7 DevOps Roles that Make a Team Successful

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn more about the opportunities that are available to explore when you're interested in working on a DevOps team.

[Featured image] A woman in DevOps points to her colleague's computer screen.

DevOps is a process that brings together development and operations in order to deliver software (or another kind of product or service) faster and more efficiently.  In this article, we’ll go over the roles that you can find on most DevOps teams, as well as salaries and skills for each position. 

How does a DevOps team work together?

Traditionally, development and operations handle projects at different phases. A development team typically creates a product or service, and an operations team handles the business side of things, such as planning and production. Their work tends to be siloed and progresses in a more linear fashion. 

Under DevOps, these two major functions come together as a lifecycle, which tends to involve four stages: planning, developing, delivering, and monitoring. Progress tends to be continuous, rather than linear, meaning that team members need to have an understanding of each stage because they often work concurrently with one another. 

7 DevOps roles

Each company’s DevOps team will differ depending on its needs. But we’ve gathered together the roles you’ll most likely see when you work in DevOps. 

*All salary data represents average salary in the US as of July 2023 (Glassdoor)

1. DevOps manager (DevOps evangelist)

Formally known as a DevOps manager, you’ll sometimes see this role referred to as a DevOps evangelist or even at times a DevOps engineer. (There are also cloud DevOps engineers that work exclusively on cloud-based applications.) A DevOps manager needs a strong understanding of both development and operations.  

DevOps managers oversee the development of different software or apps, as well as the ongoing tasks that take place after deployment, such as updates. In addition to having the technical skills of a software engineer, this role typically involves a mix of project management and people management. 

  • Average salary: $137,810

  • Skills: Research, user experience, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, management/leadership, project management

2. Software developer

Software developers use their training to create new software or update existing applications. They’re an essential part of a DevOps team because they’re the team members building the product. They also may take on testing, deployment, and monitoring. 

  • Average salary: $94,675

  • Skills: Programming (Python, Java, SQL), operating systems, debugging, problem solving

Learn more: How to Become a Software Developer

3. Security engineer

Rather than wait until after a new product has been developed and built, security engineers typically work in conjunction with software developers. They ensure a product’s overall security by deploying tools and techniques to detect potential breaches and address them. 

  • Average salary: $105,934

  • Skills: Programming, research, management/leadership, problem-solving, communication 

Learn more: 11 DevOps Tools for 2023

4. Automation architect

DevOps involves a good deal of automation, making an automation architect an integral role on this kind of team. They work to identify which processes can be automated so they can synthesize and streamline tasks. Often, they must have a firm understanding of both technology and business.  

  • Average salary: $121,853

  • Skills: Project management, business management, IT, programming, communication

5. Solutions architect (DevOps architect) 

Solutions architects identify problems in current software or apps and then design solutions to address them. On DevOps teams, this role can sometimes be called a DevOps architect. Solutions architects may undertake performance analysis, debugging, and documenting best practices. 

  • Average salary: $124,793

  • Skills: Programming, AWS, analytics, cloud, project management, solution design 

6. QA tester (Experience assurance expert) 

QA testers assess products to make sure they’re working properly before they’re deployed. On a DevOps team, their responsibilities can often broaden to include experience assurance, meaning they test a product’s features to make sure they work seamlessly together. 

  • Average salary: $69,876

  • Skills: Agile and automation testing, SQL, software development lifecycle, critical thinking, communication

7. Release manager (Product stability manager)

After software or an app has been tested and is ready to be released, a release manager (also known as a product stability manager) will oversee that process. They put together a plan and control the product’s deployment. This type of work requires a mix of project management and technical engineering skills. 

  • Average salary: $112,027

  • Skills: Communication, risk assessment, project management, software development lifecycle, programming, management/leadership

Important DevOps skills to develop

Working on a DevOps team requires an understanding of each phase of the DevOps lifecycle given the ongoing, iterative nature of the work. There are many DevOps certifications you can explore, including the IBM DevOps and Software Engineering Professional Certificate on Coursera. 

Depending on which role you’re interested in pursuing on a DevOps team, it will be important to build or strengthen certain technical skills. You can do so by enrolling in courses, specializations, and professional certificates on Coursera, including in: 

Learn more on Coursera

Get started in DevOps by enrolling in the IBM DevOps and Software Engineering Professional Certificate, where you’ll learn DevOps, Agile, Scrum, CI/CD, and Cloud Native. The program takes three months when you can dedicate 10 hours a week to it. Get started today. 

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