Is DevOps for you?

Is DevOps for you?

Interested in DevOps because you've heard it's a well-paid career? Sure, the money is good. But will you be happy, enjoying work, and laughing your way to the bank? Or will you be stressed out, frustrated and angry because stuff breaks and there's so much to do?

Like most jobs, there's nothing inherently good or bad about it. It all depends on your personality and what you enjoy in life. For some, this might be a dream job, for others, it might be a nightmare.

Image source: Freepik

To find out if this is for you, here are some quick questions that will help you decide:

1. Are you the kind of person that loves to do different things every day?

Some jobs are linear and predictable. For example, as a programmer/developer, if you finish writing the code for some modules today, you'll have a pretty good idea about what you'll be working on tomorrow. But in DevOps, you can never be sure. You might be chilling today, enjoying your coffee, and watching all of your automated processes working smoothly. And 1 hour later, something breaks, and all hell breaks loose. All of a sudden, today you're fixing a Kubernetes cluster as that's a higher priority than whatever you had planned.

Do you like predictable work? Or is predictable boring for you? If you love dealing with the unexpected because it keeps you on the edge of your seat, then DevOps might be for you.

2. Are you always curious to learn about new things?

Do you spend way too much time reading about new tech and new software? For a DevOps engineer, this is often the most common type of procrastination. You're not postponing work to watch a movie or some football game. You're spending hours learning about some new cool tool, finding out how it works and why it might be better than the old stuff. You were always a curious child, and as an adult, you feel the same way. You always want to learn. And this is a good quality for anyone working in DevOps.

Things are changing at an incredibly fast pace. What you learned 3 years ago is already old news and there's either some new tool to do the job or the old tool you've been using has changed a lot and you have to re-learn how to use its new bells and whistles. Long story short, you have to always, always, always learn new stuff in DevOps. And if you're not the curious type this will be tiring.

3. Do you easily understand code?

Although DevOps refers to both "Development" and "Operations", you're not really a full-time developer. You don't need to write code all day and be an expert in some programming language. But you need to have at least a basic understanding of development practices, and algorithms, and catch on quickly when you see some piece of code. No matter if it's written in Python, Java, PHP, C++, Ruby, or Rust, you should be able to get a decent understanding of what some lines of code do.

Here's an example:

#include <iostream>

using namespace std;

int main()
{
    for (int i = 0; i < 5; i++) {
        i++;
        cout << i << "\n";
    }

    return 0;
}

Can you figure out what this C++ code would print on your screen?
The answer is:

1

3

5

4. Do you enjoy automating stuff?

There's a weird tradeoff. You can manually do something very quickly, maybe in 5, 10, or 30 minutes. For example, launching a server and configuring it to store databases. But automating that same task might take hours. Other, more complex tasks might even take entire days. Spending so much time automating a simple task might feel tedious for some people. But for someone that is a DevOps engineer at heart, this is like a puzzle game waiting to be solved. And they feel a great sense of achievement when all that hard work pays off. They enjoy and are fascinated to watch a huge infrastructure with hundreds of servers automatically doing the job they were programmed to do.

Do you feel like a powerful god that has transferred thy will to the servers you administer? Or do you feel like you're slaving away for hours for a small return on your work? As a DevOps engineer, you will have to do A LOT of automation.

Image source: Freepik

5. Do you enjoy the detective work?

Many times, when something breaks, you'll need to be the detective. Tracing it step by step, what went wrong, when, and why. It's not a clear-cut process, sometimes you'll need to be creative and even rely on intuition to solve some of the more hidden problems.

It's a cool job because every case is different and special, so work is never boring and repetitive.

But in any case, you need to enjoy this process because you'll have to put on the detective hat quite often.

6. Are you perseverant?

At least, in IT-related problems. Try to remember your casual computing problems. If a game or application crashed, did you try to fix the problem or did you just uninstall it immediately and replace it with something else? If you tried to fix it, did you give up quickly? Or did you persist, obsessively trying to figure it out?

To fit in with a DevOps job, you need to be the obsessive type. The kind of person that even when they go to bed, they're still curiously thinking about the problem they couldn't solve today. They say to themselves "What could it have been?" while generating various theories in their head until they fall asleep.

7. Are you able to focus on both the big picture but also the small details?

As a DevOps engineer, you'll often need to build big systems that solve a particular problem. But those big systems are made of small little pieces. You need to be the kind of person that can zoom out and zoom in when thinking about IT structures.

For example, you've worked with Kubernetes which is like this big software machine that monitors and automates things for you. But were you curious to see what the "kubelet" process does? If you want the job, you need to know about the components that make up your structures, not just the structure itself.

These are the big questions and DevOps is for you only if the answer to all of them is a strong "YES". That is if you want to be sure you'll enjoy this job. If the answer to some questions is a vague "yes" or "not really sure" you can still be a decent DevOps engineer. But you might hate the job on some days.

I would recommend watching the video below, to understand if DevOps is a Career choice for you.

If DevOps seems to be a good fit for you but you worry about not knowing too much stuff yet, cheer up and believe in yourself! The hard part is over if your personality is a match for the job. As long as you're passionate about this, it's rather easy to learn, one day at a time. We all went through the process, nobody was born an expert. Head over to KodeKloud. We explain concepts in very simple terms.  

At KodeKloud, our mission is to make the highest quality DevOps education easily accessible to students across the world who are interested in starting a successful DevOps career. On our platform, learning is not only easy but also fun!