DevOps Engineer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A DevOps Engineer, or Development Operations Engineer, manages and improves the communication between the operational and developmental sides of the software development process. Their main duties include launching product updates, locating production errors and issues and building integrations that improve users’ experience.

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DevOps Engineer duties and responsibilities 

A DevOps Engineer must balance several roles in the development process, including computer coding, testing and deployment. They must also possess the communication and management skills needed to oversee and manage multiple teams continually working on updating sections of code, testing the updated sections and deploying them.  

A job description for a DevOps Engineer may contain the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Guide teams in designing, building, testing and deploying changes to existing software

  • Enhance the company’s IT infrastructure security protocols

  • Identify manual processes that can be automated

  • Consider the organization’s entire IT infrastructure when making changes and improvements

  • Maintain and improve the company’s cloud infrastructure

What does a DevOps Engineer do?

DevOps Engineers operate within the information technology department of a company working to help the software development, operations and testing teams better communicate and stay informed of each other’s work progress or updates. They also work to better understand the wants and needs of customers and build software and tools to reduce user errors and improve the customer’s overall experience. 

DevOps Engineers build procedures to troubleshoot and more effectively maintain and fix the company’s software systems. They constantly work to strengthen the knowledge and communications between the development and operations departments to increase the overall efficiencies of product releases.

DevOps Engineer skills and qualifications

Here are some of the skills and qualifications that might be included in a DevOps Engineer job description and how they might be used:

  • Security: While continually updating code to make the system run faster and better, the DevOps Engineer also must make sure that the changes to improve the system don’t accidentally make the system more vulnerable to attack.

  • Flexibility: The DevOps Engineer will update sections of software, as well as simultaneously managing changes to other parts of the program. 

  • Collaboration: A DevOps Engineer will assist team members as needed. 

  • Scripting Skills: DevOps Engineers must know how to use scripting programs such as Ruby, PHP, Pearl and Python.

  • Soft Skills: A DevOps Engineer should possess interpersonal, management and decision-making skills.

DevOps Engineer salary expectations 

The average expected salary for a DevOps Engineer in the U.S. is $123,240 per year. This may vary depending on geographical location, level of experience and the size of the organization.

DevOps Engineer education and training requirements 

Most employers require a bachelor’s degree in information technology, computer science, computer information systems, computer engineering or a related discipline. A solid background in data center migrations is also beneficial. 

The Certified DevOps Engineer certification through Amazon Web Services (AWS) is valuable in an applicant. This certification consists of an exam that evaluates expertise in maintaining distributed applications, operation and provisioning. Membership in the DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA), which offers open-source certification and training for members, is also desirable. 

DevOps Engineer experience requirements 

When hiring a DevOps Engineer, employers like to see the technical skills one acquires through experience working on a DevOps team. Besides these, however, soft skills like teamwork, communication, customer service and other people skills are critical for success as a DevOps Engineer. Therefore, employers will look for some experience in customer service, Human Resources or other positions that involve working and interacting with customers, fellow employees or the general public when considering a person for a DevOps Engineer position.

Job description samples for similar positions 

Other jobs with similar skills and qualifications include: 

Frequently asked questions about DevOps Engineers

 

Do DevOps Engineers have different responsibilities in different industries?

DevOps Engineers often share similar responsibilities of improving software systems on both the development and operations sides. They can work in a variety of industries and work settings. Most of them work in the IT department of companies determining and solving common software issues. 

Some work for government entities conducting maintenance and improvements on government software that community members regularly use. Others may work for nonprofit organizations helping set up and improve programs that make it easier for donors to give online. DevOps Engineers who work in the healthcare industry usually provide enhancements and prevent errors from occurring on medical database software. 

 

What makes a good DevOps Engineer?

A strong DevOps Engineer should have a strong knowledge of different technology tools and software systems, as they’re regularly working on updating and fixing different platforms. They should also have experience using various coding languages, like Java Script, HTML and C++. 

Many DevOps Engineers are responsible for completing several software-related tasks throughout the day, so they should have great time management and organizational abilities to prioritize and plan their responsibilities accordingly. 

 

Who does a DevOps Engineer report to?

Most DevOps Engineers work in the IT department, so they usually have a DevOps Manager they report to. DevOps Managers oversee the productivity and efficiency of their team and ensure they’re doing an impressive job of managing the communication between the development and operations teams. 

The DevOps Engineer may complete a project and have the DevOps Manager review the improvements or updates they made to a certain software system before submitting it. DevOps Managers set goals for their DevOps Engineer team. If the DevOps Engineers are having issues reaching their goals, they’ll report to the DevOps Manager for guidance or assistance. 

 

What's the difference between a DevOps Engineer and a Cloud Engineer?

Though both DevOps and Cloud Engineers share similar responsibilities of using coding to make improvements and enhancements, there are a few key differences between the two roles. DevOps Engineers often work with a wide variety of software systems, like downloadable software, online applications and cloud development. 

Cloud Engineers typically work primarily on improving cloud development systems. DevOps Engineers focus on a wider range of software systems and constantly find ways to streamline the development and release of a product to its customers.

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