Hiring a DevOps?

by Carlos Mendible on 15 Mar 2016 » Management, DevOps

Over the last couple of months, I’ve noticed that a lot of companies are trying to hire DevOps Engineers or DevOps Experts and I have to ask what are these companies looking for?

Reading some of the job descriptions I found out that some are looking for experts on the tooling associated with infrastructure automation such as Chef or Puppet while others search for Developers with infrastructure knowledge.

Some posts you can find all over internet suggest that those who want to become a DevOps should start to study the language associated with the automation platform of their choice.

Some IT academies go as far as specifying that a “DevOps Analyst” is someone with the following expertise: BPMN, ITIL Foundation, Cobit Foundation, Scrum, Microsoft Visual Studio, Suites DevOps (Puppet), CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Linux+, MCSA Windows Enterprise (70-688), MCSA Windows Server (70-411 and 70-412).

Do you see the problem with that? Is it a Dev or an Ops that organizations are looking for? Or a blend?

Now, I think that we all can agree that:

  • DevOps is a hot trend.
  • DevOps is a culture
  • DevOps is about people communicating with each other, collaborating, changing their mindset so it’s possible to improve and automate every process involved in software delivery.
  • DevOps is not a movement just about a specific ALM or automation toolset or about creating a new role or isolated team.

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So in my opinion it’s impossible to hire a DevOps. Just like hiring SCRUM Masters won’t make your organizations Agile, hiring an automation or an “all-in-one” expert won’t do the DevOps magic.

According to Puppet Labs 2015 State of DevOps Report: “DevOps initiatives launched solely by C-level executives or from the grassroots are less likely to succeed.” That gives us another clue that for organizations to implement a good DevOps practice they must change their culture in order to ease the collaboration between teams that usually work in their own silos. A change that no one can achieve on their own.

Organizations should be looking for people with the right set of “soft” skills: communication, teamwork, collaboration, problem solving, critical observation, conflict resolution, which all are core to DevOps.

Organizations should check their hiring processes, ask themselves, according to their needs, what and why are they looking for, and may even get surprised to learn that the people they need are right there, under their own umbrella.

This post was first published by SogetiLabs