Your Path to Becoming a DevOps Engineer in 2024: A Comprehensive Guide

In 2024, as we’re hurtling through the digital cosmos, the DevOps Engineer role has proven to be a game-changer, driving innovation and efficiency while breaking down the walls between development and operations.

With the DevOps industry estimated to reach $25.5 billion by 2028, DevOps Engineers have become hot property. But how do you become a DevOps Engineer? What skills are required, and what challenges might you encounter? If these questions are buzzing around in your head, Instatus has got you covered.

Whether you’re a software developer looking to make a change or a tech newcomer searching for a DevOps role, the path to becoming a DevOps Engineer is within reach. Let’s get started!

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a set of practices and cultural philosophies that bridge the gap between software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). It aims to boost collaboration and streamline processes between these traditionally siloed teams.

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With these two domains under one unified umbrella, the blend of roles and responsibilities implemented by DevOps delivers a wealth of opportunities and benefits:

At the heart of DevOps are principles like Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD), which involves integrating code changes into a central location and Automated Testing which ensures software reliability while accelerating the DevOps lifecycle.

What is a DevOps Engineer?

A DevOps Engineer is a problem-solver, a team collaborator, and an efficiency guru – all rolled into one package. They’re an instrumental piece of the puzzle, fostering a culture of collaboration while steering technological innovation forward. They’re often referred to as the diplomats of the tech world!

With a first-rate knowledge of  DevOps best practices, DevOps Engineers have mastered the art of coding, infrastructure management, system administration, and DevOps toolchains.

They grasp the “why?” and “how?” of an organization's shift from one operational model to another, including the drawbacks of the old model versus the advantages of the new one. It’s why the top 10% of highest-paid DevOps Engineers earn $134,000 or more per year!

Prerequisites of a DevOps Engineer

A DevOps Engineer is a tech maestro, merging technical know-how with social finesse that keeps every gear in the DevOps frame. Let’s explore some prerequisites for the role of a DevOps Engineer:

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  1. Programming languages should be second nature

A first-rate DevOps Engineer should be comfortable with programming languages like Java, Python, and Ruby. This understanding helps them collaborate effectively with the development team, guaranteeing a seamless application installation.

  1. Understanding containers

DevOps containers are like flexible toolkits for developers, letting them build apps and deploy them to servers, even from a laptop! This technological tool has revolutionized application development, providing a specific and well-managed space to work in.

  1. Automation tools

DevOps automation toolslike Jenkins and Docker – are the backbone of the DevOps world. They allow streamlined operations across development, testing, and deployment phases. Familiarity with these tools enables DevOps Engineers to automate tasks, reduce manual errors, and increase efficiency.

  1. DevOps training and certification

Given that the field of DevOps is highly competitive, standing out from the crowd can be a challenge. Training and certifications act as an Uno reverse card, serving as a testament to your strengths and dedication. Credentials like ICAgile certification and Puppet Certified Professional are an investment in your future.

  1. Collaboration and communication

A DevOps Engineer must be adept at working with different teams, using written and verbal communication to boost team cohesion. The role requires a deep understanding of technical details and clear communication – it can be the difference between a project's success or failure.

Communication takes center stage during periods of downtime, and this is where Instatus truly excels. The moment a glitch or issue emerges, Instatus leaps into action with personalized status pages, notifying everyone involved of the issue.

These status pages reduce the time spent answering enquiries, enabling DevOps Engineers and teams to focus more on concerning solutions.

Top reasons to become a DevOps Engineer

Becoming a DevOps engineer opens the doors to a rewarding career in the technology field. So, if you’re considering a DevOps career path, here are some reasons why you should take the plunge:

Continuous learning

The nature of DevOps requires continuous learning and adaptation to new tools and practices. You’ll consistently encounter innovative technologies and acquire fresh insights geared toward delivering high-quality software.

Engaging with every component of the DevOps ecosystem welcomes a holistic understanding of your business. If you enjoy keeping up with the latest trends, this field provides multiple learning opportunities for you to sink your teeth into.

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Influence and impact

As a DevOps engineer, you’re in pole position to make an impact from top-to-bottom. Your role in streamlining processes, improving efficiency, and fostering collaboration can influence the success of your projects – particularly with your understanding of the entire software development lifecycle!

As a DevOps engineer, your proficiency can transform the work experience of your DevOps team, bringing more satisfaction to their nine-to-five by removing mundane manual tasks.

Competitive salary

DevOps engineers are well-compensated for their unique set of skills and insight. The blending of operations and development expertise often results in higher-than-average salaries in the tech industry. For instance, according to Glassdoor, the average salary for a DevOps Engineer is $104,963.

How to Become a DevOps Engineer?

Embarking on a journey to become a DevOps Engineer can be a thrilling and rewarding experience. However, it’s essential to note it requires a blend of technical and interpersonal skills along with continuous learning.

If you’re ready to take on the challenge, here are the steps you can follow to help secure a DevOps Engineer role:

Step 1: Earn a bachelor’s degree or enroll in a boot camp

Starting your journey as a DevOps engineer often begins with obtaining a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field. These subjects equip you with a strong foundation in programming, data structures, algorithms, and DevOps security – all crucial for a DevOps position.

Here are some examples of degrees you could consider:

  • Bachelor of Science in Software Development
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming
  • Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

During your degree, you’ll gain proficiency in designing the kind of information systems that major corporations like Amazon and eBay rely on. Additionally, you’ll hone project management skills that ensure the effective implementation of these systems.

Alternatively, you could enroll in a reputable boot camp program offering a more condensed and focused approach to acquiring DevOps skills. These intensive courses typically last several weeks to a few months, providing hands-on experience with the latest tools and practices.

Step 2: Understand DevOps culture

As we mentioned earlier, DevOps culture is primarily centered around a collaborative mindset, breaking down the walls between development and operations teams. The culture revolves around transparency, constant feedback, and shared responsibility.

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In DevOps culture, failure is viewed as an opportunity for learning and improvement rather than a setback. Embracing this mindset can be difficult, but it encourages experimentation and innovation – you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.

Step 3: Knowledge of Linux and OS concepts

Having a solid grasp of operating systems, particularly Linux, is the ticket to pursuing a successful career as a DevOps Engineer. Linux is the most commonly used operating system in the server environment, and many DevOps tools are designed to run on it! Therefore, it’s important to be comfortable with Linux command-line operations.

Understanding OS concepts, such as processes, threads, memory management, and file systems, is also vital. You should be proficient in handling system-level tasks, including system configuration and process monitoring, as well as writing scripts to automate these tasks.

Step 4: Develop DevOps skills

To become a successful DevOps engineer, you’ll need to develop a robust set of both technical and soft skills.

On the technical side, proficiency in various DevOps tools and technologies such as Jenkins, Kubernetes, and Ansible will help get your foot in the door. You’ll also need to master programming languages like Python, Ruby, and Java.

Acquiring specific credentials like Agile Certified Practitioner certification is a push in the right direction. However, technical expertise alone isn’t enough. As you’ll frequently need to find innovative solutions to technical challenges, your problem-solving and communication abilities should be first-rate.

Step 5: Start building your portfolio

Once you acquired the necessary skills and knowledge, it’s time to show them off! Start building a professional portfolio that demonstrates your proficiency in the different aspects of DevOps. This can include DevOps projects you’ve worked on, scripts you’ve written, or systems you’ve managed or automated.

Consider writing a blog post about each of your DevOps projects. This not only exhibits your proficiency but also aids in building your brand. You want to leave a lasting impression, so ensure your portfolio reflects your impressive capabilities.

Embrace the world of DevOps with open arms

The key to success in the DevOps field lies in a deep understanding of its culture, principles, and practices. It’s not just about mastering the tools and technologies – it’s about embracing a collaborative mindset.

In any DevOps role, streamlined communication is paramount, especially considering the frequent software downtime due to system updates and bug fixes. This is where Instatus comes into play.

Instatus offers an easy-to-use platform to create stunning status pages, ensuring everyone – users and team members – are kept up-to-date without breaking the bank. Take your first step today and build your amazing status page with Instatus!

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