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What every engineer needs to know in 2022

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In an increasingly cloud-based and decentralized world, 77% of businesses are use or plan to use DevOps. At a time, 64% of leaders in various IT functions struggle to find qualified DevOps practitioners.

So, as the rush for a limited talent pool continues, it’s time for developers to get busy; they should learn DevOps as part of application development early on. A company and its end users can tolerate a bug or poor implementation at the application level. And while developers can usually learn on the job, with DevOps that’s impossible: a suboptimal solution, prone to vulnerabilities. Infrastructure support a product or service can seriously damage a business.

Additionally, developers looking to pursue DevOps should view the tools in combinations rather than individual items. For example, suppose you want to build a Java-language application on the Linux open-source operating system and deploy it to Kubernetes to automate deployment. The toolset used here is very different from a developer wanting to build and deploy an application to an individual Linux machine.

These are just a few of the reasons why DevOps is in high demand. But let’s dive deeper and see how engineers can improve their skills to fill the talent gap. (Also read: The best places in the world to work in tech.)

8 DevOps Skills Every Engineer Needs

IT managers and their developers may wonder how DevOps differs from their daily lives, so here’s what they should pay attention to and the skills they should consider strengthening this year:

1. Cloud infrastructure skills

Cloud operations and DevOps go hand in hand; the effectiveness of one depends on the other. The DevOps methodology is essential to keep production moving forward, but the cloud provides the platform to test, deploy, and release the code.

Developers with knowledge of cloud platforms, like AWS or Azure, would increase an organization’s ability to deliver high-speed applications and services, configure firewalls, and administer infrastructure.

2. Source code management

Storing the results of work and sharing them with colleagues is essential to the DevOps culture. Source Code Management (SCM) is a set of automation tools that track revisions made to a program to ensure that all team members stay on top of changes to source code and associated files. . Developers should get their hands dirty with Git ASAP, by trying out GitHub and GitLab.

3. Container Orchestration and Management

Developers need understand the concepts of virtualization and containerization to assess risk.

Virtualization allows developers to run multiple systems on the hardware of a single server. Containerization is more flexible, allowing multiple applications to be deployed anywhere: on an on-premises server or a virtual machine in the cloud, among other environments. For container orchestration of larger applications, Kubernetes is a popular open source out-of-the-box solution, and Docker Swarm works well for smaller applications.

4. Coding and scripting

Python, Ruby, and Go are some of the most popular DevOps scripting languages. Developers should learn at least one for automation scripts. Additionally, Bash is used for Linux and Shell for Windows.

In an increasingly Linux-based cloud world, Bash is a must. DevOps professionals will need to write programs in different languages ​​and manage the code using GitHub, for example. Fluency in each language means greater control over how DevOps enables efficiency. (Also read: The 5 programming languages ​​that built the Internet.)

5. CI/CD and automation

A DevOps automation skill set is closely related to coding ability.

Jenkins, for example, is an open-source continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) software tool written in Java. It is used to implement CI/CD workflows (called “pipelines”), package applications, run vulnerability scans, and build docker images. Another reason to revise your coding languages.

6. Observability and monitoring

Applications cannot run forever; they will have problems. In fact, they’re like loaves of bread: they’ll go moldy pretty quickly. A developer is responsible for monitoring the “mold” (health, resilience and reliability of the system) and doing iterations.

Monitoring tools like Prometheus and Nagios can be configured to send alerts if something goes wrong. To visualize the data stored in these types of tools, use Grafana or one of its alternatives. (Also read: How to Choose the Right Application Monitoring Tool.)

7. Cybersecurity Basics

Developers should know how to install firewalls, proxy servers, load balancers, and manage ports.

8. Planning, communication and collaboration

A standout developer must have “soft” skills, be organized and business-oriented, and have a high level of commitment to breaking down silos between development and operations teams.

In general, developers need to start communicating with business stakeholders, peers, and other departments in technical and business terms while viewing technology as a tool to drive business results.

Traditionally, the definition of DevOps was anything that made the development process more efficient. Five years ago, many chief technical officers (CTOs) thought it was enough to have development and operations professionals in the same room.

Today, DevOps has grown and become more complicated: the unofficial icon is an infinity symbol, which proves that it is an infinite and continuous process. It’s not like finishing a sculpture or an essay. Integrations require constant maintenance and consistent assessment of the product development lifecycle is vital.

DevOps is also left to the discretion and knowledge level of particular developers or IT teams to implement as they see fit. They come up with their own instrumentation preferences, policies, and practices, which invariably leads to inconsistencies, fractured systems, huge technical debt, software license duplication, and developer turnover. (Also read: How Remote Work Impacts DevOps and Development Trends.)

This type of downfall often happens when developers and engineers look at DevOps only as a CI/CD pipeline. While this enables fast and reliable code delivery with a collection of tools, it forgets why DevOps was born.

DevOps isn’t just a set of tools: it’s a results-driven model for quickly delivering high-quality code that impacts the business. This requires cultural philosophies, practices, coding/scripting, and a full Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) separate from commercial feature development.

DevOps Challenges

The mad rush to adopt DevOps is due to the obstacles and challenges that developers are currently facing, such as:

miscommunication

Dev and Ops teams speak different languages: Developers want to quickly produce code for new features to push production, while Ops teams like to maintain stability, make sure projects run smoothly and are more reluctant to make changes.

DevOps is a mechanism that ensures this miscommunication is somewhat removed, bridging the gap between rush to production and slow approvals with built-in deployment plans.

Lack of cybersecurity training

Developers often lack the training to create secure systems. Operations teams tend to focus more on security and in some organizations there is also a dedicated security team.

If developers push an application into production and the operations team approves it, but security does not, the cost of patching vulnerabilities is exorbitant. This amplified the need to “shift left.”

It’s not just a security lock pushed in at the end; security should be built into every layer of the product ecosystem. (Also read: What is DevSecOps?)

Lack of regulatory and compliance training

Not only do applications need to be secure and perform well, but they also need to be built in a prescribed way, as required by regulators. Organizations that had to inject HIPAA, HITRUST, or SOC2 after the fact may be painfully faced with the need to build apps the first time.

Cost of manual development

Manual tasks make development costly and prone to friction. There’s a lot of manual work involved – from maintaining a server, to testing apps, to backing up.

The idea is that the code is natively bug-free, but it’s not. When testing (functionality, regression, load, stress, security, and performance) is done manually, it’s just inefficient engineering.

Conclusion

DevOps would not be complete with a simple deployment of tools; the secret lies in the combinations of technologies. Learning how they interact with each other is essential for developer success and long-term maintenance. IT managers who need DevOps skills fast should assess what knowledge their developers already have from the list above and what areas their team should focus on.

But at the end of the day, DevOps doesn’t have a standard playbook or step-by-step implementation guide that guarantees results. It is a highly specialized space with a large number of sub-specialties. Thus, it is never the work of a single person and requires robust orchestration between different specialists. In reality, it’s about continuous learning and improvement, just like it’s about CI/CD. (Also read: DevOps managers explain what they do.)