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from what I've seen, the term 'devops' is generally used to pay a developer less than you would otherwise while getting more from them. I'm not sure how the math of that works out, but based on what I've seen, that's what happens.

My average "devops" engineer is paid the same as the senior-level engineers within my company.

Ditto. DevOps is charged out at the same comparative rate Sys Admin was 10 years a ago. Which makes sense - it's boring work and not as many people want to do it.

Boring is in the eye of the beholder. The biggest challenge I've found is that very few engineers have the depth to even attempt the job competently.

Most engineers simply don't have a meaningful understanding of the internals of large-scale environments.

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