Principal DevOps Engineer


A principal DevOps engineer leads and plans development across large or multiple teams, defining the strategic vision for delivery.

At this role level, you will:

  • identify, test and champion the adoption of emerging technologies

  • ensure that security, stability and capacity are embedded in the development and deployment of services

  • develop a team’s capability by rewarding high performers

  • shape career paths and recruit the right talent

  • identify skills gaps and important dependencies within technical teams


Background Components

Description Background

Takes a logical, analytical approach to problem solving and pays close attention to detail. Has acquired an understanding of information systems concepts and practices, particularly those used within own organisation, and development standards in use across the industry. Has a good knowledge of own organisation’s policy framework, management structures and reporting procedures for all aspects of systems development.

Prior Knowledge and Skills

Work Activity Components

Title Details


Assesses and documents the impacts, threats and opportunities to the organisation of specific technologies, products, services, methods and techniques. Considers their applicability within business and IT strategy, and their potential to influence strategy.

Barriers and impediments

Identifies barriers to progress and offers suggestions on how to address them. Provides advice to senior teams on why barriers should be addressed and the actions required

Team performance

Helps leadership teams develop shared responsibilities and make decisions which enable sustainable agreements. Champions self-organising workgroups.

Workshop design

Designs senior management/stakeholder workshops to address leadership team processes such as decision making, prioritisation, and problem solving at the highest level. Identifies key objectives, sets the agenda, the tools to be used, and the approach to be taken.

Workshop facilitation

Facilitates cross functional senior management and leadership team workshops, on a continuous basis, to deliver defined goals and outcomes.

Development needs

Determines development needs for a professional practice area. Aligns development activities with organisational priorities, learning and development strategies and career pathways.

Communities of practice

Promotes the establishment and ongoing development of one or more community of practice (CoP). Encourages participation and ensures alignment with organisational needs.

Policy, standards and guidelines

Develops organisational policies, standards and guidelines for software construction and

Reviews and monitors

Assesses effectiveness of organisational policies, standards and guidelines for software delivery.

Planning and leadership

Plans and leads software construction activities for strategic, large and complex development projects.

Methods and tools

Champions high standards in all aspects of the interaction between users and the organisation’s systems, products and services including involvement of users in evaluation activities.


Knowledge/Skills Components

Title Depth Details Type

Conceptual Thinking

Acquiring understanding and insights regarding the underlying issues in complex problems or situations through the development of abstract representations, the identification of patterns and the analysis of hypotheses.

Behavioural Skills


Taking innovative approaches to problem solving and/or devising inventive and creative solutions.

Behavioural Skills

Cross-Functional and Inter-Disciplinary Awareness

Understanding the needs, objectives and constraints of those in other disciplines and functions.

Behavioural Skills


Working collaboratively with others to achieve a common goal.



Clearly articulating goals and objectives and motivating and leading others towards their achievement.

Behavioural Skills

Follow-up and Monitoring

Checking progress against targets, taking action to resolve exceptions/ issues and reporting and escalating where necessary.

Behavioural Skills

Application Systems

Expert in

Technical or functional understanding of Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) applications and/or other bespoke software deployed within the organisation in order to provide system configuration, audit, technical, and/or functional support.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Application Development Tools

Expert in

Software tools which automate or assist part of the development process.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Configuration Management

Proficient in

The discipline that gives precise control over IT assets and components by recording and maintaining information about the ‘configuration items’, including hardware devices, computer programs, software licences, documentation, network devices, and data centre facilities (virtualised and static).

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Programming Languages

Expert in

A set of codes and syntax (supported by software tools) that enables the unambiguous translation of specified functionality into source code for the creation of computer programs.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Operational/Service Architecture

Proficient in

Knowledge of the IT/IS infrastructure and the IT applications and service processes used within own organisation, including those associated with sustainability and efficiency.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Structured Reviews

Expert in

Methods and techniques for structured reviews, including reviews of technical work products, test plans, business cases, architectures and any other key deliverables.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Software Testing Tools

Expert in

Software tools which automate or assist any part of the testing process across all or part of the testing lifecycle.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Product Evaluation and Selection

Familiar with

The analytical comparison of IT products against specified criteria (including costs) to determine the solution that best meets the business need.

Technical Knowledge and Skills


Expert in

Software which forms part of the operating platform infrastructure.

Technical Knowledge and Skills


Expert in

The collaborative approach consisting of agile practices, processes, and procedures designed to facilitate rapid IT service and product delivery. DevOps emphasizes people (and culture) and seeks to improve collaboration between development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams with the aim of shortening the systems development life cycle to provide continuous release of high-quality software.

Technical Knowledge and Skills


Expert in

A collection of methods, practises, tools and techniques, underpinned by the Agile Manifesto, that enable teams to deliver high value products and services in small, workable, increments. An Agile culture typically encompasses concepts such as Servant-Leaders; ceremonies, Stand-Ups, Sprints and Retrospectives; and the deployment of tools and techniques such as Backlogs and A/B Testing.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Techniques for Effective Meetings

Expert in

Methods and techniques for running effective meetings and for understanding and influencing the roles played by participants.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Coaching Techniques

Proficient in

Methods and techniques for coaching individuals or groups by a balanced combination of support and direction, including use of virtual learning environments plus add-ons to augment feedback specific to work items, workflow or career plans.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Standards Writing Techniques

Proficient in

Principles, methods and techniques for establishing, documenting, and maintaining standards.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Project Planning and Control Techniques

Proficient in

Methods and techniques associated with planning and monitoring progress of projects.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Own Organisation’s Learning and Development Procedures

Familiar with

The procedures used within own organisation for staff learning and development.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Training Activities

Training Components

Title Details

Corporate Policies, Standards, Procedures, Guidelines and Tools

Policies, standards, procedures, guidelines, software tools and operating system facilities used in everyday work.


Concepts, methods and techniques for providing coaching in subject specialisms to individuals or groups (e.g. GROW model).

Career/Talent Development Methods and Tools

The background, purpose and approach of the organisation’s career/talent development strategies and programmes. Their fundamental elements — competency and L&D frameworks, such as SFIAplus; talent management and development planning processes and tools; scheme administration and management; roles and responsibilities; and communication of the benefits.


Methods and techniques for providing mentoring support to less experienced individuals.

Latest Cyber Security Threats for Senior Execs

Short, high-level, up-to-date and to-the-point briefing on the latest threats and vulnerabilities in cyber security.


PDA Components

Title Details

Job Shadowing and Special Assignments

Undertaking temporary periods or secondments in other roles, inside or outside IT, particularly those that offer a new perspective on own function or exposure to other environments and cultures.

Project Assignments

Participating in a project team, working group or task force established to deliver a solution to a specific problem or issue – especially valuable if the group is inter-disciplinary.


Acting as a mentor, advising those for whom there is no direct responsibility, on matters to do with their job role, career and professional development.

Gaining Knowledge of Broader IT Issues

Increasing and maintaining currency of knowledge of broader IT issues through reading, attending and participating in seminars or conferences, special studies, temporary assignments etc.

Gaining Strategic Knowledge of Employing Organisation

Developing a comprehensive understanding of the business environment in which the employing organisation operates and its position, policies and direction in relation to industry, country and global issues.

Gaining Knowledge of Standards and Legislation

Gaining and maintaining knowledge of relevant national and international standards and legislation.

Participation in Professional Body Affairs

Taking an active part in professional body affairs at branch, specialist group, committee or board level.


Qualification Components

Title Awarding Body

Chartered IT Professional (CITP)

BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT

FEDIP Leading Practitioner


EXIN DevOps Master


Organisation Skills

Framework » Organisation
Category » Subcategory
Skill Name and Description Level

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Availability and capacity management

You can define, analyse, plan, forecast, measure, maintain and improve all aspects of the availability of services, including power. You can control and manage service availability to meet business needs cost-effectively, including managing the capability, functionality and sustainability of service components (such as hardware, software, network resources, and software or infrastructure as a service).

3 – Practitioner

You can ensure the correct implementation of standards and procedures. You can identify capacity issues and stipulate and instigate the required changes. You can initiate remedial action.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Development process optimisation

You can identify opportunities for improving the development process, make these improvements and evaluate their success. You can work with others to select and implement tools and practices to build confidence and reduce risk in each stage of the software development life cycle (from planning and prioritisation through to build, test, deployment and monitoring).

3 – Practitioner

You can analyse current processes. You can identify and implement opportunities to optimise processes. You can lead and develop a team of experts to deliver service improvements. You can help to evaluate and establish requirements for the implementation of changes by setting policy and standards.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Information security

You can maintain the security, confidentiality and integrity of information systems through compliance with relevant legislation and regulations. You can design, implement and operate controls and management strategies to allow this.

4 – Expert

You can demonstrate in-depth knowledge of information security. You can design, quality review and quality assure solutions and services with security controls embedded, specifically engineered with mitigation of security threats as a core feature.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Modern standards approach

You can apply a modern standards approach throughout automation and testing.

4 – Expert

You can demonstrate a strong understanding of the most appropriate modern standards and practices, and how they are applied. You can coach and guide others in these standards.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Programming and build (software engineering)

You can use agreed security standards and specifications to design, create, test and document new or amended software.

3 – Practitioner

You can collaborate with others when necessary to review specifications. You can use the agreed specifications to design, code, test and document programs or scripts of medium-to-high complexity, using the right standards and tools.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Prototyping

You can apply technical knowledge and experience to create or design workable prototypes, both programs and physical outputs. You can understand parameters, restrictions and synergies.

4 – Expert

You can use a variety of prototyping methods. You can share best practice and coach others. You can look at strategic service design end to end.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Service support

You can maintain and support services.

4 – Expert

You can demonstrate a breadth of understanding of service support.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Systems design

You can create the specification and design of systems to meet defined business needs. You can work with business and technology stakeholders to translate business problems into technical designs. You can visualise the ideal user service and come up with design ideas and possible design approaches. You can effectively explore different approaches to solving problems.

3 – Practitioner

You can design systems characterised by medium levels of risk, impact, and business or technical complexity. You can select appropriate design standards, methods and tools, and ensure they are applied effectively. You can review the systems designs of others to ensure the selection of appropriate technology, efficient use of resources and integration of multiple systems and technology.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Systems integration

You can identify integration points between systems and processes, designing data contracts and communication between the components. You can make use of modern design patterns that reduce risk and complexity where possible. You can perform integration tests as part of the development process, drawing on suitable testing frameworks and methodologies.

4 – Expert

You can establish standards and procedures across a service product life cycle, including the development product life cycle, and can ensure that practitioners adhere to these. You can manage resources to ensure that the systems integration function works effectively.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – User focus

You can understand users and identify who they are and what their needs are, based on evidence. You can translate user stories and propose design approaches or services to meet these needs. You can engage in meaningful interactions and relationships with users. You can show that you put users first and can manage competing priorities.

3 – Practitioner

You can collaborate with user researchers and can represent users internally. You can explain the difference between user needs and the desires of the user. You can champion user research to focus on all users. You can prioritise and define approaches to understand the user story, guiding others in doing so. You can offer recommendations on the best tools and

This job role profile was created in collaboration with BCS, using Role Model Plus. BCS is the professional body that has the responsibility of updating this job family.

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