DevOps: A customary tool for upskilling technology professionals

With the evolution of the technological landscape, global organizations are on quest to walk an extra mile in order to meet customer requirements. The advent of Cloud has led organizations big and small, to rethink their strategy and focus on different methodologies to succeed in the rapidly changing marketplace.

Why choose DevOps?

Enterprises are looking for strategies to not only automate their infrastructure but also their application management processes. One such methodology is DevOps, which until recently, was the success factor of the Unicorns. Innovative, engineering-driven online tech companies like Uber and Amazon have been using it to constantly churn out the most current products to keep their customers happy. DevOps is not a technology, but culture, mindset and collaboration practices and tools bound together to reach from conceptualization phase to the production phase and even further.

Let us take, for instance, an investment bank as a point in case. These banks are uniquely focused on assisting clients in managing their financial assets in hyperactive markets environment. Yet, they are struggling to cope with the heavy workloads using the legacy IT operating models. The need is to re-think and re-engineer the legacy infrastructure and interconnected application stack and focus on agility and design thinking.

According to Forrester, the era of customer centricity is pivotal to success and companies need to treat DevOps as an integral part of product planning and involve the technology organization to drive competitiveness. This opens up new career paths for professionals.

What are organizations looking for?

The need for re-skilling and upskilling talent is topmost in most in the minds of all HR and business leads. Tech firms are focused on upgrading the skills of their existing employees to meet clients' demands for more specialised skill sets. There are a plenty exciting opportunities for developers, operations, infra specialist and Database Administrators to upskill and build career in DevOps. These profiles play a pivotal role in achieving the objectives of DevOps - Culture, Infrastructure On-demand, Micro-services and Continuous Delivery.

Project Managers and architects are responsible for building a cohesive development and operations team, which communicates and collaborates with each other. They automate all deployments, enable infrastructure to scale on demand and build a DevOps pipeline for business continuity and delivery.

To tap into such a talent pool, the C-suite, especially the CIOs and CTOs are either on the constant lookout for DevOps professionals or upskill their existing teams. The skillset, comprises of soft skills for effective collaboration and requires the knowhow of tools specific to the role. For instance, one should be able to use:

  • Infrastructure automation tools: Ansible, Puppet, Salt Stack, Chef etc.

  • CI tools: Jenkins, Cruise Control and Bamboo

  • Scripting languages to automate or code their work Skills: Shell, Perl, Python, Ruby or Bash

  • Solution designing and architect skills: experience with Microservices, dockers , coantianers, PaaS and Iaas based Cloud automation and Orchestration

All these skills are technology agnostic skills that help create a culture and mindset of automation aligning professionals with the end objectives of business goals to be achieved.

Based on the skills needed, there are specific career options and paths emerging in DevOps, such as:

  • DevOps Architect/Cloud Architect/DevOps Lead

  • DevOps Engineer /Infrastructure DevOps Engineer / DevOps Engineer (Cloud)

  • DevOps Consultants

Some generalized and specialized streams are based on the areas where organizations are facing challenges in DevOps adoption. These vary from understanding cultural challenges to defining the DevOps and automation roadmap, infrastructure automation, streamlining, and designing scalable and reliable applications with faster time to market.

An engine of continuous improvement

Research firm Gartner had predicted that 38% of enterprises using DevOps would grow to 50% by the end of 2016. Enterprises should build newer skills and newer ways of working. This includes innovation and modernization of tech stack with micro services and API based architectures, to movement to cloud to simple automated continuous integration and deployment process set up. The trick is to not to get associated with any dogma and maintain a fresh perspective.

Khyatee Chhabra
Director, TRM, Sapient Global Markets

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Monitoring the Challenges Arising in DevOps

The main agenda to adopt DevOps is to bridge the gap existing in between the operations and development teams. Critical challenges arise when the organization shows the anxiety to implement DevOps at an earlier stage, emphasizing more on technology than on people and the process.

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