Bartosz Komin | Cloud Services | 15.04.2020
Recently, many people outside the industry have been asking me what a DevOps engineer is and what I do at work. This is not surprising – there are an increasing number of job offers from companies that are looking for DevOps for their projects. How to explain this phenomenon? Let’s go deeper into the secrets of a DevOps engineer’s work and try to answer the question of why more and more companies have decided to create such a role in their projects.
A long, long time ago, when all applications in the world were built by development teams in monolithic architecture, the Almighty Admin deployed these applications. Why “almighty”? The admin had enormous power, both in terms of equipment and its configuration. No wonder, then, that his authority was vast. At a time when cloud solutions did not exist, he had great responsibility for correctly configuring monolithic architecture in a production environment where traffic was often huge and the requirements in terms of reliability were high.
Such a division of responsibilities, however, created huge barriers between the software development team and the admin. The person who controlled access to server resources, locked up in their fortress, did not understand the problems faced by developers and often blamed them for all the problems which arose. It worked similarly from the perspective of the other side too, and the lack of communication could seriously slow down any project.
Today, we have many more possibilities in the field of software development and we are not afraid to experiment because, thanks to cloud solutions, we do not implement changes directly in the production environment. We work in an Agile manner, focus on communication and transparency, and build well-coordinated teams, paying attention to Time to Market. In the era of start-ups, there was also a need to start the development environment quickly and implement even the basic version of the application (MVP – Minimum Viable Product) in the production environment. This allows you to quickly check the correctness of business assumptions for the new application.
The high level of complexity of business requirements and the level of complexity of the applications being built, in turn, require greater specialization of members of the development team. The previous approach – one specialist being responsible for everything – no longer has any reason to exist today. No wonder that a programmer, who is focused on developing the application, no longer has enough time to implement it in a server environment. This is how the need to identify a specialist in the team who would have competences in both the area of application development and its implementation arose. And that is a DevOps engineer.
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DevOps engineer is a role in which a specialist is or may be responsible for:
Although “DevOps Engineer” job offers are often advertised, some people say that such a role does not exist, probably because the scope of responsibilities of such a person varies greatly, depending on the size of the project. In practice, we can therefore come across various configurations of this role:
The infrastructure team is responsible for the server part, and the DevOps engineer is the “representative” of the software development team who contacts the infrastructure team.
As you can see, although a DevOps engineer is a specialist with a wide range of competences, he is nothing like an administrator locked up in a server room. Companies are willing to employ DevOps specialists or entire DevOps teams because of the specific benefits:
The speed of digital transformation means that the approach to software development is changing, and companies are looking for specialists who will improve and speed up this process. However, obtaining them is not easy, and last year DevOps specialists were third on the list of the most desirable competences according to the LinkedIn report. Not surprisingly, more and more companies are deciding to employ a DevOps engineer or a DevOps team, using the support of companies specializing in software development. The reasons are varied: the need for faster implementation of the application, the need to improve security and communication between project teams or to have high-quality applications. And what would your reason be?