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What’s The Difference Between A DevOps Consultant And A DevOps Engineer?

by : OpSourced Support Team
April 25, 2023

DevOps offers a variety of benefits for businesses, including faster delivery and improved productivity. Deciding between an engineer or consultant could be confusing and overwhelming for people who are just starting their DevOps journey.

Consultants and engineers can be similar, but they also offer a few different benefits. For people who are unfamiliar with DevOps, a consultant is a great way to start without over-committing. If you have an in-house DevOps engineer and are dealing with some of the challenges of that style of DevOps, a consultant may be a good way to improve focus and narrow the scope of the projects or direct those efforts toward more productive ends.

In this article, we cover the basic differences between the two different working relationships that are most common in the DevOps industry and how to choose between the two to get the most benefits for your company.

Need a more personalized opinion on your DevOps implementation? Contact OpSourced today to learn more about how our highly trained team of consultants may be able to help your business.

What Is a DevOps Engineer?

A DevOps engineer is a separate DevOps role that works as part of your team. They are typically a full-time employee who functions as a member of your internal team that brings the experience of working in DevOps to your company and works closely with the rest of your team on the tooling and automation necessary to keep these workflows operational.

The job description of a DevOps engineer can vary pretty significantly between companies, but they’re usually associated with software delivery and operations with a focus on day-to-day operations, tooling, automation, monitoring, and alert response.

What Is a DevOps Consultant?

A DevOps consultant is an outside consultant that’s brought in to provide direction or give insight or staff augmentation on specific projects. Companies may also bring in consultants to address a particular concern or if they need fast support for an infrastructure or application delivery/availability issue. Consultants can fulfill almost any need regardless of its size.

There are also different types of DevOps consultants who specialize in different areas of DevOps implementation and maintenance. Depending on your needs, some consultants may be a better fit for your company over others.

Pros and Cons of DevOps Engineers vs. DevOps Consultants

DevOps Engineers and Consultants offer a variety of benefits. The two types of positions share a lot of similarities but also a few key details.

Pros of DevOps Engineers
With a DevOps Engineer, you are hiring someone to be a full-time member of your staff. Because they are part of your staff, you have a lot of control over what they do. You can dictate what they do and how they get the work done. As part of their role as your employee, you can expect and require frequent communication and updates.

Cons of DevOps Engineers
Because working as a full-time DevOps employee of a singular company, your DevOps Engineer may be somewhat isolated from shared knowledge or other experts in the DevOps community. This could mean that someone you hire as a DevOps Engineer may have a need for training or a limited scope of knowledge and most certainly have a bias for familiar tooling regardless of best practices. They may also struggle with troubleshooting issues because of a lack of access to others with experience and knowledge in their field.

Pros of DevOps Consultants
Because DevOps Consultants are consultants and are only hired for a specific need, they come with a lower cost than is associated with DevOps Engineers. Their experience working in a variety of different business infrastructures means that DevOps Consultants have a higher level of experience than typical DevOps Engineers and have built out processes that work well across industries and companies. They also have an awareness of common pitfalls and issues in systems and know of ways to build out systems to avoid those. Because DevOps Consultants usually work with a team of consultants, they will have access to their entire team of experienced consultants to troubleshoot problems with.

Cons of DevOps Consultants
The nature of consultants means that the business that hires them has less control and say over how they complete your deliverables. Rather than training a full-time employee on how your business processes work, you will have to fit a DevOps Consultant into your working processes. Some DevOps Consultants can be less communicative, and the deliverables unclear. A common concern that companies may have about hiring a DevOps Consultant is privacy. At OpSourced, we use comprehensive background checks and individualized NDAs and Business Operating Agreements to ensure the privacy of the businesses we work with. We also set up a shared Slack channel with your team and our entire team of DevOps Consultants as soon as work begins so that our team can be accessible to your team for any needs or questions you may have.

Hire a DevOps Consultant Today

DevOps consultants offer a variety of services and expertise. If you’re new to DevOps and aren’t sure exactly what you need in terms of experience or skill, working with a consultant is a great option. They offer a broad range of experience that allows them to work on a variety of project types and scopes.

If you’re ready to invest in the success of your company, Contact OpSourced today to learn more about how a DevOps consultant can help your business.

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