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All You Need to Know About Being a DevOps Engineer: The Hidden Truth.

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Anthony De La Rosa @Anthony.D / 12:00 PM EDT. April 27, 2022.

Before You become a DevOps Engineer

Who is a DevOps Engineer?

The word DevOps is a term that has been thrown around a lot in the last decade yet there is still confusion about what it actually means. Firstly, let’s begin by determining the difference between DevOps and DevOps engineers as they are not the same thing. DevOps is a term that focuses on improved collaboration, communication, integration and shared responsibility between developers and operations. A DevOps Engineer is an individual who possesses skillsets in both development and operations including coding, networking, systems administration, automation and more.

What Does it Take to Become a DevOps Engineer?

The background of a DevOps Engineer can vary depending on their experience but typically, they either possess a strong development background or a strong operations background. A candidate who is equally strong in both is a unicorn for organizations looking to expand their team, but these individuals are difficult to come by and also come with a heavy price tag. According to Robert Half Technology, I think it’s no secret that DevOps Engineers are among the highest-paid and one of the most in-demand tech roles.

A DevOps Engineer can earn, on average, $112K USD (junior roles) up to USD 170K (senior roles) and more -- so it’s no surprise that everyone is flocking to become one. However, becoming a DevOps Engineer is not easy, and if it was, everyone else would be doing it. Presently, there is a shortage of good-quality Canadian engineers - so much so that many employers find themselves having to hire DevOps Engineers from other countries.

A lot of people see the potential salary a DevOps Engineer can make and their eyes light up. They quickly envision making that six-figure salary without considering the necessary skills and patience that one needs to succeed. You see, you can’t just watch a couple dozen YouTube tutorials, become a DevOps Engineer, apply for your dream role and expect to instantly make $100K +.

Becoming a DevOps Engineer means putting in the time and effort with countless sleepless nights where you’re bashing your head against the desk only to realize you indented a YAML file when you should’ve used spaces or a trailing comma in that JSON file. A lot of people think that a DevOps Engineer knows absolutely everything, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is the constant reading of endless pages and pages of documentation, constant errors, constant issues, constant rollback -- and most importantly -- constant self-learning. Then there are the highly desirable Cloud Certifications and it should be no surprise that AWS/Google/Azure Certifications are among the most sought after.

What Certificate Do You Need to Become a DevOps Engineer?

A Certification worth mentioning is Kubernetes because pretty soon, this certification will be the most in-demand for DevOps Engineers. I have met a lot of DevOps Engineers who possess one or more of these certifications but have a hard time building a small server-less application or can’t figure out a simple DNS issue. Don’t get caught up with trying to get certified because anybody can cram for a few weeks or memorize countless flashcards and pass an exam. What’s the point of being certified if you don’t understand the basic concepts? This is basically the equivalent of buying a top-of-the-line snowboard but only being able to ride on the bunny slope.

Having an IT background helps in becoming a DevOps Engineer because you have a strong understanding of how computers, the internet, and the digital world work and you're very familiar with DNS, ports, protocols, firewalls etc - and this is key. Once you have a solid understanding of that you can start to focus on tools like Docker, Kubernetes, Cloud Operations, CI/CD, IaC, Python etc.

If you don’t have an IT background, becoming a DevOps Engineer can be very complicated and will take you twice, maybe four times as long because you will have to learn all the basics first, and if you don’t you will get stuck in a lot of DevOps related tasks.

As I said, you need a foundation before you build a house and you need to learn basic concepts to be an effective engineer.

I have been working in IT for nearly 18 years but my journey was not easy. I started in Helpdesk Support then moved to Desktop Support and spent a few years doing that. After that, I moved into Systems/Network Administration where I also spent a few years, then into Linux Administration. Finally, after more than a decade, I've found my true passion as a DevOps Engineer. However, I always think that I could’ve become a DevOps Engineer a lot quicker than I did but I just didn’t know what to focus on, where to start and how to get there.

Here at BusyQA, we can show you how to get there. If you are struggling in a Helpdesk/Desktop/Systems Administration Support Role but you are getting bored or want more out of your job, then this is definitely for you.

Join me in class and don’t wait a decade to make the best decision of your career.


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