What is a DevOps Engineer?

What is a DevOps engineer?

To know what a DevOps engineer is, you first need to know the following: what is DevOps actually? DevOps stands for development and operations, but that may not immediately ring a bell. You often have a division within an IT team: team development on the one hand and team operations on the other. In other words, the developers who develop software and the IT employees who keep the software up to date. To improve collaboration between these employees, the DevOps engineer position was created. This is someone who has enough knowledge about both parts of IT. Within this position you use the DevOps method to optimize processes in the IT department.

That DevOps method, is that just like Agile? Agile is indeed also a working method in the IT world, but this is not quite the same as DevOps. Both strive for a productive and reliable process when developing software. The Agile method emphasizes delivering software in small portions as quickly as possible. Companies that work according to the DevOps method focus on major releases and therefore have distant deadlines. The entire process usually takes a little longer, although the work itself is also aimed at efficiency, just like with Agile. The emphasis in DevOps is mainly on smooth collaboration between the various IT teams.

In this position you form the link between team development and team operations, but what exactly does a DevOps engineer do on a working day? It is important to know that the DevOps engineer position is actually more about applying the DevOps method than about a specific set of tasks. Your work completely depends on the company you work for. Your most important task is almost always shaping processes and optimizing workflows. So you help set up projects and ensure that this is done as efficiently and qualitatively as possible. To achieve this, you ensure that team development and team operations work closely together.

Sometimes you work as a DevOps engineer in an IT department where the DevOps method has only just been introduced. In that case, your most important task is to change the organization of the department and tailor it completely to DevOps. Even if the method has been introduced previously, you constantly monitor whether the collaboration between development and operations runs smoothly.

Furthermore, as a DevOps engineer you often help with the project yourself by supporting developers and system administrators. In that respect you have a coaching role. It is therefore important that you are experienced in both development and operations tasks.