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Top 10 DevOps Skills To Learn in 2021

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DevOps is a blend of two different fields, that is, Development and Operations. This increases the ability to ship software applications more rapidly, with fast-paced improvements and evolutions in comparison to traditional software development approaches. It lets the teams innovate and adapt according to the market faster, promotes an increase in releases which helps to identify and fix bugs easily, encourages reliability, security, and scalability with the help of improved collaboration across teams.


In the current technical market, DevOps technology is one of the most demanded fields which will have a whopping market size of approximately 10.3 billion USD. Therefore, there is a requirement of highly skilled DevOps engineers with the most useful skills that will help organizations achieve their goals of rapid delivery of applications. Let us look at the most desired DevOps skills which you can learn in 2021:

1. Linux Knowledge

The majority of the organizations are already using Linux based operating systems as their primary development environment. The majority of the DevOps based operations are core Linux based. The best part about Linux is that it is customizable which gives developers much more freedom to modify it according to their own needs and requirements, thereby ensuring flexibility. Linux is also known for the security and scalability it offers, therefore having a good hands-on experience of this OS is key to mastering DevOps. Few Linux distributions like RHEL, CentOS, SUSE Linux are preferred due to their integration support, suitability for critical performance operations, compatibility, and security. 

2. Testing Skills

Although DevOps speeds up the delivery of applications, what it induces is bugs in the code. Since the quality of the application delivered is of primary focus, testing comes into play to identify and correct them. Hence testing is a crucial part of DevOps and one needs to be proficient in it if applying for the role of a DevOps engineer. Testing not only means feature verification or functional testing but rather performance testing, continuous testing, and operations testing. The software code is usually tested in the development environment with automated testing tools. 

3. CI/CD

Good understanding of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery is vital in DevOps as it aids to develop and deliver good quality software rapidly to the client. Continuous Integration involves integrating the completed functionality or the new code with the remaining code. This efficiently saves time that would have been spent in the integration of the whole project. After this, Continuous Delivery makes the code ready for deployment with minimal manual intervention.

4. Software Security

Since DevOps ships code quickly, there are often quite a lot of bugs and vulnerabilities which get originated as an effect of the faster delivery cycle. Hence, DevOps engineers should have the skills to write secure and reliable code to protect the application from unwanted attacks. They should also devise a method to ensure that the defense mechanisms are actively monitoring and protecting the application. 

5. Automation Skills

Automation is the heart of DevOps. It plays a huge role in this field because automation is used in various places in the whole DevOps pipeline like CI/CD, continuous testing, configurations, performance monitoring, etc. Automation is critical in the development of an application through DevOps. This is because, to promote speedy shipment, the repetitive manual processes should take minimal time and should be carried out without any human intervention. Automation not only boosts the speed but increases accuracy by reducing the number of errors and delivers high-quality products.

6. Coding and Scripting

A working experience in a few languages makes coding a key skill to have in order to be called a DevOps engineer. Some of these languages include Python, Golang, Ruby, JavaScript, Perl, Java, Bash, PHP, etc. These are the most suitable languages which are needed for carrying out automation. Good coding skills are needed to replace manual processes, even the slightest bug can result in huge errors later on.

7. Knowledge of Tools

Knowledge of tools in DevOps has significant importance since tools let you accomplish desired tasks with ease. There are hundreds of DevOps tools like monitoring tools, testing tools, orchestration tools, version control tools, automation tools, tools for collaboration, package managers, and a lot more. The success of the application to be shipped depends majorly on the choice and usage of the toolset to build, manage, and configure it in different stages of implementation. 

8. Cloud Computing Skills

Cloud provides a centralized platform to test, deploy, debug, and release the application code. It also provides resource sharing and collaboration so as to refine the process. Therefore, knowledge of different cloud providers, services, and platforms is vital to be a DevOps engineer. Some of the leading cloud providers are Google (GCP), Microsoft (Azure), and Amazon (AWS). Cloud also helps in making automation easier and it is always possible to retrieve all data and code if lost or corrupted under any circumstances.

9. Command on Containers

Container images are a standalone, lightweight unit that packages software code so that the software application runs faster and is more reliable as it is exclusive to other containers that are present in the same environment. Different containers that are running on the same operating system use the same system resources as opposed to the traditional way of hardware virtualization. Docker and Kubernetes are the top providers of container technology.

10. Non-technical Skills

DevOps engineers not only have to be skilled in technical knowledge but also have an extremely good collaboration and communication skills. Good listening skills are required since you need to clearly understand and comprehend what the client needs. Taking ownership, having self-control and a positive attitude often add a key value to the team members which eventually determines the success of the application. DevOps requires assertiveness and mindfulness to identify key areas of improvement, understanding what the goals are. Empathy is crucial to perceive and appreciate what others have to say and will help to avoid conflicts within the team. Enabling trust among team members by having active, clear, and effective communication will create a positive work environment which will improve the quality of the product shipped.

These were the top ten most essential skills to learn if you are seeking a role as a DevOps engineer in the year 2021. These skills will not only help you master DevOps but will also shape you into the desired candidate for DevOps roles.

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Last Updated : 19 Jan, 2021
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