If your company is rooted in a siloed system with separate development and IT operations work, then embracing new ways of working with DevOps can benefit your team while maintaining a high-quality software development lifecycle. DevOps is one of the most preferred approaches by industry-leading companies to improve workflows, productivity, and performance.
With the right set of people, expertise, strategies, and tools, DevOps-enabled work culture can speed up your workflows and enable continuous development as well as delivery of your mobile/web application. It connects various teams – development, quality assurance, and IT operations teams – into a single process. You can get the most out of it by simply leveraging the expertise of the right DevOps specialists in your team.
However, one of the most common problems most companies face while implementing DevOps is hiring skilled DevOps engineers. Finding quality specialists is a costly and time-consuming affair in today’s competitive era. Because every company has different business models, systems, workflows, etc., and so are their project requirements to adopt DevOps. Hence, having these experts onboard can streamline your workflows and improve the delivery model.
Today’s post is all about DevOps specialists – what they do, why you need them, what automation tools in DevOps they use, how to hire a DevOps engineer, their skills, etc.
Understanding DevOps, DevOps Engineers, Their Roles and Responsibilities
DevOps is not a title; it is a culture, a methodology. It aims to replicate as well as scale IT processes, reduce IT admin costs, improve the reliability of standardized processes, and ensure the successful completion of projects in a stipulated time frame. Thus, people involved in taking your infrastructure to the next level by leveraging DevOps principles are known as DevOps specialists.
They are certified professionals with in-depth knowledge of software development and system backgrounds, including programming, infrastructure management, administration, and operations.
Also called DevOps specialists, DevOps architects, infrastructure engineers, cloud DevOps engineers, and operations engineers, they are responsible for ensuring qualitative deliverables across each aspect of application development while working cohesively with every team member.
The primary role of a DevOps expert is to introduce new processes, DevOps toolchains, and DevOps methodologies that reduce complexities and automate workflows by collaborating with app developers, quality assurance professionals, system teams, infrastructure, and other IT operations team members. Their role is more than that of employing technology stacks.
Usually, the role of a DevOps engineer may vary depending upon the organization and project requirements. Multiple roles associated with DevOps culture include the following:
- DevOps evangelists to embrace DevOps
- Cloud architect to deploy and host applications
- Developers to write clean code
- Security compliance engineers to integrate security at every phase of product development
- Site reliability engineers for more reliable deployments
- And other variety of roles needed to perform in a DevOps environment to achieve your business goals.
Figuring out a role for DevOps is a lengthy process because it covers multiple aspects. You need to be ready with your business mission, vision, updated business model, and strategies. After that, you can have a hiring plan and then finalize the hiring requirements, including roles and responsibilities.
So, what does a DevOps engineer do exactly? Let us have a look at the same:
- Reshape the organization’s culture with automation
- Share responsibilities and create a collaborative work environment
- Study and evaluate the code so as to automate every facet of the product development lifecycle
- Identify as well as prioritize tasks and prepare documentation for server-side app features or app build scripts
- Communicate product development requirements with every team member
- Design, develop, test, deploy, and maintain CI/CD tools like Dockers, Jenkins, and integration tools like Git, Maven, and other tools.
- Develop and design DevOps automation processes for improvement
- Automate the testing workflow and infrastructure as code, populate the results, and display the same on a dashboard.
- Deploy updates automatically, perform routine maintenance or troubleshooting measures for smooth production
- Scale systems as well as infrastructure to ensure the availability of the system and services for the team members
- Infrastructure provisioning, DevOps infrastructure automation, system administration, managing virtual instances, and networking resources
- Regularly monitor the system, ensure security, scaling, data duplication, etc. and prepare reports
- Implement out of the box IT solutions using the latest technology and tools used in the industry
In a nutshell, DevOps engineers are responsible for managing every aspect of your digital business transformation, such as software, hardware, security, network, wireless and wired connections, virtual assets, data center, data storage, etc. They help your organization build applications faster by bringing the development and IT operations teams together.
You can also have a team of developers, quality assurance professionals, a code release manager and hire a DevOps engineer separately just to manage your team and get the work done the DevOps way.
To complete the above-discussed responsibilities effectively in your organization, you need to hire a person with specific skill sets. Our next section is all about essential job-specific skills you need to look for in an ideal candidate to embrace DevOps successfully. Let’s check that out.
Skills to Look for When You Hire a DevOps Engineer
The DevOps role includes a variety of tasks, and hence it requires multiple skills to transform the entire work culture. Ideally, you should narrow down the essential skills needed in an ideal candidate, such as comprehensive IT background, virtualization experience, coding ability, administration know-how, etc., depending upon your project requirements.
Here, I have compiled a list of some common and must-have DevOps engineer skills to look for.
- Familiarity with development methodology such as Scrum, Agile, Lean, Spiral, etc.
- Proficiency in cloud technologies like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud
- Knowledge of databases systems and DBMS technologies like MySQL, MongoDB, Oracle, Cassandra, etc.
- Skills to integrate different software tools, CI/CD tools (like Jenkins, Bamboo), and deployment tools (using Kubernetes) to manage the clusters and automate the process
- Expertise with containers – how they work, how to utilize them properly to deploy software on multiple systems
- Proper understanding of various networking & security concepts, protocols and standard rules, and networking tools like Ansible, Jenkins
- Ability to design architecture based on custom requirements
- Excellent verification as well as debugging skills to resolve the issues
- Familiarity with source control tools like Git, BitBucket, and SVN
- Possess the confidence, ability to lead, motivate, influence other team members, and other soft skills to adopt new ways of working with DevOps
- Knowledge of OS concepts such as Kernel management, virtualization, etc.
- Able to deploy the machines and DevOps automation tools like Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Splunk, Prometheus, App Dynamic, Nagios, etc., in a different environment
- Strong grasp of using RESTful APIs, and Web APIs
DevOps creates a cohesive work environment that lets you understand the infrastructure in a better way by leveraging the latest technology stacks. It represents a cultural change and technological transformation from scratch. That’s why listing down important skills for your project is important for smoother development and operations work.
Now, it’s time to find a dedicated DevOps specialist who can help your organization embark on a journey of transformation with DevOps. So, let’s discuss how you can find the right specialist.
Where to Find Dedicated DevOps Engineers
Most IT companies aspire to adopt DevOps successfully with the help of dedicated DevOps specialists. But finding the right people is one of the most daunting tasks. There are various hiring options available in the market. Some of them are explained hereunder:
Hire in-house Specialists or Upskill Your Existing Employees
Usually, the IT operations team has to juggle multiple roles and deal with the company network, hardware, software, security, and people from various departments. They have relevant knowledge, technical literacy, and understanding of development as well as operations of your company. This acumen can bring about a real change in your company. Hence, these individuals can make an ideal fit to fill your DevOps roles.
In fact, you can also upskill your existing team with phenomenal coding skills or testing skills but lack the knowledge related to automation or DevOps concepts. Upskilling can help employees expand their knowledge and immerse themselves in future work. This way, you can boost employee morale and confidence, increase teamwork, retain your employees, reduce costs, and create a cohesive work environment. So, this is one of the most suitable options for you.
Collaborate with Recruitment agencies and hire DevOps engineers
This method is frequently used by most companies. You need to inform the agency about the role you wish to fill with specific knowledge, skills, and experience. They provide end-to-end recruitment services, including identifying qualified candidates, conducting interviews, and helping select the perfect fit for your project. By taking the help of an IT recruitment agency, you can focus more on strategic tasks and have qualified talent on board in a short period of time.
Hire DevOps Consultants from IT Outsourcing Companies
This is the best option to choose from as it is less expensive than any other mode of hiring. This option lets you hire qualified DevOps specialists in more flexible ways, i.e., you can hire DevOps engineers on a contract, full-time, hourly, or retainer basis, depending upon your project work. Moreover, such software development companies are fully equipped with DevOps specialists and the latest technologies and tools that help enhance collaboration and integration while implementing DevOps for the first time.
They can help you hire the best DevOps engineers according to your requirements and ensure smooth onboarding. So, outsourcing your DevOps tasks to a well-coordinated, qualified, and experienced team can help you introduce DevOps at scale in your business environment.
Other Hiring Options
You can also take the help of freelancing websites in case the duration of your project is short. Hire freelance DevOps engineers to perform certain tasks at much lower rates and cut excessive expenses. Apart from this option, you can hire via referrals, networking events, developers’ conferences, reach out to social networking sites or sourcing platforms, and other creative ways of hiring potential candidates to build a high-quality jobs pipeline.
So, choose the most suitable hiring options to grow your team and accomplish your business goals with DevOps in less time. Having a qualified DevOps engineer benefit you in so many ways, such as,
- Unify multiple tasks in your team with more productivity
- Faster release/deployments
- Instant issue/error resolution
- Lesser developmental, administrative, and operational cost
- Quicker and more streamlined IT processes
- Improve people, environment, and approach to work
- Increased operational efficiency
Hiring DevOps engineers is not an easy task, especially for a non-technical person, as each DevOps role has a unique set of required skills and responsibilities to perform. Hence, companies looking forward to introducing DevOps at scale should also pay attention to DevOps best practices and hire good DevOps specialists. Let us discuss the DevOps best practices.
Best Practices to Find and Hire DevOps Engineers
Below are the best practices for finding and hiring a DevOps engineer for your next project and eliminating organizational silos with DevOps.
1 Be clear with your requirements and triple-check them before you start the hiring process
DevOps is neither a role nor a team; it’s an approach. If embraced the right way in any organization, then it can bring greater business agility and success. Furthermore, DevOps is an umbrella term that encompasses software development, deployment, testing, security, automation, system administration, maintenance, and other essential aspects of your company.
Hence, be clear with your DevOps project requirements – set your SMART business goals, identify the skill gaps in your team, finalize the roles, responsibilities, technologies, and tools needed for your project, and then start the hiring process. You can keep refining your requirements and extend your team as and when needed.
2Modernize your screening-sourcing process and look for the right technical skills
Do not focus on resumes only while hiring experts. Check candidates’ knowledge, skills, and experience of working with the DevOps approach. Check their previous projects and tools utilized to complete the same. DevOps specialists have a wide range of technical literacy, so based on your project requirements, you can analyze their most relevant skills as discussed above and hire dedicated developers for your job. You can conduct a skill assessment and evaluate their technical skills to get a better idea about them because technical skills play a vital role in the DevOps transformation journey.
3 Consider soft skills as an important one
DevOps engineers work in collaboration with other team members to solve complex problems and create great digital products for your organization. Hence, the ability to work in a team, good communication skills, analytical reasoning, thinking out of the box, decision-making skills, etc., skills play an important role in embracing DevOps to the fullest. So, look for someone with soft skills along with technical expertise to execute your project seamlessly.
4Find continuous learners
Ideally, you should hire someone who remains current with the latest DevOps updates, DevOps announcements, innovative DevOps automation tools, DevOps methodologies, DevOps approaches, frameworks, and takes particular interest in discovering the same for personal as well as professional growth. Because this habit of continuous learning can help you solve your complex challenges in new ways and help you design a creative solution.
5 Take the help of a professional IT company to embrace DevOps more effectively
Finding the perfect fit for your DevOps project is hard; hence it is best if you can take the help of a professional IT company that has qualified DevOps engineers, technical expertise, and experience in implementing DevOps in various organizations. You can hire DevOps engineers for a specific period and extend your team while minimizing the associated development cost.
6 Beware of fundamental basic knowledge
A basic understanding of fundamental concepts, principles, models, and methods is important when you introduce DevOps for the first time in your business environment. Because when things go wrong while implementation, knowledge of underlying DevOps fundamentals helps you resolve issues faster. So, find professionals with the exact skills or niche specializations you need for your project.
Wrapping it up
The highly-qualified DevOps engineers come up with a lot of creative solutions and provide advice as well as the right direction towards DevOps-enabled digital transformation at scale. The only thing is you have to be clear with your business objectives, project requirements, basic knowledge of DevOps principles, DevOps transformation strategies, a solid roadmap, and a winning hiring plan.
Indeed, all SMEs, mid-scale businesses, and corporate giants are now transforming to the cloud. Adopting DevOps can help companies achieve operational efficiency and build more user-friendly products quickly, which is possible via leveraging the expertise of DevOps specialists. They help you solve specific issues and handle work on your behalf on an ongoing basis.
You can reap the benefits of DevOps by hiring the best DevOps engineers to accomplish your project. They can handle multiple things in various domains with variant skillsets. I hope you have a better understanding of DevOps roles, responsibilities, and essential skills, which you need to consider while hiring DevOps engineers. Get in touch with us to know more about introducing DevOps to your organization and hire DevOps engineers on contract from us.
Pritam Barhate, with an experience of 14+ years in technology, heads Technology Innovation at Mobisoft Infotech. He has a rich experience in design and has been a consultant for a variety of industries and startups. At Mobisoft Infotech, he primarily focuses on technology resources and develops the most advanced solutions.