Bridging the Gap: The Role of a DevOps Engineer

Kavya Kannan our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 4/15/2021 1:43 PM
Siloed teams are swiftly becoming a thing of the past as organizations learn collaboration is key. Businesses are embracing transformation. But some may not know where to turn to help them manage such a massive restructuring of operations. Enter the DevOps Engineer. Yes, Virginia. The unicorn employee does exist.

What is a DevOps Engineer?


For many businesses, it’s a dream to find a technical person who can also communicate across departments. In the DevOps Engineer role is an IT Generalist who not only has a deep understanding of codes, infrastructure management, and agile familiarity but who also possesses interpersonal skills. It’s this combination that makes this role so imperative to businesses. Working across siloes and bringing teams together for collaboration bridges the gap between the technical and non-technical departments.

One of their most important roles is as advocate. Moving from siloed teams to the more collaborative environment of a DevOps culture can be difficult for engineering team members. But as advocate for the benefits, the DevOps Engineer can explain it best to those with whom they’ve worked. Their technical expertise puts them on par with their peers and their interpersonal skills offer a way to communicate across the organization.  

Want to Restructure Your Skills toward DevOps?


If you’re an IT Generalist with great communication skills. DevOps Engineer could be your next role. But what skills do you need and how might you streamline what you already know into this key role for many businesses?

Technical skills depend on team structure, technologies in place, and tools already in use. But the key element of a DevOps Engineer is their strong communication and collaborative skills. Can you morph your technical world into layman’s terms for the executives? Can you translate different needs across teams from QA testers to software developers, generalists and specialists alike? It’s this deep understanding which makes you so valuable to employers. For many organizations, this is the best of both worlds. 

Knowing the pros and cons of available tools. Understanding the components of a delivery pipeline. And strong communication skills to bridge once siloed teams into a cohesive and collaborative environment.

More technical skills include, but aren’t limited to

  • System administration – such as managing servers, database deployment, and system patching just to name a few.
  • Experience with DevOps tools – understand the lifecycle from building and infrastructure to operating and monitoring a product or service.
  • Configuration management – experience with configuration management tools such as Chef, Puppet, or Ansible to automate admin tasks.
  • Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) – this is a core practice of DevOps. It’s this role’s approach to software development with tools to automate the building, testing, and deploying of software processes.
  • System architecture and provisioning – ability to design and manage computer ecosystems whether in-office or in the cloud. Within this skillset is the importance of Infrastructure as Code (IaC). This is an IT management process that applies best practices from software development to cloud infrastructure management. 
  • Collaborative management skills – while the CI/CD skills are core to the technical side, this is one of the key components for the soft skills required for a DevOps structure.

In a Nutshell


DevOps (Development + Operations) is a practice that involves new management principles and requires a cultural change. And a DevOps Engineer is the heart of the transformation. Yet they can’t do it alone. A good DevOps Team has more than just one engineer. It involves a mix of generalists and specialists to implement and improve these practices within the software development cycle. A few of these roles include: 

  • DevOps evangelist
  • Automation expert
  • Software developer
  • Quality assurance 

If you’re interested in Big Data and Analytics, Harnham may have a role for you. Check out our current vacancies or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more. 

For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com

For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.  

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