DevOps (development operations) is a series of practices and processes that help organisations speed up and automate aspects of developing, testing, releasing and updating software. DevOps engineers are responsible for facilitating this by combining technical expertise with project management and communication skills.
assessing current systems and processes, and developing ways to improve them
building and setting up new development tools and infrastructure
understanding the needs of stakeholders and conveying this to developers
working with developers and other IT colleagues to oversee code releases
writing specification documents
testing and examining code written by others and analysing results
identifying technical problems and developing software updates and ‘fixes’
planning out projects and being involved in project management decisions.
You may need to work long hours in the run up to a product launch or during product-update periods. You may also need to be on call at these times, or to handle unexpected incidents.
Salary survey websites suggest that starting salaries for graduate DevOps engineers tend to be between £20,000 and £25,000. Earnings will increase with experience: experienced DevOps engineers can earn in the region of £70,000.
Typical employers of DevOps engineers
DevOps engineers can typically find employment at:
Software development companies.
Telecommunications companies and broadcasters.
Communications and entertainment organisations.
Finance and law firms.
Public sector organisations.
DevOps engineer jobs are advertised on
, via careers services and by university departments. You can also find vacancies on industry jobs boards. As you progress, you’ll find roles for experienced DevOps engineers via IT recruitment agencies.
Qualifications and training required
DevOps engineer recruiters typically ask for a degree in a technical or a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field, with some requiring applicants to have a masters degree. A few organisations’ early-career DevOps vacancies are open to graduates of all disciplines. Regardless of your degree subject, you’ll need skills in software development languages and frameworks.
Work experience will help you build these skills: look for internships and placement years. Also explore short online courses and MOOCs (massive open online courses) too: they will also give you the chance to explore the theory and processes behind DevOps and to put these into practice
As you progress, employers may require you to attain a professional qualification, for which they may cover the cost of this. Similarly, you may choose to gain a certification in a particular technology that the employer uses, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Azure cloud services.