8 Skills Every DevSecOps Engineer Should Have
Learn the background and skills needed to stand out in this rapidly growing field
By and large, markets trend towards specialization. Over time, job descriptions become increasingly narrow, requiring applicants to double or triple down on one subject to find long-term work. Bucking this trend is the DevSecOps engineer: a professional who must straddle the distinct worlds of software development, cybersecurity, and operations to be effective. It’s a challenging career path, and job seekers and employers could often use a little guidance on the skills needed to do the job well.
This article provides exactly that. But first, let’s get some valuable context by looking at average salary rates and DevSecOps job market trends.
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Understanding the DevSecOps Engineer Job Market
With salaries that can top $200k per year, DevSecOps engineers are in high demand. Pay rates will likely grow at a healthy pace over the coming years as companies across the US — led by notable brands like Netflix, Etsy, Twitter, Google, and Meta — are gobbling up DevSecOps talent to build their in-house capabilities. Not surprisingly, the outlook for the DevSecOps market reflects this trend. The global DevSecOps market is projected to grow by almost a factor of ten by 2028, moving from a $2.55B valuation to $23.42B at an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32.2%.
It’s important to note that not all this growth is driven by organizations developing traditional DevSecOps teams. Some innovative companies, especially mid-sized companies, are electing to use DevSecOps solutions like DuploCloud instead. DuploCloud is the platform version of a DevSecOps team that uses automation to bake security and compliance requirements directly into cloud applications — accelerating time to compliance and time to market. Explore our solutions page to learn more about this powerful platform.
8 Skills Every DevSecOps Engineer Should Have
DevSecOps engineers are the “jack-of-all-trades” of IT. These professionals not only possess a broad skillset touching on everything from internal communications to software development, but they also need to achieve mastery in many of these areas. It is a complex and demanding job; these qualities separate the best from the rest.
- Relevant Technical Degree: Like many jobs in the cybersecurity space, most DevSecOps engineers have at least a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, computer science, or computer engineering. That said, majoring in math, engineering, or science also provides a good foundation for a career in this field, so employers looking to hire a quality DevSecOps engineer shouldn’t automatically exclude candidates who don’t have the standard educational pedigree.
- Robust Industry Certifications: Employers also shouldn’t count out potential hires who lack a technical degree entirely, as numerous professional certifications provide the training necessary to succeed in this role. Some of the best options include certifications from Cisco, CompTIA, DevOps Institute, and Practical DevSecOp. Other organizations — like EC-Council and (ISC)² — also have certification programs that are great for this career path.
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- A Command of the Core Principles: One of the most important competencies any DevSecOps engineer should develop is a rock-solid understanding of the discipline’s unique guiding principles. These include a working knowledge of implementing automated testing, rapid and incremental software updates, developer-led security improvements, and threat preparation practices. DevSecOps engineers also prioritize continuous compliance.
- General Software Development Expertise: DevSecOps engineers should have the software development chops to build any tool or application they need to address their organization’s security vulnerabilities. They should be fluent in programming languages like Python and Java, comfortable using developer tools like GitHub and Docker, and have a comprehensive understanding of methodologies like Agile.
- Deep Cybersecurity Knowledge: As cybersecurity is a core component of the DevSecOps engineer’s job description, these professionals need to know the latest risk assessment techniques, threat modeling approaches, cybersecurity threats, and best practices. They should also know how to use relevant tools like ThreatModeler, Checkmarx, and Aqua.
- Competence with the DevOps Toolkit: DevSecOps engineers should be able to use common DevOps configuration and automation programs like Chef, Ansible, and Puppet. These tools help DevSecOps engineers accelerate the impact they can have on the software development pipeline.
- Strong Communication Abilities: As technical as a DevSecOps engineer’s job is, it’s also highly people-oriented. To be successful, DevSecOps engineers should be able to communicate complex and sometimes alien concepts to stakeholders across the organization in clear, concise, and to-the-point language. Whether over an email or in a face-to-face meeting, these professionals have to be able to unpack ideas like scalability and automation without reaching for jargon.
- A Team Player Mentality: Because DevSecOps engineering is a cross-functional role, a candidate needs to be able to think and act like a team player. Some of the colleagues they work with may be entirely unfamiliar with DevSecOps — or unsure of its usefulness — so DevSecOps engineers must continually bridge gaps to create a genuine internal momentum around their initiatives.
How to Implement DevSecOps Without Hiring
Although some companies choose to develop internal DevSecOps teams, this approach is expensive and time-consuming. Consequently, many organizations — particularly small and mid-sized companies — are opting instead for DevSecOps solutions that provide the same benefits without the associated risks.
Accessible via web UI, Terraform Provider, or API, DuploCloud is DevSecOps-as-a-Service, allowing developers to translate high-level specifications into cloud-native applications with security and compliance built-in. Explore our solutions page to learn how this platform can accelerate your software development pipeline.