Recruiting for DevOps is a somewhat nuanced endeavor. Obviously, proven technical skills, experience, and cultural malleability are all essential traits, but there are a lot more considerations to make when recruiting for specialist IT roles than there are when hiring your average middle-tier professional. In this piece, we’ll highlight some top tips for recruiting for DevOps to help you ensure that you find the very best candidate for your key DevOps position.
The Big ‘E’ — Experience
A relevant, high-quality experience is absolutely vital, but what you also need to know when recruiting for DevOps is that varied experience is more valuable than long-standing service. Who would you rather choose to add to your software development or operations team?
A candidate who’s held the same, albeit high-level DevOps role for a solid 10 years, or a candidate with the same academic qualifications, but who’s occupied half a dozen different roles within the development cycle over that same period of time? Your answer should be the latter candidate. Candidates who have diverse experiences working in the DevOps environment will be more understanding and empathetic towards each individual role. This means they are better equipped to pass on learnings, tools and technologies to all team members.
Skills Pay the Bills
When recruiting for DevOps, the importance of experience level is only matched by the importance of technical aptitude. The DevOps way of working requires expertise in a variety of areas, including automation, cloud computing, infrastructure as code, and continuous integration/delivery. Potential candidates' technical skills should be assessed at a very early stage in the recruitment phase, with those who don’t make the grade quickly weeding out. Skills can include many different abilities but high up the list should be communication. For a DevOps professional to succeed in their role they must possess good communication skills as DevOps requires a high degree of collaboration and communication between teams.
Progressive organizations are aware of the need for providing staff with ongoing support and development strategies. DevOps is a rapidly evolving field and therefore developments will need to be fed back to teams and the latest technologies and practices incorporated into operations. DevOps can also be classed as a cultural discipline or set of principles, so it's therefore important to reiterate its core values and principles to team members so that they can continue to work collaboratively, continuously improving and focussing on delivering better solutions.
In summary, recruiting for DevOps demands a balance between technical expertise, cultural fit, and a wide breadth of experience in order for recruits to succeed in the DevOps environment. After the initial hire, organizations will need to demonstrate a commitment to delivering ongoing development opportunities to help candidates grow and thrive in their roles, encouraging one another in a virtuous circle.
For those who feel ill-equipped to recruit for technical IT roles, DevOps consultants can prove invaluable. Such experts are acutely aware of how to source, attract and retain the very best DevOps candidates out here.
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