DevOps Job Description: Who’s on a DevOps Team?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Discover who the key players in a DevOps team typically are and gain insight into their unique contributions to DevOps practices.

[Featured Image] A man contemplating a job change uses his laptop at home to read a DevOps job description.

From delays in release times to software falling short of expectations, IT firms grapple with many hurdles as they swiftly adapt to market demands. Effectively addressing these challenges necessitates a strategic approach that unites cultural philosophies, practices, and tools—a core aspect of the DevOps methodology.

The fusion of development (Dev) and operations (Ops) in DevOps brings people, processes, and technology together for seamless app development, deployment, and maintenance.

Read on to explore what being part of a DevOps team entails, including career prospects associated with various DevOps roles. 

How does DevOps work?  

A helpful way to think about DevOps is to compare it to the traditional Waterfall software development model, where developers and operations teams work in silos. Developers build features as per project requirements. Meanwhile, operations teams prioritize infrastructure stability.

In stark contrast, a DevOps model combines development and operations teams into a single unit, enabling effective collaboration across all stages of an application lifecycle. DevOps teams largely operate independently, reporting to a designated organization head or a DevOps evangelist. 

Who’s on a DevOps team? 

Professionals in development, operations, quality, and security are all part of a DevOps team. It’s important to note that DevOps represents a broader ethos, emphasizing a culture of collaborative IT that transcends the confines of mainstream technical skills or job duties. DevOps roles often include software developers, DevOps engineers, security and compliance engineers, and release managers.  

DevOps job descriptions

What differentiates a DevOps manager from a DevSecOps engineer? Understanding the nuances of the various jobs within DevOps can help you better understand the direction you want to pursue. The following list offers a glimpse into select DevOps job roles and their associated average salaries (according to March 2024 data) should you aspire to join a DevOps team.

1.  DevOps manager 

As a DevOps manager, you will supervise and lead DevOps teams. Having previously worked as a developer or technical project manager, you will use your technical expertise to design and upkeep a robust infrastructure for software service delivery. Additionally, you may use management tools to work towards streamlining collaboration among team members during the development and testing phases.

Average annual US base salary: $146,073 [1]

Job outlook (2022 to 2032): Approximately 68,100 new job openings each year [2]

Minimum education prerequisite: Bachelor’s degree

2. DevOps engineer

A versatile role, your work duties as a DevOps engineer include intertwining development processes into workflows, testing and analyzing code, and implementing automation where applicable. Though parallels exist between DevOps engineers and software engineers, they aren’t entirely synonymous. While software engineers concentrate on specific facets of the software development cycle, DevOps professionals contribute to managing the entire development process.

Average annual US base salary: $109,102 [3]

Job outlook (2022 to 2032): Roughly 377,500 new job openings per year [4]

Minimum education prerequisite: Bachelor’s degree

3. DevSecOps engineer

As a development, security, and operations (DevSecOps) engineer, you help introduce and automate cybersecurity into every stage of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). Programming, threat management, and communication are among your critical skills. Also within your purview is identifying and fixing any vulnerabilities found during the development phase.

Average annual US base salary: $116,174 [5]

Job outlook (2022 to 2032): Approximately 16,800 new job opportunities annually [6]

Minimum education prerequisite: Bachelor’s degree

4. Automation architect

The automation architect position puts you in charge of developing and implementing strategies to automate manual tasks within a DevOps environment. You will design scripts for developing, testing, and monitoring applications. You may also go by the automation strategist or integration specialist title as an automation architect. 

Average annual US base salary: $132,093 [7]

Job outlook (2022 to 2032): About 10,200 new job openings per year [8]

Minimum education prerequisite: Bachelor’s degree 

5. Quality assurance tester 

As a quality assurance (QA) tester, you will examine new software products or releases to spot underlying defects or errors. The tests you perform can be manual or automated. You may also document identified bugs to generate test reports. As a skilled tester, you could also help pinpoint design gaps in software products. 

Average annual US base salary: $72,053 [9]

Job outlook (2022 to 2032): Approximately 153,900 new job openings each year [10]

Minimum education prerequisite: Associate degree at a minimum

6. Release manager

In your role as a release manager, you will supervise the release of a product from start to finish. Specifically, you will handle tasks that fall outside of the scope of a traditional project manager.

Your everyday work duties include tracking and analyzing DevOps key performance indicators, facilitating continuous delivery through Agile processes, and developing automation pipelines for smooth code transition.

Average annual US base salary: $116,229 [11]

Job outlook (2022 to 2032): Approximately 68,100 new job openings each year [2]

Minimum education prerequisite: Bachelor’s degree

The benchmark for gauging DevOps success

The effectiveness of DevOps hinges on organizations’ sincere commitment to adopting the DevOps culture. DevOps practices, while crucial, are only one facet of the larger DevOps culture. Organizations must instigate profound changes in how teams communicate to promote a DevOps culture. Additionally, DevOps creates an environment conducive to agility, adaptability, and rapid response to evolving requirements by prioritizing continuous communication, collaboration, and shared responsibility.

Without this cultural transformation, the full potential of DevOps remains untapped, as the synergy between technology, processes, and people is fundamental to achieving success in a DevOps environment.

In a 2020 survey by Statista concerning DevOps' importance in scaling software development, 80 percent of respondents (software developers) acknowledged its significance, and nearly half of them deemed it extremely important [12]. 

Learn more with Coursera

The DevOps job description is as diverse as the roles available on this critical team. Level up your DevOps skills with IBM’s Introduction to DevOps course on Coursera. This beginner-friendly course features case studies to help you learn and understand DevOps methodologies. 

After that, consider exploring the DevOps Culture and Mindset course, also available on Coursera, to understand better the intricacies of fostering collaboration between developers and operations team members. You will also learn about various organizational models and structures firms employ to facilitate their DevOps transformations, helping to prepare you for a career in DevOps.  

Article sources


Glassdoor. “How much does a DevOps Manager make?,14.htm.” Accessed March 8, 2024.

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