Lead DevOps Engineer:
A Closer Look at the Role

Key aspects of DevOps & interview with Kamil Piwowarski, Lead DevOps Engineer at Hicron Software House
Monika Stando
Monika Stando
Marketing & Growth Lead
June 15
10 min
Table of Contents

In this article, we provide an overview of the key aspects of a Lead DevOps Engineer’s job, DevOps best practices, the relationship between DevOps and Cloud Computing, and practical first-hand information on the work of a Lead DevOps Engineer.

Who is the Lead DevOps Engineer in the organization and what is the role?

The Lead DevOps Engineer is a senior-level IT professional responsible for overseeing the development, implementation, and management of a DevOps strategy. This individual plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between the development and operations teams, ensuring streamlined collaboration and efficient software delivery.

Key responsibilities of the Lead DevOps Engineer typically include:

  • Defining and implementing DevOps best practices

The Lead DevOps Engineer collaborates with development, operations, and security teams to establish and maintain efficient processes and methodologies that facilitate software delivery.

  • Designing and managing CI/CD pipelines

They are responsible for creating and maintaining automated build, test, and deployment pipelines that support continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) practices.

  • Infrastructure and system management

Ensuring the availability, scalability, and security of the infrastructure and systems supporting software development and delivery is a critical aspect of the Lead DevOps Engineer’s role.

  • Technical leadership and mentorship

As a senior team member, the Lead DevOps Engineer provides guidance and support to other DevOps engineers, helping them grow professionally and ensuring they adhere to best practices.

  • Monitoring and optimizing performance

They continuously monitor system performance, identify bottlenecks or potential issues, and implement strategies to optimize performance and minimize downtime.

  • Staying current with industry trends

The Lead DevOps Engineer stays up-to-date with new technologies, tools, and methodologies within the DevOps landscape, making recommendations for improvements and driving innovation within the organization.

Lead DevOps Engineer plays a pivotal role in enhancing collaboration between development and operations teams while ensuring that software applications are built, tested, and deployed efficiently and reliably.

Hands-on DevOps: A look from Lead DevOps Engineer at Hicron Software House, Kamil Piwowarski

Kamil began his IT journey in 2011 when from the very start he dealt with automation and testing of on-premises infrastructure solutions. With the emergence of public cloud solutions like Azure and AWS, he continues his adventure in building best practices for high-performance infrastructure.

His passion lies in operating solutions based on Kubernetes technology, which he specializes in the most in the context of both public and private clouds. He strongly supports the approach to functional testing of infrastructure and security in the solutions he delivers. Below he shares his point of view on some aspects of the role of Lead DevOps Engineer.

What are the DevOps practices that are particularly useful/important/relevant to you?

I think the answer is pretty simple – open mind. It does not matter what kind of tool you get used to use. What did you use in the previous project or for the previous clients, we need to always suit solutions to the specific issue, only then we can achieve a lot.

What was the biggest surprise for you when you started with DevOps?

The challenges and perspective of DevOps in the different projects. For one it was just an administrator role in the project without DevOps culture but in another DevOps guy was able to write a test for the application and even does small changes in the application code. Very different perception of DevOps – that’s the answer.

Why did you choose DevOps as a career?

This is my favorite question. I always wanted to be a developer, create some code, and deliver great functionality for clients but unfortunately, I started my work as an infrastructure guy so it was quite far from this. When DevOps has been born I realized this is the role, especially for me. I can create cool stuff in the infrastructure area but also be able to improve applications a little bit.

Why Azure DevOps?

One native platform provides all that you need to do your great application. You can create your tasks, write build stages, test all, and release on Azure if you want. You do not need to care about updates and maintenance of Azure DevOps. It leverages Azure’s scalability, security, and reliability to ensure that teams can develop and deliver applications efficiently. It provides global availability, high-performance infrastructure, and built-in security features. It always helps us to do a great thing without huge effort, it is great, isn’t it?

How to become a DevOps Engineer?

In the area of public clouds, it is simpler. You need to learn how to operate on one of the public clouds, use the DevOps tools provided and create a native CI/CD process. What are the first steps to be a powerful DevOps Engineer you need to acquire knowledge of operating systems and networking: Familiarize yourself with different operating systems like Linux and Windows, and understand networking concepts such as TCP/IP, DNS, and firewalls. DevOps involves working with infrastructure and networks, so having a good understanding of these areas is important. Familiarize yourself with CI/CD and DevOps tools: Get hands-on experience with continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) tools such as Jenkins, Azure DevOps, GitLab CI/CD, or CircleCI. Understand how to automate the build, test, and deployment processes to achieve faster and more reliable software delivery. Remember that becoming a DevOps Engineer is a continuous learning journey. It requires a blend of technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and a mindset focused on automation, collaboration, and continuous improvement. Be open to learning new technologies and practices as the DevOps landscape evolves.

Any tips for those thinking about the (Lead) DevOps Engineer career?

Again – open mind. If you keep that feeling you will learn a lot but the most important is that you can always solve the client’s issue no matter what kind of technology he used. Always keep in mind developing your communication skills because in most cases you need to convince the client that he needs to improve something and you have to show him the benefits of this.

How do you integrate security best practices into the DevOps pipeline? Can you provide examples of security measures you’ve implemented?

There are a lot of tools providing security improvement but all those tools have a database of potential security gaps and they need to update this very frequently. If they do not do this it does not matter what specific tool you are trying to use – I’m aiming for the community of specific tool is really important. If you want to use Open source tools for your applications – be a part of the community, and be a contributor if you are capable of doing this. One of my favorite tools for Kubernetes is Kubescape. It really helps to achieve great, stable infrastructure for your app and learn something good along the way.

How do you approach capacity planning and resource management in a cloud-based environment?

Cloud, the most dangerous thing inside are the possible options to deploy one application. If the cloud team has skills from serverless services they probably propose an architecture based on this, if they have huge experience from Kubernetes they probably propose an architecture based on this – this is the current state of cloud deployment in most companies. The good answer to this question will be: Collect all information from your client, based on load, and requirements from the application side and then plan infrastructure, reverse resources to save some money and be proud of every single deployment.

As a leader, how do you mentor and guide your team members to ensure they are continuously learning and improving their skills?

Mentoring from a technical point of view is a little bit different. All of our engineers have their clients and from time to time it could become a monotonous operation. That’s why we have a community and internal challenges where all of us could participate in the complex architecture design or brainstorming for different clients to have a great escape from everyday work.

How to use DevOps in Azure without burning resources with a flexible environment

A note from Hicron Software House: Big Answers to DevOps Questions

What are the best DevOps practices?

The best DevOps practices aim to enhance collaboration between development and operations teams, streamline software delivery processes, and improve the overall efficiency and reliability of software applications. Here are some of the most effective DevOps practices:

  • Continuous Integration (CI): CI is the practice of frequently merging code changes into a shared repository. This enables early detection of integration issues, reduces merge conflicts, and encourages developers to write smaller, modular pieces of code.
  • Continuous Delivery (CD): CD is the practice of automatically building, testing, and deploying software changes to production environments, ensuring that your software is always in a releasable state.
  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC): IaC involves managing and provisioning infrastructure resources using machine-readable definition files, rather than manually configuring hardware or systems. This enables version control, automation, and consistency across environments.
  • Configuration Management: Using tools like Ansible, Chef, or Puppet, configuration management ensures that system configurations are consistent, scalable, and repeatable, reducing human error and simplifying maintenance tasks.
  • Monitoring and Logging: Implementing comprehensive monitoring and logging solutions helps you track application performance, identify bottlenecks, and detect anomalies or issues early, enabling proactive troubleshooting and improved reliability.
  • Automated Testing: Automated testing is essential for validating code quality, functionality, and performance. It helps catch bugs and errors early in the development process, reducing the cost and effort of fixing them later.
  • Collaboration and Communication: Encourage open communication and collaboration between development, operations, and other stakeholders to break down silos, share knowledge, and work together more effectively.
  • Feedback Loops: Establish feedback loops to gather information on application performance and user experience, allowing you to make informed decisions and continuously improve your software.
  • Security Integration: Integrate security practices into the DevOps pipeline through techniques like automated vulnerability scanning, secure coding practices, and regular security audits to ensure applications are secure from development to deployment.
  • Continuous Learning and Improvement: Foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement by regularly evaluating your DevOps processes, identifying areas for enhancement, and implementing changes to optimize performance and efficiency.

By adopting these best practices, organizations can create a more agile, efficient, and reliable software development and delivery process that ultimately leads to higher-quality applications and improved business outcomes.

What’s the relationship between cloud computing & DevOps?

Cloud computing and DevOps are closely related, as both aim to improve the efficiency, agility, and scalability of software development and deployment processes. They complement each other and often work together to create more effective IT environments. Here’s how they are connected:

  • Infrastructure Provisioning: Cloud computing provides on-demand access to scalable infrastructure resources, such as compute, storage, and networking services. This aligns well with DevOps practices like Infrastructure as Code (IaC), which allows teams to manage and provision infrastructure resources using code, making it easier and faster to deploy and manage applications.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: The elastic nature of cloud computing enables organizations to scale their applications and infrastructure up or down quickly, based on demand. This flexibility supports the continuous delivery aspect of DevOps, where applications are constantly being updated and deployed.
  • Automation: Both cloud computing and DevOps emphasize the importance of automation in streamlining processes, reducing human error, and improving efficiency. Cloud platforms provide various tools and services that facilitate automation, such as AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, or Azure Functions.
  • Collaboration: Cloud computing enables centralized access to shared resources, tools, and data, promoting collaboration between development and operations teams. This helps break down silos and fosters a collaborative DevOps culture.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Cloud computing allows organizations to pay for only the resources they use, eliminating upfront capital expenses and reducing ongoing maintenance costs. This cost model aligns well with DevOps goals of optimizing resource utilization and minimizing waste.
  • Faster Time-to-Market: Cloud computing simplifies the process of deploying and managing applications, allowing organizations to bring new features and updates to market more quickly. This supports the DevOps goal of accelerating software delivery cycles.

Cloud computing offers the infrastructure, tools, and services that support and enhance DevOps practices. When combined, cloud computing and DevOps enable organizations to build, test, deploy, and manage applications more efficiently, reliably, and securely, ultimately improving business outcomes.

Monika Stando
Monika Stando
Marketing & Growth Lead
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