How to Become an AWS DevOps Engineer (Professional Level)
DevOps engineering has been around as a career option only since 2009, but it’s quickly become one of the most sought-after professions in tech. Part software developer, part system administrator, a DevOps engineer plays an integral part in the development and operations of software and other IT systems.
Given their specialized skill set, AWS DevOps engineers are in high demand—and you can be too, with the right education and certification. Here's what you need to know about what an AWS DevOps engineer is and how to become one.
AWS DevOps engineers are IT professionals that have learned server management on Amazon Web Service (AWS) and have earned their AWS DevOps Engineer–Professional Certification. This certification proves that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to work with AWS infrastructure and automation.
Before describing the role of an AWS DevOps engineer, it’s important to first define DevOps. DevOps is a methodology that companies use to automate the entire software development life cycle (SDLS). This is done by combining software development and IT operations so that digital technologies can be delivered faster than by the traditional development process.
There are numerous complex pieces that need to come together during an SDLS. The goal of a DevOps engineer is to streamline this process through continuous evaluation, quality assurance, and collaboration. A DevOps engineer helps take a software solution from idea to completion by seeing the big picture and helping everyone involved in the project work together.
DevOps engineers take on a variety of tasks every day, but their main responsibility is to troubleshoot software and hardware so they work together successfully. Their day-to-day duties might include:
- Deploying, automating, managing, and maintaining AWS cloud-based production systems.
- Providing recommendations for architecture and process improvements.
- Monitoring the performance of software applications.
- Improving the security of software for end users.
- Connecting code libraries, databases, software, or other tools together so they function more effectively.
- Troubleshooting across various application domains and platforms.
- Evaluating new technology alternatives.
- Automating functions to improve efficiency.
- Working with other engineers, product managers, department heads, and more to streamline digital services for end users.
There are several steps you’ll need to take to start working as an AWS DevOps engineer.
Step One: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
The specialized knowledge and skills you need to work as a DevOps engineer are most often obtained by completing a degree program. A bachelor’s degree in software development will teach you subjects such as programming languages, coding processes, software development, and IT operations, all of which are required for this role.
Step Two: Consider a Master’s Degree
With its managerial responsibilities, a position in DevOps engineering can, in some cases, require a master’s degree. Getting your Master of Science in Data Analytics or a related advanced degree can help you impress potential employers and show that you’re serious about a career in DevOps.
Step Three: Gain Experience
Before earning the AWS DevOps Engineer–Professional Certification it’s important to gain two or more years of hands-on experience working in AWS environments. This can help you gain the confidence you need to tackle the certification exam and stand out in the job market.
Step Four: Earn your AWS DevOps Engineer–Professional Certification
The AWS DevOps Engineer–Professional Certification is for seasoned AWS pros looking to take their knowledge and skills to the next level. Earning this certification validates your ability to automate the testing and deployment of AWS infrastructure and applications. Like every other AWS certification exam, it’s a multiple-choice exam. You’re given 75 questions to complete within a total of 180 minutes. The minimum passing mark you need to obtain is 750 out of 1000.
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To excel in this role, you’ll need a unique set of skills and experience. Some of those include:
- Ability to use infrastructure as code.
- Expertise with scripting languages such as Linux/Unix, Python, Ruby, etc.
- Hands-on experience in deployment tools such as Chef, Puppet, Terraform, etc.
- Knowledge in the complete software development life cycle.
- Experience building and maintaining AWS infrastructure.
- Knowledge of IP networking, VPN's, DNS, load balancing and firewall.
- Strong presentation, verbal communication, and written communications skills.
- Ability to lead effectively.
How Much Does an AWS DevOps Engineer Make?
The average AWS DevOps engineer salary in the United States is $138,115, with top earners making $170,000 per year, according to Talent.com.
What Is the Projected Job Growth?
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t collect information on DevOps engineers, the job outlook is promising based on data of similar roles. For instance, the BLS estimates a 22% job growth for software developers from 2020 to 2030. This growth is much faster than average when compared to all occupations. If you’re considering a DevOps engineer career path, there’s no better time to take the leap.
Is there a certificate for AWS DevOps Engineers?
The AWS DevOps Engineer–Professional Certification is a certificate offered by Amazon Web Services. It’s a good choice if you want to become a DevOps engineer or are already working in DevOps and want to boost your AWS DevOps engineer résumé.