The IT industry has witnessed a significant transformation over the last few decades, and with the rapid advancement in technology, the pace of change has only accelerated. One of the most notable trends in recent years has been the rise of DevOps. This approach to software development is not only transforming the way companies create and deploy apps but is also changing the IT job landscape. From developers to operations professionals, the rise of DevOps has created new roles and opportunities while requiring a significant shift in skillsets and mindsets. In this article, we’re going to explore the growth of DevOps and its impact on the IT job market.
GoogleGoogle is also among the oldest companies utilizing DevOps for many years now. Google turned to DevOps in order to support its massive scale and complexity in the early 2000s (the company was facing challenges in managing its rapidly growing infrastructure and applications). Eventually, Google developed its own suite of DevOps tools and practices, including the Kubernetes platform for container orchestration and the Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) approach for managing complex systems. These practices have become the foundation of Google's approach to software development and IT operations and have been widely adopted by other organizations all across the world.
Here are the top trends that will impact the future of DevOps:
What Is DevOps?Right off the bat, we’d like to define the term “DevOps” – it’s a software development and delivery methodology that combines the development (Dev) team and operations (Ops) team into a single, integrated one. In other words, it refers to a set of practices and principles that emphasize collaboration between the software development teams and the IT operations teams. The goal of this methodology is to create a culture of continuous integration and delivery, where software development, testing, and deployment would happen in a seamless, automated way. The thing is, the traditional model of software development and deployment was a sequential process where developers worked in isolation, writing code, testing it, and then handing it over to the operations team for deployment. This process was rather slow, often inefficient, and prone to errors. That’s why the idea of DevOps appeared. DevOps aims to foster collaboration among all roles involved in the development and maintenance of software, allowing two teams to work together throughout the entire software development lifecycle – from planning and coding to testing and deployment. DevOps teams typically include developers, operations engineers, quality assurance specialists, security experts, and other IT professionals who work together to build and deliver software. These teams use a range of tools and technologies to automate the software development and delivery process, such as source control systems, build tools, testing frameworks, deployment tools, and monitoring tools.
Benefits and Challenges of DevOps for Companies and IT ProfessionalsNowadays, plenty of organizations have adopted the DevOps practice, and many more are expected to follow suit in the coming years. However, as with any new approach, there are both benefits and challenges associated with implementing DevOps. Let’s start with the benefits:
- Improved collaboration and communication between teams. DevOps promotes a culture of collaboration between development and operations teams. Hence, the next advantage.
- Faster delivery of software. Better cooperation leads to faster and more efficient software development and deployment. With that, DevOps enables organizations to deliver software not only faster but also with fewer errors.
- Higher quality of software. Since DevOps involves continuous testing and integration, it results in more reliable and efficient software.
- Increased productivity. DevOps also automates many manual processes, letting IT professionals focus on more important tasks. Therefore, overall productivity is improved.
- Greater agility and flexibility. DevOps enables companies to respond quickly to changes in the market or customer needs, helping them stay competitive and relevant.
- Cultural differences. Adopting DevOps requires a significant shift in mindset and culture, which can be challenging for some organizations.
- Lack of skills and expertise. DevOps requires a combination of technical skills and soft skills (communication and collaboration), which can be difficult for one individual to combine.
- Issues with legacy systems. Many companies have legacy systems that are not compatible with DevOps, requiring additional effort and resources to integrate them.
- Security risks. DevOps can introduce new security risks if not implemented properly, which calls organizations to take additional measures to ensure the security of their systems and sensitive data.
Successful Examples of Companies Implementing DevOpsDespite the aforementioned challenges, many companies successfully implement DevOps. Among the most well-known ones, we can highlight Amazon, Google, Netflix, Etsy, Target, and many more.
AmazonAmazon has been a pioneer in DevOps, adopting the approach early on to support its fast-paced e-commerce business. Amazon's DevOps journey began with the development of its own internal tools and practices, which allowed the company to automate its software delivery pipeline and improve collaboration between development and operations teams. Over time, Amazon's DevOps practices have evolved and matured – the company is now using a range of tools and technologies to enable continuous delivery and deployment.
NetflixNetflix is another company that has been embracing DevOps since the early 2000s when the company was transitioning from a DVD rental service to a streaming service. To support this transition, Netflix developed a range of its own DevOps practice, including the open-source Spinnaker platform for continuous delivery and deployment. Today, Netflix is widely recognized as a leader in DevOps and has contributed significantly to the development of the DevOps community through its proprietary tools and practices.
EtsyEtsy is an online marketplace that has adopted DevOps to improve its software delivery process and support its large community of sellers and buyers. The company has also implemented continuous delivery and deployment, as well as automated testing and a range of other DevOps tools and practices. Etsy’s approach to DevOps has already been widely studied and emulated by other organizations in the industry.
TargetTarget is a huge retail company that began using a DevOps approach in the mid-2010s. Since then, a range of DevOps practices has speeded up its software delivery and improved its customer experience significantly. These are just a few examples of companies that have effectively implemented DevOps. Many other companies, both large and small, are also widely adopting DevOps and are reaping the benefits of improved collaboration, faster delivery, and better software quality.
Skills and Knowledge Needed for DevOps RolesAs the role of a DevOps engineer is to manage a software development and delivery process, a DevOps engineer should possess a combination of technical, interpersonal, and organizational skills. Here are some of the key ones:
- Automation skills. DevOps teams use a wide range of automation tools and technologies to streamline and optimize the software development and delivery process. DevOps professionals need to have strong skills in automation tools like Ansible, Chef, Puppet, and Jenkins.
- Cloud computing knowledge. Since DevOps engineers often work with cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), they need to have a good understanding of cloud computing concepts and technologies, including virtualization, containerization, and cloud infrastructure management.
- Continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) knowledge. DevOps professionals rely heavily on CI/CD pipelines, and therefore, they need to have a good understanding of CI/CD concepts and tools like Git, Jenkins, Travis CI, and CircleCI.
- Basic knowledge of programming and scripting languages. DevOps practices typically vary between organizations, but generally, they involve getting code through development and into production quickly. Of course, DevOps engineers might not be writing code since that is usually reserved only for development teams, but they'll need to understand the source code, develop scripts and tackle the integrations to run deployments on the operations side. That’s why the skill set of a DevOps engineer should include knowledge of programming languages.
- Collaboration and communication skills. DevOps professionals need to have strong collaboration and communication skills to work effectively with other teams within the organization and ensure that everyone is aligned on goals and priorities.
- Problem-solving skills. DevOps engineers should be able to quickly identify and resolve issues that arise in the software development and delivery process. They need to have strong problem-solving and troubleshooting skills, as well as the ability to think creatively and critically.
- Strong cybersecurity knowledge. A good understanding of security concepts and best practices is also a must, as you may need to implement security controls throughout the software development and delivery process.
- Agile and DevOps methodologies. DevOps professionals need to have a good understanding of agile software development methodologies, as well as the principles and practices of DevOps.
Insights and Thoughts about the Future of DevOpsThe future of DevOps in the IT industry is a topic of much discussion among industry experts. Yet, the main idea is that DevOps isn't going anywhere soon. According to Global Market Insights research, the DevOps market is projected to grow up to at least $30 billion in 2028 as the demand for automated testing and development tools will only continue to increase. According to another report conducted by Deloitte, the future of DevOps will be all about "leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate and optimize software development and delivery processes." And DevOps, like many other IT spheres, will be highly impacted by emerging technologies.
- Microservices architecture breaks down apps into smaller pieces for flexibility and scalability.
- Cloud-native technology uses microservices, containers, and immutable infrastructure to create efficient and cost-effective systems.
- Automation and CI/CD streamline workflow for collaboration between software developers and IT operations.
- AI/ML automates repetitive tasks, optimizes resource allocation, and improves quality assurance.
- Integrating Kubernetes with DevOps offers a flexible platform for deploying applications in any environment.
- The low-code application automates business processes, reduces IT costs, and provides a scalable solution for managing changes.
- GitOps manages infrastructure and code in a DevOps pipeline with more agility, security, and stability.
- DevSecOps includes security in the development process, making it an intrinsic part of software development.