Visualizing the DevOps Team Structure: Roles and Responsibilities

Visualizing the DevOps Team Structure: Roles and Responsibilities

DevOps is an approach to software development that combines two major software trends. Agile infrastructure, the first trend, applies Agile and Learn approaches to operations. The second trend acknowledges the value of collaboration between operations and development team members.

Software development teams use the DevOps approach, hoping to develop, deploy, and continuously improve their products in a dynamic way. Ultimately, DevOps attempts to bring to Agile that software isn’t complete unless it meets the expectations of the end-user.

A successful DevOps pipeline requires team members to have specific goals while also executing job functions within a larger effort. Because of the delineation of roles in DevOps, team leaders need to understand the roles and responsibilities of each team member. This way, leaders can assign core employees or independent talent to fulfill critical job functions.

This guide is an overview of the key roles that are typically included in DevOps teams. In addition, you’ll learn how these roles contribute to the overall collective effort and their impact on teams.

The DevOps approach to software development: Ongoing improvement

Before we go into the key ideas of DevOps, it’s important to cover some of the underlying values and principles. DevOps was developed in response to the shortcomings of the Agile Manifesto. For this reason, it has many of the same fundamental values but takes it a step further by focusing on the overall service that is delivered to the customer, which is contrary to the “working software” concept in Agile. Like the values of DevOps, the principles of it are based on Agile fundamentals that are widened to include systems and operations.

In addition to the values and principles, there are also DevOps key ideas:

  • Continuous deployment and integration: In DevOps, team members should check on code daily and integrate updates continually.
  • Automated acceptance testing: According to this principle, whether you perform an automated user test, a system test, or an integrated test, the line should be stopped when something breaks. By doing this, the software is in an always-deployable state.
  • Version control: One of the most important principles of DevOps is version control for all production artifacts.  
  • Culture of trust: DevOps fosters an environment that is built on trust. Peer reviews are often held, and goals are shared among team members.
  • Adaptability: DevOps provides a culture of learning and encourages people to adapt to the evolving culture and new information.  
  • Feedback: Anyone who uses the DevOps method should be open to feedback. Peer reviews and feedback are common in addition to stakeholder reviews. Team members should be willing to take feedback from stakeholders often.

Key roles and responsibilities on a DevOps team

Roles in a DevOps Team

Many companies adopt the DevOps strategy to make communication between developers and operations faster and accelerate the software development phase while making business more agile. To properly implement the DevOps methodology, you’ll need more than the right tools. Having the right team is essential in finding success with DevOps.

Here are seven of the essential roles in a DevOps team:

  1. DevOps enthusiast  
  2. Release coordinator
  3. Cloud architect
  4. Software producer
  5. Quality assurance
  6. Security specialist
  7. DevOps engineer

1. DevOps enthusiast

The DevOps enthusiast must promote the advantages of DevOps to their team. They should identify and promote the benefits of this method to the company. In addition, they must ensure collaboration between the developers and operations.

Core responsibilities:

  • Promote adaptability: Adopting a new method can be challenging, as team members might fear change. By promoting DevOps and explaining the benefits, the DevOps enthusiast will hopefully remove any fears that team members might have.
  • Encourage improvement: Not only must they promote adaptability and create a safe environment, the DevOps enthusiast should also encourage team members to work on their personal improvement. Failure is part of the process, but with continuous improvement, team members should feel good about their progress.
  • Lead: Most importantly, someone with this role must be a team leader. Making changes throughout a company is not easy, but with the right leader, it’s possible.

2. Release coordinator

The release coordinator focuses on the product’s management. Someone with this position must coordinate the product’s release schedule. From the development stage to the production stage, the release manager must manage team members.

Core responsibilities:

  • Supervise coordination: The release coordinator needs to supervise the release of the project through every level of development.
  • Oversee essential processes: The release coordinator should oversee integration, development, testing, etc., to ensure that product development runs smoothly.

3. Cloud architect

The cloud architect should automate DevOps and cloud solutions. They’re also referred to as integration specialists because they analyze and implement deployment strategies throughout the project. Someone with this position works to provide high availability of the pre-production and production systems.

Core responsibilities:

  • Facilitate: The cloud architect must lead the development process and operations. In doing so, they identify setbacks and shortcomings that need to be improved.
  • Establish build environments: Someone with this position needs to start continuous build environments. Ultimately, this has the goal of speeding up software development.
  • Guide the team: The cloud architect must also help guide the development team. They do this by reviewing and managing technical operations throughout the project life cycle.

4. Software producer

The software producer has many responsibilities. They handle creating, testing, distributing, and monitoring the project. New code must be tested continuously and automated. Otherwise, it becomes cumbersome, time consuming, and a more difficult task.

Core responsibilities:

  • Develop: They’re given new requirements that they must put into functional code.
  • Test: Once the code is implemented, they should test to ensure that it works properly.
  • Distribute: The software producer should then pass the new functionality to be tested by peers.
  • Monitor: When new code is added, there are sometimes unintended consequences. The software producer should continually monitor the project to ensure there aren’t any bugs and that it’s ready for the end-user.
  • Communicate with team members: The software producer must be skilled in communication. This is especially important for remote teams, which rely on a developer who’s an effective communicator and a team player.

5. Quality assurance

The quality assurance (QA) professional, also known as the experience assurance (XA) professional, is in charge of ensuring that the user experience is up to par and that the final product fits all of the required specifications. In DevOps, an emphasis is placed on an expert who reports bugs and goes beyond that to ensure that the customer’s requirements are met.

Core responsibilities:

  • Check for functionalities: Someone with this position should make sure that the product incorporates all of the functions that the customer wanted.
  • Think about user experience: The QA professional should go through the product and make sure that the end-user experience follows the initial requirements and makes sense for users.

6. Security specialist

The security specialist works closely with software developers. Contrary to the Waterfall development process, the security specialist works with the development team from the beginning of the project. Someone with this position ensures that the product is secure every step of the way.

Core responsibilities:

  • Understand security requirements: For someone in this position, it’s important to understand what level of security is needed. They should be able to answer whether the product will have information that needs to be secure and if role-based action control is of concern.
  • Work with developers: The security specialist should work with developers to understand security requirements, but they should also work with the developers when they find areas of weakness in the product.

7. DevOps engineer

The DevOps engineer is an innovative role that’s responsible for cloud infrastructure in IT services. This is a relatively new position that’s still evolving, and it can be difficult to define. Essentially, this role requires someone adaptable and willing to embrace cloud infrastructure.

Core responsibilities:

  • Scale code: The DevOps engineer should look at the product and write code to scale functions to fit the needs of the project. Scalability is one of the most important aspects of writing good code, as it allows for growth in the future if needed.
  • Security: Like the security engineer, DevOps engineers need to keep security in mind. Since they’re working on cloud infrastructure, they must develop code protected against viruses and hackers.
  • Deliver quality code: The DevOps engineer must be involved in every step of the software development process. This means that they’re involved in writing code, understanding requirements, and testing the product.

Find the right professional for any DevOps role

Hiring the right professionals for your DevOps team is one of the most important steps you can take in developing a successful product. DevOps team members need to be highly communicative and adaptable, as this method is constantly evolving.

By using a work marketplace like Upwork to hire independent professionals, you can access a larger pool of applicants and find the best talent for your DevOps team.

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Visualizing the DevOps Team Structure: Roles and Responsibilities
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