How To Become A DevOps Engineer In 2023: Career Guide

Are you looking to pursue a career as a DevOps Engineer in 2023, but don’t know from where to start?

If so, you’re in the right place.

Becoming a DevOps engineer is an exciting career path that combines development and operations to streamline software delivery and improve collaboration among IT teams. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a DevOps engineer, this step-by-step guide will help you navigate the necessary skills and knowledge required for success.

Also check out my ultimate guides on becoming a SEO specialistproduct managersoftware developersocial media manager and web designer.

Let’s dive right in!

Why Pursue A Career As A DevOps Engineer In 2023?

Why Pursue A Career As A DevOps Engineer In 2023?

DevOps engineering is a thriving career choice in 2023. It offers growth, job satisfaction, and streamlined development processes. DevOps saves time, promotes collaboration, and improves customer experience. The field is in high demand, with an expected market value of $17B by 2026, leading to promising career opportunities and competitive salaries.

Relevant skills and certifications like AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional or Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) can enhance expertise and advance careers in DevOps.

What is DevOps?

DevOps combines development and operations, including tools and practices, to deliver services and software quickly for better customer service. The Microsoft-approved definition of DevOps emphasizes providing continuous value to customers through people, processes, and technology.

DevOps focuses on writing code that connects customers and business processes. In certain cases, DevOps engineering involves being the go-to employee who can efficiently address engineering issues through code. Essentially, in some organizations, DevOps is the invaluable IT employee with expertise in writing effective code.

What Does A DevOps Engineer Do?

What Does A DevOps Engineer Do?

A DevOps engineer is an IT professional with broad expertise in development and operations. They should be knowledgeable in coding, infrastructure management, system administration, and DevOps toolchains. Interpersonal skills are crucial as they collaborate across different departments.

DevOps engineers bridge the gap between development and operations teams, simplifying application changes while maintaining reliability. They unify and automate processes, combining code, maintenance, and management. Understanding DevOps culture, philosophy, practices, and tools is essential for these tasks. In agile environments, silos can hinder information sharing and diminish user value.

DevOps Engineer: Roles & Responsibilities

A DevOps engineer plays a crucial role in optimizing an organization’s software development and deployment processes. They are responsible for coordinating and leading various teams to create and maintain software, with the objective of shortening the development cycle, increasing update frequency, and ensuring reliable releases.

Here are the roles and responsibilities of a DevOps engineer:

Leading and coordinating teams

DevOps engineers lead and coordinate the activities of different teams involved in the software development process, including developers, quality assurance engineers, release managers, and security engineers. They ensure effective collaboration and communication between these teams to achieve common goals.

Automating processes

DevOps engineers focus on automating and streamlining software development processes. They leverage tools and technologies to automate tasks such as code integration, testing, deployment, and monitoring. By automating these processes, they enhance efficiency, reduce errors, and enable continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD).

Infrastructure management

DevOps engineers administer and manage the infrastructure required for software development, including networks and servers. They set up and maintain server environments, configure permissions, manage backups, and establish procedures for troubleshooting and debugging. Their goal is to ensure that the development environment is stable, secure, and properly maintained.

Continuous monitoring and improvement

DevOps engineers monitor software performance, identify bottlenecks, and implement optimizations. They use monitoring tools to collect data on system performance, application metrics, and user feedback. Based on this information, they make recommendations for improvements and implement changes to enhance software quality and user experience.

Collaboration and communication

DevOps engineers work closely with cross-functional teams, including developers, operations personnel, and stakeholders. They facilitate effective communication, ensuring that everyone is aligned and working towards common objectives. They also collaborate with product managers, architects, and business stakeholders to understand requirements and translate them into technical solutions.

Documentation and knowledge sharing

DevOps engineers document processes, procedures, and system configurations. They create specifications, write technical documentation, and provide guidelines for future reference. They also share knowledge and best practices with team members, promoting a culture of learning and continuous improvement.

DevOps Engineer: Skills & Qualifications

AWS Skills

AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a cloud computing platform that offers various services for building and deploying applications. A DevOps engineer with AWS skills is proficient in using AWS services for infrastructure provisioning, deployment automation, and managing cloud resources. They understand key AWS concepts, such as EC2 instances, S3 storage, IAM for access control, and AWS Lambda for serverless computing.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment/Delivery

CI/CD stands for Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment/Delivery. It is a software development practice that focuses on automating the process of integrating code changes, building software, running tests, and deploying applications. A DevOps engineer with CI/CD skills is experienced in setting up CI/CD pipelines using tools like Jenkins, GitLab CI/CD, or CircleCI to automate the software delivery process and ensure faster and more reliable deployments.

Terraform Configuration Management

Terraform is an infrastructure-as-code tool used for provisioning and managing cloud resources across various platforms, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. A DevOps engineer with Terraform configuration management skills is proficient in writing infrastructure code using the declarative language provided by Terraform. They can define and manage infrastructure resources as code, enabling reproducibility, scalability, and automation of infrastructure provisioning.

Kubernetes

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. A DevOps engineer with Kubernetes skills understands how to deploy applications in Kubernetes clusters, manage containerized environments, and configure services for high availability and scalability. They are familiar with concepts like pods, services, deployments, and can leverage Kubernetes to streamline application deployments.

Python Programming

Python is a widely used programming language in the DevOps ecosystem. A DevOps engineer with Python programming skills can leverage Python to write scripts and automation tools for infrastructure provisioning, configuration management, and deployment tasks. They are proficient in using Python libraries and frameworks to interact with APIs, perform data manipulation, and automate various aspects of the software development lifecycle.

Ansible Configuration Management

Ansible is a popular configuration management tool used for automating infrastructure provisioning, application deployment, and configuration management tasks. A DevOps engineer with Ansible configuration management skills is experienced in writing Ansible playbooks to define infrastructure configurations, deploy applications, and manage the desired state of infrastructure resources. They can automate repetitive tasks and ensure consistent and reliable infrastructure configurations.

Jenkins Software

Jenkins is an open-source automation server widely used for building, testing, and deploying software applications. A DevOps engineer with Jenkins skills can set up and configure Jenkins pipelines to automate the build and deployment process. They are familiar with Jenkins plugins, job configurations, and integrations with version control systems, testing frameworks, and deployment tools.

Pipelines

Pipelines in the context of DevOps refer to the automated workflows that define the steps and dependencies for building, testing, and deploying software applications. A DevOps engineer with pipeline skills can design and implement efficient and reliable pipelines using tools like Jenkins, GitLab CI/CD, or Azure DevOps. They understand how to define stages, triggers, and integrations within a pipeline to enable continuous integration and deployment.

Linux

Linux is an open-source operating system commonly used in the DevOps environment. A DevOps engineer with Linux skills is proficient in working with Linux-based systems and command-line interfaces. They understand Linux administration, file systems, networking, and can effectively manage and troubleshoot Linux servers and environments.

Java Programming

Java is a widely used programming language in enterprise software development. A DevOps engineer with Java programming skills can work with Java-based applications, build tools, and frameworks commonly used in the Java ecosystem. They can automate build processes, perform code analysis, and configure deployment environments for Java applications.

How Long Does It Take to Become a DevOps Engineer?

Around 4-5 years of experience in development or operations is typically required to become a DevOps engineer. Working in DevOps while pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree can expedite the accumulation of necessary experience.

But, It is possible to become a DevOps Engineer in 6-9 months if you follow our step by step guide.

How Much Does a DevOps Engineer Make?

The average salary for DevOps engineers is $99,530, with experienced professionals earning higher wages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California, Texas, and Washington offer the highest median salaries for software developers, including DevOps engineers.

Professionals with 5-9 years of experience earn $110,000 on average. Those with 10-19 years of experience earn $125,000 on average. Senior DevOps engineers have an average salary of $120,000.

Most companies require a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field for these positions, while some prefer candidates with a master’s degree, certifications, or extensive work experience in development.

Where Do DevOps Engineer Work?

DevOps engineers work in various industries and organizations that rely on software development and operations. Their role is to facilitate collaboration between development teams and operations teams, streamline processes, and automate software delivery and infrastructure management. Here are some common places where DevOps engineers work:

Technology Companies

Many technology companies, including startups, software development firms, and tech giants, employ DevOps engineers. These companies typically build and maintain software products and services and require efficient and reliable deployment processes.

Financial Institutions

Banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions often employ DevOps engineers to ensure the smooth functioning of their software systems. DevOps practices help in managing complex financial applications, maintaining security, and facilitating continuous delivery.

E-commerce and Retail

Online retailers and e-commerce platforms rely heavily on DevOps practices to ensure the availability and performance of their websites and applications. DevOps engineers help optimize the infrastructure, automate deployments, and monitor system performance to provide a seamless shopping experience.

Cloud Service Providers

Companies providing cloud computing services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, employ DevOps engineers to help clients leverage the benefits of cloud infrastructure and services effectively.

Step By Step Guide To Become A DevOps Engineer

Step By Step Guide To Become A DevOps Engineer

Becoming a DevOps engineer involves a love for coding, problem-solving, a degree (not necessary, but if you have one, it’s BETTER), and practical experience.

1. Understand the DevOps Culture

To become a DevOps engineer, you must embrace the DevOps culture. It involves adopting a mindset of continuous improvement, collaboration, and shared responsibility. Understand the principles of DevOps and how they promote teamwork and innovation within organizations.

Learning Resources: DevOps Culture and Mindset [Coursera]

2. Learn Programming

Becoming a DevOps engineer requires experience in coding. Start with coding courses and bootcamps to learn programming basics in languages like HTML, CSS, C++, Python, and JavaScript. Gain a deeper understanding of data structures through data analytics courses, covering topics such as algorithms, databases, SQL, OOP languages, IDEs, web development, cloud computing, containers, and text editors.

Learning Resources: Learn How to Code for FREE [Codecademy]

3. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree (Not Necessary)

Employers focus more on a DevOps engineer’s skills rather than their education. However, having a degree is still valued by most employers as it demonstrates a well-rounded education. Bachelor’s degrees that are particularly valuable for DevOps engineers include:

4. Learn Generative AI Tools

Generative AI tools are becoming increasingly popular in the DevOps domain. These tools use artificial intelligence algorithms to automate various tasks, such as code generation, testing, and deployment. Familiarize yourself with popular generative AI tools and their applications in DevOps workflows.

Learning Resources: Generative AI Online Training Courses [LinkedIn]

5. Master Linux

Linux is the operating system of choice for many DevOps professionals due to its flexibility and robustness. Gain in-depth knowledge of Linux commands, file systems, networking, and security. Familiarize yourself with popular Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, CentOS, and Red Hat.

Learning Resources: Learn Linux with Online Courses, Classes & Lessons [edX]

6. Gain Knowledge of Infrastructure Components

A DevOps engineer should have a solid understanding of infrastructure components, such as servers, networks, storage, and databases. Learn how these components interact and contribute to the overall infrastructure of an organization.

Learning Resources: What is IT Infrastructure? A Beginner’s Guide [Free Code Camp]

7. Explore Cloud Computing & Virtualization

Cloud computing and virtualization are integral parts of modern IT infrastructure. Acquire knowledge of popular cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Understand how virtualization technologies like Docker and VMware enable efficient resource utilization and scalability.

Learning Resources: A Guide to Virtualization in Cloud Computing [Javatpoint]

8. Master Infrastructure Automation

Automation is a core principle of DevOps. Become proficient in tools like Ansible, Puppet, or Chef for automating infrastructure provisioning, configuration management, and deployment processes. Automation reduces manual effort, ensures consistency, and accelerates the software delivery pipeline.

Learning Resources: Learn Puppet Infrastructure & IT Automation at Scale [Puppet]

9. Learn Container Orchestration and Distributed Systems

Containerization and container orchestration have revolutionized software deployment and scalability. Familiarize yourself with containerization technologies like Kubernetes and Docker Swarm. Understand how to manage and orchestrate containers to build scalable and resilient distributed systems.

Learning Resources: Mastering the Art of Container Orchestration [RT Insights]

10. Understand Logging, Monitoring, and Observability

Logging, monitoring, and observability are crucial for maintaining the health and performance of software systems. Learn about logging frameworks, monitoring tools like Prometheus and Grafana, and observability practices that enable efficient troubleshooting and performance optimization.

Learning Resources: Learn Logging, Monitoring, and Observability [Google Cloud Skills]

11. Embrace Security Best Practices (DevSecOps)

Security is a top concern in modern IT environments. DevOps engineers should have a solid understanding of security best practices. Learn about secure coding practices, vulnerability scanning, access control, and secure deployment strategies. Embrace the DevSecOps approach, which integrates security into every stage of the software delivery process.

12. Learn Git, GitOps & Documentation

Version control systems like Git are integral to collaborative software development. Master Git and understand how to manage code repositories, branches, and merges effectively. Explore GitOps practices that leverage Git for managing infrastructure and configuration changes. Document your learnings and processes to ensure knowledge sharing and maintain a comprehensive knowledge base.

13. Understand the End-to-End Application Delivery Lifecycle

To excel as a DevOps engineer, you must understand the end-to-end application delivery lifecycle. Familiarize yourself with concepts like continuous integration (CI), continuous delivery (CD), and continuous deployment (CD). Gain knowledge of testing methodologies, deployment strategies, and release management processes.

14. Explore Additional Resources

Stay updated with the latest trends and advancements in the DevOps field. Engage with the DevOps community through forums, blogs, and conferences. Explore online courses, certifications, and learning platforms that offer in-depth training on DevOps principles, tools, and technologies.

How to Find Jobs As a DevOps Engineer

As a DevOps engineer, there are various online platforms and job websites where you can find job opportunities. Here are some popular resources where you can search for DevOps engineer jobs:

  1. JobStreet: JobStreet is a well-known job portal that offers a wide range of job opportunities in Singapore. You can search for DevOps engineer jobs on their website and explore different options in various locations and industries.
  2. LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that also features job listings. You can find a significant number of DevOps engineer job postings on LinkedIn. Utilize their search functionality and filters to refine your job search and find relevant opportunities. Make sure to create a strong LinkedIn profile to attract potential employers and recruiters.
  3. Glassdoor: Glassdoor is a platform that provides insights into companies, salaries, and job listings. You can search for DevOps engineer jobs in Singapore using their search feature. Glassdoor also offers information about top cities with open DevOps engineer positions and companies hiring for such roles.

These resources provide a starting point for your job search as a DevOps engineer. It’s important to regularly check these platforms, as new job postings may become available over time. Additionally, consider networking within the DevOps community, attending industry events, and leveraging personal connections to discover hidden job opportunities.

How to get a DevOps job in 1 month+

To land a DevOps job quickly, focus on skills and achievements. Start by rewriting your resume, highlighting relevant experiences like development tasks, side projects, and volunteer work. Use action verbs and quantify your accomplishments.

Apply to numerous DevOps jobs, aiming for around 300 applications in a month. Networking is crucial, so connect with DevOps professionals on LinkedIn and ask for career advice, not a job directly.

Approximately 20% may share their success stories and even introduce you to their contacts. By showcasing your skills, networking, and applying persistently, you increase your chances of securing a DevOps position.

How to Become a Self Taught DevOps Engineer?

How to Become a Self Taught DevOps Engineer?

DevOps values skills over qualifications. Many successful DevOps engineers are self-taught and lack formal education. The key requirements are motivation and a passion for DevOps engineering. However, having a bachelor’s degree in software development, IT, or a related field can make it easier to learn DevOps skills and secure job opportunities.

how to become a devops engineer without a degree

To become a self-taught DevOps engineer in six months, you can follow the devops engineer learning path outlined below. Please note that the time duration for each step may vary depending on your prior knowledge, learning pace, and the time you can dedicate to studying and practicing.

Step 1: Understand DevOps Concepts and Principles (1-2 weeks)

Start by familiarizing yourself with DevOps concepts and principles. Gain a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts, including continuous integration, continuous delivery/deployment, infrastructure as code, and collaboration between development and operations teams. You can refer to online resources, tutorials, and books to learn about these concepts and how they contribute to the DevOps culture and mindset.

Step 2: Learn Version Control Systems (1-2 weeks)

Version control systems like Git are crucial for DevOps engineers. Learn how to use Git for source code management, branching, merging, and collaboration. Practice working with repositories and understand concepts like commits, branches, and pull requests. You can find online tutorials, documentation, and interactive platforms to learn Git effectively.

Step 3: Gain Proficiency in Scripting and Automation (2-3 weeks)

DevOps engineers often rely on scripting languages like Bash, Python, or PowerShell for automation and configuration management tasks. Choose a scripting language and learn its syntax, basic programming concepts, and how to write scripts for automating repetitive tasks. Additionally, explore configuration management tools like Ansible, Puppet, or Chef to understand how they automate infrastructure provisioning and management.

Step 4: Learn Continuous Integration and Deployment (2-3 weeks)

Continuous integration and deployment are key practices in DevOps. Familiarize yourself with popular tools like Jenkins, Travis CI, or CircleCI, and learn how to set up pipelines to automate build, test, and deployment processes. Practice integrating your code with these tools and understand how they enable faster and more reliable software delivery.

Step 5: Explore Containerization and Orchestration (2-3 weeks)

Containerization technologies like Docker and orchestration tools like Kubernetes are essential in modern DevOps workflows. Learn how to build and manage Docker containers, understand containerization concepts, and explore container orchestration using Kubernetes. Gain hands-on experience by deploying applications in containerized environments.

Step 6: Continuous Monitoring and Infrastructure as Code (2-3 weeks)

In this step, focus on monitoring and observability practices. Learn about monitoring tools like Prometheus, Grafana, or ELK stack and understand how to set up monitoring and alerting for applications and infrastructure. Additionally, explore infrastructure as code (IaC) tools like Terraform or AWS CloudFormation to provision and manage infrastructure using code.

Step 7: Apply Your Knowledge and Build Projects (remaining time)

Throughout the learning process, apply your knowledge by working on practical projects. Start with small-scale projects and gradually move towards more complex ones. Build a deployment pipeline, automate infrastructure provisioning, and practice integrating different tools and technologies. Projects will help you solidify your understanding and gain hands-on experience.

Free Online Courses to Become a self taught DevOps Engineer

Learn devops from basics in this free online training. DevOps course is taught hands-on from experts. Understand containerization, Docker, Jenkins, & continuous monitoring. Perfect for beginners. Start with free devops course now.

How To Become A Freelance DevOps Engineer?

To become a freelance DevOps Engineer, you can either pursue formal education or learn on your own, as explained earlier. Then, you can work as a freelance DevOps Engineer on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.

>>PRO TIP: The Best Freelance Websites to Find Work in 2023

Benefits of Working As a Freelance DevOps Engineer

As a freelance DevOps engineer, there are several benefits you can enjoy. Here are some of them:

  • Flexibility: Choose projects and work remotely for a better work-life balance.
  • Higher earning potential: Set your rates and take on multiple projects to increase income.
  • Professional growth: Diverse projects and clients enhance skills and offer career development.
  • Varied projects: Work on different projects across industries, preventing monotony.
  • Networking opportunities: Collaborate with clients and build a strong professional network.
  • Skill enhancement: Continuously learn and stay updated to remain in demand as a freelance DevOps engineer.

Devops Engineer Salary By Country

  • DevOps Engineers in the United States have the highest median salary worldwide at $134,000.
  • Junior DevOps Engineers in the United States earn around $118,000, while Senior engineers can earn $170,000 or higher.
  • DevOps Engineers in Australia have the second-highest salary bracket, with a median salary of $79,000. Junior engineers earn $62,000, while Seniors can make over $102,000.
  • DevOps Engineers in the United Kingdom have the lowest median salary at $66,000, but the top end of the salary range is competitive, ranging from $53,000 to $95,000.
  • DevOps Engineers in Germany have a median salary of $70,000. Junior engineers earn $68,000, while Seniors earn $89,000.
  • DevOps Engineers in Canada have a median salary of $74,000, with a salary range of $60,000 to $91,000 from Junior to Senior positions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming A DevOps Engineer

  1. Can I get DevOps job with no experience?

    It may be difficult to get a DevOps job with no experience, but not impossible. Employers may be willing to hire candidates who have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of programming, operating systems, and cloud computing, along with a willingness to learn and a passion for the field.

  2. What qualifications do you need to be a DevOps engineer?

    DevOps engineers need at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field. DevOps engineers also usually earn one or more certifications, such as Amazon Web Services Certified DevOps Engineer or Microsoft Certified DevOps Engineer Expert.

  3. Can I learn DevOps without coding?

    The answer is no. You don't have to be a programmer to excel in the world of DevOps or cloud engineering. That being said, developing coding skills can greatly enhance your capabilities and help you stand out from the competition.

  4. Is DevOps easy to learn?

    If you do want to shift your career or get started with DevOps, the good news is it is not that hard to get started! Getting started to learn DevOps is easy. As with any other endeavor, it all starts with the first step. And in this first step, what you need to focus on are just basics and fundamentals.

  5. What educational background is recommended for becoming a DevOps engineer?

    To become a DevOps engineer, having a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field is beneficial. However, practical experience, certifications, and self-learning also play a significant role in building a successful DevOps career.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a DevOps engineer requires a blend of technical skills, collaboration abilities, and a passion for continuous improvement. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can lay a strong foundation for a successful career in the DevOps field.

Remember, this guide serves as a starting point, and your determination, passion, and commitment will be the driving forces behind your success. Best of luck on your journey to becoming a highly skilled and sought-after DevOps engineer!

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