What does a DevOps Engineer do?


DevOps refers to a software development concept that unites and brings together developers and IT staff. The DevOps approach involves consistent, small edits to software coding. This means frequent updates and testing of software that result in very quickly releases. Now, what’s the role of a DevOps Engineer?


The role Responsibilities Background Skills Salary


The Role of a DevOps Engineer?

DevOps Role

DevOps is a culmination of two practices: Development and Operations. So a DevOps professional is an expert who integrates IT operations into software management and deployment. They ensure that the DevOps strategy is well implemented.

DevOps engineers have a good understanding of the software development lifecycle and also know automation tools for developing digital pipelines (CI - Continuous Integration / CD - Continuous Deployment).

Generally, people working in implementing DevOps are professionals like Software Developers, Quality Assurance and IT Security experts.

They act across departments and work  with managers, developers, and administrators to improve a software product for the customer.

A DevOps engineer can basically be found in all industries that support their business processes with software. They use the approaches of the so-called agile software development and are aware of classical system administration.


Specialized DevOps Roles 

The term DevOps covers a wide range of roles and responsibilities. Upon closer analysis, DevOps Engineers may assume quite a few different roles. Some of these include:

Software Developer - Software Development is the key to DevOps Engineering. While a DevOps software developer shares similar responsibilities as a general developer, there are a few added responsibilities. These range between unit testing, deployment, monitoring, and reporting.

Automation Expert - Also known as an Automation Architect, here a DevOps Engineer is tasked with using tools that automate development, testing, and integration of software deployment/upgrades. Automation experts analyze, design, and implement strategies for continuous deployments.

Release Manager - What does Release managers do? Well, release Managers or DevOps Managers work on coordination and management of product from the initial stages to end release. They are responsible for end-to-end delivery.

Security Officer - DevOps Organizations employ security officers to work alongside developers, architects, and DevOps managers to build security into their products at an early stage rather than at the end.


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What are the Responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer?

DevOps Engineer Responsibilities

A DevOps Engineer ensures that software platforms in the company function smoothly round the clock and are scalable. They optimize efficiency and accompany the product throughout its entire lifecycle. This starts with the prototype, continues with the product launch and does not end with the delivery.

DevOps Engineers further develop the concepts and observe trends on the market and the competition. They ensure the smooth operation of IT services, analyze errors and document them.

Day to day responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer:

  • Ensure the functioning of software platforms
  • Optimize efficiency and accompanies the product throughout its entire lifecycle.
  • Troubleshoot production issues
  • Coordinate with the development team to streamline code deployment.
  • Conduct systems tests for security, performance, and availability.
  • Ensure code quality, test and distribute code updates, and monitor the health and stability of the servers.


What Skills do DevOps Engineers require?

DevOps Engineer Skills

A DevOps engineer has good scripting capabilities and understands programming languages such as Python and Perl. Their knowledge also includes SQL, NoSQL and virtualization solutions.

A DevOps Engineer is interested in agile development and is able to present their knowledge in the areas of development, operations and agility, databases and automation convincingly and professionally.

Besides tech skills, soft skills are also incredibly important. DevOps engineers should be able to collaborate, multi-task and need great communication skills.

Skills of a DevOps Engineer:

  • Excellent Scripting Capabilities
  • Programming languages like Python and Perl
  • Understanding of SQL, NoSQL and virtualization solutions.
  • Keen interest in Agile Development
  • Security Training
  • Professional Communication skills
  • Flexibility and astute decision making
  • Collaboration skills

They are generally skilled at using at least some of the following DevOps tools:

  • Git and GitHub
  • Puppet
  • Ansible
  • Jenkins
  • Selenium
  • Chef
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes


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Background of a DevOps Engineer

DevOps Engineer Background

DevOps engineers often have an academic degree but it is possible to get far with an autodidact education or a completed apprenticeship.

Students who come from university usually have an education in computer science, business informatics, engineering or mathematics. Internships and proven professional experience are particularly advantageous.

Valuable knowledge can also be gathered in smaller companies with a manageable IT department. Academic reports are also a great knowledge source for DevOps Engineers to refer to.

Often DevOps engineers are System Administrators who are passionate about scripting and programming or developers who are interested in network operations and deployment.



A DevOps engineer has excellent salary prospects. As always, the amount on the monthly statement can vary greatly from industry to industry and depends not least on company size and state.

A starting salary of around $91,000 euros gross per year is realistic. The average annual salary is around $116,000. The top earners reach spheres of over $155,000 gross per year.

How much does a DevOps Engineer earn?

Junior $91,000
Average $116,000
Senior $155,000

The average freelancer hourly rate for a DevOps Engineer is $120 per hour. Extrapolated to an 8-hour day, the daily rate is around $960 per day. (freelancermap price index - as of September 2019)


Average Freelancer Rate for DevOps Engineer
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