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Difference Between DevOps Engineer and Software Engineer

Technological advancement coupled with increased computer availability has seen the world shift to the technology age. As a result of the invention and spread of the internet, methods in which computer science professionals develop and distribute information have also changed. Software engineering is constantly evolving, forcing organizations and companies that create their software to rely on computer science professionals. This has led to new careers in the technology field, such as DevOps engineer and Software engineer. 

Who is a DevOps Engineer?

This is an Information Technology engineer whose main role is to oversee the code releases. This involves managing the continuous automated process including building, deploying and operation. To ensure the smooth running of the systems and proper integration of the software, they work with the operation side of an organization. They also work as a team to streamline the development and operations hence have both programming and management experience.   

Among the job responsibilities of a DevOps engineer include: 

  • Assess the effectiveness of technological automation tools based on the needs of the stakeholders and the organization’s needs
  • Get knowledge of new development technologies and tools
  • Lead software developers’ teams
  • Automate and improve release and development processes
  • Maintain compliance and security controls
  • Ensure the systems are safe from cybersecurity attacks
  • Monitor IT operations

A DevOps engineer must have;

  • Awareness of Agile and DevOps principles
  • Knowledge of programming languages
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Organizational skills

In simpler terms, DevOps engineers take up the roles of IT operations and technical roles. 

Who is a Software Engineer?

This is a person who designs, develops, maintains, tests and evaluates computer software using the principles of software engineering. Due to the increase in demand for software engineers as a result of the growing complexity of technology, venture capital-backed start-ups, emerging industries and increased reliance on mobile technology, a lot of investment has been focused on software engineering. 

Software engineers are categorized into:

  • Applications engineers- These analyze a users’ needs and create or adapt them in accordance with the organization’s or business’ needs. 
  • Systems engineers- They create, maintain and ensure the growth of the computer systems in a business. They also coordinate IT departmental needs in an organization and set up networks to link up computers. 

Software engineers work separately from the operations functions of a business as they create software and monitor its performance to determine whether improvements or upgrades are necessary. They specialize in a particular application such as artificial intelligence, retail, transportation or banking. 

Job responsibilities of a software engineer include;

  • Coordinate the installation of software for the clients
  • Identify issues with the developing standards and operating procedures of software
  • Improve and maintain existing codebases and review code changes
  • Implement technical designs 

A software engineer must have:

  • Knowledge of data structure and algorithms
  • Proficiency in debugging large codebases and troubleshoot software issues
  • Strong reasoning and analytical skills
  • Ability to work as a team 

Similarities between DevOps engineer and software engineer

  • Both are computer science professionals
  • Both require programming languages knowledge

Differences between DevOps engineer and software engineer

Definition

A DevOps engineer refers to an Information Technology engineer whose main role is to oversee the code releases. On the other hand, a software engineer refers to a person who designs, develops, maintains, tests and evaluates computer software using the principles of software engineering. 

Role in a business

While a DevOps engineer works with the operation side of an organization, a software engineer works separately from the operations functions of a business. 

Job responsibilities

Among the job responsibilities of a DevOps engineer include assessing the effectiveness of technological automation tools based on the needs of the stakeholders and the organization’s needs, gaining knowledge on new development technologies and tools, lead software developers’ teams, automate and improve release and development processes, maintain compliance and security controls, ensure the systems are safe from cybersecurity attacks and monitor IT operations. On the other hand, the job responsibilities of a software engineer include coordinating the installation of software for the clients, identifying issues with the developing standards and operating procedures of software, improving and maintaining existing codebases and review code changes and implementing technical designs. 

Skills required

A DevOps engineer must have awareness of Agile and DevOps principles, knowledge of programming languages, problem-solving skills and organizational skills. On the other hand, a software engineer must have knowledge of data structure and algorithms, proficiency in debugging large codebases and troubleshoot software issues, strong reasoning and analytical skills and the ability to work as a team. 

DevOps engineer vs. software engineer: Comparison Table 

Summary of DevOps engineer vs. software engineer

DevOps engineer refers to an Information Technology whose main role is to oversee the code releases and works with the operation side of an organization. On the other hand, a software engineer refers to a person who designs, develops, maintains, tests and evaluates computer software using the principles of software engineering and works separately from the operations functions of a business. Both, however, are computer science professionals and require programming languages knowledge. 

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References :


[0]Meyer B & Bruel J. Software Engineering Aspects of Continuous Development and New Paradigms of Software Production and Deployment: First International Workshop, DEVOPS 2018. Springer Publishers, 2019. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=EVmEDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA97&dq=Difference+between+DevOps+engineer+and+software+engineer&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiirt-H96TqAhULFRQKHSijBDAQ6AEwAHoECAMQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20DevOps%20engineer%20and%20software%20engineer&f=false

[1]Meyer B & Bruel J. Software Engineering Aspects of Continuous Development and New Paradigms of Software Production and Deployment: First International Workshop, DEVOPS 2018. Springer Publishers, 2019. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=EVmEDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA97&dq=Difference+between+DevOps+engineer+and+software+engineer&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiirt-H96TqAhULFRQKHSijBDAQ6AEwAHoECAMQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20DevOps%20engineer%20and%20software%20engineer&f=false

[2]Manzano C & Mejia J. Trends and Applications in Software Engineering: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Software Process Improvement (CIMPS 2019). Springer Nature Publishers, 2019. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=xCK3DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA52&dq=Difference+between+DevOps+engineer+and+software+engineer&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiirt-H96TqAhULFRQKHSijBDAQ6AEwAXoECAQQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20DevOps%20engineer%20and%20software%20engineer&f=false

[3]Shaun Michael Stone. Software engineers do what now?: Explore the world of Software engineering!. Shaun Michael Stone, 2020. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=lijLDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA30&dq=Difference+between+DevOps+engineer+and+software+engineer&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiirt-H96TqAhULFRQKHSijBDAQ6AEwAnoECAAQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20DevOps%20engineer%20and%20software%20engineer&f=false

[4]Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/female-software-engineer-coding-on-computer-3861972/

[5]Image credit: https://c0.wallpaperflare.com/preview/275/583/670/nigeria-lagos-engineer-software.jpg

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