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What Does a DevOps Engineer Do

Posted on 
September 16, 2021
|
by 
Team Interview Kickstart

DevOps engineers support software development and IT teams. DevOps engineers ensure the delivery of high-quality software and shortened systems development cycles. DevOps goes hand-in-hand with Agile development. Top tech companies, including FAANG+ companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google (Alphabet), and Microsoft, offer lucrative salaries, perks, and benefits to attract talented DevOps engineers.

If you want to kickstart your DevOps career at a top tech company, sound preparation is essential. Check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! 

Also, read Most Popular Back-end Development Languages to Get a Job at FAANG and Latest Trending Software Development Technologies in FAANG for specific insights and guidance on DevOps tech interviews.

Having trained over 6,000 software engineers and engineering managers, we know what it takes to crack the toughest tech interviews. Since 2014, Interview Kickstart alums have been landing lucrative offers from FAANG and Tier-1 tech companies, with an average salary hike of 49%. The highest-ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $933,000!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors who are hiring managers and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies.

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So, what does a DevOps engineer actually do? In this article, we cover:

  • Role of a DevOps Engineer 
  • DevOps Engineer Job Responsibilities
  • Qualifications and Skills Required for FAANG DevOps Engineering Roles 
  • Types of DevOps Engineers
  • DevOps Engineer Levels at FAANG Companies
  • DevOps Engineer Average Salary
  • Career Path for a DevOps Engineer
  • How to Crack a DevOps Engineer Interview

Role of a DevOps Engineer

DevOps roles can vary from one team to another and from company to company. 

  • At Amazon, DevOps engineers apply their technical expertise to develop cloud-based solutions at scale. They also guide customers through transformational business solutions by combining philosophies, tools, and practices, that deliver end-to-end applications and infrastructure solutions.
  • At Google, DevOps engineers are responsible for developing operations that balance service reliability and delivery speed efficiently. They must be skilled at using Google Cloud Platform to deploy and monitor services, build software delivery pipelines, and manage incidents. 

Role of a Senior DevOps Engineer 

The role of a senior DevOps engineer is similar to that of a junior DevOps engineer. However, senior DevOps engineers are expected to take on more responsibility. They are also expected to work independently with minimal supervision.

Pro Tip: Get certified and increase your chances of getting hired as a DevOps engineer by clearing the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer exam.

DevOps Engineer Job Responsibilities

DevOps engineers are expected to have technical depth and hands-on implementation experience. A DevOps Engineer should be able to design and code modules for applications, infrastructure, and processes. 

Here are some key responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer in a FAANG company:

  • Work with partners, customer technical leads, and client executives to manage and deliver implementations of DevOps solutions.
  • Work with product and engineering teams to package best practices and lessons learned into thought methodologies, leadership, and published assets.
  • Interact with partners and technical stakeholders to manage project scope, deliverables, priorities, risks/issues, and timelines.
  • Be an advocate for customers’ needs to overcome adoption blockers and drive the development of new features based on field experience.
  • Propose solution architectures and manage the deployment of distributed virtualized infrastructure solutions per customer requirements and implementation best practices.

If you want to prepare for the role of a DevOps engineer but don’t know where to start, talk to experts at Interview Kickstart today! Register here for our FREE Webinar.

Qualifications and Skills Required for FAANG DevOps Engineering Roles 

Common qualifications that recruiters at FAANG and other Tier-1 tech companies seek when hiring DevOps engineers are:

  • Bachelor's degree in Computer Science or Mathematics, or a related technical field, or the equivalent practical experience
  • Experience designing, constructing and deploying scalable solution architectures
  • Experience writing software in Java, Python, JavaScript, Go, C++, etc.
  • Experience communicating technical concepts

What Skills Does a DevOps Engineer Need? 

The following are some of the software tools and skills you should be familiar with:

  • Software Development: Scripting languages such as Java, Perl, Python, Ruby, PHP, Groovy, and Bash
  • Deployment/Configuration Management: Tools such as Git, GitLab, Jira, and Jenkins
  • Operating System Platforms: Windows and Linux
  • Project Management
  • IT Best Practices
  • Troubleshooting
  • Communication Skills
  • Source Control Tools: Git, Jira, and Subversion
  • Continuous Integration Tools: Jenkins, Buddy, and Buildbot
  • Team Management Tools: Agile Manager and Agile Bench
  • Visualization Tools

Types of DevOps Engineers

DevOps engineers can be categorized as follows, based on their specific roles and skills:

  • DevOps Evangelist

They are responsible for the implementation of end-to-end DevOps strategies in product development. They are also responsible for identifying ways of improving the existing architecture.

  • Release Manager

They are responsible for integrating new and updated features in the current architecture. They focus on product coordination and management, starting from the time of development till deployment.

  • Automation Expert

They are responsible for assessing processes to be automated and look for the right approach to integrate one product stack with another. They are also responsible for analyzing, designing, and implementing continuous deployment strategies. 

  • Software Developer/ Tester

This role includes conventional programmers and coding engineers and involves unit testing, deployment, and continuous monitoring.

  • Security Engineer and Quality Assurance Specialist

They test product functionality and ensure that security features are integrated into the product development cycle.

DevOps Engineer Levels at FAANG Companies

The levels of DevOps engineers vary from company to company. Typically, there are three levels: 

  • Entry-level DevOps engineers: DevOps engineers with no experience
  • Junior DevOps engineers: Engineers with some DevOps experience
  • Senior DevOps engineers: Engineers with considerable DevOps experience

DevOps salary bands vary with the level. Here are the DevOps Engineer levels at top tech companies:

  • DevOps Engineer Levels at Facebook: E3, E4, E5, E6, E7, E8
  • DevOps Engineer Levels at Amazon: SDE I (L4), SDE II (L5), SDE III (Senior SDE), Principal SDE (L7), Senior Principal SDE (L8), Distinguished Engineer (L10)
  • DevOps Engineer Levels at Apple: ICT2, ICT3, ICT4, ICT5, ICT6
  • DevOps Engineer Levels at Google: Software Engineer II (L3), Software Engineer III (L4), Senior Software Engineer (L5), Staff Software Engineer (L6), Senior Staff Software Engineer (L7), Principal Engineer (L8), Distinguished Engineer (L9), Google Fellow (L10), Senior Google Fellow (L11)
  • DevOps Engineer Levels at Microsoft: SDE (59), 60, SDE II (61), 62, Senior SDE (63), 64, Principal SDE (65), 66, 67, Partner (68), 69, 70 (Distinguished Engineer), 80 (Technical Fellow)

DevOps Engineer Average Salary

According to Levels.fyi, the compensation package of a DevOps Engineer is quite attractive. 

Total Average Compensation of DevOps Engineers: $148,000 per year.

  • Average base salary for a DevOps Engineer is $110,000 per year. It is a fixed component paid out irrespective of the engineer’s or the company’s performance.
  • Average bonus offered to DevOps Engineers is $17,000 per annum. This is a performance-based component, paid out based on the engineer’s performance review. It usually varies for engineers even in the same salary band.
  • Average stock grant/profit-sharing offered to DevOps Engineers is $21,000. These are Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) issued to employees. Once vested, they can be freely traded.

Here’s a breakdown of DevOps engineer salaries based on seniority (average total salary in FAANG companies):

Learn how to negotiate a higher salary package from tech leads and hiring managers from FAANG+ companies. Our team at Interview Kickstart will teach you how to leverage your skills to enhance your negotiating power and land offers from top tech companies. Sign up for Interview Kickstart’s FREE webinar to learn more!

Career Path for ‍a DevOps Engineer

The career paths of DevOps engineers are usually not clearly defined. This is because the role of a DevOps engineer has evolved over the years and is still transforming. DevOps engineers often come from a variety of backgrounds and may have started their DevOps role at different points in their careers.

However, in a FAANG+ company, the DevOps engineer career progression would look something like this: 

DevOps Engineer I DevOps Engineer II → Senior DevOps Engineer → Staff DevOps Engineer → Senior Staff DevOps Engineer → Principal DevOps Engineer

How to Crack a DevOps Engineer Interview

The DevOps Engineer interview process at FAANG+ companies includes the following rounds of interviews:

To crack a DevOps engineer interview at a FAANG company, you have to be able to clear the coding interviews and behavioral interviews

To devise an effective interview prep plan and schedule, join Interview Kickstart’s DevOps Engineering Interview Course — the first-of-its-kind, domain-specific tech interview prep program designed specifically for DevOps Engineers. Click here to learn more about the program. 

IK is the gold standard in tech interview prep. Our programs include a comprehensive curriculum, unmatched teaching methods, FAANG+ instructors, and career coaching to help you nail your next tech interview.

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