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The person responsible for the cohesion of developers and the operations team, commonly referred to as DevOps, has brought efficiencies to projects unlike past processes allowed. This trend has resulted in the DevOps engineer being a crucial member of the engineering team, and the result has been a strong increase by organizations employing a person with the necessary skill set.

With demand being high, the person must have the makeup to be viewed as desirable. Breaking down the needs of the position into different categories, LinuxCareer has identified the most requested skill in each of these. It is not to say every skill is a must, for there are tastes and preferences to each category, but merely a list of corporate need.

Operating System

Clearly the most obvious of the skills noted, Red Hat has been the dominant Linux operating system for years. And, with other closely aligned Linux based operating systems that are based off RHEL, CentOS, for example, will only increase its dominance. Based on numbers from Red Hat, Linux accounted for 70% of server deployments in 2018. And, it is safe to say that Red Hat and its clones would be responsible for a large portion of that.

Within the Linux market, for years it was reported that Red Hat had nearly 70% of that market, and it would seem likely that has continued, if not increased over time. The only unknown moving forward will depend on the effect of the IBM acquisition, but being that they have been partners for a long time, it would appear that this should not have any kind of adverse effect.


Another fairly obvious skill given it was the original member of the LAMP stack, MySQL has continued to thrive. The big change that has taken place over the years is the result of its acquisition by Oracle. Whereby the RedHat acquisition by IBM fell mostly on deaf ears, the Oracle purchase was met with more scepticism. As a result of their differences, most of the original MySQL team has moved onto an open source fork known as MariaDB.

For the true FLOSS supporters, their efforts have been behind MariaDB. So, while MySQL still leads the way at the moment, its marketshare is under more attack than RHEL in the Linux OS category. Only time will tell if MySQL will continue to lead, but with MariaDB being a fairly close clone, the skills should be easily transferable.

Scripting Language

Over the years, scripting languages seem to come and go. And this is one category where it seems personal preference is fairly important. Some engineers may prefer Bash while others Korn shell. While each of these has its pluses and minuses, much like our recent article referenced, Python is king. While it shows up in our data as the most requested scripting language, it is a chameleon of sorts. Therefore, having Python skills can assist an engineer in more ways than one.


Virtualization continues to be a key factor in the makeup of most engineering ecosystems even though it might not get the fanfare it once did. And, for a while, when one thought of virtualization, they thought of VMware. After all, it exceeded 75% market share at its peak. It is another example of an early mover in the space rising above its brethren, and it continues to enjoy a leadership position to this day. While virtualization has started to see a slow decline over the last couple of years, if there is a skill to have within this category, VMware is clearly the one.


Perhaps as important today as it has been with the Covid-19 shutdown, the ability for a developer to integrate his/her code with the production environment from a remote location has made Docker a must for DevOps engineers. These containers provide the developer an ability to package their code in a way that provides easy integration. With more and more engineering teams working remotely, and a need to have each of their coding preferences integrated seamlessly, Docker has become an essential tool.


A real surprise here. It nearly got to the point whereby people associated the word “cloud” with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Fortunately, for those of us that like some form of competition, Azure has made a big enough dent to keep AWS honest. However, it is still the gorilla in the room, and with the resources at its fingertips, it will be hard to supplant them. Needless to say, experience with AWS is never going to hurt you any time in the near future.


Back in April of this year, our piece informed the reader that there was a change occurring in automation. For years, Chef and Puppet ruled the roost in the automation space. But, it is now Ansible that is the leader. As we outlined back then, there seems to be a twofold reason for this.

First, it helps tremendously when you are part of the market leader, Red Hat. With the marketshare that the company has, it is inevitable that they are going to be one of the leaders of the group. Second, engineers have seemed to gravitate toward Ansible for its ease of use and flexibility. Engineering teams are able to be brought up to speed without the complexity of Chef or Puppet. These factors have allowed Ansible to take the top spot, with the possibility that its lead will increase in the coming quarters.

Application Development

It was only a few months ago when we notified the readers that Python is King! So, it may surprise you that we have decided to give the nod to Java in this category. Truth be told, both could be mentioned here. When Java experience is required for a particular position, it is generally for application development. However, due to the versatility of Python, the mere mention of that skill is not always for application based work.

Perfect example is it being the leader in scripting. Its multi-functioning ability and adaptability have allowed Python to be a contender in multiple arenas. Nonetheless, Java was the leader for such an extended period of time, and with their overall numbers being fairly close, a decision was made to keep Java as the leader in this category.

Version Control

The top ranked version control system, again from a corporate usage standpoint, is Git. Originally authored by Linus himself, it all arose from the dispute about BitKeeper back in 2005. The end result was the additions of Git and Mercurial to the version control atmosphere, and both have gained a lot of traction. But, out of those two, Git has pulled ahead. Always seems to help when you have Linus on your side.

This list of skills provides the DevOps engineers with the leading corporate usage trends in each category based on their job listings. Much of the data does not produce any headliners per se, however, it will be intriguing to watch the future results. There are a number of contenders in a few categories that are on the heals of the leaders. My bet is that the future list of the top skills will look different. Therefore, stay on your toes. The individual that can adapt to a changing culture generally fares better.

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