Help Wanted

Help wanted: Finding the right DevOps talent

DevOps is a hot tech trend that has gained mainstream adoption. That means that many organizations are seeking the right DevOps talent to help them successfully embrace this new thing.

When a tech concept is just gaining traction, though, there aren’t many available candidates with “experience”, so what are companies supposed to look for and what skills can job seekers highlight to find the right DevOps talent match?

Because DevOps is a hot trend in IT, it makes sense that companies are seeking skilled DevOps talent and those looking for careers in IT are jumping on the DevOps bandwagon. These days you frequently see job listings looking for “DevOps experts” and résumés listing “DevOps” experience. But what exactly does that mean? What does a DevOps career path look like, and what skills are companies really looking for when hiring for DevOps roles?

DevOps is primarily a cultural shift that redefines how developers, IT operations, and other teams and individuals throughout the organization work together. That means the roles themselves already exist. While it makes sense on some level to say that you’re looking to fill such roles with people who have experience in a DevOps environment or with DevOps-oriented tools, embracing the trend doesn’t actually require creating or filling a role called “DevOps” anything.

Defining the term “DevOps expert”

“DevOps is a philosophy and a structure for improving development and operations,” explains Tom Limoncelli, SRE at Stack Overflow Careers and co-author of The Practice of Cloud System Administration. “So, it really wasn’t intended to be a job title. That said, companies are using it as one anyway.”

Limoncelli says that the job titles commonly seen in advertisements on include:

DevOps engineer: A role previously called release engineering. This is someone who automates the process of building, testing, and releasing source code into production. Automating this process for the first time can take months or years of work. Maintaining it is a big job, too. A really good DevOps engineer doesn’t just automate these things but creates and maintains a self-service system so that developers are empowered to do this on their own.

Site reliability engineer: Responsible for the operations of the service. People in this role keep sites reliable by minding performance, security, scalability, testing, deployment, and capacity planning.

One developer posed the question on Quora, “How can I become an expert at DevOps?” The responses weren’t very helpful because they all seemed to come with an agenda pitching some specific training solution. The underlying theme, however, revolved around familiarity and experience with common DevOps tools and platforms. A developer is a developer, and an IT operations guy is an IT operations guy, but a developer or IT operations guy who is proficient with Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Docker, and other DevOps-oriented tools can ostensibly call themselves a DevOps expert and get away with it.

Read the full post at TechBeacon: Hiring for DevOps: Look beyond the gurus and ninjas.

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