What Exactly Does a DevOps Architect Do?
This article will help you understand the role and responsibility of a DevOps architect.
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According to Wikipedia, "an Architect is a person who plans, designs, and reviews the construction of buildings."
Times have changed. Now we have a DevOps Architect. No, don’t think of it as a replacement. In fact, we need both. We are talking about the web world. We are trying to make you understand the roles and responsibility of a DevOps Architect with this post.
A Day in the Life of a DevOps Architect
It’s a broad term.
There are many job titles for DevOps implementation in the industry: ‘"DevOps Engineer," "DevOps Architect," "Release Engineer," "Automation Architect," "Build Engineer," "Developer Operations Engineer," and so on. But the real challenge is to look into the broader context that DevOps brings as an approach, rather than technologies.
DevOps simply enables development and operations teams to work together. It reduces the time taken to reflect changes. A DevOps environment can be accomplished via various tools, technologies, and processes. It simply denotes a quick way to develop software with maximum efficiency.
Overall, the everyday task of a DevOps architect is to look after every software development process and create an automated, efficient delivery pipeline that helps build software rapidly and effectively.
According to the 2017 Open Source Job Report from The Linux Foundation,
DevOps skills were found to be among top 3 high-demand skills after open source skills (57%) with cloud/virtualization (60%) and application platforms (59%). 42% of companies are keen on adding DevOps skills to their hiring portfolio.
Robert Stroud, Principal Analyst At Forrester, said, "The questions and discussions with clients have shifted from 'What is DevOps?' to 'How do I implement at scale?'"
DevOps is not only a cultural shift, mindset, or just a set of technologies; DevOps is a way to look forward. The roles and responsibilities of a DevOps Architect are similar to a DevOps Engineer, except for some broader leadership qualities. Each organization has a different structure for this depending on people, projects, and processes at their organization.
DevOps Architect Responsibilities
Analyzing, executing, and streamlining DevOps practices
Automating processes with the right tools
Facilitating development process and operations
Establishing a suitable DevOps channel across the organization
Setting up a continuous build environment to speed up software development and deployment process
Architecting overall, comprehensive, and efficient practices
Guiding developers and operation teams in case of an issue
Monitoring, reviewing, and managing technical operations
Ability to manage teams with a leadership mindset
Must-Have Skills of a DevOps Architect
Years of experience building great software using updated tools
Up-to-date knowledge about tools and technologies
Solid understanding of concepts
The inspirational approach to team management
Strong operational experience
Extraordinary cross-functional headship skills
Effective problem-solving expertise
Configuration management proficiency
The key to successfully implement DevOps at your organization is to create a culture. Look at something similar:
"We need to understand how this effort and the investment we're making in DevOps transformations is actually improving the bottom line of our business, and the way you do that is by looking at the data."
- Tim Buntel, vice president of product at XebiaLabs.
The Significance of Hiring DevOps Architects/Engineers
The role of DevOps a engineer/architect is of prime importance in today’s job market. Due to the rise of rapid software development culture, effective communication and collaboration are the most preferred skills in any technology professionals.
Here are several factors behind its importance:
They are skilled collaborators.
They facilitate end-to-end communication.
They have experience creating DevOps culture.
They can look after infrastructure planning, testing, and development.
They ensure security and rapidity across the organization.
They encourage team for error-less and fast delivery of software products.
They have a clear understanding of DevOps tools, structure, processes, and mindsets.
They anticipate needs, accumulate resources, and plan accordingly.
They inspect issues in automation, version control, and overall security and suggest necessary steps to solve those quickly.
Loopholes in Existing Software Models and How DevOps Architect Can Overcome Them
Reflection of Changes***
This is one of the major issues with traditional software development paradigm. Changes in code can be done but the reflection of those changes in a production environment takes time and it delays the product release.
DevOps architect/engineer can solve this issue by implementing a CI/CD pipeline to speed up development, testing, and releases.
Constant Chain of Feedback and Monitoring
When you talk about software development models like the Waterfall model, feedback takes too much time for validation, modification, and implementation.
Due to the automated delivery pipeline, constant feedback and monitoring become easy across the organization.
Frequent, Reliable Releases
Version controls, updates, and releases are pain points in the development models such as iterative, spiral, or waterfall. It slows down time-to-market of your application even though there is a requirement of fixing the small bug.
DevOps architect/engineer can solve this problem with great efficiency and speed as they tend to work with the tools and strategies which bridge a gap between ‘development’ and ‘operation’.
Why Are Organizations Hiring DevOps Architects? Does Your Organization Need One?
As we discussed earlier, DevOps is already gaining in popularity. Every organization is either using this culture or claims to do so.
Only tools can’t create a DevOps environment. The organization needs to have proper training on DevOps for each professional in the team.
While DevOps is a talk of the town for many large enterprises, small businesses and not-so-technology companies are least concerned about creating DevOps culture.
The one strong reason behind its popularity is the potential to streamline development and operation processes via continuous integration, deployment, and testing.
However, there are many concepts and opinions that mislead the original DevOps mentality. Before you hire any DevOps engineer or architect, you need to consider several factors including your team size, the performance, requirements, and your overall business model.
Companies are hiring them because
They promote adequate, real-time, rapid, automated, and efficient development culture among the software development teams.
They can establish themselves as a great leader who possesses knowledge about each tool and concept in a detailed manner.
The Big Picture
That’s what DevOps architects are going to do!
A DevOps architect examines the big picture and tries to remove bottlenecks by applying suitable methods and talents.
Published at DZone with permission of Ankit Kumar. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.
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