DevOps Engineer Vs. Systems Engineer

Devops engineers and systems engineers work within the tech field, but readers will see the differences between their annual wages, expected career growth, and main responsibilities.

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Comparing Devops Engineers to Systems Engineers

Devops engineers create software for consumers and private company use, and they make it easier for customers to access. Systems engineers, on the other hand, create an integrated amalgam of technological advancements.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)**
Devops Engineers Bachelor's Degree $91,230 (Development Operations/DevOps Engineer) 24% (Software Developers)
Systems Engineers Bachelor's Degree $75,644 9% (Computer Systems Analysts)

Sources: *Payscale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Devops Engineers vs. Systems Engineers

Devops engineers and systems engineers focus on technological advances and work primarily in office settings. Additionally, they both attempt to bring departments and teams together. Devops engineers connect software development teams with deployment teams. Systems engineers make it possible for employees in different departments to share information and work together more efficiently.

Devops Engineers

Devops engineers work with software development teams. Using programming languages like Java, they create cloud systems and other web-based applications, such as Netflix, that are readily available to customers. Their goal is ultimately to develop software that can be updated automatically without the user having to do much. They build automated systems that test the product and discover bugs quickly. This means these engineers have to develop a way to update this software remotely by building in pipelines that take new code to customers. Creating a product that is built of smaller units, or modules, makes this automation easier.

Job responsibilities of a devops engineer include:

  • Considering the ability of the software to grow as users save data to it
  • Placing all code changes into a single system that can be changed and tested
  • Tracking user feedback and responses to new versions of a product
  • Designing a setup environment for new users that is automated and intuitive

Systems Engineers

System engineers design computer systems that bring together software, hardware, and employees. First, they consider the company's current system and find gaps in productivity using data modeling, which gives them a look at the workflow. Working with executives, they develop a contract that outlines the issues the new system should improve and list the basic functions of the system. Systems engineers use this to estimate the cost of the project and develop visuals for programmers who may customize software for the company. Finally, these engineers monitor the work productivity and any problem reports from new systems in order to make further modifications.

Job responsibilities of a systems engineer include:

  • Gathering input for system specifications by interviewing end-users
  • Suggesting alternative system elements that may be cheaper
  • Developing and building prototypes
  • Supervising the integration of the system to ensure all the parts work together

Related Careers

Devops engineers and computer engineers both develop software that allows people to create documents, access the Internet, and play games, so it might be helpful to consider this alternative option. Additionally, systems engineers and IT managers each work to integrate employees and technology, and that is another promising future to explore.

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