what is a devops engineer?

DevOps stands for development operations and refers to the processes involved in developing software. As a DevOps engineer, you introduce processes, methodologies and tools to speed up the software development life cycle. You also reduce complexity and close the gaps that hinder software improvement. Development and IT operations teams usually have different goals and skills. 

Most developers are keen on introducing new features to software applications. At the same timethe operations teams focus on preserving the stability of an application. As a DevOps engineer, you unify and automate these processes. You focus on combining code, application maintenance and software management. You also oversee launching new software applications by testing their operational efficiency. That’s why your role requires advanced problem-solving skills for resolving issues in software applications’ development and operations. You also need technical software development life cycle knowledge to guide the development teams. 

DevOps engineers work primarily in technology-driven companies and IT organisations. Since most industries, including mining and manufacturing, rely on automated processes controlled by software applications, DevOps engineers also work in diverse business sectors.

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average devops engineer salary

The average range for a DevOps engineer's salary in New Zealand is between $105,000 and $125,000 per year. The earnings fluctuate with experience and credentials. As you move from a junior DevOps engineer to middle and senior-level positions, the earnings also increase gradually. Gaining additional years of experience improves your salary prospects.

what factors affect the salary of a devops engineer?

The remuneration package of DevOps engineers depends on the complexity of the role, the size of the company and personal qualifications. When you work in a small start-up company, you don't deal with large-scale projects, and the company has minimal resources to pay high salaries. In large companies, you deal with complex projects and oversee large teams. Hence, you can negotiate higher pay due to the complexity of your role. Large organisations also have more significant resources and can afford to pay better remuneration packages.

Your skill set and qualifications also affect the salary you can negotiate in a company. With entry-level experience, you still require supervision to perform many duties. Hence, you cannot demand a higher salary. However, with extensive work experience, your earnings increase.

Male looking at a computer screen sitting at a desk
Male looking at a computer screen sitting at a desk
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types of devops engineers

Some types of DevOps engineers include:

  • software developers: as a software engineer, you write front-end and back-end code for application development. You are introduced to new features of applications and create interactive software applications.
  • release managers: as a release manager, you assist companies adopting DevOps to transition smoothly. You ensure the new application software meets the quality and security standards of the company. You also seek the appropriate management approvals before the launch date and test the applications.
  • quality assurance engineers: your job is to find faults in software. You test new application code to ensure it does not break the existing functionality or conflict with existing features. You write the test automation code rather than testing the application code manually.
  • security DevOps engineers: as a security DevOps engineer, you integrate security and compliance features into planning and development processes. You also improve the security of an application during maintenance.

working as a devops engineer

A DevOps engineer requires a broad set of skills in technology and management. Let's explore the role's specific tasks, work environments and job outlook.


education and skills

Some of the educational qualifications of a DevOps engineer include:

  • bachelor's degree: DevOps engineering is a technical career that requires tertiary qualifications. Complete a degree in computer science or a related field in software development. Alternatively, find a short course with training on software development. To improve your employment prospects, consider enhancing your skills and knowledge with postgraduate qualifications. You could complete a graduate certificate in computer science.
  • work experience: as a DevOps engineer, you need extensive work experience gained through internships and entry-level positions in software development.

devops engineer skills and competencies

Some of the skills of a DevOps engineer include:

  • project management skills: you require exceptional project management skills as a DevOps engineer. These skills help you initiate, plan and execute DevOps projects. You rely on your project management skills to keep the company's software up to date, secure and free from bugs.
  • coding skills: you require exceptional coding skills to participate in software development functions. These skills also help you review code scripts and improve them to ensure applications perform the desired functions.
  • communication skills: you manage development and IT operations teams, so you rely on communication skills to provide instructions to your teams. Communication skills are also essential when speaking with clients or listening to team feedback.
  • coaching skills: an effective DevOps engineer always looks for opportunities to mentor and improve team skills. You identify gaps in employee skills and provide training and coaching services to improve the skills.

FAQs about working as a devops engineer

Here are the most asked questions about working as a devops engineer:

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