In recent years, the popularity of DevOps engineers has increased significantly. The ever-evolving realm of software development and IT management has persuaded companies from around the world to integrate their systems into a unification process. It was in 2009 when the idea of amalgamating software development and IT operations took place. The resultant coalesce formed the concept of ‘DevOps’ to emancipate the communication between the teams and improve the overall performance. Andrew Shafer and Patrick Debois were the pioneers behind the concept.
The urge for recruiting DevOps engineers has escalated over the years and according to report from Google Cloud and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, two-third of companies that use DevOps have seen benefits impacting their bottom line, including increased speed to market (70%), productivity (67%), customer relevance (67%), innovation (66%), and product/service quality (64%).
As more companies are inclined towards hiring DevOps engineers, recruiting them has become more difficult. There is always some hindrance on the way.
According to DevOps Institute’s 2020 Upskilling: Enterprise DevOps Skills research, 58% of respondents say that finding skilled DevOps individuals is a huge challenge, and 48% say the retention of skilled DevOps individuals is a challenge.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a technical term that is a collaboration of – Development and Operations. There is no exact definition of DevOps because it is a made-up word. But different researchers and experts have provided their intakes on the meaning of DevOps.
As per D. Jeya Mala and Wikipedia,
“DevOps is a set of practices that combines software development (Dev) and information-technology operations (Ops) which aims to shorten the systems development life cycle and provide continuous delivery with high software quality.”
Why has the demand for DevOps Engineers escalated?
With every passing year, the world is getting dependent on IT. The introduction of the “Internet of Things” has solidified the reliance on the cloud for data processing and manipulation. This phenomenon has resulted in the growth in demand for DevOps, persuading companies to be a part of the Agile software revolution. This growth and the need for a new system have escalated the rise of DevOps engineers.
According to a report by Markets and Markets, the DevOps market will have a compound annual growth of 24.9% within 2023. There are plenty of reasons behind the increase in demand for DevOps engineers.
- DevOps helps in decreasing the developmental cycles while increasing innovation.
- It helps in increasing the efficiency of the team with scalable automation and hassle-free processing.
- The system reduces the risk of errors in the methodology, ensuring excellent product quality.
- It helps in the detection of defects in the coding and corrections when necessary, helping in the reduction of deployment failures.
Trends in DevOps
DevOps is climbing the ladder of progress since its advent and has a long way to go. As per IDC, the DevOps market is expected to reach USD 6.6 Billion by 2022.
Organizations are adopting DevOps fast and thus, employers must be aware of the newest trends in DevOps for better functioning and production.
- Manual Processing will be forgotten and automation will take place: DevOps implementation comes with better efficiency and faster results. But there is still a lot of manual processing, causing unnecessary friction.
As per technical gurus, time-taking manual processing will be the thing of the past and the concept of “Zero-touch Automation” will be the future. Organizations will automate processes such as change management, increasing the proficiency and efficiency through data and policy automation.
- DevOps Assembly lines will take place of CI Pipelines: In the following decade, the focus will be on achieving Continuous Delivery (CD) rather than Continuous Integration (CI). The goal is to increase automation and improve the delivery procedure. As per experts, DevOps Assembly Lines will take control over CI pipelines.
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will be the reliable sources to increase efficiency: Apart from all the establishments in DevOps, the lack of risk visibility is a big obstacle in the path of full automation. In the coming years, organizations will rely on AI and ML to ensure end-to-end visibility and data automation. Analytics will be the go-to for leveraging information on stage gates and policies based on prior performance.
- Use of serverless architecture: Serverless architecture will help in saving time, costs, and ensure a steady workflow. Over 20% of companies have already implemented serverless architecture to ease production and increase visibility. All the aspects of this phenomenon, such as PaaS, Laas, Baas, Faas, and LaaS can be turned on through cloud architecture.
- Embedded security (DevSecOps): To save the company’s reputation from getting impacted due to security breaches and vulnerabilities, DevOps will include DevSecOps to ensure the security of the app development cycle. DevSecOps will also bring collaboration in software development and ensure that the process runs smoothly.
Role and Responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer
A DevOps engineer is one who is adept in ‘development’ and ‘operations’. The individual is responsible for helping the various development teams to increase efficiency by providing technical support, ultimately helping the team to manage the application development cycle. They are also responsible to fix errors, provide regular updates, keep by the company’s objectives, and maintain stability.
The responsibilities of DevOps engineers can be narrowed down to the following five:
- Planning, examining, and improving the application system.
- Providing automation implementation.
- Ensuring the security of the servers and the process.
- Monitoring the whole process and looking for anomalies.
- Building and maintaining CI/CD pipelines to ensure everything is in sync.
The role of a DevOps engineer depends on the company’s requirements. The need for a DevOps engineer may arise due to any of these factors:
- Progress towards the DevOps environment.
- Skill gap in the DevOps process.
- Nature of the role to be played.
There are generally six roles regarding DevOps. These are:
- DevOps Evangelist: This is an all-embracing role. The DevOps evangelist is a leadership role required when the company is starting off to build a DevOps process. They are needed to provide training and command to the DevOps team so that the performance gets better.
- Automation Architect: This role can be considered as one of the most important roles. An automation architect is responsible for improving the automation process and finding automation tools to upgrade the productivity of the process.
- Release Manager: The release manager is responsible to supervise all the steps in the DevOps process and give assent before proceeding to the next step. The release manager must have skills in coding and testing, in addition to knowing quality assurance.
- Quality Assurance Lead: The quality assurance lead has to work along with the release manager to provide additional support and also to point out errors in the process and provide opportunities for improvement.
- Software Tester: The role of a software tester is to write the codes and undertake testing and maintenance of those codes. The individual is also responsible to find errors in the code and correct them for better processing.
- Security Engineer: The security engineer will work alongside the automation engineers and software developers to ensure that the software builds are secure so that the work can proceed efficiently. A security engineer is also responsible to identify the errors and security breaches and eliminate them.
Skills required for a DevOps Engineer
Hiring someone for a DevOps role is a tough one. Different focal areas within DevOps encompass a vast array of skill sets. The following are the major areas in the realm of DevOps.
- System administration.
- Network and storage management.
- IT security.
- Testing and diagnostics.
It is necessary to screen the candidates through proper evaluations to identify the skill set based on the focal areas.
Let’s take a closer look at all the important skills that recruiters should look for in the candidates applying for a DevOps role.
- Expertise in using CI/ CD tools.
- Proficient knowledge of version control tools such as CVS, SVN, GIT, etc.
- Proven expertise with bash scripting/troubleshooting.
- Knowledge of multiple programming languages.
- Capable of cloud computing services.
- High-level Infrastructure Management skills.
- Expertise in automation tools.
- Excellent communication skills.
- Working knowledge of Agile, Waterfall, SDLC.
- Soft skills such as self-motivation, team player, etc.
Interview Questions for a DevOps Engineer
Depending on the DevOps role, recruiters need to craft the questions in such a way that they hit the important points while hiring. The questions should be tailored to bring out the skills required.
To help recruiters get a good grip over the interview questions necessary for hiring a DevOps engineer, we have created this list.
- How is DevOps different from Agile / SDLC?
- Which are the top DevOps tools? Which tools have you worked on? How do all these tools work together?
- What are the advantages of DevOps?
- What is the foremost important thing DevOps helps us achieve?
- What are the anti-patterns of DevOps?
- What is Version control? What are its benefits?
- Which VCS tool you are comfortable with?
- What is Git?
- What is Git bisect? How are you able to use it to work out the source of a (regression) bug?
- How does one find out a script to run whenever a repository receives new commits through push?
- What is meant by Continuous Integration?
- Why do you need a Continuous Integration of Development & Testing?
- Explain how you’ll move or copy Jenkins from one server to another?
- Mention some of the useful plugins in Jenkins.
- What is Continuous Testing?
- What is Automation Testing? What are its benefits?
- How to automate Testing in the DevOps lifecycle?
- What are the key elements of Continuous Testing tools?
- What are the goals of Configuration management processes?
- What is the difference between Asset Management and Configuration Management?
- Who would you include in efforts to make processes and policies for delivering applications during a DevOps environment?
- Why did your previous/current company embrace DevOps and the way did you support that?
- Give me an example of a CI/CD failure you’ve experienced, and what you learned from it.
- What issues or deficiencies are “must fix ASAP”?
- What are critical DevOps tool-chain integration points about increased software release velocity?
- How would you get an internet app from a developer’s laptop into production from zero?
- What is the foremost challenging automation you’ve got ever implemented? What made it challenging?
- How do you measure your success as a DevOps engineer, individually and as part of a team?
3 ways to hire DevOps Engineers
Hiring from freelance websites: Hiring a contingent worker for a DevOps role can be beneficial. The following are the advantages of hiring freelancers.
- Excellent for short-term projects.
- No issues with extra compensation.
- Previous experience in the field.
- Vast pool to choose from.
- Assistance in giving executive search.
- On-demand recruitment process.
- No worries regarding recruitment.
- A vast number of candidates to choose from.
Hiring through outsourcing companies: This process is much convenient compared to the others. The benefits of hiring through these companies are as follows:
- Proven reliability and guaranteed expertise.
- Cost-effective recruitment process.
- Actual team experience.
Challenges in hiring DevOps Engineers
It is undeniable that cloud computing has grown so rapidly that it has become difficult to comply with the requirements. The role is so vast that hiring managers cannot create a clear concept of the hiring process. The DevOps engineers have to be talented and also, possess a great set of skills and experience. The job is too demanding and precise excellence is of top priority. Hence, hiring for the role is so challenging. The prime factors behind the problems associated with hiring DevOps engineers are:
- Shortage of required talent.
- Requirement of vast knowledge and experience.
- Invalidated security of the whole technology.
- Recruiters having a lack of knowledge regarding the field.
- Not having a proper recruitment process.
Future of DevOps
DevOps has a great and promising future. The applications of DevOps are developing each day and DevOps methodologies are changing with new tools and technologies.
The future of DevOps can be seen as somewhat of a cultural shift, bringing conventionally disconnected components in the development, deployment, and delivery of software into a single loop. Organizations are finding that DevOps is replacing and improving their indigenous IT departments. The titles, roles, and overall management systems are changing with the development of DevOps and cloud management.
The key to proper execution is successful communication and integration amongst the teams.
The future of DevOps means the reduction of manual approvals and time-taking application process through high-class automation and efficient performance management.