DevOps for Hire: Trends and Tips for Recruiting for DevOps
January 30, 2018

Flint Brenton
CollabNet

Without a doubt, DevOps is becoming the go-to strategy for organizations of all industries and sizes looking to master digital transformation and provide the fastest value to customers through software delivery. With this rise in popularity, it’s no wonder we are seeing a rapid increase of job listings for DevOps Engineer, DevOps Team Lead, etc. However, a topic that has come under contention recently is whether or not companies should be hiring for these specific titles.

It can be argued that hiring someone for a DevOps title outside the organization offers the spark and fresh perspective that moves a transformation from stagnant to successful. While many others argue that a DevOps lead should be fostered from within the company – someone that truly understands the tools, processes and culture and is dedicated to making it all more cohesive.

Regardless of what side of the argument you may be on, it is becoming clear that organizations adopting DevOps need a true leader (or engineer) to keep the transformation on track. The following are some tips when hiring for DevOps:

What to Look Out for on a Resume

Since DevOps is all about unifying tools, people and process, most often employers are looking for DevOps candidates with a well-rounded background. In today's world of disparate toolchains, having specific skills in a particular technology stack or development method is not as important as having shown interest in exploring multiple technologies. Candidates should demonstrate that they have been successful working cooperatively in a team and open to learning new skills, tools or processes. After all, willingness to think outside the box is what helps makes a DevOps transformation successful. Of course, this candidate could very well come from inside your organization as well.

Questions to Ask a Candidate

In most instances, it is relatively easy to find out within the first several minutes of an interview if someone is truly open to "reaching across the aisle" to work with disparate teams and tools. For instance, ask someone to describe a situation where they had to successfully work as a team to solve a problem, or perhaps a project where they needed to adapt to a new tool or process. If they haven't done either of these things, then taking on a role with "DevOps" in the title might not be the best fit. Again, this might get you thinking about who in your organization already has some of these attributes, or you might be thinking you need to bring someone on who does have these skills.

How Has DevOps Changed IT Hiring?

The very nature of DevOps is one of inclusivity and adaptability, therefore, it’s important to hire individuals who are adaptable and open to change. We need to think outside the box when looking for new team members and consider a more well-rounded skill set and the importance of people skills. This is a unique opportunity for workers to build a DevOps role from scratch — make sure it’s a position invaluable to the organization.

Whether you already have an internal champion who can lead your transformation, or you need to look for an outside source to provide the right skills for your journey, keeping these tips and trends in mind will be key to your success.

As with anything, DevOps will continue to evolve, adapt and grow as organizations face new challenges. While this thought can be daunting, it is equally exciting to be along for the ride! Your chosen DevOps leader will be there to guide you through it all.

Flint Brenton is CEO of CollabNet

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