Becoming an effective DevSecOps engineer requires a distinct set of skills and practical experience. DevSecOps engineers should have a deep understanding of how security impacts each stage of the development pipeline and the final product or service. Just as important is their ability to be team players with good communication skills.
The ideal DevSecOps engineer has involvement in and appreciation of every stage in the software project lifecycle, from initial design and build to rollout and maintenance. In a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) environment, this entails working under pressure with critical task times.
DevSecOps engineers typically test and monitor a company's system for vulnerabilities. Then, they will work in collaboration with program developers (often called DevOps engineers) to create new programs that patch holes in the current security program, add countermeasures to prevent new threats, or simply make the program stronger and more effective.
They also often need to present the results of their security tests — and the programs they created to respond to those results — with other professionals within the company. Ultimately, they are responsible for keeping the company's digital data safe through monitoring, programming, testing, and communication.
- Platform familiarity: While the days of worrying about infrastructure systems and servers are over, most engineers should be familiar with infrastructure automation tools (Kubernetes) and have experience working with virtual machines (VMs) and pods.
- Programming/scripting languages: Most engineers would require familiarity with at least one or two programming languages. Given the variety of languages out there, organizations tend to be very targeted in hiring for specific languages, such as Java, Go, C and Python.
- Operations: These would be things like configuration management, provisioning, and deployment, which are automated and require programming skills.
- Security: Some organizations and technology companies have used the term DevSecOps to emphasize the security aspects of DevOps – although security should already be baked into DevOps processes.
- Integration: This involves integrating different pipelines, through which development teams deploy different features that come together in an application release, which makes release automation and continuous delivery more important than integration.
- Communication and team management: communication is the most important skill for a DevOps professional.
A DevOps team is made up of skilled professionals who work closely together but carry out different roles or are cross-trained to perform multiple roles. The roles might vary from one team to the next, or they might go by different names, but they can all play an important part in the DevOps effort. Some of the more common DevOps roles include the following:
- DevOps engineer: Oversees DevOps operations and the software development lifecycle, while fostering a collaborative environment and cross-team communication.
- Release manager: Oversees the continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline, as well as other operations associated with building and deploying applications.
- Automation engineer: Responsible for planning and delivering automation solutions that eliminate manual, repetitive tasks and support the CI/CD pipeline.
- Software developer: Writes and updates application code, along with unit tests and IaC instruction sets, where applicable.
- Software tester: Ensures products meet defined QA standards and can be safely released to customers.
- Security engineer: Focuses on application and infrastructure security, with an eye toward data integrity and compliance.
- DevOps evangelist: Promotes an organization's DevOps initiatives and articulates its benefits, relying heavily on interpersonal communication.
- User experience (UX) engineer: Ensures products meet UX expectations and UX goals align with test and release goals.