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DevOps is not simpler than SDE

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In this article, we will burst the myth that DevOps is simpler than Software Development and requires only manual coding work. The reality is DevOps is equally challenging with minimal manual or repetitive work.

Don't think DevOps is simpler than SDE (Software Development Engineering) 🙏

I heard lot of times in past that DevOps don't require so much coding, testing, planning and so on like SDE roles. I can certainly confirm that if you heard those statements & think to pursue a career in DevOps, then you will regret your decision after few years.

Early in my career, one client reached out to me with a manual infrastructure in Azure which contains 30+ resources. The task was to replicate the whole system in Terraform codes. The task may seem to be complex and to the inexperienced guys, it may seem to take nearly 1 month to do it.

For me, it took 3 days to write approximately 1500+ lines of working Terraform codes to replicate the whole setup. Still question is why I'm telling DevOps is not as simple as it may look like:

  • For doing the automation, you need to write scripts. Most of the time your scripts will fail & you need to keep on fine tuning the code, until it become self sufficient. To write scripts, you need to have a decent understanding of the code developed by SDEs.

  • DevOps is not only about Terraform, Ansible, GitLab and similar tools. It's also about the depth understanding of the components you want to build via those scripts. Without having knowledge in Cloud Computing, Microservices, Server Administration, Networking, Security etc. you cannot work on writing scripts to automate those things.

  • I spend my past 2 years learning multiple different tools & technologies in multiple domains. Idea was always to connect them together. If you want to be in DevOps, you should know how to connect the dots. Client might ask you to setup ECS using Terraform & then deploy the microservices using Helm & Shell Scripting. You need to be all rounder.

Lastly, I will say from my experience, I have seen that DevOps has a great demand & companies want their manual works to be automated with amazing redundancy. That's why if you want to be in DevOps keep on learning & working on new ideas. Because you, me or no one can predict what kind of CI/CD requirement client will come up with.

Some students never focus that much on DSA, because they are not interested in coding. But that doesn't mean they cannot work on IT industry. Find your own passion & keep learning. DevOps is an equally challenging job.

Benjamin QoChuk, PhD

Benjamin QoChuk, PhD

Benjamin QoChuk is a Computer Science Researcher, Inventor and Author. His educational background include Bachelors at Vanderbilt University and PhD in Computer Science at Peking University.

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DevOps is not simpler than SDE
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