Is Linux expertise a must for success in a DevOps role?

Was talking to a guy who told me if you are not proficient as a Linux SysAdmin or have deep level knowledge of Linux you will have a had time getting hired as a DevOps person. Some others have told me if you are heavily focused on cloud that a lot of Linux admin stuff is abstracted away. However, I guess I was wondering what the consensus is. I come from a background as a software engineer and definitely heavier on that side. EVen though I know the basics of Linux and fairly proficient with Bash scripting , I definitely am not a Linux guru or anything close to a SysAdmin with it. I could pretty much do anything with Linux if I refer to documentation and took several training courses and have run my own Ubuntu and Fedora boxes.

Do people think my lack of Linux background and systems background could hinder me on the path to DevOps? My goal was to focus heavy on IaC (which I am very experienced with) and dealing with deployments and building and managing infrastructure. Hoping to become proficient with K8s. But a bit worried about what this guy was saying and wondering how deep I should go trying to learn Sys Admin stuff with Linux?

There are 10 000 different positions in devops. You’ll find one that fits your capabilities. Red Hat people recently told me that they not necessarily hire on technical knowledge now, but on attitude and fit. Easier to learn some Linux stuff than to have the right attitude.

I’m pretty sure some people are devops people using only cloud managed services and have no idea of it’s running on Linux.

Many people I have consulted have pretty much told me the same … I guess I hear the term DevOps can be so loosely interpreted some people think it means other things…

I really do

But I have been struggling to get out of software engineering and into DevOps… Its hard enough to land an interview as a software engineer and convince people how savvy I am into DevOps toolsets.

Hoping once I get a bit deeper into CI/CD and K8s that employers will finally give me my chance.

Why are you trying to get out of whatever you’re currently doing? Do you really enjoy IT/DevOps that much, so you’re willing to learn all of those technologies?

Yes… I do love software engineering, but not as a profession… I was an entrepreneur for many years and built my own software product. That was rewarding. But doing software as a job on a team , doing so many menial tasks is not rewarding at all. Not to mention what type of crapshow software has become with all these frontend spaghetti frameworks. I really do not like Javascript much, yet its what I am forced to use in my job now.

I am quite fascinated by the cloud , infrastructure and do IaC work in my current job actually. I personally really enjoy building cloud infrastructure, using K8s , designing architecture (which I know is not very devopish), but also building pipelines and managing infrastructure…

I feel with years of being such a multi-hat wearing person in my own personal business that DevOps would be something I would enjoy as a profession.

One thing I love to do is solve problems… I like to fix things that do not work and will go all night trying to fix things … Spending hours trying to fix a configuration is something I have done over the years and enjoy… I feel things like this fall under the DevOps/SRE umbrella.

You do all of those already, I mean, throw Linux on your resume and apply. We have an SRE who came from 100% Windows environment, 0 Linux knowledge. So…

Rus, I am actually applying for some DevOps jobs… The few interviews I had I got turned down because of my lack of k8s knowledge. So, I am trying to build myself to be a bit more well rounded of an SRE… I do know some linux, so definitely better than knowing nothing… Once I get a better handle on K8s, Config tools like ANsible, monitoring tools (i do use cloudwatch) and CI/CD (have experience with CodePipeline) I will feel more confident. Still need to learn a bit more deeply on some of these subjects. Also, trying to get my AWS certs… I do have 4 years of AWS experience, but would like to get deeper into cloud as well.

Cool, then it’s all about a time

It is tough to get a job as a DevOps Engineer. I have been a DevOps Engineer for 3 years now, I have worked with GCP, CI/CD pipelines, architecting infrastructure, monitoring and logging solutions, K8s, Docker, Linux, Bash…

But I haven’t been able to land myself a good job in the industry because the organisations I have worked with are small-time (having only about 1000 users)…

One thing I am positive about is that the more you keep on posting and blogging the more your chances of landing a job…

I think it’s way easier to go from developer to DevOps inside the same company (and then apply as DevOps outside of it) rather than applying directly as DevOps in other companies.

At least a few years ago it was like this, the experience mattered a lot. Nowadays it’s impossible to find people, maybe they don’t demand experience anymore :sweat_smile:

I appreciate your guys input. I do seem to be able to get some DevOps interviews with my resume, but when they grill me on K8s , some ci/cd deployment pattern/technique stuff and sometimes some tricky devopsish cloud engineering questions i get hammered. I think with a little bit more training with my current skillset I could definitely hopefully get my foot into the door into a mid-level DevOps role… But I know there will be challenges.

Jonathan, I find it interesting that most of the focus here and elsewhere for DevOps discussions is on the Ops side of the spectrum. If you look at the data the biggest issues and spend are on the Dev side of that spectrum. Given your background in software development, why not look at what you can do in the Dev side of DevOps instead of just the Ops side, where spend and opportunities are probably lower.