DevOps Engineer Vs Software Developer: What Career To Choose?

Software applications are front and center of every modern business. Whether mobile apps or PC software, IT solutions are revolutionizing business activity.

Over the recent years, we’ve seen how software engineering, development, and implementation have evolved. The availability of open-source coding modules and accessibility of countless programs to prepare IT professionals have greatly advanced software development. Nowadays, almost anyone with programming and coding expertise can build and deploy a software program.

Businesses and organizations that require continuous app development rely on IT professionals. Alongside the increased demand for software programs is the increased need for more expert coders. This has opened up lucrative career opportunities. And with the shortage of experts, software developers have become among the best-paid workers today with a median salary of $107,510 in 2019.

If you want to be in the computer science field, two of the most in-demand positions are DevOps engineer and software developer. While these job titles are frequently interchanged, they are actually two distinct career paths. Let’s take a look at their key differences and find out which one is best for you.

What is a DevOps Engineer?

Development and operations (DevOps) engineer is a relatively new specialization in computer science. DevOps engineer plays a role in various stages of app development that include code development, testing, and deployment. DevOps engineers also work with the production team to ensure the software runs properly. Basically, the DevOps engineer is an all-around, tech-savvy IT professional who oversees the entire app development process.

Considering the vast role of a DevOps engineer, the position requires competencies in programming, DevOps and agile principles, management, organizational skill, communication, and problem-solving skill.

If you intend to become a DevOps engineer, you need to have a multifaceted background that will allow you to see a bigger picture of software development, from both the technical and business viewpoint. Usually, these professionals start as a software developer where they hone their programming skills. They eventually move to software testing, design, and distribution. Promotion to a managerial post builds their collaborative and interpersonal communication skills.

Although duties and responsibilities of a DevOps engineer vary depending on the company, some of their most common roles include monitoring operations, managing the software development team, maintaining security controls and compliance to standards, managing cloud deployment, and creating an effective development process.

DevOps engineers earn a median annual salary of around $127,998. Although the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lacks job data on this specific position, there is a very high demand for such talent in different industries. Pursuing this field of specialization requires time and effort but is worthwhile. If you’re already in the IT industry, honing your skills and adding new qualifications can help you be promoted to a DevOps engineer.

What is a Software Developer?

Software developers are IT professionals who specialize in building programs for different computer systems. According to Houston software developers, Entrance Consulting, they write code based on client or user requirements. These applications could run on mobile devices such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat; PC-based software like Microsoft Office, Photoshop, and Adobe; or over the web like Twitter and Facebook.

Unlike DevOps engineers, software developers are primarily involved in only one aspect of the application life cycle – that is development. Developers use various coding tools to develop programs. They tend to do the tasks of software engineers although on a limited scale. As such, software developers are more creative when it comes to dealing with bugs.

To become an effective developer, the following skills and qualifications are necessary: excellent critical-thinking and analytical skill; experience maintaining and building IT databases and architectures; knowledge of software development methods such as Scrum, Agile, and Kanban; cloud-based tools and principles in software development; and actual experience on computer systems.

As a software developer, you can expect your work to include writing various codes from scratch, understanding how the code can help the overall business process, starting the entire development process, and achieving the target coding goals for the day.

Software developers don’t necessarily need previous work experience. You can gain further experience through on-the-job training. Usually, a relevant degree program is enough to land a job as a software developer. In fact, it is often the entry-level position for anyone who wants to be part of the software development industry.

Which Career to Choose?

The career path you choose will depend on your personality and goals. If you intend to lead and manage, then pursuing a career as a DevOps engineer is your best choice. On the other hand, if you would like to focus on programming and honing your creativity, then a software development role may be the right fit. Either way, pursuing any of these computer science careers means starting a lucrative and in-demand job. Both of these positions have excellent growth potential and future.

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