Hello everybody and welcome back to the Cognixia podcast. Every week, we gather here to learn something new about leading emerging technologies, discuss what’s happening in the world right now, and so much more. We appreciate everybody who tunes in to listen to us. If you like listening to us, do leave us a rating and a review, if possible, it would definitely help us a lot.
Every week, we receive a lot of emails and DMs telling us how you love our podcast, asking us questions and recommending topics that we must take up in our future podcast episodes. One such topic that got recommended to us by one of our listeners was to discuss the differences between a DevOps Architect and a DevOps Engineer. So often, we find these two titles being used interchangeably and it can get very confusing to know what each role entails. This is what we would be discussing in today’s episode. We will talk about what each role is all about, what the skills are required, the general roles and responsibilities, and more. So keep listening!
What do DevOps Architects and DevOps Engineers do?
The DevOps Architect’s role is more conceptual and is more high-level. Their work revolves around overall software goals and business goals. They need to have a solid understanding of capabilities and constraints to do their roles.
The DevOps Engineer’s role is more execution and implementation-oriented. Their background might be similar to that of a DevOps Architect, but their work is more on the realizing the plans side.
Familiarity with the Cloud
Both DevOps Architects and DevOps Engineer need to be familiar with cloud computing. Enterprises are increasingly embracing multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategies for their application development and deployment. Cloud skills are not as abundant as one may think, let us tell you, making it even more important for DevOps professionals – Architects & Enterprises to be familiar with the cloud.
What skills do DevOps Architects and DevOps Engineers need to have?
While the fundamental knowledge both DevOps Architects and DevOps Engineer need to have is similar, there are some differences too.
DevOps Architects’ roles make it essential for them to keep both the enterprise needs as well as the available IT capabilities in mind when performing any task. DevOps Architects essentially call the shots on how the different software components map to different resources and how different operations tasks would optimize various resources while also focusing on cost control and achievement of business goals.
On the education side, DevOps Architects are expected to have a background similar to say an enterprise architect or a software architect, but their training should be focused on server management, networking, and software operations, not so much on programming though. A certification in cloud computing is a gigantic plus.
On the experience side, DevOps Architects should be familiar with the different tools that they would be required to use. Some public cloud experience is always helpful. Having some experience on the development team management front is also helpful. Increasingly, it has also been found that organizations are seeking familiarity with containers and container orchestration too when recruiting or promoting DevOps Architects. Familiarity with service mesh technology is also being sought after. DevOps Architects are also finding it very useful to have some experience as DevOps Engineers, it gives them more hands-on exposure.
DevOps Engineers are expected to have some computer science and software development training. Along with this, they are expected to have a background in server, data center, and network operations. Off late, we have begun encountering growing importance for virtual network training in a DevOps Engineer’s background as an ask. In our opinion, virtual network training would be one of the most challenging skills to acquire in a DevOps Engineer’s toolbox, but it is worth the effort, and you will actually see your prospects transform if you’re really good at it. DevOps Engineers would benefit hugely from having a good understanding of GitOps, development pipelines, and the CI/CD pipeline.
We have also observed that certifications are becoming increasingly important for DevOps Engineers, with not just the depth of the certifications holding the importance but also their breadth coming more and more into focus. Employers look for individuals with the skills to work with the best tools and techniques, and having a broad background while being open to learning new things is always helpful.
How do the Job Roles differ for DevOps Architects and DevOps Engineers?
We don’t want to get into every detail about every task that DevOps architects and DevOps engineer perform, but we can give you a fair idea of where the difference is at.
Generally, in an enterprise, the coordination between the development and the operation functions would be taking place between the software architects and DevOps architects. DevOps architects would need to be a critical point of communication in this chain, and they would be working primarily to ensure everybody’s goals are aligned to the company’s goals and everything is on track. However, the actual role would vary based on the nature of the relationship that exists between the development and operations teams in the organization.
Similar to the case of DevOps Architects, the role of the DevOps Engineer would also depend on the nature of the relationship between the development and operations teams. However, one thing that we can say with certainty is that the work of DevOps Engineers would revolve around working closely with the development teams throughout the different stages of development. They would benefit from having some understanding of what is happening on the programming as operations side of things. As a thumb rule, one could take it that the more complex the development and deployment cycle would be in an organization, the more likely it would be for the organization would be regarded as an equal to the software developers, being responsible for maintaining versions, managing testing and transition all the way from testing to deployment.
How do organizations decide whether they need DevOps Architects and DevOps Engineers?
Now that we know that a DevOps Engineer is not always the same person as a DevOps Architect, we also need to understand that an organization may not always have a demand or need to have both in the organization. In the times we live in, having a DevOps team is becoming increasingly indispensable, which we can assure you. Any company that relies on any third-party software and has minimal in-house development capabilities, we would say, would do good from having both DevOps Architects and DevOps Engineers on board. The same would also hold for companies that are highly dynamic and work with very complex application development projects.
If we were to simplify things further, we would say, if an organization has a DevOps team then it most definitely needs DevOps engineers. If the organization does not deal with very complex deployments and has pretty fairly established operations and infrastructure tools & practices, then the organization could build a whole team and carry out their operations smoothly with just DevOps Engineers alone and may not feel the need for DevOps Architects.
However, if the organization has software architects or enterprise architects on board, then we would recommend the company also get some DevOps architects on board sooner rather than later.
Well, that’s quite an overview of the differences between DevOps Architects and DevOps Engineers. With the limited time we have in an episode, we tried to touch upon all important points to make sure our listeners could understand the basic differences as well as get some points to dig deeper into to get a better understanding of the two roles. However, if you still have some questions, do hit us up – send us a DM on any of our social media handles, talk to us on the chat on our website, or send us an email, drop us a comment here, anything that works for you, and we will be happy to help you out.
Also, Cognixia’s DevOps training courses are up with some amazing discounts right now, so do check them out and sign up as soon as possible before the seats run out.
With that, we come to the end of this episode of the Cognixia podcast. We hope you enjoyed listening to us today and learned something new during this episode. If you would like to recommend any topics to us or have any questions, feel free to reach out to us, we love hearing from you.
Until next week then. Happy learning!