DevOps has been around for quite some time now but many are still unsure of how to define it and the work that surrounds it, much less the kind of skills and proficiency that one must have in order to put DevOps into practice.

Today, however, the roles and titles of people that form the DevOps team have been created and developed, in order to give structure and definition to the work and people involved in applying and expanding DevOps from a single team within an organisation all the way to across all other teams within it. So who are the people that make up the DevOps team? How does the change occur within team and how is it spread throughout the organisation? Let’s discuss.

The DevOps Team: Looking for the Right People

According to DevOps pioneers and experts, a core team is made of up seven key individuals, each with specific roles that support the network of the team. These are the following people:

1. The one with the mission: The DevOps Evangelist

Also known as the change agent, the DevOps Evangelist is the one who promotes the benefits and the advantages of DevOps and shows leaders how their teams and the entire organisation can benefit from it. This is the person responsible in finding ways to overcome resistance to change and get the buy-in of key stakeholders and leaders, and remove any doubt or fear that people may have towards accepting the changes that DevOps will bring.

2. The one who delivers the goods: The Release Manager

Also known as a release engineer or product stability manger, this person is the one who oversees the development work, from start to finish. This is from the time a product begins development all the way through to production. They handle coordination, product integration, and deployment. They oversee the flow of development and ensure continuous delivery. They make sure that all tests are completed before allowing any product to be released to production and to the market.

3. The one who makes things faster: The Automation Architect

The person who keeps things moving, quickly and automatically. This is the person responsible for analysing, designing, and implementing a master plan to ensure continuous deployments and securing availability and an extremely reliable environment that is devoid of flaws and obstacles, and enhancing the flow of work with the use of automation. This person paves the way for faster deployments and carves a more efficient path through the long and winding non-automated route — not a shortcut, but a bigger and wider straighter path, so that work can flow faster and things can be done and get done faster, too.

4. The one who holds the stamp of approval: The Software Developer-slash-Tester

This person is the one who turns requirements into code and tests the same build to ensure that it meets the requirements and security standards based on DevOps principles. Automated testing procedures are integrated into the build process, removing the need for manual testing whenever and wherever possible, allowing DevOps dev-testers to build and test faster, more efficiently, and more securely. These automated testing procedures are introduced and embedded by a security engineer, (another DevOps role that is further discussed below)

5. The one who keeps everyone happy: The Experience Assurance Professional

This is an evolved version of the role of a Quality Assurance Specialist. While the role still includes testing the features and functionality of a product, the Experience Assurance Professional or XA is to test the software by using a market ready version of the product in a way that the end user would use it. This gives the XA first hand experience in using the product that allows for better understanding on the product can further be improved, thereby adding more value for the customer.

6. The one who plays the sentinel: The Security Engineer

This was mentioned above as the one who works to improve product testing throughout the build process. In DevOps, testing is integrated into the build process as opposed to being done at the end of the building process. It is the Security Engineer who recommends the tests that are necessary to catch flaws and failures as the product is built stage by stage and they work side by side with the dev-testers to ensure that the testing procedures work as expected and yield the expected results.

7. The one who pushes the button: The Utility Technology Player

They are the new breed of IT, whose role is not simply to ensure that all systems are running smoothly and continuously, the Utility Technology Player is given a seat at the table and are involved in the development and sprint planning, so that they can provide the necessary information on what is needed and how it can be implemented without interrupting the service. The person who fills this role is someone who is knowledgeable and able to work on both traditional and cloud platforms.

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