DevOps Engineer Job Description

Emiliano Pardo Saguier July 8, 2022
- 6 min read

As a manager, it’s up to you to be on-point about who does what in your team. While all of the job titles and descriptions can get a little confusing at times, knowing comes with the territory. Nowadays, DevOps engineers are an increasingly important part of any solid IT team.

Today, we’ll take a look at the DevOps engineer job description, so by the time we’re done, you’ll be an expert on the topic.

DevOps, as we’ve covered before, is not one thing, but many. The DevOps movement began around 2007 when the software development and IT operations communities raised concerns about the traditional software development model, where developers who wrote code worked apart from operations who deployed and supported the code.

The term DevOps, a combination of the words ‘development’ and ‘operations,’ reflects the process of integrating these disciplines into one, continuous process. In this sense, the DevOps methodology helps increase productivity across the board while managing development, tool deployment, and integrated testing and assistance more efficiently.

As a result, the critical tasks of continuous deployment and integration become the sole responsibility of the DevOps engineer

DevOps engineer job description 

A DevOps engineer is present from the get-go, right from planning up to supporting primary KPIs, such as customer satisfaction and productivity. 

As we highlighted above, a DevOps engineer is there to help integrate project functions. These range from product lifecycle to planning, building, testing, deployment, and, finally, support. 

Thus, the DevOps engineer job description includes various IT fields and operations aspects. Furthermore, they need to be knowledgeable about workflow automation tools in particular, as they are a big part of the improvements DevOps brings to the table. 

DevOps engineer role and responsibilities 

A DevOps engineer needs to have a solid foundation of technical and management skills alike. Therefore, it’s important for them to not just be good at various IT disciplines, but also have communication and coordination skills.

After all, their role requires the integration of various functions in a coordinated way. Plus, they need to do it in a way that’s not just efficient, but one that provides customer satisfaction — you know, the end goal of the whole process in and of itself. 

So, it’s no surprise that a DevOps engineer has to be proficient at wearing their thinkin’ cap as well as be proficient and managing operations with the same effectiveness. 

So, what are their main responsibilities? Let’s take a look. They need to:

  • Understand what the customers need and the KPIs for the project. 
  • Implement various development, testing, and automation tools that use the best your IT infrastructure has to offer. 
  • Plan out the way teams are structured, and the activities they need to perform, plus be involved in project management activities. This includes managing stakeholders and external interfaces. 
  • Set up whatever tools and infrastructure are necessary to lead the project to success. 
  • Create proper definitions and outlines for processes. Development, testing, releasing, updating, and support need to be set up according to DevOps standards
  • Of course, they need the technical skills to go over the software code developed for the project. And they also need to be present for troubleshooting and bug fixes as well. 
  • Be able to oversee the processes for the entire project lifecycle, as well as be able to go create new processes if there’s a need for continued efficiency increases. This includes encouraging automated processes, a huge part of the DevOps ethos. 
  • Perform vulnerability checks to make sure everything is safe and secure on the cybersecurity end. Vulnerability assessment and risk management are par for the course here. 
  • Incident management and root cause analysis are also big factors here. 
  • Coordinate communication within the team as well as with customers.
  • Select and deploy appropriate CI/CD tools. 
  • Continuous improvement is important within both DevOps and ITIL. As you can probably tell, this is also a big part of what makes the DevOps engineer position so important. The constant deployment pipeline is dependent on this continuous improvement (CI/CD pipeline). 
  • Welcome, mentor, and guide new team members to make sure they’re integrating correctly and completing their tasks to the letter.
  • Make sure that customer satisfaction, customer experience, and other KPIs are met.
  • Report periodically to upper management, as well as to clients.  

DevOps skills

As you can probably tell, being a DevOps engineer is a complex mix of top-shelf computer science know-how and managerial expertise. It’s no surprise, then, that qualified DevOps engineers are tough positions to fill.

To conduct an interview that tells you whether you have a good candidate on your hands, you need to structure your DevOps interview questions based on a solid knowledge of the DevOps engineer role

That being said, we know that being a DevOps engineer requires a mix of skills. Yet, that doesn’t mean that a computer science graduate can’t learn the necessary managerial skills to become a DevOps engineer.

If you’re not looking to hire an experienced engineer, you could also look into different programs to further the career of one of your star engineers. Otherwise, management experience comes strictly from doing.

The required DevOps skills are: 

  • Experience working with Linux-based infrastructure. 
  • Configuration management experience with databases such as Ruby, Perl, Python, and Java. 
  • Good knowledge of various DevOps tools, open-source technologies, cloud-based services, and automation tools. 
  • Expert knowledge of critical DevOps and Agile principles. 
  • Exceptional troubleshooting skills.
  • Communication, team-building, and people skills.

It’s no surprise, then, that the hardest skills to learn from this list are at the very bottom. While many DevOps courses can offer excellent windows into team management, there’s no substitute for “battlefield experience,” so to speak. 

Of course, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to further the career of one of your star engineers or hire a senior DevOps engineer who already has the experience you need. If you’re at the helm of a large company, you could actually look into mixed strategies that include both of these things. 

Frequently asked questions

What does a DevOps engineer do daily?

They need to manage every part of a project, from planning, development, deployment, and right up to support. They’re there for the entire product lifecycle. Part of their job is geared towards reducing organizational siloing, or teams working into small, isolated units. 

DevOps Engineers are responsible for creating systems, software, and analyzing data to improve the systems that are already there. Additionally, these professionals make sure that the workplace is efficient. Making sure deadlines are met and optimizing code for eventual server output are part of their day-to-day tasks. 

Does a DevOps engineer do coding?

DevOps engineers should be proficient at coding. Code optimization and troubleshooting, in particular, are big parts of their daily tasks. Therefore, they should be able to spot mistakes and fix problems as they come up as well as any other coder on the team (and sometimes better). 

What skills should a DevOps engineer have?

A mix of computer science skills and people skills. They need to be knowledgeable about databases like Ruby, Java, and Perl, as well as Linux-based infrastructures, and coding. Furthermore, they need to be experts at applying cloud-based tools, services, and various automation tools to improve efficiency. 

Additionally, DevOps engineers need excellent people skills to lead projects to success; team-building, communication, and coordination are must-have leadership skills they need to possess in spades. 

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