DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increase an enterprise’s ability to deliver applications and services at a very high speed. It also evolves and improves products faster than enterprises using traditional software for development and infrastructure management processes. The work of a DevOps engineer includes working with developers and IT personnel to oversee code releases.
DevOps engineers are mostly developers who get interested in deploying any application, or sysadmins who have a passion for coding and scripting and want some development tasks to improve the deployment of an application. It is the collaboration between Development and Operations. DevOps is a union of process, people, and working products that enables continuous integration and continuous delivery to enhance the application’s quality to the end-users. They also speed up delivering applications and software services at top speed and with high efficiency.
We will talk about what DevOps is, as a career choice, and how one can succeed as a DevOps engineer. We will also go in-depth on various DevOps tools, and how they are useful to a DevOps engineer.
How can one succeed as a DevOps Engineer?
One must consider themselves on the above-average side of programming. You will write a decent amount of code scripts – after all, Infrastructure as Code is the first principle of DevOps!
One must also be able to troubleshoot applications with network issues for being a DevOps engineer. The knowledge of the Linux operating system is crucial. Finding your way around the Linux operating system might be a bit of a struggle, but it is worth the time.
To succeed as a DevOps engineer, one needs to have excellent knowledge of the basics of coding and design-level decisions. They may also learn to write functional code. DevOps engineers must know their way around domains like networking, systems, and coding. They should also know how to work with APIs.
DevOps engineers need to be the jack of all trades because they must know many technical domains to work for both front-end and back-end development work. You need not be a 10x engineer to be able to succeed as a DevOps engineer. Most interviewers prefer necessary programming skills with experience in the tools required for DevOps in cloud services.
Most DevOps engineers must learn log aggregators, monitoring, and alerting tools. CI/CD, security, and networking proficiency are also a necessity.
In this section, I will explain the core technology categories and specific technologies that help developers realize the DevOps engineer’s objectives. Some things that a DevOps engineer must always keep in mind are:
- Continuous improvement is a necessity
- We cannot buy DevOps
- Adoption of tools happens in stages
Planning matters for DevOps developers because it involves:
- Shared purpose
Issue Tracking matters because it involves:
- Customer responsiveness
- Limited knowledge waste
- Feedback loop
The tools used for issue tracking are:
- Atlassian Jira
- JetBrains YouTrack
Source control matters for DevOps developers as it involves:
- Asset control
- Empower teams
The tools required for Source control and management are:
Build and Test Tools
Building tools matter for DevOps developers because they put a focus on:
- Consistent packaging
- Automation of an error-prone activity
- Yielding early quality signals
Such build tools include:
- JFrog Artifactory
Developers need testing Tools for DevOps developers because they:
- Puts focus on built-in quality
- Creates confidence in deployed artifacts
Some examples of such testing tools include:
Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI/CD)
CI and CD tools
Continuous Integration and Delivery tools matter for DevOps developers for:
- Early feedback
- Reduce defects with minimal manual errors
- Limit the pre-production inventory of developers
- Automate complex pipelines
- Unify teams around getting value to customers
Some CI tools commonly used by DevOps developers are:
- AWS CodePipelines/ CodeDeploy
- Azure Pipelines
- Github Actions
- GCP Build
DevOps developers use configuration management tools to:
- Enforce Consistency and predict repeatability
- Reduce manual errors
- Treat Infrastructure-As-Code
Examples of a few configurations management tools are:
Cloud platforms also matter for DevOps teams because they are:
- Automation friendly
- Observable runtime for software
Example of some cloud platforms are:
- Amazon Web Services or AWS
- Microsoft Azure
- Google Cloud Platform
Monitoring and Logging Tools
Monitoring and logging tools matter for DevOps developers because they provide:
- Fast recovery
- Limited human involvement during incidents
Examples of some such tools are:
- ELK Stack
- New Relic
- Azure Monitor
Some communication tools that matter for DevOps developers to connect teams, limit waiting, and improve collaboration are:
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Hangouts
Some knowledge sharing tools that matter for DevOps developers to reduce knowledge waste, increase new-hire productivity, limit repeat mistakes are:
- GitHub Pages
- Google sites
API Management with DevOps
Nowadays, it is common for an application architecture to be running several APIs. This helps to create flawless integrations between multiple systems.
Businesses with a mature API platform they must use a sound API management system in place. To receive predictable performance from APIs, CloudOps team members must figure out a process that can quickly deploy updates and help them trust the code they are deploying. DevOps practices can help ensure reliability across their API program.
Automated, comprehensive API testing can also be a key factor to give developers confidence. Testing should start with the design of their API. They must determine what responses they expect with each type of request. Such decisions become a development-time check before future deployments. Like any other software, API is also subject to bugs and other errors, which makes API testing at least as necessary as any other software testing.
With potentially hundreds and thousands of customers, an API issue can have a magnifying effect in terms of loss. To maintain software quality, a developer must have a robust approach to API testing. Some common ways to test API are:
- Unit testing
- Integration testing
- Security testing
- Load testing
Part of the above API management also applies if you, as DevOps team, are consuming third-party vendor APIs – which in today’s software DNA is quite common.
With this, we can conclude that DevOps developers can practice continuous DevOps and succeed as DevOps engineers by strengthening their basics of programming, by gaining knowledge on various cloud and vendor platforms, by mastering the DevOps tools that are mentioned above. They must also know the essential API management tools used in cloud services like AWS.