Companies all over the world have benefited from following the DevOps approach, optimizing speed, efficiency, collaboration, and reliability across software pipelines as part of a continuous cultural drive. Indeed, it has gotten to the point where many organizations see DevOps as a fundamental factor in remaining competitive, and this is where DevOps engineers come in.
A ‘DevOps engineer’ is a practitioner who can thrive within DevOps cultures. They understand the pillars of the approach and can apply their technical skills in a way that complements the rest of the pipeline.
As a result of the growing popularity of DevOps, these engineers have found themselves highly employable. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a DevOps engineer is an easy path to success, the first reason being that… there isn’t really any such thing. Or, rather, ‘DevOps engineer’ is an umbrella term that can refer to anyone in a DevOps culture, regardless of their skills or background.
You might find yourself asking why the term is used so frequently if that’s the case. Well, the reason is that it’s convenient. Businesses do not necessarily understand how DevOps works; only what it purports to be capable of. A recruiter might spot ‘DevOps’ on a CV and immediately think they’ve found a viable candidate, even if said candidate’s background is unsuitable for the role in question.
Regardless, finding the right DevOps role can be a major career boon, as long as you know where and how to look. With that in mind, here are our top tips for getting hired as a DevOps engineer!
Make it easy for recruiters
I know, I know, but hear me out. Recruiters want to find candidates as soon as possible so that they can earn their commissions. It’s their bread and butter and, in fairness, most will make sure a candidate’s skills line up with the requirements of the role in question. With this in mind, it’s worth doing what you can to get on their radar.
To do this, make sure that any training or experience you have in DevOps is listed clearly on your CV. Have you earned certification in DevOps? Have you worked in DevOps cultures in the past, attended conferences, or played a major role in DevOps-related projects and programs? With this information on your CV, and your CV present on websites like Totaljobs or Monster, you could find yourself getting calls within a day.
You should also give equal emphasis to the skills most relevant to the job, such as:
- Proficiency in popular programming languages
- Configuration management
- Version control
- Experience with cloud infrastructure
In the same vein, you will want to scan the requirements of any openings you find to make sure that you are a good fit.
You may also want to list soft skills relevant to DevOps, such as communication, flexibility, teamwork, and stakeholder engagement.
Build the right skills
As we mentioned, ‘DevOps engineer’ is not an all-inclusive role. Anyone within a DevOps culture can claim the title regardless of their skills, so before you start looking for roles relating to the title, it is worth taking the time to define exactly what kind of position you are looking for.
Since the name ‘DevOps’ is a portmanteau of ‘Development’ and ‘Operations’, you’d be right in assuming that these categories are the main focus of the approach. There are many other relevant areas of expertise, however, including database management and security. Practitioners have even come up with variations on the approach, such as ‘Rugged DevOps’, ‘Database DevOps’, and ‘DevSecOps’.
In short, be aware of your specialization and keep working to develop yourself in that area. Against this, actually understanding DevOps should almost be seen as a secondary consideration.
At the same time, it can also be worth working on skills that may fall outside of your wheelhouse, the reason being that DevOps engineers will often apply themselves to problems outside of their usual areas of expertise. For example, a developer may utilize their skills to solve problems in operations or automate tasks elsewhere in the pipeline. Showing that you have the skills to be a team player and pick up the slack when necessary can make you a much more appealing candidate.
Study (and ASK) about company cultures
As DevOps is an approach rather than a methodology, it is non-prescriptive. Companies tend to interpret and apply it in their own way with regards to tools, structures, and priorities – and this can be the key to getting noticed.
It takes a real understanding of DevOps to be able to settle into a unique culture, so make this a point of focus in your search. If you’re dealing with recruiters, ask about the size and makeup of the team you intend to join. Ask how long the company has been using DevOps or if they work according to a specific version. Connect with employees on LinkedIn and be prepared to ask plenty of questions about the company if you get an interview.
Remember, you want to show that you will be a good fit!
Getting hired as a DevOps engineer
In many ways, finding a job in DevOps is just like finding a role in anything else. Recruiters do most of the work, and the best way to get noticed is to optimize your visibility while also developing the right skills.
Studying and gaining certification in DevOps can certainly be a big help, as it can give you a clear understanding of:
- The principles of the approach
- Its relation to other frameworks and methodologies in areas such as ITSM and project management
- The makeup and importance of DevOps cultures
- How to architecture and automate toolchains
- How to define and track performance metrics
- How to engage with stakeholders
Most importantly, make sure your CV is as visible as possible, and be prepared to veto roles that aren’t suitable for you.
That isn’t to say that there are no other routes to finding a job in DevOps. You can always search for positions and apply on your own. Beyond that, it is definitely worth interacting with the wider DevOps community as much as possible. There are several free groups online, as well as regular webinars and conferences on the approach and how it is evolving. This can also be an excellent way to gain more tips for getting noticed, as well as advice on how to make yourself more hirable.
Most importantly, don’t fall into the same trap as recruiters. Remember, DevOps is a diverse and complex topic. It isn’t a simple or reductive solution! If you want to get headhunted for the right role, know what you are looking for and make yourself an ideal candidate!
Studying DevOps with Good e-Learning
Good e-Learning is an award-winning online training provider, as well as a Trusted Education Partner of the DevOps Institute. We work with highly experienced DevOps engineers to deliver courses that combine exam preparation with practical insight, giving students what they need to start creating value with their training ASAP.
Our courses come with a range of engaging online training assets, including instructor-led videos, knowledge checks, and unique free downloadable materials. Courses are accessible from any web-enabled device thanks to the free Go.Learn app, and our support team can offer free exams and resits to all participants. We can even customize our LMS so that it is perfectly suited to the unique needs and goals of corporate clients.
Want to find out more? Visit our website, or contact a member of the Good e-learning team today!