How to Become a DevOps Engineer

The software development cycle entails several steps and consumes time for execution. DevOps is a practice that intends to reduce the time consumption for the software development cycle to finish the process. The essential aspect of DevOps implementation is “Automation”. DevOps practices work well with agile and continuous delivery methodologies, making the application ready to be released in very little time. DevOps utilization facilitates continuous improvement in systems delivery, creativity, and knowledge. Hence, Software developers achieve more maturity by implementing these practices. In this blog, we will discuss how to become a DevOps Engineer starting from scratch covering the topics incorporating who is a DevOps engineer? Roles and responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer, skills required for becoming a DevOps Engineer, the roadmap for DevOps Engineer, application testing, application development, and the pay scales for a DevOps Engineer in the present market.

Who Is A DevOps Engineer?

Before reading how to become a DevOps engineer, it is necessary to obtain awareness of the role. A DevOps engineer is an IT professional who has an in-depth comprehension of the software development lifecycle. They need to comprehend why the corporation had to migrate from one model to the other, the deficiencies from the previous model, the advantages of adopting the new model, and so forth. 

A DevOps engineer should also be aware of utilizing different automation tools for building continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines. 


There are several phases in a CI/CD pipeline. The initial step is the planning phase, which incorporates drafting an algorithm for your product. The next step is the building phase, where the algorithm is transformed into a product to use. 

The product is then invoked by testing in the testing phase, where all bugs are detected and fixed. The product lastly moves to the deployment phase, where the end-users get introduced. Once the product gets deployed, it requires continuous monitoring,  a new concept newly launched into the DevOps lifecycle.

DevOps engineers focus more on this monitoring state where they compare with the previous phases.  To expose new bugs, correct them, and push the revised version back to the client, it is necessary to monitor the product continuously. It will ensure customer satisfaction once the product gets deployed into the real world. DevOps engineers cooperate with the development and operation teams to deliver high-quality products within a short time as possible. 

A DevOps engineer can also explore other career paths, such as:

  • DevOps architect
  • Automation engineer
  • Software tester
  • Integration specialist
  • Security engineer
  • Release manager

Roles and Responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer

Before learning how to become a DevOps engineer, we should be clear about what a DevOps engineer does. Similar to the software engineer, a DevOps engineer develops the code for an application. After the code development, the DevOps engineers will also take care of build, deployment, and operations as a continuous automated process. They work in tandem with business groups and organize the entire workflow to make the software work by blending it with the automated processes.


Most of the daily work is associated with building and deployment, collaborating with the respective teams regarding results, automation, and configuration.  If needed, programming is required to connect the gap between the developers and the operations teams.

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Requirement Skills for Becoming a DevOps Engineer

There are specific skills that an individual should possess to become a DevOps engineer. You wouldn't have all of them at once from this long list. Experience also makes you gain some skills. You can begin with one or two of these.

Programming knowledge

Learning some coding languages such as Python, Java, Ruby, etc., keeps you in a better position than a network or an IT person. If required, you can debug pieces of code, fix build and deployment errors so that the development lifecycle doesn’t have to bounce back between development and deployment, thus preserving time and resources. The processes that include server trigger, application installation, configuration, validation, etc., are all automated. The DevOps engineer is responsible for filling the gaps and running things smoothly. Programming knowledge is applied to build tools that will assist in automating several processes.

Knowing the system administrator

A system administration has many responsibilities. They are responsible for building, deploying, testing, debugging, and fixing servers on a day to day basis. He examines the robustness of the system frequently and works on critical issues. Moreover, DevOps professionals should automate the most crucial parts of the server and infrastructure deployment process. It is one of the most vital skills of a DevOps engineer.

Network and storage

Since DevOps professionals are able to manage network issues since they are experts in dealing with a lot of servers, connections, data, and storage. This signifies that the professionals should be aware of IT network and storage concepts. They must possess good fundamental knowledge of networking. However, as you have to work with real-time systems, you should also get the awareness of various protocols, APIs, and retention decisions to establish the infrastructure required.

A network engineer who knows server maintenance can also become a DevOps engineer with a little skill upgrade. Begin with the scripting knowledge and learn various configuration and deployment tools. Get yourself provided with Linux, OpenStack, and any public cloud like Azure, AWS. Continuous integration (with Jenkins/Kubernetes) is another domain you should look at learning for the long-term.

Infrastructure management and compliance

New systems can accompany the DevOps workflow. Yet, legacy systems must tend to and be brought into the DevOps world. These systems should be configured to be secure, scalable, balanced, have proper backups, and compliant. These things must happen without disrupting any of the existing enterprises. In simple terms, the tasks which are performed manually should be automated. The process might break or affect some functionality. As a result, a DevOps engineer must be cognizant of cluster management software and containerization to ensure smooth integration of existing systems and new deployments.

Automation tools

The most familiar DevOps automation tools are Puppet, Kubernetes, and Jenkins. Automation is the ultimate goal of the DevOps process. Every task gets automated from generating code to build, test, and deploy. The monitoring and post-production testing is also automated providing continuous integration and quicker results. The recurring process of the DevOps pipeline consists of Continuous Integration, Continuous Testing, and Continuous Deployment.
Moreover, automation is also applicable to the infrastructure set up, software deployment, and configurations. It will improve speed, reliability, consistency, and mainly the number of reliable distributions. Gaining the knowledge of any of these automation tools will make your travel the long way for a successful DevOps career.

Virtualization and cloud

Virtualization signifies running a virtual instance of a computer system in a separate layer abstracted from the actual hardware. Virtualization enables dividing a large system into smaller units such that the server can be employed by many numerous users or applications having various requirements. It also keeps any program on one machine quarantined from the others.
It makes virtualization considerably essential for DevOps. Presume if we can virtualize the hardware and create a copy of the existing network, the dev team, and the ops (IT) team can work together and be in sync. It also provides a seamless testing interface. Network virtualization requires familiarity with public, private, and hybrid clouds with basic working knowledge.


The overall security of a DevOps environment involves certain practices built through various policies, strategies, and techniques. Security is integral to every phase of the DevOps cycle that constitutes development, testing, build, deployment, or monitoring. Each phase holds certain risks associated with it. As a DevOps engineer, you are responsible for providing access privileges to various accounts such as root, admin, developer, etc. Additionally, you should be able to:

  • Create and implement policies that are easy to understand and accompanied by the team members.
  • Automate the security processes.
  • Manage and control privileged access, exclude inoperative accounts, and implement the least possible privileges unless required.
  • Introduce security in the early phases of the development lifecycle to strengthen during all its phases.
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If you are well-known with agile methodologies, you would know that agile accompanies an incremental and iterative development process. Testing and development go hand in hand. DevOps is just one step further. Testers not only test the functionality but also tests every aspect of operations, performance, security, and analysis of data and logs. Testing happens at every phase starting from planning, branching, coding, merging, building, releasing, deployment, operations, and monitoring. There is an abundance of tools obtainable for a DevOps engineer to implement continuous testing and integration.


Communication skills

Communication skills are a significant aspect of a DevOps engineer. That’s because he is a medium between IT and development teams and needs to organize both of them well. Moreover, as a DevOps engineer, you will become a part of a large team where a lot of interaction and discussions take place. Addressing the right points at the right time is the key to effective communication. Having this skill can land you any job, not just that of a DevOps engineer.

Roadmap for DevOps Engineer

The roadmap of the DevOps Engineer will go through the following essentials.

Fundamentals of Linux and Programming Language

DevOps practices programming languages for developing and automating software. There are numerous programming languages to learn in addition to specific DevOps tools. The three most popular languages used with the DevOps tools are Ruby, Python, and JavaScript. It's suggestable to learn at least one of these programming languages to work with the DevOps tools. It's also imperative for a DevOps engineer to apprehend the basics of the Linux Command Line Interface (CLI). The following are the mandatory Linux skills that are necessary for a DevOps engineer: 

  • Linux shell - bash or ksh
  • Linux commands - find, grep, awk, sed
  • Networking commands - nslookup and netstat 

Managing Source Code 

Learning source code management is imperative for keeping your projects planned, regardless of the number of code sets you to have. You have to learn at least one of these standard source code management tools as listed below:

  • Git
  • CVS
  • Mercurial

You can choose to begin with any of these source code management tools. It is recommended to start with Git that assists in tracking the changes in the source code and can manage large projects efficiently. It also enables multiple developers to work together with ease.

Building an Application

A DevOps engineer must learn how to build an application and commit to the source code management tool. One of the most familiar ways to develop an application is by employing Maven, an automation tool that aids in building and managing software projects within a short duration. Maven has a smooth build process, supports parallel builds, and provides instant access to new features with no additional configurations.

CI/CD Automation

A project object model (POM) file is necessary to build an application. The POM file consists of a set of jars, commands to be executed, the builds plugins, and builds a profile. Continuous Integration or Continuous Development (CI/CD) tool must be used for automating the entire process. CI/CD tools are abundant, such as Jenkins, TeamCity, Drone, etc.
Jenkins is the most widely used automation tool on the market. It's an open-source continuous integration tool, which assists in automating the continuous development, testing, and deployment of newly created codes. The main reasons why you should learn Jenkins are:

  • It has multiple plugins.
  • It is easily distributed across multiple machines.
  • Installation and configuration are easy.

Application Testing

Once the build process is done, you have to learn how to automate the testing process of web applications. Selenium is one of the most reliable testing tools for QA teams, rendering fast execution, enabling scripting in numerous languages, and establishing parallel test execution.

Application Development

Once the application is tested, it requires to be deployed and run on the production server. You must apprehend containers and configuration management tools for deploying an application.

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Docker is a useful tool that aids to deliver software in containers. It has high scalability and efficiency, contributes usable data volumes, and has quarantined applications.


Ansible is an agentless configuration management tool. Unlike other tools in this domain, it renders the ability to push configurations onto multiple servers and maintain them in the required state. It employs SSH for secure connections.

Monitor Applications

Monitoring applications is another essential aspect of a DevOps engineer. In this phase, the issues are recognized, and changes are implemented quickly. Nagios is a familiar application monitoring tool that assists in comprehensive monitoring, has high availability, and provides instant remediation.

Cloud Providers

A DevOps engineer must be aware of cloud service providers and their basic applications. Cloud computing is an imperative skill to learn, regardless of the profession in which you were working. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most familiar cloud provider in the enterprise today. Many corporations retain their infrastructure on this cloud because it renders higher scalability, greater flexibility, and more reliable security. It is comparatively more cost-effective than other cloud providers. Other cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, are slowly catching up in terms of speed.

DevOps Engineer Payscale

The salary of a DevOps engineer differs based on the experience and certifications you possess. Here’s an evaluation from Glassdoor on the salary trends of a DevOps engineer in the United States and India: 

  • The average salary of a DevOps engineer in the United States is $111,311 per year (as of Dec. 17). 


  • The average salary of a DevOps engineer in India is INR 612,000 per year.


Having fundamental knowledge of each of these skills is a good start for becoming a DevOps Engineer. For instance, a software engineer will be a programming expert. Handling the admin job is not difficult for them as they might already have performed certain activities in a development environment. Likewise, for a network engineer, it is simple for them to learn security, virtualization, and infrastructure management. Each of these skills is related. Aiming to become a DevOps engineer is a long journey and tiresome, but it is rewarding over a long time in terms of the pay scale, experience, and career growth.

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