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Five skills every DevOps engineer must master

The dawn of DevOps

Demand for DevOps engineers has experienced exponential growth within the last few years. They are essential to ensuring better collaboration between software developers and operations staff for leading-edge businesses. The occupation was ranked third on Indeed’s best jobs in the U.S. for 2017 based upon competitive pay, work availability and opportunities for growth. While DevOps is one of many tech tends, it isn’t expected to wane anytime soon. Here are the top five skills every DevOps engineer must master in order to succeed.

Key concepts

Like any discipline, DevOps is a practice with its own vocabulary. One of the best ways to become better acquainted with a field is to familiarize oneself with the key concepts involved. DevOps is a distinct term in and of itself, melding software development with operations staff. DevOps engineers frequently speak of black box testing, configuration management and orchestration pipeline. To get a complete rundown of terms, click here.

Soft skills

Devops is a culture founded trust. Whenever software developers and operations staff communicate with each other clearly, they can deliver faster time to market applications with lower costs and better quality. Moreover, it can be beneficial for companies to have a DevOps specialist on staff in order to cultivate positive relationships with businesses and customers. Those interested in the field need to be able to listen attentively, negotiate, solve problems and build teams.

Scripting and programming language

It is imperative to have a fundamental grasp of various programming languages like Ruby, Python, Java and Perl. These languages shape the bedrock for website administration, networks and security projects. Python is arguably the most learnable and widely used language in the industry. Once a DevOps engineer has programming knowledge under their belt, they ought to become familiar with pertinent technologies like Chef, Puppet and Ansible, as well as use of third party application program interfaces (APIs).

Continuous integration

Continuous integration (CI) is a common practice where developers frequently blend code changes on a particular software built, which alerts staff of glitches in processing. CI automatically creates and tests changes to the code in order to pinpoint any defects in the integration process. The purpose of CI is to address these defects quickly, boost software quality, and decrease the time it takes to confirm and deploy new software updates. Candidates should aim to ensure no manual intervention is needed with systems like CruiseControl, Jenkins, Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server and Jetbrains’ Team

Devops tools

Candidates ought to become acquainted with a variety of automated tools. Not all tools are created equal, however. Different companies prefer different tools. Mismatched tools can create bottlenecks, which trigger misunderstandings between software developers and operations staff. Choosing the right tools can be daunting. A good starting point is Git for source for source code management, Jenkins for build and test, chef for configuration management and AWS infrastructure for deployment.

Becoming a DevOps engineer is a challenging process, but a rewarding career with plenty of opportunity for growth. To learn more about the practice in general, click here.


Nathan Cranford
Nathan Cranford
Nathan Cranford joined RCR Wireless News as a Technology Writer in 2017. Prior to his current position, he served as a content producer for GateHouse Media, and as a freelance science and tech reporter. His work has been published by a myriad of news outlets, including COEUS Magazine, dailyRx News, The Oklahoma Daily, Texas Writers Journal and VETTA Magazine. Nathan earned a bachelor’s from the University of Oklahoma in 2013. He lives in Austin, Texas.

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