Is coding required for DevOps?


Devops practices have won the hearts of most players in the information technology sector – largely because of the outstanding results they generate. This is the reason behind the increasing popularity of devops online training courses among professionals at all levels. However, many professionals have questions about the methodology, especially about how it fits in with their existing job roles. Also, as Devops is largely focused on the software industry, one of the prominent questions surrounding it is ‘Is coding required for Devops?’.

The simple answer to this question is – it is, and it isn’t. The detailed answer to the question is given in this article. In order to give a satisfactory answer to the question, let us first look at what Devops is, why it is practiced and what changes it brings about in the functioning of organizations and professionals.

What is DevOps?

The term DevOps simply combines dev from development with ops from operations. So, it is primarily about combining the development side of an application or service with the tasks of the operations team supporting it. The perks of doing this mostly come from disintegrating traditional silos within IT and having a unified team responsible for the whole lifecycle of the product or service. This reduces internal conflict and serves to maximize collaboration via shared metrics and goals. DevOps expedites the flow of work with multiple frequent releases, automation in all practical scenarios, and early and wide-ranging feedback on changes.

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Devops delivers speed and cost savings through collaboration and empowerment of teams that own applications, encouraging frequently targeted releases, cost savings from early errors detection, and work reduction that may not deliver direct benefits.

Coding skills for Devops

In short, yes. Although some functionalities of applications might be delivered by bought-in software, configuring the software is not a complete substitute for coding.

In almost all organizations, DevOps team members / DevOps engineers will have to write code in Python, Linux, AWS, etc.

So, coding is an important part of DevOps. However, DevOps attitudes include more than just coding. It needs collaboration, sharing, and team goals. 

The Best Programming Language for Devops

DevOps hardly depends on the programming language you use. More than that, it depends on changing organizational and human professional behavior and work culture. It is effective independently of whichever language is being used for programming. In many companies, DevOps approaches serve to improve and maintain legacy systems that are written in older programming languages and hardly involve coding for brand new applications.

Most DevOps engineers work with Linux, Python, etc. Recently, tools such as AWS and Microsoft’s Azure have become increasingly popular in the Devops ecosystem.

Non-coding skills required for Devops

Apart from coding skills, people working in a Devops ecosystem must possess

  1. Communication and collaboration skills – Since one of the primary aims of Devops is to make the communication and collaboration between developers and support technicians smoother and more efficient, it is imperative for a Devops Engineer to have a knack for clear and comprehensive communication.
  2. Understanding of the DevOps Tool Chain – A DevOps engineer must know how and when to use a plethora of complex tools that must work together to support critical software delivery objectives.
  3. Syncing with QA Teams – DevOps engineers must constantly be in sync with the testing/QA teams. They must be aware of all testing activities, both automated and manual, and must oversee these activities to ensure that the organization meets sprint goals for the scheduled release dates and outcomes. So, a DevOps engineer must,
  • Understand the ongoing testing activities
  • Learn the history of testing throughout the company’s CI/CD cycle
  • Know all frameworks/environments that are led by the QA team.
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Learning necessary DevOps skills

DevOps is quite easy to learn but hard to master. Sure, you can learn the terminology, the three ways, the agile manifesto, etc. You may even gain technical expertise on practices like continuous integration, delivery, release, deployment, monitoring, as well as the vars configuration management tools. However, getting the cultural change is the hard part. It usually takes at least a few months of time, patience, and building trust in order for Devops to work.

Popular Tools for Devops

There are countless lists of the ‘top tools available for DevOps’, and the following tools repeatedly occur in those lists:

  • Docker
  • Jenkins
  • Puppet
  • Raygun
  • git
  • Kubernetes
  • Azure
  • Gradle
  • Ansible

However, listing all the great tools to be used for Devops is beyond the scope of this article.

How do I get into DevOps?

Becoming great at Devops is just like becoming great at any other skill. You gather the necessary resources to learn and practice the Devops skills, sharpen your technical as well as team-building skills and get your skills noticed by superiors or prospective employers. Devops certifications go a long way to help you build the necessary credentials as well as hands-on experience required to stamp the words’ Devops Engineer’ in your resume.

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