4 Ways to Increase Your Income as a DevOps Engineer

4 Ways to Increase Your Income as a DevOps Engineer

Increasing your income as a DevOps Engineer boils down to one main thing: Deliver more value.

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 min read

Let’s break it down.

#1 - Deliver more value as a DevOps Engineer - What does it mean?

It means paying attention to the needs of the company you work in and aligning your DevOps Engineering with those needs.
It’s easy to get distracted by shiny things. New technologies and tools are released on a daily basis, and it makes it harder to focus on what’s important.
The company you work in has its goals - what are they? and how can you help as a DevOps Engineer?

  1. Talk to people in the company and understand where the bottlenecks are
  2. Understand how you can save your company resources while improving its quality using DevOps
  3. Write a list of challenges and order them by how painful they are
  4. Built a list of solutions to those challenges and divide them by effort required and expected impact
  5. Work on the lowest-effort & highest-impact tasks first
  6. Find people inside or outside the company to help build and execute your improvement plan
MeteorOps DevOps Engineers Looking for a DevOps Challenge
Real Footage of DevOps Engineers Searching for Challenges (Reuters)

#1.1 - What DevOps challenges should you look for?

Technically, you could choose any challenge, but it’d be weird if you started fixing the coffee machine (even if it’s extremely helpful).
Instead, start by asking yourself what’s expected of you.
DevOps is different in every company, but usually, the case is this:

  1. You help developers build the system faster
  2. You enable building highly-available and scalable infrastructure
  3. You make the systems observable
  4. You help keep the system secure
  5. You enable storing and retrieving data
  6. You support the developing architecture’s needs

This list could go on, but use it to ask yourself: “What’s expected of me?”

A Proactive DevOps Engineer (Behind him is his boss, realizing the company is now limitless thanks to its DevOps Engineer)

#1.2 - What will you gain from looking for DevOps Challenges & Solutions?

Talking to your clients (the team), Revealing a gap in the company, Planning a solution for the gap, Implementing the solution, and consequently helping your company reach its goals, all make you a valuable asset to the company.
Do this on repeat, and you’ll unlock being valuable everywhere you go.
It would help you negotiate your next raise, get promoted, negotiate a better salary, and perhaps build something of your own.

An Extremely Up-to-Date DevOps Engineer

#2 - Stay up-to-date!

While focusing on the new shiny thing isn’t always good, sometimes it is.
It doesn’t mean you need to adopt every new tool that gets released, but tuning in to good DevOps content never hurts!
Staying up-to-date equips you with the latest DevOps engineering developments, and helps you solve complex challenges faster.

Some things you could do:

  1. Sign-up for DevOps Newsletters to learn about what’s new
  2. Tune in for trending tools
  3. Learn from a DevOps consultant to get perspective from other companies

If you have an interesting source for staying on top of the latest DevOps developments, would love to hear your take on it in the comments!

A DevOps Freelancer Learning From Multiple Projects & Saving to Buy a House

#3 - Sharpen your skills & Increase your income

Working in the same company for a long time makes you an expert in its tech stack and domain.
But, you’re missing lots of knowledge, perspective, and extra income you could get.
Helping companies as a freelancer is a great way to practically learn new things and earn more.

Some paths you could take:

  1. Do DevOps freelancing projects with MeteorOps
  2. Do DevOps projects on websites like Freelancer
  3. Bundle your knowledge into a DevOps course and sell it
DevOps Engineering Community (With social distancing)

#4 - Provide value to the community

You’ve learned a lot, why keep it to yourself?
Becoming active in the DevOps community helps you build trust with other DevOps engineers, and get exposed to more opportunities.
That’s because contributing to the community helps other people and companies, and makes other people appreciate you more.
It also forces you to bundle knowledge in a deliverable way and makes you think more deeply about your work.

Some ways to contribute to the community:

  1. Contribute to open-source projects
  2. Create DevOps Engineering content
  3. Speak at conferences

To summarize

There are many ways you could increase your income as a DevOps Engineer, and they all have one thing in common: Become a more valuable DevOps Engineer.
It includes working extra hours as a DevOps Freelancer and taking on DevOps Projects, helping the DevOps community, consuming and creating great content, and more.

P.S. - it’s not a DevOps article if it doesn’t mention Terraform, Kubernetes, Kafka, or MySQL.