There are a lot of different ways that people define the role “Devops”. Devops is a role that proves to be confusing for most and obvious to few. As I continue to make connections with people and broaden my network it is clear that not everyone is aware that they are a Devops candidate. Some see it as an idea or a cultural thing and others; a necessity who couldn’t imagine-wouldn’t want to imagine their department without it. As the job requisitions keep calling for this elusive role I felt it made sense to take a minute and specifically describe what companies are looking for when requesting someone to work within the Devops role. Having this defined by the very companies that are asking for it may provide clarification for what the industry is expecting of you because after talking with so many of you talented tech folks it is clear that you may be unaware that you fall into this category of skill set and maybe there are opportunities available to you that you dont’ even know are available to you.
First off, the term “Devops”, according to Wikipedia, was coined by Patrick Debois from Belgium and spread initially through a conference in Ghent called Devops Days held in late 2009.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DevOps) Since then it is often times described as basically being the collaborative and productive relationship between development teams and operations teams. The relationship and collaboration increases efficiency and reduces the production risk associated with constant changes and miscommunication. Depending on where you lie within the skill set you may agree with this ideology or not but one thing is certain, the industry is calling for it and we all need to get educated so we can keep up.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. The following is a compilation of skill sets that companies are defining within their search for Devops candidates.
Absolutely required skills:
Automation with puppet/chef
Previous cloud ops experience is a plus
Advanced Python/Perl scripting, Python preferred
Amazon EC2 experience (or rackspace, openstack)
Be able to multitask, multitask, multitask and learn quickly
I can’t tell you how many people I talk to over the course of a week that say, “Oh, I can do that” or even more eye-opening, “I’m already doing that now” and have no idea that their skill set will offer them options and opportunities that could catapult their career to what they feel is the ‘next level’.
So if you have all the skills and think you are a Devops’er but aren’t completely positive that you’ll make the cut you’re going to need to know what sets you apart from all the rest of the qualified tech smarties. According to Taos Sr. Consultant, Mike Doty, “it comes down to personality. A Devops candidate should be outgoing and able to talk about the technology they are using in great depth and with enthusiasm. A Devops candidate is known for doing whatever it takes to get the job done and has a lot of successes, however minor they may be, under their belt and are able to talk about them openly.” Personality is the game changer because as a Devops’er you’ll need to talk with everyone from software developers, external vendors and business managers to interviewing new candidates for your own department. They need to be smack dab in the middle of the action and need to communicate to every aspect of the business knowing they are making a significant difference in how the daily flow and big picture all runs together.
The Devops role is one that requires the skill set and tools to complete the job but also, equally important is the outgoing personality aspect that will allow you to speak to every aspect of the role. As we continue to work through all of the Devops requisitions we’re seeing at Taos, we know that there is a boat load of current consultants and candidates out there who fit this role profile and we are here to help you define it.
With the advent of this role, I wonder what your thoughts are about it? Do you find it to be necessary in your department or just a bunch of hype? Curious to hear what you’re thinking.