It’s been hailed as the most in-demand IT title for the future and made it onto LinkedIn’s emerging job report for 2020, making DevOps engineers one of the most talked-about roles right now. Many scaling tech businesses are factoring the role into their tech recruitment strategies in the hopes that they will elevate their capabilities and set them apart from the competition.
DevOps brings together the development and operations processes which are usually practised by two separate teams. It’s a relatively new skill and role. Initially, this merging of teams was purely part of internal culture. However, it quickly turned into the growth of a unique skill set among software professionals. Instead of specialising only in “Dev” or “Ops” tech talent, become DevOps engineers with skills across both disciplines.
Research shows that organisations with DevOps professionals and teams are high functioning and can code up to 30 times more frequently than their competitors. They are usually brought in to improve your IT and software teams’ productivity and processes, but it’s becoming more and more essential in scaling tech businesses.
As part of our blog series uncovering the most in-demand roles in tech recruitment, we decided to dig a little deeper into the role of DevOps Engineer. Here’s everything you need to know about DevOps engineers and why you should hire one for your tech scaleup.
What is a DevOps Engineer?
DevOps is a term that combines both development and operations, which are the two elements that a DevOps team are responsible for. DevOps teams bridge the gap between software development and IT operations, allowing companies to create and release updates to their products and ensure that systems are operating in the best way possible.
DevOps Engineer is a job title that is often used to refer to any DevOps practitioner, regardless of whether they’re an engineer in the traditional sense or not. A DevOps Engineer is an IT professional who collaborates with software developers, system operators and admins and IT operations staff to oversee and accelerate code releases.
What does a DevOps Engineer do?
DevOps engineers build, test and maintain a business’s IT infrastructure, allowing for the speedy development and upkeep of software. They ensure systems are running smoothly, constantly monitoring for issues and fixing them as soon as they arise. A DevOps engineer also keeps the infrastructure up to date, developing any necessary updates. In growing companies, they also try to automate processes to relieve the product and development teams.
DevOps engineer’s role combines that of a developer and an IT operations role; they are involved in coding and maintaining systems and building solutions to problems.
Some of the day to day tasks that a DevOps Engineer is responsible for include:
Project management: many DevOps engineers take the lead managing most aspects of an IT project. This includes making goals and objectives clear, managing deadlines, and keeping in touch with the teams.
Designing and improving infrastructure: A DevOps engineer identifies ways to strengthen your core infrastructure, encourage collaboration and get tech products to market quicker.
Performance testing: evaluating how well and reliably systems run.
Automation: automating time-consuming and repetitive processes and building useful software plugins that will take work away from your software team.
Optimisation: look for ways to optimise release cycles, remove hidden time drains, and introduce new software or solutions to speed up processes.
Reporting: report on projects including ‘time to detect’ (TTD) errors and ‘time to minimise’ (TTM).
Security: prioritising security by automation of critical processes, release schedules and infrastructure design.
When should a company hire a DevOps Engineer?
For many tech businesses, a DevOps Engineer is an essential role to hire in the early stages of growth. They can not only manage software development tasks but also manage your infrastructure. They can help you to deliver more reliable products earlier, which help in the core stages of launching a tech product. Plus, live products require constant monitoring to ensure quality, and DevOps play a considerable background role in ensuring there are no issues.
For businesses in other industries, if you doubt whether you need a DevOps Engineer, then you probably don’t. If your IT and development teams are currently working well and you have no plans to expand into the world of DevOps, then don’t force it. However, if your team is looking for a bit more guidance or needs to invest more in your technical capabilities, then a DevOps Engineer could be a key hire.
What industries do DevOps Engineers work in?
Tech: Tech is the most apparent industry for DevOps teams to work in as they develop products and software daily. DevOps teams are becoming an almost essential part of all growing tech businesses.
Finance: Banks are becoming more reliant on DevOps practices as digital banking solutions become more popular. With a growing demand for online banking and digital communications, growing fintech companies and renowned banks like Barclays have started to implement DevOps teams to help digitise their business.
Healthcare: DevOps is also helping the healthcare industry to revolutionise, because the industry deals with so much data DevOps practices can automate processes and cut down human involvement, freeing up the time of healthcare workers. DevOps can help healthcare providers manage big data platforms and ensure that sensitive data is handled according to regulations. DevOps can also help build systems for patients to book appointments and talk with professionals in digital spaces.
Hospitality: From booking hotel rooms to planning events, the hospitality industry is growing more reliant on tech. Many companies within hospitality are implementing DevOps teams to help them remain competitive. DevOps can shorten the time required to develop new products and implement changes and improvements for the customer experience.
Manufacturing – When used in manufacturing, DevOps allows for streamlined processes, enhanced communication, and collaboration opportunities. They can automate processes, create systems to ensure that all teams know what others are working on, and improve the continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) cycles.
What qualities should you look for when hiring a DevOps Engineer?
First and foremost, a DevOps Engineer should be able to work as part of a team and communicate as they are often the link between development teams and the wider business.
They should have knowledge of various coding languages and software development principles as well as good problem-solving skills. The role involves a lot of testing, so strong testing skills are a must and a knowledge of automation, security practices, and cloud software. As the role is so varied, it’s essential that DevOps engineers manage their time and multitask and manage projects effectively. A keen eye for detail is also a valuable skill to have.
New technologies and developments are a regular occurrence in the DevOps space, and therefore, Engineers must be curious and willing to learn.
Talent Works specialise in finding top tech talent to help companies grow and innovate. Through direct sourcing, digital recruitment marketing and attraction strategies, and building employer brands that cut through the noise and resonate with the tech market. To find out how we could help your business find and connect with leading DevOps professionals to maintain your tech infrastructure as you scale, contact us.