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Difference Between DevOps and Developer

There’s a lot of confusion around the roles of DevOps and developers. Particularly when you’re job hunting in the IT space, especially for software engineer roles, you may find open positions for both developers and DevOps. This might create some confusion about the differences between DevOps and developer roles.

There’s surely an overlap but the roles are very different. So, understanding the difference between the two is important for making the right decision. In this article, we look at the two roles in brief and review their differences.


DevOps is a software development methodology that combines a set of practices, tools, and cultural philosophies to create a collaborative work environment. The goal is to build a culture where everyone, including developers, testers, operations team, security, and infrastructure engineers, can work toward a common goal. It’s an engineering philosophy of collaboration, ownership, and continuous improvement that enables the fast flow of work into production. DevOps is a bridge that connects design, process, tooling, and organization structure. In many ways, DevOps is the answer to the problem of slow product delivery and releases.


A developer is a technology professional that goes by many designations – computer programmer, software developer (or coder), software engineer, etc. Developers are individuals who are tasked with creating software programs and applications. They often have more specific roles that allow them to identify their client’s needs, develop a solution, and finally implement the solution. A developer is a more generalized position in the IT landscape where every person that creates something with a computer is called a developer. A developer is part of each step of the SDLC, including design, creation, and testing.

Difference between DevOps and Developer


– DevOps is more of an engineering culture than a role. A DevOps engineer implements new processes, tools, and methodologies to accelerate the software development lifecycle, from ideation to production. They are professionals who work to create a collaborative work environment where development and operation teams can work toward a common goal. A developer is primarily in charge of writing code and creating software applications, and solving specific programming issues.


– While both roles sometimes require performing the same tasks, a DevOps professional often requires a strong background in computer science. Typically, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer engineering or a related field would lay the groundwork for a successful career in DevOps. Developers, on the other hand, should have a strong knowledge of programming languages and software design principles. For that, a bachelor’s degree in software engineering does the job.


– While both roles require a combination of programming and technical skills, there are a few skills that are unique to each role. DevOps professionals possess skills in areas such as cloud computing, CI/CD, software testing, automation, security and management, etc. Developers tend to have specialized skills, such as programming languages, problem-solving, software development methodologies, debugging, design implementation and coding, etc.


– Developers are proficient at creating features for users and writing application software. For that developers have to use specialized tools such as integrated development environments (IDEs), version control systems (For example, Git), CI tools, testing frameworks, etc. DevOps professionals are responsible for automating processes to build, test, and deploy applications. So, they work with a wide range of tools, including configuration management tools, CI/CD tools, container platforms, and more.

DevOps vs. Developer: Comparison Chart


In a nutshell, DevOps sees the development process in a more holistic way, taking into everyone involved, including developers, testers, operations team, security, and infrastructure engineers. In fact, the whole DevOps philosophy or culture is built on trust, collaboration, and continuous improvement. Developers, on the other hand, are better adapted to adding new features or improving existing ones for applications. Both developers and DevOps engineers require a solid educational background in computer science or software engineering, though.


Is DevOps better than a developer?

Both roles pose different challenges and offer a variety of opportunities. Developers are responsible for writing code and developing applications, whereas DevOps focuses on collaboration, automation, and effective software delivery. 

Does DevOps pay more than a developer?

While the difference is not much, DevOps engineers do get more annual salaries than developers on average. The numbers typically suggest DevOps engineers earn about 25-35% more than developers and software engineers with the same experience.

Is DevOps a developer job?

DevOps is more of a culture than a role with a significant overlap with software development principles and best practices. DevOps is a much broader role that requires a solid knowledge of both development and operations, along with coding, infrastructure management and security, etc.

Can a developer become a DevOps engineer?

Yes, a developer can advance into the position of a DevOps engineer by acquiring the required skills and expertise in fields like automation, infrastructure management, CI/CD, security, and collaboration.

Is a DevOps job stressful?

The job of a DevOps engineer is not exactly stressful but it’s not easy either. Sometimes there are unrealistic expectations, missed timelines, and poor project management which could lead to some challenges. The role itself can be more stressful than a traditional engineer or developer. 

Is DevOps the highest paid?

Well, a DevOps engineer is paid well, better than a software engineer. DevOps professionals are among the highest-paid IT professionals as they possess unique skill sets and are in great demand. 

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References :

[0]Freeman, Emily. DevOps for Dummies. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons, 2019. Print

[1]Kim, Gene, et al. The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations. Portland, United States: IT Revolution Press, 2016. Print

[2]Bass, Len, et al. DevOps: A Software Architect's Perspective. New Jersey, United States: Pearson Education, 2015. Print

[3]Grasberger, Matthew. “Developer vs. DevOps engineer similarities and differences.” TechTarget, 1 Apr. 2022, https://www.techtarget.com/searchsoftwarequality/tip/Developer-vs-DevOps-engineer-similarities-and-differences.

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