Hiring for DevOps

DevOps is an enterprise IT trend sweeping the world. That’s because, nowadays, employees, end users and consumers demand instant access to the greatest tools and solutions. So, organizations have merged their development and operations teams together to create a single department dedicated to the frequent improvement of software and continued assurance of high quality in that regard. DevOps is predicated on collaboration and communication, and relies on a hard-working team of IT professionals that have skill sets in a variety of technologies.

While it’s certainly easy to talk about the principles of practicing DevOps, that discussion has happened a hundred times. It’s more interesting to look at what DevOps has done to companies leveraging it as a development technique and how organizations can discover and hire the best DevOps talents.

DevOps equals success
Hiring managers couldn’t care less about the technical nuances of DevOps. Instead, they want to ensure that by focusing on hiring IT pros with DevOps skills, their employers will be successful. The short answer to the question of DevOps efficacy is that businesses certainly benefit from these practices.

“Businesses practicing DevOps experience 60% fewer failed implementations.”

A report from Puppet Labs discovered that organizations that take advantage of DevOps are “top performers” in their industries. According to the source, as a result of DevOps adoption and compared to the worst performers, those companies:

  • Deploy new code 30 times more often
  • Get code running in production environments 200 times quicker.
  • Experience 60 percent fewer failed implementations.
  • Recover from outages 168 times faster.

“The 2015 State of DevOps Report showed that high-performing IT organizations are more agile, more reliable and ultimately drive real business value,” said Nigel Kersten, chief information officer at Puppet Labs.

And that’s not all that DevOps has to offer. A study conducted by CA Technologies found that organizations leveraging DevOps strategies saw a 21 percent improvement in ability to provide new software, support for applications and collaboration among different business teams. Additionally, DevOps practitioners increased their bottom lines by 19 percent and boosted their applications’ performance by the same margin.

A lack of DevOps skills
It’s clear that DevOps should play a role in enterprise IT, but many organizations struggle to hire teams to get the most out of their DevOps approach to app development. According to ZDNet, which cited a different CA Technologies report, 87 of companies said that having IT pros with talents favoring DevOps practices is “important.” Yet despite that belief, only 24 percent of businesses have onboarded DevOps-skilled individuals.

The key to DevOps is constant quality assurance.
Key to DevOps

The key to DevOps is constant quality assurance.

In some ways, it’s difficult to find IT pros familiar with DevOps. Cloud Tech reported that since “formal skills requirements” for DevOps evolve constantly, it’s hard to pinpoint specific tech talents that all DevOps team members need. In that regard, the source explained that “flexible, adaptable and cross-functional” IT pros are some of the best people to hire. Obviously, anyone with those traits would command a larger salary and have their pick of where to work.

This fact is supported by data from Puppet Labs. The company highlighted the salaries of DevOps-skilled IT pros:

  • Twenty-nine percent of DevOps engineers earn between $75,000 and $99,000 each year.
  • Thirty-three percent of those individuals are paid salaries ranging from $100,000 to $124,000.
  • Fifteen percent command a paycheck that is worth between $125,000 and $150,000.
  • And 7 percent of DevOps engineers rake in over $150,000 every year.

What to look for
So, if hiring someone familiar with DevOps is difficult and salaries for DevOps-skilled IT pros have skyrocketed, what can organizations do? Cloud Tech suggested a good solution.

The source said that a potential new hire who might be lacking in the DevOps department should still remain in the running for the open role. After all, it explained, the best IT pros learn on the job, and those experiences could prove more valuable, especially if the people in question make mistakes.

“Potential DevOps talent should ‘think in code.'”

Therefore, hiring managers should look for IT pros with some skills that aren’t so DevOps-related, since those individuals can become major players in DevOps with some experience with it. InfoWorld contributor Adam Bertram listed nine talents that people could possess that make them perfect DevOps practitioners. For one, IT pros should be willing to accept change, Bertram said, because DevOps is all about continuous adjustment and improvement. Secondly, it’s necessary for teams to imagine scalability – DevOps techniques ensure that software and tools can scale with end users’ needs.

Perhaps most importantly, Bertram asserted that potential DevOps talent should “think in code.” For programmers that’s easy, but for others, this might be a challenge since, traditionally, there are software and hardware. In DevOps, Bertram wrote, even infrastructure should be considered to be pieces of code.

For hiring managers, DevOps might not seem important, but in the coming months and years, as more businesses adopt this development strategy, a keen understanding of what it takes to find a DevOps master is required.

Hiring for DevOps
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