DevOps Resource: DevOps Careers

Brought to you by the DevOps Enterprise Forum

Brought to you by the DevOps Enterprise Forum

Continual Learning 

Building a DevOps-Inspired Career Track

Many organizations list a skills gap as one of their primary obstacles to achieving and sustaining a high-functioning DevOps-based organization. This resource attempts to provide practical guidance to organizations on developing, recruiting, and retaining DevOps talent.

What's Inside

SECTION 1

Career Path

An information technology career path involves the progressive development of an individual throughout their career. While there could be many steps along this path, we provide principles and guidance on career steps based on three levels, starting with an entry level role to a mid-level master to an expert level leader.

SECTION 2

Early Career

We evaluate how interns, college graduates, junior engineers, and entry-level IT professionals looking to begin their career in a DevOps model should consider the more generalist nature of their roles.

SECTION 3

Middle Career 

We discuss how IT professionals who have have reached a point in their career where they are very well established in their field must make a concerted effort to stay current and resist the propensity to become vertically specialized without horizontal, cross-discipline collaboration.

SECTION 4

Leaders

IT professionals who have adopted the middle career principles and are looking to further expand their influence and impact will look to move into more of a leadership role. It is generally at this point that the choice between a management path or a technical leader path is considered. There are common principles to both paths, but there are also unique elements that we will consider within this section.

SECTION 5

The Supply Side: Working force creation and ongoing development

While there are a number of ways the digital/IT workforce is educated and trained, but there appears to be a large and growing gap between industry practice and traditional four-year education; in this final section, we evaluate the traditional education sector as a means by which the majority of the workforce is created.

Key Takeaways

Technological advances are accelerating and require a workforce that is able to adapt quickly. Educators need to help prepare the workforce by proactively incorporating training to develop new skills to master nascent and emerging tech.

Leaders responsible for building and sustaining high-performance teams should ensure two key aspects: (1) ensure early engagement with intake pipelines (college and intern programs, early prep); (2) establish a growth mindset learning pattern for new employees.

Two-thirds of CIOs say they believe a lack of talent has become one of the key limiting factors for organizations who want to scale-up DevOps on a broad level. Employers need to recruit and retain more “T-shaped talent” (individuals who have both depth in a specialty but also breadth across the spectrum, often visually represented by a T shape) to deliver in a DevOps manner.

The traditional education sector should not be dismissed. It represents a large portion of the US and world economies and, although it responds slowly to feedback and has many challenges, it is still the means by which the majority of the workforce is created. Disruption may occur, but today’s DevOps hiring managers should not pin their hopes on non-traditional educational alternatives (e.g., boot camps), which represent only a small fraction of the educational system.

Leaders as Teachers: Technical leaders strive to be educators in practice, using their advanced skills and experience to teach, mentor, and develop others.

Often, early career technology workers will be tempted to solve problems in haphazard ways, using instinct or a “gut feeling” approach. This can result in a shotgun approach of uncontrolled or unmeasured changes attempting to solve the problem. Leaders and educators should encourage workers to approach problems in a methodical, deliberate, and iterative fashion by using the scientific method of systematic observation, measurement, experimentation, testing, and modification.

What is the DevOps Enterprise Forum?

"Every year, more than 50 technology leaders and thinkers gather for three days to create written guidance on the best-known methods for overcoming the top obstacles in the DevOps Enterprise community."

Gene Kim Founder, IT Revolution 


Authors of This Resource

Paula Thrasher Director Digital Services, CSRA 

Jason Cox Director, Systems Engineering, The Walt Disney Company

Chivas Nambiar Director, Systems Engineering, Verizon

Authors of This Resource

Paula Thrasher Director Digital Services, CSRA 

Jason Cox Director, Systems Engineering, The Walt Disney Company

Chivas Nambiar Director, Systems Engineering, Verizon

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