Is DevOps a Good Career for You?

Written by: Anshuman Singh - Co-Founder @ Scaler | Creating 1M+ world-class engineers
19 Min Read

With the IT landscape rapidly evolving, DevOps emerges as a strategic career choice, especially as the demand for expertise in cloud and automation technologies soars. DevOps, a field blending collaboration, automation, and operational efficiency, is pivotal for modern businesses. Ideal for those skilled in managing software development processes and keen on automation, DevOps offers a dynamic career path with abundant opportunities. This article will guide you through the job prospects, key responsibilities, and essential skills defining a successful career in DevOps.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is an approach that aims to bridge the gap between software development and IT operations. It emphasizes collaboration, communication, and integration between these two domains, enabling organizations to deliver high-quality software at a faster pace. DevOps professionals are responsible for managing the entire software development lifecycle, from code development to deployment and operations. 

Key aspects of DevOps include – 

Automation: Automation plays a crucial role in streamlining processes and reducing manual errors. DevOps teams often utilize tools like Jenkins, Ansible, and Docker to automate repetitive tasks such as testing, building, and deployment. This not only saves time but also ensures consistency and reliability in the software delivery process. 

Continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD): CI/CD practices involve frequently integrating code changes into a shared repository, running automated tests, and deploying applications to production environments. This iterative approach allows teams to detect and address issues early in the development cycle, leading to faster feedback loops and accelerated delivery of features. 

Why DevOps is a Good Career in 2024?

In today’s technology-driven world, organizations are depending more and more on software to drive innovation and stay competitive. This has increased the demand for skilled DevOps professionals who can efficiently oversee the software development and deployment processes. DevOps is the newest and most in-demand tech expertise. Here’s why: 

1. Explosive Job Growth:

The software industry is booming, and DevOps is the key to managing it all. With companies relying more on software, the job growth for DevOps professionals is skyrocketing. In fact, BLS projects a 25% growth rate in the software industry between 2022 and 2032. This exponential rise suggests that in the upcoming years, there will be a considerable and ongoing need for skilled DevOps professionals.

2. Competitive Salaries

Not only is the job market hot, but DevOps engineers (with the required DevOps engineer skills) are well-compensated. Salaries can greatly vary by experience and location, but the average annual salary of a DevOps engineer is around ₹7,37,000 in India and $1,23,712 in the United States, according to Glassdoor.

DevOps engineer salary in India

3. Clear Career Path

DevOps isn’t just a one-size-fits-all job. Many companies offer clear paths for advancement, with roles ranging from Junior Engineer to DevOps Architect. You can even lead entire DevOps teams. DevOps skills are also highly transferable across industries, making you adaptable

4. Future-Proof Skills

DevOps is designed for the cloud, and the cloud is the future. DevOps professionals with expertise in cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud are highly sought after for their ability to design scalable and resilient infrastructure that supports continuous integration and delivery pipelines. In the upcoming years, there will likely be an exponential increase in demand for DevOps engineers with cloud expertise as more and more enterprises move their workloads to the cloud.

Understanding Career Paths in DevOps

A career in DevOps offers a clear path for growth and advancement. As a DevOps professional, you can start your journey as a Junior DevOps Engineer and progress to roles like DevOps Engineer, DevOps Architect, and DevOps Manager. With experience and expertise, you can also explore specialized roles such as Site Reliability Engineer or Cloud Engineer. The career path in DevOps is well-defined, providing you with ample opportunities to enhance your skills and take on greater responsibilities. Check out options for career transitions into related DevOps roles.

Moving up the career ladder in DevOps also brings significant rewards. According to Glassdoor, DevOps professionals earn a median salary of $1,23,712 per year in the United States, with experienced professionals earning well over $150,000 per year. These figures indicate that DevOps offers not only growth opportunities but also financial stability and a competitive salary.

One key aspect of a successful career in DevOps is continuous learning and skill development. As technology evolves rapidly, staying updated with the latest tools and practices is essential for staying competitive in the field. DevOps professionals often engage in ongoing training, attend conferences, and participate in workshops to expand their knowledge and stay ahead of industry trends.

Working in DevOps requires close collaboration with cross-functional teams, including developers, IT operations, and quality assurance. Strong communication skills help DevOps professionals effectively convey ideas, coordinate tasks, and resolve conflicts, leading to smoother project implementations and successful outcomes.

Is DevOps a Good Career for Freshers?

The world of technology is in constant flux, and DevOps has emerged as a critical approach to bridge the gap between development and operations teams. But is this a good career path for fresh graduates (freshers) entering the workforce?  Let’s dive deeper with a well-researched analysis:

Why DevOps Might Be a Perfect Fit for Freshers:

  • In-Demand Skills: The demand for skilled DevOps professionals is skyrocketing. According to the Upskill Report by LinkedIn, DevOps engineering ranks among the top 25 in-demand skills globally. This translates to ample job opportunities for freshers with the right skills.
  • Broad Learning Curve: DevOps contains a variety of disciplines, including scripting languages, version control systems, configuration management tools, and cloud computing fundamentals. This diverse skillset makes it a stimulating career path for those who enjoy continuous learning.
  • Faster Career Growth: The dynamic nature of DevOps allows freshers to quickly grasp core concepts and contribute meaningfully to projects. This can lead to faster career progression compared to traditional IT roles with steeper learning curves.

Skills Needed to Build a Successful DevOps Career

Building a successful career in DevOps requires a diverse set of skills. Let’s explore some key skills that are essential for a DevOps professional:

Technical Skills 

As a DevOps professional, you need to have a strong understanding of various technologies and tools used in software development, deployment, and operations. This includes proficiency in –

  • Programming languages like Python, Ruby, Bash, Java, JavaScript, and PHP,
  • Understanding core Linux concepts like file system navigation, shell scripting, and package management.
  • Familiarity with web development concepts like HTML, and CSS.
  • Understanding Git for version control and collaboration.
  • In-depth knowledge of the CI/CD pipeline is crucial.
  • DevOps Automation Tools like Jenkins or Bamboo to build and test SDLC phases, Ansible or Puppet to automate deployments, and Nagios or Splunk to check system performance and identify potential issues proactively.
  • Familiarity with major cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, or GCP
  • Containerization technologies like Docker and Kubernetes.
  • Having a grasp of Java fundamentals can be beneficial.

Soft Skills 

Apart from technical skills, the following soft skills are required –

  • Strong communication and collaboration skills are crucial. 
  • Problem-solving and troubleshooting. 
  • Analytical thinking, attention to detail, and creativity.
  • Thirst for continuous learning and self-improvement. 
  • Keeping up with industry trends and familiarizing oneself with new tools and practices is essential.

Emerging Skills and Technologies in DevOps

While core skills remain foundational, the DevOps landscape is constantly innovating. Here are some emerging trends and technologies to watch out for:

  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) in DevOps
  • Security in DevOps (SecDevOps)
  • Tools like Prometheus and Grafana
  • GitOps

Now that we have covered the core skills, let’s check out some emerging skills or technologies in DevOps that professionals should watch out for.

Key Responsibility Areas (KRA) as DevOps Expert

DevOps methodologies are advancing so swiftly that new titles and professions in the field are appearing on a fast track. Companies typically list these roles individually, even though the responsibilities and skill sets of DevOps experts usually overlap. As a highly productive DevOps expert, you should have several key responsibility areas. Let’s take a look at a few:

  • Oversee servers, databases, and networks for software development and deployment.
  • Create efficient and consistent automated workflows for building, testing, and deploying software.
  • Track application and infrastructure performance, optimize resources and address bottlenecks.
  • Implement security measures throughout the software development lifecycle.
  • Maintain knowledge of software development tools and technologies.
  • Thrive in fast-paced environments with frequent testing and deployment cycles.
  • Have hands-on experience working in production environments.
  • Foster communication and teamwork to break down barriers between development and operations teams.
  • Continuously enhance processes through automation and optimization.
  • Utilize project management skills to plan, execute, and deliver projects successfully.

Educational Pathways and Training

Various educational pathways can pave the way for a successful career in DevOps. While a formal degree in computer science or related fields can provide a strong foundation, it is not always a prerequisite. Many professionals enter the field through self-study and practical experience. 

Taking a DevOps course and obtaining relevant certifications can further enhance your skills and credibility as a DevOps Expert. There are also several DevOps certification programs available that can enhance your skills and credibility. Popular certifications include –

  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert
  • Google Cloud Certified – DevOps Engineer

These certifications validate your knowledge and expertise in specific DevOps platforms and technologies, making you a valuable asset in the job market.

Furthermore, networking and community involvement play a crucial role in the DevOps industry. Attending industry conferences, meetups, and webinars can help you stay updated on the latest trends and technologies in the field. Building a strong professional network on platforms like LinkedIn. It provides you with valuable insights and opportunities and also fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing among peers.

Also, focus on building a strong foundation through practical experience. Hands-on experience through internships, freelance projects, or open-source contributions can significantly boost your practical skills and understanding of real-world DevOps challenges. Employers often value candidates who can demonstrate their ability to apply theoretical knowledge in practical scenarios and adapt to dynamic environments.

Future Scope of DevOps as a Career

The job market for DevOps professionals is highly active and shows no signs of slowing down. According to a report, the DevOps market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.7% from 2023 to 2028. This indicates a strong and sustained industry demand for DevOps professionals.

future scope of DevOps career

As organizations continue to prioritize digital transformation and automation, the need for skilled DevOps professionals is expected to rise even further in the coming years. With the increasing adoption of cloud technologies and the shift towards agile methodologies, DevOps engineers play a crucial role in streamlining development processes and ensuring continuous delivery.

As mentioned earlier, DevOps professionals enjoy competitive salaries. High demand and scarcity of experienced professionals have also led to a rise in contract-based roles, offering flexibility and attractive earning potential.

In 2024, the average salary for an entry-level DevOps engineer in India with 0-2 years of experience is around INR 4 to 8 lakhs per year. Entry-level DevOps engineers should have a basic understanding of DevOps tools and practices. Senior DevOps engineers can expect to earn around ₹16,25,000/yr on average.

devops pay by experience

Where Can You Start Your Journey in DevOps?

If you are considering a career in DevOps, there are various entry points available. Some professionals start their journey as software developers or system administrators and gradually transition into DevOps roles. Here’s how you can start your DevOps journey- 

DevOps Course and Bootcamps!

Pursue specialized DevOps courses or boot camps that offer comprehensive DevOps training. Scaler DevOps course provides a structured DevOps learning path, giving you the required DevOps skills and knowledge to help you build a scalable career in DevOps and cloud computing. If you’re looking to map out your own journey in DevOps, consider exploring a dedicated resource for a DevOps roadmap.

Get Hands-On!

A great way to gain practical experience and build your portfolio is through internships or entry-level positions in organizations that follow DevOps practices. Learning by doing is a fantastic way to gain practical skills.

Level Up Your Network!

Consider attending networking events, joining online DevOps communities and groups, and using professional sites like LinkedIn. These offer opportunities to learn from experts in the field, stay updated on the latest trends and technologies, and connect with like-minded individuals who share a passion for DevOps.

Contribute to Open-Source Projects! 

Working on open-source DevOps projects allows you to gain experience, showcase your skills, and collaborate with others in the field. You will not only contribute to meaningful projects but also demonstrate your skills to potential employers.

How do DevOps roles evolve with experience?

As you gain more experience in DevOps, your roles and responsibilities are likely to evolve. With experience, you may take on leadership roles, such as DevOps Architect or DevOps Manager, where you will be responsible for overseeing the entire DevOps practice within an organization. Alternatively, you may choose to specialize in a specific area such as cloud infrastructure, security, or performance engineering.

StageDescriptionExamples
Entry LevelGaining foundational skills and experience.Internships, junior DevOps engineer roles.
Mid LevelTaking on more responsibility and potentially leading smaller projects.DevOps engineer roles with 2-5 years of experience.
Senior LevelLeading larger projects, specializing in a specific area, or managing a team.DevOps lead, DevOps architect, DevOps manager.

Moreover, as you progress in your DevOps career, you may find yourself involved in cross-functional teams that require collaboration with other departments such as development, operations, and quality assurance. This collaboration is essential for implementing a successful DevOps culture within an organization, where communication and teamwork are key components for achieving continuous integration and delivery.

Furthermore, with experience, you may also be tasked with mentoring junior team members, sharing your knowledge and expertise to help them grow in their own DevOps journey. This mentorship role not only contributes to the development of the team but also enhances your leadership skills and reinforces your understanding of DevOps principles.

Final Verdict: Is DevOps a Good Career For You?

DevOps isn’t just a job, it’s a chance to jump into a fast-paced and teamwork-driven world. If you love technology, working with others to solve problems, and never stop learning, then DevOps might be the perfect path for you.

With the demand for skilled DevOps professionals going through the roof, there are tons of opportunities to build a successful and satisfying career.

Here’s the key: DevOps is all about keeping up with the latest technological trends. Be open to new tools and ways of doing things, work on your communication skills, and jump in when it’s time to solve problems. With hard work and the right plan, you can become a valuable asset in the DevOps world, helping to drive innovation and make a real difference in the tech industry.

FAQs

What is DevOps, and why is it important?

DevOps is a blend of development and operations, that streamlines and automates software development processes, enhancing collaboration, efficiency, and product quality.

Is DevOps career worth IT?

Yes, a DevOps career is worthwhile, offering a dynamic and evolving field with a strong focus on continuous improvement and collaboration.

Is DevOps still in demand?

DevOps remains highly in demand as companies continue to embrace agile, cloud-based, and automated approaches to software development.

Is DevOps a high-paying job?

DevOps roles are often high-paying (with salaries as high as INR 80 Lakhs per annum), reflecting the significant impact these professionals have on improving and accelerating software delivery.

Does DevOps have a good future?

The future of DevOps looks promising, with ongoing technological advancements and a growing emphasis on automation and continuous deployment.

Does DevOps need coding?

Coding knowledge is beneficial in DevOps for scripting, automation, and understanding the software development lifecycle.

Can a fresher get a DevOps job?

Freshers can enter the DevOps field, especially if they have relevant skills or training in software development, operations, and automation.

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By Anshuman Singh Co-Founder @ Scaler | Creating 1M+ world-class engineers
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Anshuman Singh, Co-Founder of Scaler, is on a mission to forge over a million world-class engineers. With his roots in engineering, having contributed to building Facebook's chat and messages and the revamped Messenger, Anshuman is deeply committed to elevating engineering education. His vision focuses on delivering the right learning outcomes to nurture a new generation of tech leaders. Anshuman's journey is defined by his dedication to unlocking the potential of aspiring engineers, guiding them toward achieving excellence in the tech world.
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