Going by the numbers, about 9% of technology professionals who are responsible for web and mobile applications in their companies had not adopted DevOps by 2018. A significant number of these professionals agreed that their company had embraced DevOps fully while the rest were in the process of adopting it either fully or partially. DevOps has transformed the software development industry significantly and has seen many developers, engineers, and other professionals coming on board and taking a DevOps course as an additional skill to their arsenal.
Importance of DevOps
The importance of DevOps in software development clearly reflects in its adoption statistics. IDC had projected the growth of the DevOps software market to reach $6.6 billion in 2022 from $2.9billion in 2017. This is massive growth is steered by factors like massive investment in software-related innovation, microservices-based architectures, and a shift towards automation and collaboration in software development.
Overall, DevOps has made it possible for high-quality software that meets customer needs to be developed and deployed within the shortest time possible and the existing ones to be easily maintained. DevOps is important in several ways.
Short and fast software development cycles
DevOps is based on the agile development methodology. It uses continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) model to deliver software. A software development project is split and delivered in small short cycles known as iterations. This facilitates faster development, shorter lead-time, frequent deployments, early detection of code defects, and high-value deliveries.
Improved collaborations and coordination
DevOps is a collaboration culture. It focuses on the people aspect of development more than the tools. The iterative development approach promotes teamwork, communication, and transparent processes rather than the achievement of individual goals. When people own the project and work together towards a common goal, they become more productive and innovative.
Improved efficiency and productivity
DevOps works with agile principles and supports the automation of testing and deployment. Factor in collaboration between teams and stakeholders and efficiency is achieved. Automation facilitates not only frequent deployments but also standardizes the process for consistent and secure deliveries while also reducing human-related errors.
Improved customer satisfaction
Three factors in this development process contribute to customer satisfaction, customer involvement in the process, high-quality deliveries, as well as fast on-demand deployments. DevOps also gives the customer room to make changes in the requirements of a product based on its operability and have these changes implemented in the development process.
Reduced operating costs
The overall benefit of DevOps is getting value to the customer within a short time which ultimately reduces the cost of operation. DevOps has the potential to reduce IT Staff requirements by 35% and IT cost by 30% while at the same time improving the business as a whole by aligning goals to customer needs.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a culture. It is a set of practices, an approach, an environment, a movement, and a philosophy that enables an organization to deliver high-quality applications and IT services faster. It is a mindset change that embraces Lean and Agile principles in software development processes.
DevOps brings together development teams, operations teams, quality assurance teams, business holders, and other stakeholders to work in collaboration to deliver high-value software continuously. Businesses run on application software which has spurred the high demand for software in recent days. Thus software should be considered a necessity for businesses to streamline their operations and thrive in a competitive market.
In addition to collaboration, DevOps is based on the following practices.
- Automation. Automation is a core practice applied to test, deployment, and other time-consuming repetitive tasks to promote efficiency in DevOps.
- Microservices. The microservices structure builds an application as a set of smaller services. Each service is built to run on its own and communicate with the other application services through a defined interface to meet a single business need.
- Continuous integration. In continuous integration, developers integrate code in a shared repository where they are verified with automated builds and automated testing.
- Continuous delivery. Facilitated by continuous integration, continuous delivery involves building code changes, testing, and releasing them into the production environment.
- Continuous monitoring. Continuous monitoring provides information to various teams about applications at their different development stages.
DevOps career path explained
While it is a relatively new profession, there is a high demand for DevOps experts in the IT industry. Most professionals combine software development and system administration backgrounds and this is really what DevOps is all about. They most likely start off as:
- system admins
- Database administrators
- Quality analysts
Higher roles in DevOps that come with experience include
- System engineer
- Automation engineer
- Automation architect
- Security engineer
- Integration specialist
DevOps engineers and specialists are among the professionals that command the most lucrative pay packages with up to $93,000 on average in the U.S. The main responsibility of these professionals is to maintain and improve infrastructures including networks, servers, and other systems through software development.
Collaboration and relationships form the backbone of DevOps therefore soft skills are highly valued. This does not
- Team player
- Communication and listening
- Curiosity and empathy
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Knowledge of Linux
- Web development
- An understanding of the CI/CD pipeline
- Knowledge of automation frameworks like Puppet, Jenkins, and Docker
- Networking knowledge
- Knowledge of business processes, strategies, and analytics
How to launch your career in this lucrative field
DevOps may be a career with a lot of opportunities but the job market certainly needs seasoned professionals with the right skills and experience. In addition to getting the concept, culture, and practices of DevOps, it is important
Start with learning the basics
Literally all IT technical roles require coding experience and this is the most basic. Build your coding skills and be sure to learn commonly used programming languages like Python, Ruby, Java, or Perl.
Build other technical skills
Scripting skills are critical to automation testing and software delivery. Beyond this, build your version control skills by working with systems like Git and work your way around the Linux environment. As you will find out, version control is at the core of DevOps practices plus this way you will learn how to set-up and run services.
Train and get certified
Training and certifications play a huge role in closing the existing skills gap. Certifications build industry-specific skills and are preferred by recruiters. For newbies, DevOps certification training is a great way to sell yourself to recruiters to land your first position.
- Build codes and tools where possible
If you are aiming for engineering roles, at one point or another you will be responsible for developing solutions/tools used in a DevOps environment. While at building codes, consider learning how to build DevOps tools as well.
- Get involved
There are scores of open-source projects that are related to DevOps. Find one Ruby, Python, or one based on the language you are familiar with and contribute to it. Take an active part in communities and industry events so that you will not only update your knowledge on the latest in the industry but also interact with experts and gain exposure.
- The entry-level positions will give you a good standing
More DevOps professionals in higher-caliber positions start as developers and system admins. This is mainly because DevOps is an amalgamation of these two roles. If you can build your experience in both roles, although this is not necessary, you will be in the best position to handle a DevOps role.
Seasoned professionals have built hands-on experience for at least five years in DevOps related roles so take your time, get involved, and learn all you can. As they say, DevOps incorporates a wide range of technical and soft skills so there might never be an end to learning new things which are definitely a plus for you in your career.