Headhunting for DevOps: How to hire for a rising technology
Hiring experienced DevOps consultants is difficult as the demand for this concept has outnumbered the supply. In this article, Ankit Gupta explains the prerequisites for hiring the best DevOps consultant for your team.
There was a time when myopic approaches encroached every nook and cranny of the software development life cycle. Certainly, the development practices delivered capricious results making the clients more apprehensive about the fruition of any application. This inspired IT experts Patrick Debois and Andrew Clay Shafer to embark on a quest to develop the reactionary response called DevOps in 2009.
DevOps emerged as a counter theory to defy conventional development practices and deliver high performing applications. It spearheaded several pragmatic and utilitarian concepts to deliver scalable infrastructures. The DevOps practice has emerged as a rising cultural movement that has been quickly embraced by the technical community. Increasing number of companies are looking for experienced DevOps consultants. But to set up a team of high-end DevOps talent requires the know-how.
Knowing the practice before headhunting
DevOps has radicalized the normal methods of software product development of separated roles. Where the production logs when developers develop the codes and QA team keeps rejecting them back. By removing these silos DevOps identified a new way of working. These newly evolved practices provided competitive advantages to the organizations.
DevOps is different than Agile development methodology which follows the principle of continuous deployment and continuous integration. It is a large concept that values collaboration of development and operations team towards achieving common business goals. It focuses on setting up a practice that fosters software product development, testing and release on the same platform. This becomes possible because of software development tools for different software development and delivery processes. Delivery Manager Chris Jerkins says “Unlike other methodologies which believe in isolated teams, DevOps helps in achieving a greater degree of coordination. It turbo charges the abilities of the team.” All this becomes possible with tools for coding, building, testing, packaging, releasing, configuring and monitoring.
Searching the resumes
DevOps has become the most celebrated buzz word in the resumes. Due to the popularity of this practice almost every resume carries the word DevOps in it. It becomes quite useless to search resumes with the word DevOps. The right thing is to search resumes with the DevOps toolchain, i.e., continuous integration, version control, artifact repository, release automation, applications performance monitoring, docketing, containers, etc.
Proficient DevOps developers are skilled in two or more areas like system administration and programming. A good resume should be a talent mix of project management, development, and infrastructure. The professional experience should encompass more than one skill that can be useful in inter-segmented departments.
Useful work experience
The ideal DevOps candidate should possess knowledge of Infrastructure Automation tools like Chef, Puppet, Docker, Ansible, and Windows PowerShell DSC besides the web languages. These tools are quite quintessential for the DevOps projects.
This DevOps prerequisite makes the hiring process very difficult. The automation tools are relatively very new and finding the experts is too difficult. Another challenge is that some new tools are replacing the older ones very quickly. So searching the developer who is having three to four years of experience can be a monumental task.
DevOps presupposes a lot of communication and coordination between different development and QA teams. It becomes important to select a candidate with good communication skills who can converse effectively with different teams. It is better to ask the following questions for checking the problem-solving skills?
- Were there any problems you encountered while executing the project?
- Any significant steps you have suggested to the organization which resulted in tangible benefits?
- Do you consider yourself as a team player?
- What initiative did you take to resolve those problems?
Online Sources for finding the right candidate
- LinkedIn: The professional networking site is a good place for hiring the right DevOps candidate.
- GitHub: GitHub is the place where people showcase their talent. A lot of articles are available at GitHub on DevOps development. The hiring managers can scroll through the GitHub pages for hiring the right talent.
- Stack Exchange: Developers spend a lot of time in responding to the queries at stack exchange. It is also a good way to evaluate the knowledge of candidates.
- DevOps Zone: The resource base for hiring the right DevOps candidate would be incomplete without DevOps zone. Expert articles on DevOps are posted on this forum.
Hiring experienced DevOps consultants is difficult as the demand for this concept has outnumbered the supply. Companies looking for experienced DevOps consultants should ensure that a right candidate has been selected. Skillset, expertise, team leadership, problem-solving abilities and communication skills are some of the factors which should be a part of the HR’s hiring strategy.