UnixSage

So you want to get into DevOps?

A Response to someone who asked how to "move" to DevOps

So the term DevOps is yet another title folks like “us” have been given. In my case I had the titles/roles of SysAdmin/Admin, Sysop, Systems, MIS, IS, IT, AppHosting, Operations, SRE and now DevOps. Some will argue SRE is different and in some Organizations that is true but that line gets blurry for sure. I do not want to get caught up in semantics. It has almost reached “Buzzword” status BUT it still does dictate some useful mindsets.

Now the “ethos” of DevOps has some cornerstones that most decent SysAdmins have been doing already. We tend to automate everything or distill things down to easily recover from failure and make things easy to come back to at three in the morning when someone decides a deployment had to happen Friday night. 😉

Now I will freely admit that the “job” that we typically do has changed a lot. I have not been in a physical datacenter for several years and instead of dealing with several vendors interfaces/APIs we are basically dealing with a few which has made our job of automation a lot easier.

So forgive the long winded preamble just wanted to let you know where I was coming from. Like most things this is my personal viewpoint so “your millage may vary” 😀

To your original question,

You mentioned you were transitioning from a SA role to DevOps.. It is likely (see above) that you have doing similar work the change is that you are now working in a single vendor ecosystem (AWS) and that is the big change. I admit that fully understanding that ecosystem is a daunting task (I too still feel a bit vexed on this point). BUT I do admit I do not miss running to a data-center at 3AM to bounce a switch or swap out a hard disk..

If you have decent general SA skills and have the “production mind set” then you probably are in pretty decent shape already.

I will say that AWS’s documention is very well done and learning stuff is much easier then in some cases when you are dealing with some vendor’s poor documentation or lack of an API.

Also to that end EVERYTHING in AWS has an API. Get used to AWSCLI and maybe pick up terraform. And while not nearly as cool Bash scripting still has a place but definitely try to get comfortable with python for no other reason that it is very popular and a lot of API’s will typically have SDKs and examples for python.

There is not a “line” that you need to cross and if to look at 10 Job descriptions for DevOps jobs they will likely vary wildly.

Look at the job descriptions and see if you are a good fit and apply. Also keep in mind job descriptions are notoriously wide and they are looking for a unicorn. If you have solid experience in some things and there are other skills that you are weak in but have an interest that is probably a good job for you.

Good Luck!