How to Build Out a DevOps Team for $4K / mo

DevOps Teams
DevOps Teams

When should a company committed to digital transformation begin building out a DevOps team? The answer is ASAP. However, without the proper plan and critical DevOps experts on board, many early DevOps programs are like ships drifting in the ocean without a compass. Not to mention the challenge of finding the right mix of talent to fill out the minimum roles for a core DevOps team structure.

Implementing DevOps requires not only a technical shift but also a cultural shift within your company. DevOps is as much a mindset as it is a process. Properly implemented, it becomes part of a company’s DNA. The question many engineering managers have today is, “Where to Start?”

This article proposes a cost-effective and measured approach to launching a DevOps team from scratch, leveraging domain experts to build the foundation of a successful DevOps team and culture.

DevOps – Where to Start?

An effective DevOps team requires many roles spanning many disciplines.

  1. The DevOps Evangelist: A DevOps evangelist acts as the change agent, leading the DevOps journey and ensuring that the required cultural shift is happening across the organization. In this way, everyone will be aware of their roles and responsibilities.
  2. The Release Manager: Responsible for the entire release lifecycle from planning, scheduling, automating, and managing continuous delivery environments. The release manager takes on overall coordination and management of the organization’s projects and products.
  3. The DevOps / CloudOps Architect: Analyze existing software development processes and optimize a DevOps CI/CD pipeline to build and deliver software rapidly.
  4. The Software Developer / Tester: Unlike traditional software developers who write the code to build a product, the DevOps software developer/tester handles the code across the product lifecycle. 
  5. The Security Engineer: The security engineer works with the development teams to integrate security into the CI/CD pipeline, ensuring security is not compromised at any stage of the lifecycle.

The challenge facing companies wishing to build out a DevOps team early is clear: That’s an expensive set of diverse skills that are hard to find in today’s competitive market. How can a company hire and absorb the salaries of an entire DevOps team? It’s simply not feasible for most small and mid-market companies.

A more measured, cost-effective approach is needed.

Having Your DevOps Cake & Eating it Too

As a small to mid-market company, you can launch a DevOps team very early in the process, and still afford it. Consider the following best practices.

  1. Start with a Part-Time Team
  2. Leverage DevOps Partners
  3. Look for ways to reduce costs elsewhere
  4. Build an Internal Team Slowly and Deliberately

1. Starting With a Part-Time Team

For most small-medium companies, hiring an entire DevOps team from the start is cost-prohibitive, and it’s arguable whether or not the team will be fully utilized. Start with a part-time team of experts and build from there. One option is leveraging partners.

2. Leverage DevOps Partners

There are many service providers that offer DevOps as a Service (DaaS). Leveraging these partners to get your DevOps program off the ground in the early stages is not only effective but it can save you a lot of money. You can always build your own team over time, leveraging the foundation that your DevOps partner helped build.

3. Look for Ways to Reduce Costs Elsewhere

One strategy to help reduce the cost of building a DevOps team is to put them in charge of your 24×7 Cloud Monitoring while they build your DevOps program. What better expertise to run your cloud monitoring than DevOps Engineers? And you’ll save thousands of dollars a month in the process.

4. Build an Internal Team Slowly & Deliberately

Using DevOps Partners who offer “DevOps as a Service” can allow you to build your internal team slowly and deliberately over time. You will be able to hire the perfect team with this approach, without hyper-scaling during a tight labor market for these “in-demand” roles.

Summary: When is the Right Time to Begin Scaling Your DevOps Team?

If you are a startup, the best time to launch your DevOps core team is right when you begin converting that MVP Software into production software. Established companies converting their monolithic software to microservices will also want to build out their DevOps teams at the planning stage, as you can’t do Microservices without DevOps.

Cloud App Developers can help you jump-start your DevOps Journey. See our exclusive offer below.

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DevOps – A Super Brief Introduction

WHAT IS DevOps? DevOps practices enable multiple teams (Development, Operations, IT, Quality & Security) to better coordinate their efforts to produce superior products, faster. We hope you find this article, DevOps – A Super Brief Introduction, interesting and helpful.

BENEFITS OF DevOps? DevOps practices enable High-Performing Teams to increase customer satisfaction & facilitate:

  • Accelerated Time-to-Market
  • Improved Adaptation to Market & Competition
  • Maintenance of System Reliability
  • Improved Mean Time of Recovery


DevOps has four phases; PLAN, DEVELOP, DELIVER & OPERATE. Each phase is involved with & relies upon the others to some extent.


During the Plan Phase, DevOps teams define & describe the applications & systems to be built. Progress is tracked at low & high levels of granularity – from single-products tasks to tasks that span portfolios of multiple products. Planning methods include creating backlogs, bug tracking, agile software dev with Scrum, dashboards, etc.


During the Develop Phase, the DevOps team writes, tests, reviews & integrate the code. This includes building the code into build artifacts usable in multiple environments. To increase the pace of development, the DevOps teams use a variety of productivity & automation tools & practice continuous integration using automated testing. 


Deploying applications into production environments in a consistent & reliable way is what makes DevOps so powerful. During the Deliver Phase, the DevOps team clearly defines the release management process, which include manual approval stages. Automation helps make these processes scalable, repeatable & controllable as the applications move between development phases.


During the Operate Phase, applications in production environments are maintained, monitored & troubleshot/diagnosed as necessary. By adopting DevOps, teams work to ensure high system reliability & availability while aiming to achieve zero downtime. DevOps teams endeavor to identify & mitigate issues before they affect the customer experience.


Cultivating a DevOps culture begins with the people within it. When organizations commit to DevOps they can create the opportunity for high-performing teams to develop, which enables automation & process optimization through technology.


Real implementation of DevOps helps to accelerate, automate & improve specific practices during the application lifecycle.


Configuration management tools help development teams roll out changes in a systematic, controlled fashion, which reduces the risk of system modification. These tools also enable dev teams to track system state & configuration drift. Practiced in conjunction with Infrastructure as Code (IaC), system definition & configuration are easily templated & automated.    


The adoption of The Cloud has transformed the way development teams build, deploy & operate applications. By adopting DevOps practices, development teams have a great opportunity to improve & better serve their customers.

Cloud Agility

Development teams can quickly configure & provision cloud environments & gain great agility in deployment of apps. No longer do teams have to buy, configure & maintain physical servers. Teams can very quickly create complex cloud environments & shut down when no longer needed.


More applications are using containers & Kubernetes is viewed as the industry solution for containers at scale. Automating the process of building & deploying containers with CI/CD pipelines & monitoring these containers are essential practices in the age of Kubernetes.

Serverless Computing

Moving the management of infrastructure to the cloud provider enables development teams to focus on their apps. Serverless computing can run apps without the need to configure & maintain servers, while reducing the risk & complexity of deployment & operations.


At first, DevOps can be a bit overwhelming. A key to success is to start small & to learn from the experiences of others. The Cloud App Developers teams have a enjoyed a great deal of success in building & deploying cloud apps & we are happy to guide & assist you in your business / digital transformation.