As the commonly used software becomes more complex and intricate, its creation and maintenance become much more complicated as well. That’s why new specializations of IT specialists, like the DevOps engineer, are being actively introduced. Who this expert is, how to best hire DevOps engineers, what type of companies need it, and how much it will cost you in the long run - let’s review in our article.
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DevOps Engineers - Who Are They?
Before diving into the topic of how to hire a great DevOps engineer, let’s define the specialization first.
A DevOps engineer is an IT specialist with a wide field of competence, whose task is to dig into and figure out the software code (not in a basic manner, as system administrators do, but to the very essence) and provide automation of all software development life cycle stages. To put it completely plainly, startups hiring DevOps actually look for “a programmer and a system admin in one” to handle their projects.
When you hire a DevOps programmer, you hire a software “manager” focused on organizing the most productive means of interaction between programmers, QA specialists and tech support guys. In the long term, the professional activities of DevOps engineers are aimed at minimizing the number of possible bugs and software rework cycles.
Ultimately, companies hiring DevOps engineers can achieve such business goals as:
- optimization of software according to different deployment formats;
- maximization of software testing efficiency;
- facilitation of means to implement new software versions;
- faster time-to-market;
- workflow automation, and more.
Note that DevOps engineer is a relatively fresh specialty that first appeared in the IT community only in 2013. Nevertheless, up to 2018, only 6% of the companies surveyed claimed that they don’t need to hire DevOps engineers and leave the existing workflows as they are.
Tasks of a DevOps Engineer
Looking to hire a DevOps? Then you should definitely know which global tasks this particular specialist handles:
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Optimization of deployment scenarios. DevOps specialists often have to independently develop and improve software development and deployment scenarios in order to ensure a continuous workflow cycle for the entire team;
End-to-end testing. Companies that hire DevOps developers manage to optimize testing processes by introducing test solutions at every other stage of development (and not just upon its completion);
Organization of communication between different experts. In addition to technical skills, DevOps engineers must have good communication skills in order to ensure end-to-end and effective cooperation of experts with different qualifications in the same project.
When to Hire DevOps?
Moving along - now that we know the specifics of the specialization, exactly when and who can hire the DevOps employees?
It is believed that DevOps is required to benefit any organization that develops software. On the other hand, large corporations may need an in-house DevOps in 9 out of 10 cases while small companies don’t always need such specialists in the first place. However, for the sake of fairness, even if you manage a small-scale business, these specialists will help you synchronize other people in the team and optimize a lot of processes.
It is important to expect that after the introduction of DevOps methods, your employees may be uncomfortable in the new working conditions. In the long term, however, DevOps practices will provide your project with reliability and scalability while constantly modernizing it.
All in all, the only reason for you to steer clear of hiring a DevOps engineer is the lack of need for efficient business growth at the moment.
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DevOps Hiring Trends - an Average Set of Necessary Skills
Surely, the final set of skills to hire DevOps depends on the particular company needs and desires. The following is a statistically common list of basic requirements for the DevOps hiring test that can be put forward for a candidate:
- understanding of software development methods and implementation life cycle;
- experience of coding in Java, PHP, C+, C++, .NET, ASP.NET;
- experience of work with Linux-based systems and related tools;
- experience in virtualization and working with hypervisors (Microsoft Hyper-v, VMware ESXi, Xen, KVM);
- experience of work with software management systems (usually, Apache Maven, Gradle);
- experience in containerization (the most popular tool is Docker) and clusterization;
- experience in working with databases;
- an ability to work with version management systems (the most popular system - Git) and to create repositories;
- an ability to work with configurations management systems (e.g., Ansible or Chef);
- an ability to work with automation systems (like Jenkins);
- skills in automated software testing;
- an ability to work with microservices (for instance, via Kubernetes);
- an ability to work with cloud technologies (AWS, MS Azure, Google Cloud, and others);
- experience in analyzing and monitoring logs;
- experience in working with monitoring utilities (for example, Zabbix).
Where to Look for a DevOps Engineer?
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Now let’s consider the question of how to hire a DevOps engineer in terms of preferred location. Surely, you can try to find specialists of this level on profiled resources where they are regulars - websites like DZone, PuppetLabs, and StackOverflow.
On the other hand, you won’t get any guarantees for the integrity of your new contractor, unlike the specialists who provide their services on behalf of a reputable company. So if you are interested in hiring a top-notch reliable DevOps engineer, contact us and we will select the best specialist for your particular project at the most optimal rate for you.
Rates of DevOps Engineers
Now for the main thing: how much will it ultimately cost to hire a DevOps developer?
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According to data by Ziprecruiter.com, at the moment, the salary of a beginner DevOps to hire should be about $86,700 (per year). This amounts to 7,225 US dollars per month, which is almost twice as much as the average salary in the USA. Of course, this is a very responsible and difficult position, so it is obvious that not every former developer with good system administration skills will be able to take the vacant position of a DevOps specialist.
From the corporate point of view, not every company has the annual budget to afford DevOps hiring. In this case, outsourcing will help you - the search for specialists from countries with less developed economies where the rates of highly-qualified employees can be much lower. We recommend starting your search from Ukraine. Take a look at what we have to offer in terms of DevOps engineering services.
DevOps Engineer Work Interview: Skills
We clarified a set of technical skills your regular DevOps for hire should have above. But what can we say about the so-called soft skills?
A well-known online DASA web community published a comprehensive list of DevOps principles. This is what you, basically, need to look for in your job seeker initially.
The client is the main investor of the whole project. That’s why all primary activities of everybody involved in the project implementation should be focused on satisfying client requirements. And, since DevOps acts as a kind of manager here, it is he/she who should set the direction for the entire team.
Final result concentration
Coming from the previous paragraph, your future DevOps engineer will have to abstract their mind a bit from the process-oriented approach to software development. In fact, they should make every effort to help the colleagues, again, focus their work on fulfilling client requirements. To do this, a specialist must have a clear vision of the end result.
Skills of creating autonomous teams
Typically, DevOps engineers also take up forming autonomous teams of developers that would carry out certain tasks independently of each other. That’s why you should initially see whether your potential employee is able to gain authority among his/her colleagues.
Your candidate must have excellent IT management skills. In particular, he/she must be able and willing to organize the full product life cycle - from coming up with a basic concept to releasing the final software piece.
This implies the clear desire to adapt software for various deployment environments, reduce downtime at the stages of deployment and in general - optimize everything that can be optimized. Therefore, as a soft skill, you will have to check how your applicant is not afraid to experiment and make mistakes.
Since DevOps usually has to deal with large projects, automation of workflows (especially deployment) is a crucial ability here. As a good instance, we can demonstrate one of our latest solutions - the custom workflow automation software based on Docker and Jenkins for the Croatian Deutsche Telecom. In the long run, it helped to reduce up to 40% of the routine tasks the IT department has to handle on the customer side.
All in all, your good DevOps candidate should think globally and understand how it is possible to automate the whole workflow in the project at the moment.
Without a doubt, you should add up these fundamentals and come up with your own authentic new hire onboarding checklist DevOps based on the individual project requirements.
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Summarizing our brief DevOps hiring guide, you can see that such specialists are pretty high-level, which is why DevOps can be so hard to hire. On the other hand, your project will only become more advanced with a well-qualified DevOps on your side. Especially, if you are working on something large-scale and to be regularly modernized further on.
If you still don’t know how to hire DevOps to get the most efficiency out of your candidate, let us help you! We have some in-house DevOps engineers with in-depth expertise, over 5 years of experience, and skills to improve any type of project waiting for you. Contact us right now to discuss the details of your project and hire DevOps to start a high-performance team.