IT Svit DevOps team: from junior to senior in a year
DevOps-as-a-Service is one of the main areas of IT Svit expertise. Our DevOps team works on projects of varying scope for businesses of various sizes, and constantly improves with time.
As IT Svit is one of top 10 Managed Services Providers worldwide (according to Clutch, the international business rating agency from Washington, D.C.), we have to employ the latest tech, skills, and best practices to remain competitive. This is why we build our DevOps team to be a flexible, performant and capable unit, based on our own expertise and useful advice from various open sources like TechBeacon, PWC, DevOps.com and others.
Why working with IT Svit DevOps team is great?
The best part of our DevOps work is that 90% of our projects are startups. This means there are no routine tasks or mundane responsibilities. This means the customers give us money and say — “Do whatever you want, just make it work!”. And we do whatever we want, as we have a carte-blanche for using the latest and the most feature-rich builds of all tools, the latest DevOps best practices, and the hottest DevOps trends. This helps our DevOps engineers gain experience quickly and progress from Juniors to Seniors in a year.
This is 100% different from the situation in large software vendors, who develop their software for decades already. One of the Oracle ex-employees has shared his story on Ycombinator, describing the horrors of developing the database that was in production for 20 years, has around 25 million lines of code, requires a testing farm of 200 servers to run the full testing cycle, takes around 30 hours to do it, and any small fix requires around 2 months (!!!). It takes around 12 months to develop a small feature, like a new authentication mode. That guy has already quit Oracle and is not going to work for a huge software vendor any time soon, most likely never again in his life.
Quite the contrary, at MSPs there is a huge variety of tasks and lots of room for professional growth, as our DevOps are constantly gaining experience at using the latest builds of popular DevOps tools and cloud platforms like AWS, GKE, Azure, DigitalOcean, Kubernetes, Terraform, Jenkins, Ansible, ELK stack, Zabbix+Prometheus+Grafana, SumoLogic, and other IaC and CI/CD tools.
The most common DevOps tasks IT Svit has to handle are as follows:
- cloud infrastructure audit and optimization,
- transition to the cloud from another cloud or legacy infrastructure,
- server security implementation,
- software delivery support,
- production systems monitoring.
The less common, yet quite frequent tasks include the blockchain infrastructure design and implementation, serverless computing integration into existing environments, Internet of Things infrastructure design and implementation, etc.
IT Svit DevOps expertise
Vladimir Fedak, the CEO and founder at IT Svit has personally managed multiple DevOps projects and gained considerable expertise in the field. IT Svit was listed amongst the Clutch Global Leaders in 2017 and 2018, and Vladimir did an interview with Clutch to highlight our skills and opinions on DevOps services, cloud technologies, and Big Data. We regularly share this expertise on Medium and DZone, as well as other popular IT industry portals, along with the corporate blog. Hopefully, these materials will be useful and help you accomplish your business goals. Let’s get on to the preferred DevOps team composition — and why we think so.
We believe there are 7 essential DevOps roles that have to be filled in order to create a functional and all-around capable team, able to deliver top-quality DevOps services:
- DevOps evangelist/consultant/visionary
- Cloud architect/SRE
- Release manager
- CI/CD architect
- DevSecOps engineer
- Dev+ engineer
- Ops+ engineer
This is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but an explanation of the team composition that works best for us — a dedicated DevOps services provider. Perhaps, there will be much more roles in the case of a global corporation moving to the cloud from their legacy systems — and certainly much fewer roles are needed to power-up a startup at the beginning of its journey. Below we describe these roles in some more details.
DevOps evangelist — the heart of the team
There must be a Team Lead, the most experienced DevOps engineer of the team. This must be a person with a vision of the cloud solutions best practices, and sufficient technical background to implement this vision into successful projects. This role belongs to a passionate and inspirational visionary, able to cross the chasm between what the client WANTS to have and what they actually NEED — and explain the details to the rest of the team.
IT Svit DevOps Team Lead is a relatively young but gifted DevOps with in-depth expertise on AWS and GCP and rich hands-on experience with Azure and DigitalOcean. He has personally completed more than 200 projects of various scope and is able to pinpoint the bottlenecks and suggest the solutions for them during the preliminary project requirements discussion. Our customers are frequently impressed with the depth of his understanding and comprehension, and mention this fact in multiple positive IT Svit Clutch customer reviews.
Site Reliability Engineer/Cloud Architect
Another key DevOps role is a specialist responsible for the seamless performance of the customers’ cloud infrastructures and optimal utilization of their computing resources. His tasks involve auditing the existing systems, highlighting the bottlenecks, designing and implementing the solutions for them and ensuring the stability of production environments.
IT Svit SRE/cloud architect is a seasoned professional with more than 5 years of expertise in designing, implementing and running cloud solutions of various scopes. With time, as other team members gain the required experience, they grow to SREs themselves and are assigned their personal projects to run and maintain.
This is a key position, greatly similar to the Product Owner or Project Manager, yet more concentrated on technical details. A release manager is a person that understands the way the customer’s vague project requirements must be transformed into precise tasks for the backlog, grouped into sprints and readied for fresh product releases.
This is an essential role to coordinate the efforts of developers and DevOps engineers in building the required testing and staging environments, enabling the CI/CD pipelines and writing automated unit tests. Due to the work of IT Svit release manager, our developers have all the needed infrastructure on time and are able to leverage automated CI/CD processes to push the code into production with minimal effort.
While the release manager is responsible for organizing the tasks, the actual CI/CD (Continuous Implementation / Continuous Delivery) implementation is the responsibility of the CI/CD architect. This person analyzes the pipeline structure required to enable the customer demands and the most appropriate tooling to achieve this result in a cost-efficient way. Sometimes it is best to use the AWS CodePipeline, sometimes it is better to create a bespoke CI/CD system using third-party tools like Jenkins, Ansible, CircleCI and others.
Every IT Svit DevOps engineer has to acquire these skills on their way to the SRE/cloud architect. This helps them understand the project needs better and plan ahead for the developer’s convenience and efficiency while designing their future cloud solutions.
With DevOps culture, security requirements are not bolted sideways before the release. They are ever-present as security checks and requirements that each batch of code has to meet during the tests. Infrastructure security is also taken into consideration from the very start (IT Svit delivers cloud infrastructures that are secure by design, using load balancers, bastion hosts, SSH key pairs and other security features from various cloud service providers).
This role is another interim assignment every IT Svit DevOps engineer goes through. This allows all team members to stay on the same side when designing the solutions and processes for our customers.
This is one of the basic DevOps roles, mostly involved with support of the development process. This specialist has to have ample experience with system administration, as well as setup and configuration of build, testing and staging environments. In this role, the specialists work with either internal IT Svit teams or with customer’s remote developers to ensure continuity and cost-efficiency of the software development process.
This specialist must also be able to write the code a little in order to provide hot-fixes on the run if something was misconfigured by the developer without restarting the whole CI/CD pipeline. Such support of the development process ensures a deep understanding of the development needs and challenges, helping IT Svit engineers provide excellent service.
This is another half of the pair of the basic DevOps roles. While Dev+ is more concentrated on supporting the software delivery process, the Ops+ engineer is more centered on maintaining the smooth and cost-effective operations in production. This person must be able to work with the ELK stack (ElasticSearch+Logstash+Kibana), Zabbix+Prometheus+Grafana, FluentD, SumoLogic, DataDog and other logging and monitoring solutions.
One of the responsibilities of this role is enabling the smart alerting, so instead of useless “server down” messages, the DevOps receives the Slack/Telegram/WhatsApp messenger notifications with dashboard screenshots and comments, containing the basic data needed to identify and solve the issue at once. This helps the IT Svit DevOps specialists gain invaluable knowledge and experience of dealing with various issues in production. This way they can identify possible bottlenecks faster, as well as have ready-made scenarios for solving said issues.
Join IT Svit DevOps team!
Due to all the factors described above, IT Svit DevOps engineers quickly gain lots of hands-on experience with using the latest tech and best practices. We are always open to team growth, so if you want to power up your DevOps skills by working on a wide variety of projects for one of the leaders of IT outsourcing market in Ukraine — let us know!