What does the perfect DevOps team look like?
9 August 2021
FlowFactor is well known for offering only one type of technical profile to our clients: DevOps Engineer. However, this does not mean that a DevOps team only needs one type of profile to succeed. Behind the scenes, FlowFactor often assembles a DevOps team from a wide variety of profiles based on the current needs and goals of the customer. So what does the perfect DevOps team look like? In this article we hope to give you an overview of the technical skillset from which we assemble the perfect DevOps team and outline some of the non-technical skills required as well.
One title, many roles
As mentioned in the introduction, FlowFactor only offers ‘DevOps engineers’ to its customers. However, behind that title lies a wide variety of technical skills. Which kind of skill sets are required depends entirely on the client: their current IT infrastructure, DevOps maturity and business objectives strongly influence the makeup and size of the perfect DevOps team. Nonetheless, there are three main expertise areas that are often required in DevOps teams:
- Cloud is an important aspect of many organisations’ DevOps strategy, with scalability and centralised control over IT systems as important selling points. Cloud engineers are therefore often crucial in a DevOps team to set-up or optimize the client’s cloud architecture. Cloud engineers are often specialised in one or more of the popular cloud providers like Azure, AWS, Google Cloud Platform or IBM Cloud.
- Automation is crucial when it comes to DevOps efficiency, and has the power to reduce deployment times from weeks to minutes. Automation engineers are used to analyse processes and apply state-of-the-art technology to reduce the required amount of human effort as much as possible. Technologies like Ansible and Terraform are their favourite tool of the trade, and some are even moving into the field of AIOps through the use of machine learning algorithms to bring automation even further.
- Application modernisation is the final area in which DevOps gains are made. A lot of application architectures are still monolithic, meaning the codebase can only be updated and deployed in one giant block. This requires a lot of testing and validation, ultimately leading to longer lead times before an update can make it into production. Through the use of container technologies like Docker, Kubernetes and OpenShift these applications can be broken up into more easily manageable chunks. Our ‘Container Engineers’ act as advisors and architects for our clients to help their developers to make the switch towards a more modern application architecture
Even though these are the three main areas which FlowFactor focuses on to advance organisations’ DevOps maturity, this does not mean that it is a complete list, nor that each of these areas are tied to one type of profile.
FlowFactor prides itself on its strong focus and total flexibility when it comes to the further development of our team members. Therefore, even though most start out in one of these areas based on their previous education, many quickly start fading the lines by using their FlowFactor education budgets on courses outside of their initial area of expertise.
Breaking down walls
Finally, a very important part of the mission of our DevOps engineers is to instill a DevOps Culture in our client’s IT organisation. As the name implies, DevOps is all about breaking down the walls between Development and Operations. Our DevOps engineers are often responsible for breaking down those walls, and to reshuffle teams into a more efficient and modern configuration.
Being a DevOps engineer is also about listening, and carefully analysing the processes of our clients. Every organisation is unique, and therefore our teams need to carefully analyse the current situation before they can start improving the DevOps maturity on both a technical and organisational level.
Are you interested in finding out more about how FlowFactor advances DevOps maturity, either as a potential client or as the newest member of our DevOps team? Get in touch, and we will be more than happy to listen to your needs and tell you all about what a DevOps engineer could mean for you.