Given DevOps’ propensity toward faster software development and increased business agility, most companies are keen to embrace its concept. So what’s standing in the way? Most likely it’s that it’s not quick or easy to get there. Furthermore, many organizations fail because they approach DevOps as a technology or a tool (i.e. a “quick fix”). In reality, a successful strategy begins with the right people with the right skills and, more important, the right DevOps roles.
Moving forward, IT leaders wishing to take their organization in the right direction must employ and empower a number of new or changing roles. This means tremendous opportunity for talented IT professionals to bring their careers in a positive, profitable direction. Let’s take a look at three exciting new positions that are changing the world of DevOps for the better.
Adopting DevOps practices and capabilities isn’t something that happens on its own. That change needs a champion. The evangelist is responsible for promoting the benefits of DevOps by identifying the business value that is derived from increased agility. This individual works to gain buy-in from the development and operations teams, identifies essential roles for supporting delivery methods and ensures that IT staff are trained and empowered to enact the necessary changes.
Above all, the DevOps evangelist will actively work to eliminate the fear of failure. Moving toward a DevOps environment requires more than just adoption of new policies or technology. It takes a cultural change that can only be achieved by addressing and resolving the challenges of the existing infrastructure. This is the overarching goal of the DevOps evangelist.
Since DevOps relies quite heavily on automated systems, the architect role is pivotal. These folks are responsible for analyzing, designing and implementing key strategies for continuous deployments while also ensuring maximum system availability. DevOps organizations have to deliver an ultra-reliable environment which is free of obstacles and fully automated.
Automation architects play an extensive role across all DevOps tools and platforms. They may also be responsible for establishing more lean processes across the enterprise. This role is especially important for organizations that are geographically dispersed.
In traditional environments, system security is (sadly) often just an afterthought. It’s kind of like QA, in that it’s necessary but it’s not always a priority, at least not at the beginning or in the crux of the development phase. So, it often ends up being tacked on at the end.
Successful DevOps-minded organizations, on the other hand, must make security a top priority and integrate it with all other functions. For instance, security engineers should be working right alongside developers so that their recommendations can be deeply embedded early on and throughout the process. This way security is built right in the product, rather than just added at the end.
It’s important to point out that embracing new or redefined roles isn’t in and of itself sufficient enough to achieve a successful DevOps transformation. It is, however, a critical first step. The biggest takeaway from this should be that, regardless of the types of roles implemented, it’s people who are the key component of the equation. As such, leadership should know and understand the technical and soft skills necessary for a high-performing DevOps team.