Are you DevOps or OpsDev?

Priyanka Dive
3 min readAug 4, 2021

Why this question now when we have so many Dev- Ops fill in the blanks profiles…

I know some of us would have many thoughts like, Is it really a profile “OpsDev”? How does it matter? Why should I care?

Everyone is trying to wrap up all kinds of tasks & responsibilities under the DevOps Engineer profile, so having all the above questions in mind is obvious. But this was the question asked to me during one of the interviews almost a year back.

Like every working DevOps engineer, my first response was, “obviously. I am DevOps Engineer.” For a minute, I thought, is this really a question? But the interviewer helped me to understand what he means by if I am Devops or OpsDev by follow-up question?

“Were you developer-first & then become Devops? or You were from Operations background (Linux) first then become DevOps ?”

From the interviewer’s point, he wanted to understand my areas of interest if I am more comfortable doing Continuous Integration tasks or Deployment & troubleshooting. So that based on an area of interest & level of comfort, candidates can be assigned tasks.

If we think closely, there is a difference between these two profiles in the following ways.

  • The approach taken to solve a particular problem will vary based on whether they are from Dev or Operational side.
  • Their capacity & limitation to solve the problem
  • Where they need to improve

Personally, based on my background, I am OpsDev. I am trying to understand the application side & who goes through code sometimes, even if I am not very familiar with the language.

Filling the gap between your profile & the skills you have is important. Sometimes, a single Developer or operation or DevOps can’t solve the problem. You need help from different people in the organization & it does not just apply to the DevOps profile.

Remember everyone has their own journey but we can learn a lot from other’s experiences…

If you are someone who is trying to switch profile from Developer to Devops or Operations to DevOps, the first thing to do is check profiles of people on Linkedin who are already working as DevOps, try to read blogs about how they changed their profile, what helped them, make your own list of things to learn to build your profile as a DevOps engineer. Start learning from online courses, join meetups, watch tutorials & try to do hands-on practice as much as possible.

Whether you are Devops or OpsDev, in the end, the question that matters is if the engineer feels comfortable & interested in their job. We need both types of people to solve a variety of problems & it’s important to have a team with different skill sets. We never know sometimes performance issues can be caused by under-optimized code or slow system hardware. It’s important to have both Devops & OpsDev people who can dive in & solve the problem.

P.S. After I gather courage & share the draft with my interviewer, he was kind enough to review & provide suggestions. I am happy that readers can get both sides of the story. Thanks to Xavier :)

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Priyanka Dive

I am working as a Devops Engineer in Singapore, sharing learning & work-life experiences.