps engineer, you can support the operations team by providing monitoring tools that help them better understand the product. Timely information about traffic patterns, such as high or low traffic periods, can be extremely beneficial. Additionally, tracking how end-users interact with the system can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement.
By providing the operations team with the tools and information they need to do their job effectively, you can help ensure the success of the product and the satisfaction of the end-users.
The last one is to make it easy for the company.
As a DevOps engineer, you have a significant impact on the success of a company, regardless of its size. Companies aim to be as profitable as possible, and optimizing operational costs is a key factor in achieving this goal.
When the infrastructure is on the cloud, careful planning is essential to minimize costs. Every resource you add can increase the monthly bill, so it's important to avoid using overly powerful and expensive servers or solutions that may be overkill for the current use case.
DevOps engineers conduct thorough research and evaluate different solutions to determine the most optimal resources. By doing so, they save the company money, which can lead to company growth and potentially, the creation of new jobs.
Responsibilities as a DevOps Engineer
Let's now delve into the various responsibilities of a DevOps engineer. In this section, we will outline the tasks and duties that organizations will typically expect you to perform.
1. Infrastructure performance.
As a DevOps engineer, it is important to make sure that the infrastructure is functioning optimally. This involves selecting the appropriate resources that balance cost and performance.
The resources should not be too cheap and slow, but at the same time, should not be so fast that they result in unnecessary expenses. It is essential to find the right balance between cost and performance to ensure that the infrastructure is operating effectively and efficiently.
2. Infrastructure availability
As a DevOps engineer, it is crucial to ensure that the infrastructure is consistently available and ready for use.
Effective monitoring should be established to quickly detect and address any issues that arise. The infrastructure should also have robust disaster recovery and outage mitigation capabilities, with the goal of being able to recover quickly and, if possible, automatically. This helps ensure that the teams are able to continue their work without interruption.
3. Secure infrastructure
Cyberattacks on the infrastructure can result in significant consequences, including loss of clients, profit, and even loss of jobs. Therefore, DevOps engineers must take measures to protect the infrastructure from potential security threats and cyberattacks. This includes implementing best practices in security such as firewalls, encryption, and regular vulnerability assessments.
4. Automated software delivery
A DevOps engineer plays a crucial role in implementing and maintaining automated software delivery processes. They work to ensure that software is delivered quickly, efficiently, and with high quality by automating key steps in the software delivery pipeline, such as building, testing, and deployment.
The DevOps engineer is responsible for setting up and managing continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, which automate the software delivery process from development to production. They also work on automating testing and deployment processes, ensuring that software changes are tested thoroughly and deployed reliably and repeatably.
5. Infrastructure scaling
Scaling infrastructure refers to the process of increasing or decreasing the capacity of a system to handle the changing demands of a business.
A DevOps engineer must ensure that the system is able to handle increased workloads, while also being cost-effective and efficient.
Check out our article on Top 7 Essential Skills for DevOps Engineers.
What a DevOps Engineer Is Not
Now that we have discussed the roles and responsibilities of a DevOps engineer, let's examine what a DevOps engineer is not.
Although the concept of DevOps may be somewhat ambiguous, there are still certain limitations and boundaries to the role.
1. You are neither the Dev nor the Ops
The primary focus of a DevOps engineer should be to enhance inter-team processes and enhance collaboration, regardless of the specific approach or implementation.
The DevOps engineer should not be directly involved in the day-to-day tasks of either team. Instead, the DevOps engineer should set clear expectations for both teams and emphasize the importance of effective communication.
2. You are not the software support
As a DevOps engineer, your role is to provide the development and operations teams with the necessary tools and processes to maintain the software. They are responsible for fixing any bugs or issues discovered in the software.
However, if the issue is related to the infrastructure, such as a software crash caused by a lack of resources, it is your responsibility to resolve it. To ensure effective problem-solving, it is important to design the infrastructure in a way that allows for quick determination of whether an issue is due to the application or the infrastructure.
The responsibilities of a DevOps engineer can vary widely depending on the organization. However, this post should provide a general overview of what is typically expected of a DevOps engineer.
If you are looking to start or continue your career in DevOps, consider exploring this excellent DevOps learning path. Additionally, you may want to check out KodeKloud Engineers, which provides hands-on experience with real-world projects in a simulated environment.