10 Tips to Remember while Hiring DevOps Engineer


10 Tips for Hiring DevOps Engineer

Hiring DevOps engineer is the latest trend in the IT industry today. DevOps means different things to different people, and finding the right skill set for hiring DevOps engineers for your company is going to be entirely down to your specific needs. Hence, the role of a DevOps engineer is pretty subjective Today, a DevOps engineer is highly demanding in the market and it creates the need for hiring DevOps engineers for IT solutions.

The success of DevOps creates intense competition for hiring DevOps engineers among companies. You might be wondering what makes DevOps engineers so special, what do they actually do, what are DevOps engineer roles and responsibilities, why do you need them, where can you find them and what should you be looking for when hiring DevOps Engineers.

This blog will hopefully demystify some of those points for you. Let’s see which are the 10 points to keep in mind while hiring DevOps engineers:

1. Fundamental Development and Operation Skills

‘DevOps’ which originated as a combined expression of ‘software DEVelopment’ and ‘information technology OPerationS’, describes a methodology and supporting tools (DevOps Tools) that invite active and continuous collaboration between software developers and an overall cost of IT operations professionals such as DBAs, network administrators, security specialists, and system programmers.

Apart from having a burning passion for scripting and coding, DevOps engineers must be flexible and collaborative to engage with the entire team to carry out the process of development and operations successfully.

When narrowing down the possible options for hiring DevOps engineers, it’s useful to start with the broad range of core fundamentals that every DevOps engineer should have in their repertoire:

  • Virtualization Expertise
  • Comprehensive System build
  • Scripting and coding skills
  • Substantial IT Knowledge
  • Continuous delivery or integration

2. Automation Expertise

It is one of the responsibilities of a DevOps engineer to ensure automation at every level of the project possible. Debugging every little code is tiring, therefore Automation counts as a core DevOps engineer skill to save time in solving technical problems at the micro-level. Automation is one of the key DevOps engineer skills.

For hiring DevOps engineers, it is important to find out how much your candidate is skillful in solving business and technical problems by automating stuff. The ability to continuously develop and integrate new systems and operations into the code is a key skill to be checked while hiring DevOps engineers.

Achieving continuous delivery is one of the foremost DevOps engineer roles and responsibilities. A good DevOps engineer can compare and contrast automation tools and knows the difference between Unit, Acceptance and Integration tests, and has experience in each. They will also clearly be able to explain why testing is so important.

Recommended Reading: Top 10 DevOps Engineers around the World

The real power of a DevOps developer is in his/her skills with automation tools. Basically, DevOps engineers need to have an intimate knowledge of Chef and Puppet, the two most popular configuration management systems.

At the time of hiring DevOps engineers, ask your candidate about their favorite scripts they’re particularly proud of and whether they’re able to branch code, write code, test code, commit code and deploy code across two dozen servers without blinking an eye. If one can do this, he’s the one.

3. Flexible Learner

In the field of ever-changing technologies, everyday something new is coming up and to pace with the upcoming technologies, one needs to be kept updated. Therefore, a DevOps engineer needs to be a quick learner.

A good DevOps engineer is the one who has the capacity to learn new technologies, someone who never stops learning and keeps on updating his knowledge base and skill set with the market trends. DevOps, agile, lean, Kanban are sets of behavioral and cultural skills and checklists.

DevOps focuses on modernizing teams before technologies. They should be flexible enough to move from one area of software construction to another, be it integration, testing, releasing or deployment. A DevOps engineer must have flexible working skills and adapt to the changing code, technologies and the client’s needs.

DevOps isn’t just about introducing your organization or project to the benefits of Lean/Agile, rather, it’s also about encouraging your team to self-improvement and by learning new things and hence empowering them towards the process development by means of visualization, iteration and enabling continuous feedback.

A Cross-Functional attitude for a DevOps engineer is considered ideal. Some DevOps engineers come from system administration, others come from development teams, but the ideal DevOps engineer comes from both ops and dev teams and can speak the language of each team. Hence, an ideal DevOps engineer is the one who adapts with learning new technologies on the fly.

4. Right Vision and Attitude

It is of utmost importance for a DevOps engineer to articulate your product or project vision. Working under the umbrella of a shared vision protects from the later pains. It’s important for organizations to define their vision clearly to the prospects and hire the one who shares that vision.

When one believes in something, he/she will push his/her limits to get it done but when they lack that vision, they would not. A DevOps engineer should have a sense of freedom in his attitude. Writing beautiful code is an art and it needs freedom.

Art isn’t born under pressure. DevOps engineers must possess the skills to seek freedom from superiors and to grant freedom to juniors. They should employ a “work smarter, not harder” attitude within their work—focused on maximizing efficiency.

A DevOps engineer should share their ideas but when it comes down to meeting the customer’s request, even if it’s doing the work differently – they’ll do the job. Most DevOps minded people are extremely intelligent which probably plays into their stubbornness when it comes to following the plan.

An ideal DevOps engineer is the one who shares his ideas and even tries to convince the clients if it’s really better for their business. But if the customer doesn’t understand, then just flows with the plan. So when you’re looking for the ideal DevOps engineer to hire on your team, you want the best person to do the work in an innovative but flexible manner. Pick the candidate who can do the adjacent possible if his exact idea isn’t approved by the customer or isn’t feasible monetarily.

5. Scripting Skills

High-quality scripting skills is a basic skill for a DevOps engineer. Whether it’s JavaScript, Python, Perl, or Ruby, a successful DevOps engineer must be able to write code. He should know that the language depends entirely on the context of the project and the DevOps tools needed.

From writing manual code to replacing manual processes such as assigning IP addresses or DNS codes, there must be someone with the ability to write them and that’s what the perfect candidate should be able to do. He should understand the difference between development paradigms such as procedural, object-oriented, or functional programming.

A perfect DevOps engineer is the one who understands and knows complete DevOps technologies. Without the ability to understand infrastructure it could prove somewhat difficult to be the full package DevOps developer. When it comes to scripting languages, the simpler is the better. Many DevOps engineers will have used a fair few languages and have strong knowledge of one or two in their repertoire. The language itself though isn’t so much important as the ability to be able to read design patterns.

Recommended Reading: 10 Essential Tips for Hiring Top Remote Employees

Incorporating infrastructure skills will enable an effective DevOps engineer to design and deploy applications effectively using the best of the best platforms.

Scripting is just one of the key DevOps engineer skills a developer should have, just ahead of cloud and infrastructure experience. DevOps engineers should have a working understanding of data center-based and cloud infrastructure components. This includes elements such as how software is networked to running virtual networks.

6. Soft Skills

Soft skills are as important in the skillset of a DevOps engineer as scripting skills. A DevOps engineer should be able to communicate and interact well with the team, be service-oriented, and care about the ultimate end value of the project. A proactive engineer with no oversight is always preferred.

A DevOps engineer is no one-man job, so in that case, any future employee must have soft skills along with technical skills. When developers communicate with each other effectively, applications can be delivered in a much shorter period of time than if some of them are not communicated well.

As it is popularly said, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” Effective communication ensures that complete information is conveyed to each of the team members. Having good communication leads to fewer errors and therefore lower costs and improves the quality of code.

Strong interpersonal communication skills enable them to work with teammates across various roles to remove obstacles as they arise. It’s often up to the DevOps team to create communication strategies that keep everyone on the same page.

7. Decision Maker and Problem Solver

DevOps professionals are faced to manage emergencies and blackouts. They are expected to act as firefighters. These special cases require a good understanding of IT processes, good technical knowledge, and proven experience. Ask about incident management and postmortems. Along with virtualization experience, they must be efficient decision-makers and problem solvers.

Today, companies need people who can design a solution that scales and performs with high availability and uptime. DevOps engineers should be strategically minded, they must make decisions consistently that consider both long and short-term needs.

Applicants also need to understand fault tolerance and failure domains so they are not putting all the eggs in one basket. DevOps engineers must provide a clear understanding of the differences and subtleties between each of the management techniques.

A DevOps engineer should be a confident leader who can influence and motivate future team members who are new to DevOps technologies. He should know to encounter and overcome strong-willed individuals who were set against change and adopting DevOps tools and principles. They should have an Eager sense of curiosity, with strong problem-solving skills and investigative drive.

8. Global Networks

Larger companies resort to global talent searches when they are hiring DevOps engineers. So extra costs like relocation for new hires are taken in stride. Unfortunately, relocation is often discouraged in more budget-conscious mid-sized and small companies. In such cases, hiring a remote DevOps engineer is the perfect choice for you.

Recruiting isn’t going to get easier any time soon, but successful hiring is vital to company growth. By networking globally and focusing on the right skill set, offering a culture of engagement, and focusing on what your company can do for the right person, you’ll be well-positioned for success in your recruiting process.

To succeed in hiring DevOps engineers, hiring managers should do everything they can to grow their networks at a global level. It includes going to meet-ups, developers’ meet, making connections on LinkedIn, joining communities like Github, Hackernoon, etc. A culture of engagement is a key component of hiring DevOps engineers.

9. Security Skills

The term DevOps has only really grown to prominence in the past few years because of its association with the ‘Agile’ methodology of software development. Security skills are one of the main DevOps engineers’ skills.

It is paramount to build-in secure software from the start of deployment, as opposed to adding it in later. Secure software is what everyone seeks. If security is not in place from the outset then there is more chance that hackers could write in damaging code to the network.

Therefore, while hiring DevOps engineers, ensuring security is on the top of the list of skills. Your checklist should include the following points:

  • He/She should have a level of understanding equivalent to a CCNA/CCNP; meaning s/he knows the protocols in depth.
  • Should have initiated the uses of visualization/project management tools to improve workflow visualization such as Trello, Asana, etc.
  • Comprehends the common port assignments.
  • Knowledge of 7 layers of the OSI model.
  • They can outline protocol sequences of procedures like DNS or the TCP 3 way handshake.

It basically means Developers who know how to properly deploy and deploy their code, and/or SysAdmins who know how to dive into the code and fix things when shit goes pear-shaped. Either way, they’re highly desirable for obvious reasons – it’s a real sweet-spot hire for any company, as it means faster shipping of production code.

10. Hire through a DevOps Consultant

This is a way out to save your time and energy in hiring the right DevOps engineer for your project. Independent DevOps consultants command big dollars, but there are also many who would prefer a steady IT gig with a company instead of constantly having to market their wares.

There is nothing easy about finding a DevOps engineer when so many other companies are looking for the same person. You will have to invest top dollar for top talent in the process and should be patient as it might take several months to bring the right person on board.

At the same time, however, companies can also take steps to ensure that the net which they use to catch up on the DevOps talents is deep enough to gather more and more talents from around the world. The cast for these valuable positions is as broad as possible.

‘Technavio’, a market research firm, has predicted that the worldwide DevOps market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19 percent through 2020. Hence, it’s the time for hiring managers to get ready with their binoculars to find the best of the DevOps talent for their companies.

DevOps engineers are hard to find, so it might be worthwhile to go with a professional IT company to help you find one. If you are considering using a professional IT agency for hiring DevOps engineer, then EngineerBabu is a suitable choice for you. Hiring DevOps engineers from EngineerBabu will in filtering the ones with the right tech and non-tech skills as we have already done that for you.

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