What is DevOps? Cloud Automation For 2017 and Beyond

by Connor Leech on December 15, 2016
devops

As the largest nationwide staffing agency specializing in high-end, niche IT and Tech talent, we’ve seen a rise in the past year for DevOps Engineering opportunities. Our clients are turning to innovative cloud and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) providers to manage complex backend service. This shift to the cloud and service providers takes specific skills that DevOps Engineers come equipped with.

So what exactly is DevOps? The term is widely used. However, many companies are still unaware of exactly what to look for or what they’re getting when interviewing DevOps Engineers. To help you make more informed hiring decisions, here’s a look at how we define DevOps in 2017 and the technologies DevOps Engineers use to help businesses reach their goals:

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a combination of Software Development and Infrastructure Engineering. These engineers are IT professionals who automate the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes.

Opportunities in this specialization area commonly require candidates to be well versed in Chef, Puppet, Amazon Web Services, and Jenkins. Additionally, DevOps Engineers are often required to have excellent scripting skills in Python, Perl, and either Bash or Ruby. In a complex system, companies can even require scripting across all three of these languages.

DevOps Engineers specialize in the latest server-side and cloud technologies that allow companies to abstract their infrastructure and provide faster, more reliable services to customers. Here are the technologies DevOps Engineers are using to provide real-world business value to their companies.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Amazon’s IaaS cloud platform allows companies to rapidly deploy, grow and shrink applications based on server load and the company’s real-time needs. Engineers use AWS to fire up Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) server instances, communicate with Amazon RDS SQL databases, NoSQL DynamoDB databases and tackle all sorts of scalability and security challenges.

The AWS ecosystem is complex and intricate. A specialized DevOps Engineer with AWS expertise allows companies the ability to transition smoothly into the cloud. This transition provides faster and more reliable web service infrastructure for customers, all hosted on Amazon’s hardware, which saves the business on hardware and maintenance costs.

Chef

A key task and responsibility of DevOps Engineers is automating cloud infrastructure. Chef is an independent company and Configuration Management tool that automates cloud infrastructure. Implementing Chef allows Engineers to write Ruby scripts that automate various tasks and control thousands of servers.

For example, DevOps Engineers use Chef to write Ruby scripts to keep up with peaks in usage and traffic. If your company is featured on TechCrunch, Chef Automation can handle the increased traffic resulting from that feature and then scale back down to adjust to lessened traffic. Automating backend and cloud infrastructure saves companies tens of thousands of dollars by allowing them to buy only the processing power they need, while at the same time providing robust reliability. Automating infrastructure also means Engineers are able to focus on other tasks like feature development or delivering more value to customers and clients.

Jenkins

While Chef allows Engineers to automate backend servers, Jenkins enables them to automate software development Build and Release cycles. When deploying their products, companies need to manage multiple environments and run tests and checks before the product gets in the hands of consumers. Jenkins is an open source automation server written in Java that allows engineers to automate software releases.

There are over 1,000 Jenkins plugins, or pieces of additional functionality, that support all aspects of software releases. As an open source tool, Jenkins is free to use and has a large Developer community supporting it. Jenkins integrates with version control systems such as Git and Github, making new feature and update releases easier and more dependable. Using Jenkins for release automation and QA is a key responsibility for DevOps Engineers in many companies that use automation to save time and money.

Looking Ahead

DevOps is a rapidly changing and evolving field. We have only scratched the surface of how DevOps Engineers can benefit your business and the tools and technologies that they will need to utilize for 2017. Containerization technology such as Docker and other platforms such as Azure are expanding and gaining market share as well. Considering the amount of time and money DevOps Engineers can save a business through infrastructure and software automation, it’s no surprise that this will be an in-demand role for 2017 and beyond.

Interested in expanding your DevOps team or transitioning to automated cloud infrastructure? Contact Mondo today! We’ll match you with the specialized talent you need to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced tech market.


CTA-Banner

Connor Leech

About this author (Connor Leech)

Connor is a Technical Recruiter at Mondo in the San Francisco office, as well as Contributor to Mondo's blog. In his free time, he enjoys programming with Javascript, Node.js, and is currently learning Laravel PHP Framework. Connor holds a BA from UC Santa Barbara and grew up in the SF Bay Area.