What is DevOps?
DevOps stands simply for development operations. It refers to the processes required to bring new software and applications to market, or new IT systems up and running within an organisation. The field itself is an expansive one – it encompasses business culture and philosophies, development practices and processes, and the tools required to carry a development project through to its completion and launch.
Despite the seemingly amorphous description, devops is crucial for modern organisations, most of which require at least a degree of in-house development capability. As such, a skilled devops engineer is a highly sought-after corporate asset.
What does a DevOps engineer do?
A DevOps engineer acts as a fulcrum between development and operational teams, and basically forms the foundation of the entire dev ops environment. In order for development to go as planned, there needs to be an operational team ready to implement the IT structures, applications, and software enhancements that are created. In order for operations to run smoothly, there needs to be a strong development team crafting solutions to operational pain points. Between these two teams, and harmonising the efforts of both, are DevOps engineers.
But the role of a DevOps engineer is in fact far more expansive than this. They do not simply act as a go-between, but, instead, they must carry out tasks related to both fields in order to achieve the best possible results for the organisation.
This means understanding the operational landscape, and the challenges faced here. This also means having a strong working knowledge of developmental disciplines and of the software development lifecycle. Of course, a great DevOps engineer will be able to seamlessly toggle between both skill sets.
DevOps engineer responsibilities
- Ongoing monitoring of the organisation's digital architecture, checking for performance and compliance
- Planning the evolution of software and IT systems
- Working with development teams on the building of websites, applications, and software pieces
- Keeping up with the management of internal databases
- Working to resolve issues and problems with systems and software, and to put in place measures to ensure these issues do not reoccur
- Working with planning departments to get software and systems up and running in a timely manner, and ensuring long-term scalability for the business
- Developing digital infrastructure and working on automated code to improve efficiency and reduce risk
- Testing and maintaining digital infrastructure in the long term
- Building frameworks for software and application deployment
- Building platform environments to support auto-scaling for the business in the future
- Liaising closely with both development and operational teams
- Conducting analyses, and feeding this data back to relevant teams to support their efforts
- Staying on top of industry best practices and trends, as well as changes to compliance requirements
Who does a DevOps engineer report to?
As we have discussed above, a DevOps engineer needs to be a highly responsible individual. They will be carrying out many of their duties autonomously, which means they may be expected to work with little external input or direction.
However, the DevOps engineer will still need to report to managers above them in the organisation. In larger organisations, with a number of tiers of management, this may be a team of managers specifically tasked to oversee development operations. However, in smaller-scale operations, DevOps engineers may find themselves reporting directly to the highest levels of management, or even to the business owner.
The DevOps engineer will also need to work with development and operational teams at the same level in the hierarchy, and report data findings and other insights.
What qualifications do Devops engineers need?
The role of a DevOps engineer is a highly technical one, and also a highly responsible one, existing at the convergence of development and management. As such, most successful candidates will be educated at least to bachelor's degree level. Usually, this degree will be in information technology, computer science, or a related field.
A master's degree in a computing field will also be helpful and may secure a better position and salary, although this is not always necessary. Additional experience in software development, and a practical knowledge of the skills involved in this, will also make the candidate more employable.
What is the career path for a DevOps engineer?
- Junior DevOps
- Junior DevOps engineer
- Development assistant
- Operations assistant
- Junior digital analyst
- DevOps engineer
- DevOps manager
- Senior DevOps engineer
- Lead DevOps engineer
- Head of DevOps
- DevOps director
How much does a DevOps engineer earn?
The average salary for a DevOps engineer in Australia is $112,000, as of February 2020. Entry level DevOps engineering roles earn $75-$90k, ranging up to $200k plus for senior management positions. Of course, this is subject to experience and level of qualification.
This salary guide is a compilation of salary and market information provided by Hudson consultants, clients, candidates and other sources across Australia. Information was gathered by drawing on the extensive knowledge of our specialist recruitment consultants across Hudson's specialist practice groups. Salary ranges are approximate guides only.
They relate to base salaries and exclude superannuation/bonuses/incentive schemes/stock options.
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