Our Thinking
What is WebOps?
16 February 2016 | Posted by Daryl Porter

Ever considered a career in WebOps? Know what WebOps is? Ever heard of WebOps? If you answered “No” to any of those questions, then maybe this post can help.

I’m Daryl, and I’m a Senior WebOps engineer in Kainos. Recently, I have been involved in the planning of a new WebOps academy for Kainos, in the UK. We have run 3 of these academies out of our Poland office and they have been hugely successful. They help both new graduates and experienced systems engineers gain knowledge and experience with the automation tools we use day to day in the WebOps role. On completing the academy participants become full time WebOps Engineers within Kainos, but more on that later.

The idea of DevOps and the role of WebOps are still relatively new to the IT industry. And despite currently being one of the most sought after positions, there is still a level of mystery surrounding what the role actually entails. This combined with the fact that different people have different interpretations of what the role is, doesn’t help newcomers to the industry understand what this new discipline is, and indeed, why they may be interested in a career in the field.

This thought was confirmed after speaking to a number of students at various careers fairs who not only didn’t know what the WebOps role entailed, but had never heard of it, or indeed the wider known buzzword “DevOps”. Which is completely understandable, given the absence of any content relating to these subjects in current curriculums. So this blog will aim to give a quick view into what the WebOps role is here in Kainos.

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DEVOPS IS NOT A ROLE! This is something I can’t stress enough. DevOps is not a role, it is a culture. When I say culture I mean it is a way of working that the whole organization has to buy into, from Management to Ops to Dev to Security and Testing. It is about breaking down communication barriers and supporting collaborative working across multi-disciplinary teams, through the entire project lifecycle from design through development to production support.

WebOps fits into this DevOps culture as one of the capabilities within the multi-disciplinary teams mentioned above. The primary function of the WebOps role is to work alongside the development team to build software services that are easy to deploy, operate, scale and are performant and secure. We achieve this through automation.

Before the days of automation, without going into too much detail, the WebOps role would typically have been one of a systems or web administrator. It would have involved the manual configuration of all aspects of infrastructure such as: building virtual machines, configuring networks, securing platforms etc. Which if done manually, would be an incredibly repeatable, monotonous and difficult process to manage and maintain.

Tools such as Terraform, Vagrant, Puppet, Ansible and Jenkins (to name a few) allow us to automate every aspect of the infrastructure build through infrastructure as code. This eradicates the need for time to be spent completing mundane, monotonous tasks, therefore freeing up time to focus on developing and improving innovative solutions.

WebOps is a capability, not a silo. In the past, a lot of companies may have split their infrastructure roles into specialist sub-departments. So individuals may specialize in one area i.e. Networking, Security, Database Administration etc. WebOps is the opposite. In the WebOps role you get to work in all areas of infrastructure, allowing you to naturally progress further in areas which interest you more, while still gaining a broader knowledge across the spectrum.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, Kainos has a number of opportunities at the moment in both Belfast and London. Check them out on our vacancies page

I hope this has helped answer some of the questions you may have had around WebOps, even if you hadn’t realized it yet. And so again I’ll ask.

Ever considered a career in WebOps?

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