I can't imagine an environment, other than say a juggernaut company (Google, Amazon, RackSpace, etc) that would require a full-time DevOps engineer. Most companies are delivering a simple service with modest needs. The reality is in these small environments is that their world is fairly small. These small environments rarely go over 50 machines and but a handful of services … so how many times can you automate something? How many new DevOps tasks can be created daily? How many different patterns can a DevOps engineer come across? I’ve done all of these and I quite frankly don’t see a great challenge in this field.
In the old days, it was an Architect/Team Lead/Sr Developer who figured out how to distribute a product, then the maintenance and upkeep of the installation scripts was later handed to developers of “less” capabilities. But the architect still reviewed and was keep abreast of installation changes. An Architect/Team Lead/Sr Developer should setup the intial design, scripts etc for use as “DevOps”, but DevOps is not a new engineering discipline. The DevOps tools are trivial to understand (kinda like InstallShield’s VB scripts) and easy to master. However, it does require an engineering discipline. Kids that are used to pushing buttons in NetOps can’t suddenly become an experienced coder … they know little of classical software development.
I disagree with the author implying that you should hire a DevOps engineer to do this work so that coders can “code”. The economies of scale are way off, this is something a that a junior developer masters so that he can spend more time coding. I wouldn't recommend companies spend so much on an employee performing a task that is trivial at best.
No, this task is a Developer’s job, and as a Developer, you better know about them. I won’t argue that mastering these tools are not time consuming, but if you want to master development, these tools had better be on your roadmap. Software Engineering is a new discipline, what we need to know increases over time and mastering this field is getting harder and harder … kinda like natural selection.