Rapid application development has become the norm and companies need to deliver their solutions fast and at scale. But the increasing complexities of software development are challenging for development teams as developers and operations have to coordinate their efforts. This can create a huge challenge for organizations as communication between teams can create major bottlenecks.
Enter the superhero of software development… The DevOps.
In this article, we will help you understand exactly what DevOps is and how to prepare to hire the best DevOps Engineers.
What is DevOps?
DevOps (Development and Operations) is a term that refers to an approach to managing collaborative work between software development and operations teams within an organization. Their goal is to improve the flow of information between these two groups, thus speeding up the development process and improving the quality and stability of the final product. You could say that they are the middle man or conductor.
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DevOps engineers are key to coordinating communication between teams and ensuring that not only is the development done as fast as possible, but any product problems that are encountered are effectively resolved. Because of this, engineers need to have a variety of skill sets and have an understanding of the overall software development cycle.
What technologies are critical for a DevOps?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the specific needs of each organization, but some technologies are commonly considered critical for DevOps.
These include automation tools, configuration management systems, source control tools, and cloud-based platforms. By using these technologies, organizations can improve communication and collaboration between developers and operations teams.
When looking to hire the best DevOps engineers, it’s important to keep in mind the specific skills and experience they will need in order to be successful in the role. Every organization may have its favored platforms and tools for achieving its goals.
Your preference will be to employ engineers that have the relevant experience in the tools and environments that you are currently using. Make sure you clarify what platforms and software your new DevOps engineer will be using.
Containers allow developers to package their applications in a way that makes them easy to deploy and manage. They can also be run on a wide variety of platforms, including public clouds, private clouds, and traditional data centers. This flexibility makes them an ideal choice for DevOps deployments.
The DevOps toolchain
A DevOps toolchain is a collection of tools that allows developers and operations teams to work together more effectively. It includes tools for automating common tasks, such as code compilation and deployment, as well as tools for monitoring and troubleshooting applications. By using a DevOps toolchain, organizations can speed up the development and deployment of applications while also minimizing the risk of problems.
While not all of these technologies are required, they can be helpful in creating a more efficient and collaborative environment. Organizations should evaluate their specific needs and choose the technologies that will work best for them.
Top skills needed for a DevOps engineer?
Rather than being a specific skill, DevOps engineers have to have an understanding of a wide variety of aspects that encompass both the development to operations of software products. Depending on your organization, there will be specific skills required dictated by the platforms, tools, and systems your organization implement.
Here are some things to consider:
Development and operations experience
Ideally, an engineer should have experience in both areas, as they will be working closely with both groups. This allows them to better understand the needs and goals of each team and helps to ensure that the resulting product is what both groups are looking for.
Strong problem solving skills
As with any role in IT, an engineer must be able to effectively solve problems in a timely manner. The nature of technology requires constant troubleshooting and resolving of technical issues. This means managing technical issues and delegation to the relevant members of your team is critical to avoid downtime.
Advanced automation skills
A DevOps engineer should be able to automate as many tasks as possible in order to speed up the development process. This includes automating tasks such as software builds, deployments, and tests. But this also requires attention to detail, and discipline to ensure that automation runs smoothly and issues are resolved promptly.
Knowledge of various scripting languages will prove valuable as they will likely be using scripts to automate tasks. Some of the most common scripting languages used in DevOps are Bash, Python, and Ruby. Ensuring your candidates have adequate knowledge of these is essential, at the very least they should know one, and be willing to learn any languages that are required in the day-to-day running of your operation.
Broad knowledge of technologies
A DevOps engineer should be familiar with a variety of tools and technologies, as they will likely be using them in their work. This includes things like version control systems, build tools, and container technologies.
Obviously, there are many tools available and not all organizations will use the same tools. At the least, they should have experience using similar tools that you use in your organization. If a candidate you favor does not have experience in certain tools or technologies, be sure to make it a priority to assist them to upskill where necessary.
A DevOps engineer needs to be able to communicate effectively with both developers and operations staff. They need to be able to explain complex technical concepts in a way that everyone can understand, and they need to be able to resolve conflicts between different groups. As a mediator between the two groups or teams, they will need to be articulate, and be good in resolving issues between your teams.
The above are just some of the skills that a DevOps engineer should have. When looking for a DevOps engineer, it is important to consider the individual’s experience, abilities, and skillset. This will help ensure that the engineer can be a valuable asset to your team and that they will be able to help you achieve your DevOps goals.
Be a good cultural fit
Another important factor often overlooked is cultural fit. The DevOps philosophy is all about collaboration and working closely with both developers and operations staff to ensure that software is efficiently developed and deployed.
It’s therefore important to make sure that the candidate you hire has a good working relationship with both of these groups. To hire the best DevOps engineers ensure they have solid communication skills, both written and verbal, as they will be communicating constantly between various teams.
Questions to ask DevOps in interviews
When interviewing candidates for a DevOps engineer position, ask them about their experience with automation tools and their understanding of how software development and operations work together.
You should also ask them about their experience working with developers and operations staff, as well as their ability to collaborate effectively. By asking the right questions, you can ensure that you find the right candidates for the job that will be successful in the role.
Here are some interview questions to consider:
- What are your current operations?
- How did you arrive at this point?
- How would you define DevOps
- What is your experience with it?
- Describe a time when you had to optimize or automate a process?
- Tell me about a difficult problem that you faced and how you solved it?
- What monitoring and logging tools are you familiar with?
- How would you approach designing a deployment pipeline for a new application?
- What steps would you take to improve the speed of software delivery?
- Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult customer or teammate?
- Describe your experience with version control systems, such as Git?
- What is your experience with scripting languages, such as Python or Ruby?
- How would you go about setting up a self-healing infrastructure?
- What are some of the challenges you faced when scaling an operation?
Think carefully about your organization and its needs to be able to effectively structure questions that cover the most critical aspects of a DevOps position.
How to hire the best DevOps engineers with talent assessments?
As we have already discussed, DevOps is a complex role. They have to be proficient at many aspects of the software development cycle and require a variety of skills. These include both technical knowledge and skills, as well as other skills like problem-solving skills, communication skills, and leadership.
But, how do you know if a candidate has the skills you need them to have?
Talent Assessments are by far the most effective way to both evaluate and manage the recruitment of high-tech roles like DevOps. Testlify offers various skills assessment tests that can be easily set up by your recruitment staff, automated to send out invitations, and collect all test results within a central dashboard.
This means your hiring team can make informed decisions that can both improve the quality of the candidates you hire and the speed at which you can evaluate and shortlist candidates. With our structured testing environment, not only can you maintain a high level of quality, but you can accurately compare candidates’ results and pick out the best-fit applicants.
If you looking to hire DevOps engineers and want a fast and effective way to do that, feel free to sign up to Testlify. It’s free. It’s easy. No strings attached!