What a DevOps engineer does

devops engineer
Max Miller
Max Miller
11 March 2024
7 min

One of the most in-demand, high-paying IT professions of recent times is DevOps-engineer. This is a generalist who successfully copes with the functions of a programmer and a system administrator. He is not engaged in solving individual development tasks. He accelerates, optimises work processes with the help of automation. We will try to tell in more detail in this review.

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What is DevOps

Software development has never been a simple process. Previously, many problems arose due to the lack of direct interaction between different performers. Developers wrote code, then its separate arrays were passed to testers for testing. After testing, reports with errors were put into bulky folders and sent back to the development department. The finished, tested code was passed to sysadmins, who made it available to users by launching a new application or update.

As a result, developers had no idea what problems administrators and testers were having. The testers resented the confusion and code defects, and the sysadmins were dissatisfied with the work of the entire development department because bug fixing and subsequent testing took a lot of time, so the product release was delayed again, even though the application was supposed to be launched “as early as yesterday”.

To remedy this situation, the development process was transformed into a single cycle. This is how DevOps or Development Operations, a system of methods for combining software development and operation processes, came into being. For the first time this term was announced at the DevOps Days conference in Ghent (Belgium) by consultant Patrick Dubois. He raised the issue of unifying the spheres of software development and operation, inviting subscribers to discuss the use of “agile methods in systems administration” by attaching the hashtag #DevOps to the post. The approach quickly spread around the world and over time became a full-fledged methodology of interaction between IT professionals, turning development into a continuous, unified cycle.

Simply put, devop is a kind of cultural environment that helps programmers, testers, and operations specialists communicate in the same language. They are connected and united by DevOps engineers, versatile specialists who understand programming and system administration. They actively interact with all developers, managers, administrators, organising their work so that it brings more practical benefit to the company. This is especially important for large, large-scale projects and teams developing complex software products.

Who is a DevOps engineer and what does he do

Who is a DevOps engineer

The DevOps-engineering profession is rapidly gaining popularity. Many IT companies are interested in attracting highly qualified, multi-disciplinary specialists capable of automating complex processes. Such universalists know several programming languages and can successfully cope with the tasks of a developer, sysadmin and tester.

So, let’s take a closer look at what a DevOps engineer does. Each company considers this concept in its own way. But the main task of this specialist is to deploy and accelerate the release of a software product, to ensure interaction between development and operation departments.

Regardless of the activities of the company in which a DevOps engineer works, his job description includes:

  1. Selecting software architecture and scaling during the planning phase.
  2. Implementation of the development project road plan.
  3. Monitor the health of development tools and environments.
  4. Automation of product production at all stages, where possible. For example, organising testing in automatic mode.
  5. Establishing communication and communication between all performers in the team.
  6. Solving problems to accelerate, improve the work of developers, testing department, sysadmins and company managers.

In real life, a DevOps engineer often has to start work in more complicated conditions, when the project was started without a clear plan, the architecture was wrong, and the automation of its processes was decided to be implemented after all the work “stood up”. In such a situation, he must understand the problems, solve them and make everything work smoothly and properly.

The hiring of a DevOps specialist is needed by companies that develop software for their own use or for other clients. This position is needed in the following situations:

  • With a lot of competition in the market and the need to release product updates at an accelerated pace.
  • In large teams including a large number of specialists of different levels and qualifications: developers, system administrators, testers.
  • When developing numerous routine processes that require organisation and automation.

The DevOps Engineer ensures that development is conducted according to the DevOps methodology. As part of his role, he/she performs the following tasks:

  • Unites all the participants of the process: developers, testers, system administrators. Speaks the same language with them, understands their problems, owns their tools.
  • Works with code repositories, setting up CI/CD systems, software containerisation tools, automated testing tools. Prepares product development and testing environments.
  • Oversees all phases of development, helping to learn new tools and work methods in a timely manner, thinking through options to further simplify and improve processes.

What knowledge and skills are needed in the profession

What knowledge and skills are needed in the profession

A DevOps engineer is a qualified, experienced high-level specialist with a well-developed outlook and extensive knowledge in different areas, simultaneously working in several IT areas. It is impossible to enter this profession from the outside or from scratch. In most cases, this role is filled by maintenance performers who have pumped up and improved their skills in the field of software production.

Until recently, more than 70% of the tasks of such a specialist were related to the maintenance and support of the project infrastructure, and only a small part of them required knowledge in the field of development. But, recently, most companies have increased their requirements to applicants for the position of DevOps-engineer. They are interested in versatile specialists who, in addition to technical support experience, have practical skills and programming experience. This enables them to make faster decisions and promptly eliminate errors that arise when working on a project.

Here’s what a DevOps engineer should ideally be able to do:

  • Understand the general principles of operating systems and have Linux administration experience.
  • Work with SQL and NoSQL systems and databases.
  • Knowledge of programming languages, including Bash, Python, Golang. Not necessarily at a high level, but a good DevOps engineer should read and write code.
  • Understand how cloud technologies work (Google Cloud, Microsoft Azur). Required to describe tasks to developers.
  • Proficiency in HTTP/HTTPS, DNS, DHCP, IPv4/IPv6, VPN, NAT, Firewall, networking experience.
  • Set up web servers.
  • Manage code using GitLab.
  • Work with application containerisation tools (Kubernetes) as well as other tools (Git, Terraform, Docker, Prometheus, Ansible).
  • Possess a technical, intermediate level of English.

The following qualities will be useful for this performer to be successful:

  • Communication, interpersonal skills, ability to communicate and convey to the performers the peculiarities of functioning of complex systems in an accessible form.
  • High level of engagement, interest in the work.
  • Collectiveness, discipline, stress resistance.
  • Initiative, desire to develop.
  • A fresh unique perspective on development.
  • Meet the requested technical requirements.
  • Presentation Skills.

Having diplomas and certificates will be a plus. But most importantly, have a relevant technical background and a willingness to share the values and approach of the methodology. A specialist applying for the position of DevOps engineer should have experience in the IT industry, possess systems thinking, understand technology and be able to interact with other people. It is more than a job, rather the DevOps philosophy can be called a lifestyle. If you are not ready to constantly develop, learn, master and implement new technologies, you will not succeed in this profession.

Advantages, disadvantages of the profession, salary level

The main advantages of the profession are: its demand, excellent career prospects, professional growth, and the opportunity to earn good money. The number of vacancies is constantly increasing, and in the near future the demand for such specialists will continue to grow. Other pluses of the speciality:

  • A DevOps engineer solves tasks of different complexity and specificity, gaining new knowledge and skills. These skills can be successfully used in future work in any field.
  • “Non-boring” work with a minimum of routine and repetitive tasks.
  • Interesting practice in a professional environment.

Disadvantages of the profession:

  • A DevOps engineer works in several IT areas at once, so he or she must be characterised by extensive and rich knowledge in different areas. In addition, it is very difficult to combine several activities at the initial stages.
  • It does not have a clear working schedule. Software problems usually occur at the most unexpected times, and this should be taken calmly.

At the same time, the position of DevOps engineer is one of the highest paid in IT companies. But the requirements for it are also high. Even a novice specialist must have serious knowledge. Usually, experienced developers or system administrators apply for the position of Junior DevOps Engineer. In the rating of the best professions in the United States of America, this speciality is in fifth place. In Russia, companies are prepared to pay DevOps Engineers a high salary: on average, 2500- 5000 dollars.

How LeaderTask can help DevOps-engineers

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The main function of each DevOps specialist is to set up and improve all working processes in the team to quickly and successfully create a high-quality software product with a minimum number of bugs and rework. For this purpose it is important to establish clear, maximally transparent links between team members: developers, sysadmins, managers, testers. It is important to provide each of the executors with free access to information related to the project within their competence, to give them the opportunity to efficiently perform their tasks without being distracted by extraneous matters.

To organise teamwork within any project, it is convenient to use LeaderTask application. With this service, you will relieve your head from a huge amount of information and concentrate on the main and important tasks. The programme will timely remind you of upcoming events or deadlines for completing tasks. It will help to significantly increase the productivity and performance of your team.


DevOps engineer is a highly paid and interesting IT speciality that is in demand today. The easiest way to get into this role is from a sysadmin or programmer position. To do this, you need to supplement the missing knowledge in a related field, and you can safely take the job. If you plan to enter the profession from scratch, first of all, you should study programming or system administration, and then you can move on to mastering the specific techniques and tools needed to work in a DevOps environment. Experience is very important in this profession, as it gives you the ability to act competently in non-standard situations.

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