With the average American spending roughly five hours per day online, consumers often base their opinion of a company on the strength of its website and software. Because of this, there is significant pressure for tech companies to deliver a seamless web experience. The emergence of DevOps engineers has been one way to focus on meeting user expectations through collaboration and an optimised workflow, with the goal of closing the gap between iterations and increasing overall quality.
Demand for DevOps is at an all-time high, and is largely due to how effective DevOps are proving in the workplace: traditional Ops are 41% more time-consuming and waste 21% more time putting out fires.
But for those on the hunt for the perfect position, what does a good DevOps position look like and how do you prepare for it?
Find the Right Place
Your ideal job should push you to refine and optimize your strongest skills, while still providing opportunities to learn. In the tech industry, keeping up with new technology and trends is a constant. Aside from a healthy paycheck, though, there are other elements to look for in a new job opportunity:
Company culture: To get the best work from employees, tech companies tend to cultivate their own work environments. DevOps positions are heavily dependent on those environments since their work involves the development of unified systems for transmitting knowledge between departments. This places you as a point person in the center of that environment.
Don’t underestimate the value of good communication processes and a healthy company culture. Use the interview process to ask as many questions as possible about team structure and how tribal knowledge is passed on. Talk to people who already work there. Is there room to bring new ideas to the table? If you don’t like what you hear, maybe it isn’t the role for you.
Responsibilities: With DevOps comes great responsibility. While a traditional developer might be solely focused on development, working in DevOps means taking extra inter-departmental steps. This could mean running system administration checks, or it could mean quality assuring the software before deployment. Even the highest-paying job in the world can be a nightmare if you aren’t happy with the work it entails. Make sure the job’s parameters are clearly defined and that you’re comfortable with everything expected of you.
Make Yourself the Most Desirable Candidate
The best jobs usually go to the best candidates, or at least the candidates who can communicate their value. How do you ensure that you’re the one the company chooses to hire? Your CV needs these two attributes:
Collaboration: Given the nature of DevOps, it’s essential that you have a history of collaboration. You could be the best developer in the world, but if your communication skills aren’t up to standard, working in DevOps will be tricky. Collaborate with friends on a project – as early in your career if possible – and use it to beef up your résumé. This will help you become more desirable.
A diverse skill set: While every employer will expect quality coding and scripting skills from its candidates, DevOps is really about being a flexible Swiss Army Knife. The tech industry is changing at a furious rate, so the more you know, the more you can offer. These positions have a hand in many different departments, and each has its own unique technical needs you would have to address. In addition to being diverse, keep an open mind and be willing to learn.
Having a variety of experience will shorten your learning curve and make you valuable as an employee. If you’re looking to break into DevOps, it’s important to be prepared and willing to work with others. This means having the right skill set, knowing the kind of environment you want to work in, and understanding which responsibilities you want to be placed on your shoulders.