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5 DevOps Skills That Lead to Higher Salaries


Today, IT professionals who understand DevOps are in high demand. In fact, the Robert Half Technology 2018 Salary Guide for Technology Professionals lists DevOps engineer as one of the “most in-demand technology roles for 2018.”

As a result, DevOps pros are commanding high salaries. According to the StackOverflow Salary Calculator, the median pay for a DevOps professional in San Francisco with a bachelor’s degree and five years of experience is $116,000. By comparison, a desktop developer with the same background would make $10,000 less.

So what exactly do you need to know to qualify for these higher salaries? Job candidates with skills in five key DevOps areas are finding greater career opportunities:

  1. Transformational Leadership

Nearly every article or white paper written about DevOps explains that this approach requires a cultural transformation. But to make that cultural change, you need strong leadership.

In its 2017 State of DevOps Report, Puppet found that organizations with “transformational leadership” were twice as likely to be high performers as those without these strong leaders. “Transformational leaders share five common characteristics that significantly shape an organization’s culture and practices, leading to high performance,” it said. “The characteristics of transformational leadership — vision, inspirational communication, intellectual stimulation, supportive leadership, and personal recognition — are highly correlated with IT performance.”

  1. DevSecOps

It seems like a new high-profile data breach is in the news almost every other day. From Equifax to Deloitte to Sonic and Whole Foods, well-known companies are falling victim to attacks. Those high-profile cyber attacks have led to increased demand for security professionals, which are on that Robert Half list of most in-demand technology roles.

That need for security expertise is also influencing DevOps jobs. Although the DevOps movement originally focused primarily on developers and IT operations staff, it has since grown to encompass security. The DevSecOps approach espouses the idea that everyone is responsible for security.

  1. Agile and Scrum Certifications

According to Robert Half, Agile and Scrum certifications are some of the technology skills in greatest demand in North America, and both play important roles in DevOps.

The DevOps movement began as an attempt to apply the principles of agile software development to IT operations. The Agile manifesto and principles stress communication, collaboration, integration, short development cycles and automation. Scrum is a popular version of agile development that features small teams, short “sprints” of development and 15-minute stand-up meetings to track progress.

  1. Continuous Delivery

Continuous delivery (CD) is the practice of using very short iterations to create or update software. Teams using this approach often release updates daily or weekly, as opposed to quarterly or yearly, as was common with older approaches to development.

CD is a fundamental piece of DevOps, and according to Puppet, it “significantly contributes to both lower deployment pain and higher IT performance.”

  1. Testing Automation

Another key feature of DevOps is the use of automation to reduce the number of tasks that staff must perform manually. Due to its repetitive nature, testing is one of the easiest and most productive places in the software development lifecycle to use automation. The Puppet survey found, “High performers automate significantly more of their configuration management, testing, deployments and change approval processes than other teams. The result is more time for innovation and a faster feedback cycle.”

DevOps Training Pays Dividends

As demand for these specialized DevOps skills skyrockets, training in these areas can make you more valuable to employers. DevOps Institute offers certification courses that related to all five skills:

In addition, DevOps Institute accredits a DevOps Foundation® certification that covers an introduction to the fundamental concepts of DevOps and serves as a pre-requisite for the more advanced training. Courses are delivered worldwide by a network of Registered Education Partners.

Cynthia Harvey

About the Author

Cynthia Harvey is a freelance writer and editor based in the Detroit area. She has been covering the technology industry for more than fifteen years.

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