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Portrait : discover THE DevOps that startups dream of hiring !

16/1/2017

Since in the world of digital and technology (and in our time in general), everything moves very fast, the professions are also adapting to changes in their context. In 8 years, the devOps profile has inevitably developed.

A little history 🏰

The term Devops, which appeared in 2009, is becoming increasingly popular and is gradually becoming a real need. Stemming from the principles of Lean and Agile, collaboration between developers and operational staff was organised in order to be able to continuously improve the software, with the aim of seizing market opportunities more quickly and making it easier to take user feedback into account. It was precisely in 2012 that we began to find the first real DevOps experiences, i.e. challenges within organisations reorganised around this emerging type of operation.

To everyone's delight, there is a surge of open-source technologies on the subject, here are some examples:

  • 2009 : Chef, Go, MongoDB, Redis...
  • 2010 : Elasticsearch, Openstack, Couchbase, Vagrant...
  • 2011: Saltstack, GoogleCloud...
  • 2012 : Ansible...
  • 2013: Docker...
  • 2014: Kubernetes, Terraform ...

The latest technologies date from 2015 and 2016 but it is still too early to know whether they will break through or not.

Hiring DevOps is now synonymous with good health and success for a startup, as hiring a Devops becomes necessary when scaling the infrastructure with increasing customer flow while remaining as agile as possible with respect to an innovative and evolving project.

So how do you become the new recruit of choice for fast-growing companies in 2017?

Hint: The answers are based on 3 major pillars: experience, your skills on the stack and above all... your mindset.

#1. VALUE YOUR EXPERIENCES 🎈

One of the advantages of these new professions is that it is impossible to have 10 years of experience in this field. So you have to rely on other criteria and put yourself forward:

Have experience in start-ups: the DevOps role is best suited to these environments. These organisations are innovative with modern stacks that are constantly evolving. If you've mostly built up your skills in large groups, present the projects you've worked on, highlighting those that were agile and scalable.

Show your ability to take the lead... even if it's not a lead position. A DevOps is at the crossroads of two businesses and must therefore be proactive, a source of proposals and a place for consensus.

Explain your personal projects: you are not passive, you are passionate about your job and it should show!

Finally, mention the problems that you had to solve (having worked on a large infrastructure, optimising the load increases, automating the production launch, etc.), and not the processes that you carried out.

Experience will not only help you to get the first interview, but will also give you confidence, weight and credibility in negotiations.

#2. YOUR SHOWCASE: THE STACK!

This is the first thing recruiters look at on your CV! From the design of an infrastructure to the automation and industrialisation of a web application, the missions are numerous! In the end, they are not looking for an expert on one technology but someone who is competent on the whole.

Have at least one skill per area, here are some examples:

Cloud: Public, especially AWS and Google Cloud (less widespread than Bluemix, Azure, Rackspace, etc.) or private, self-built clouds such as Openstack

Microservices: Docker, Kubernetes, EC2 (from AWS), ...

Scripting: Go, Python, shell first, otherwise Ruby, php, Node, etc.

Automatic deployment: Saltstack, Ansible, puppet, Chef

Continuous integration: Jenkins, Bamboo

Databases: MongoDB, Redis, couchbase, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, ...

Miscellaneous: Consul for container management, Vagrant for the environment, Terraform for providermanagement, ELK (Elasticsearch, logstash and kibana) for log management, etc.

While most companies know that it is rare to find a candidate with the perfect stack (theirs), your knowledge of the variants of their stack will reassure them of your ability to be operational quickly.

It is therefore important to regularly work on your technical culture. The better it is, the easier it will be to reassure and convince the CTO to join the project.

#3. THE MOST IMPORTANT: MINDSET

We often speak of the DevOps philosophy because this new approach to work (which has enabled the reconciliation of sysadmins with developers) is above all a method, a vision and therefore a philosophy.

The mindset is perhaps the most important element when recruiting a DevOps person, since the first recruitment of a DevOps person usually occurs when the CTO who was in charge of the infrastructure reaches his limits. He needs to delegate this part to a dedicated person who will be able to make the right decisions and make his life easier.

So devOps, what will make the difference for a CTO? How should you present yourself? The answer in 4 points:

Be curious and have a strong technical culture: this is fundamental, this is a young and rapidly evolving profession, don't rest on your laurels! Show that you are capable of adapting quickly to changes and that you are always one step ahead!

Be an entrepreneur: they are looking for someone who knows how to make decisions to improve a constantly growing infra. You are there to contribute something in a fast-moving environment! If you find a new way of doing things, propose it! Show that you are really concerned and committed.

Know how to popularise and explain your choices: if you want to reconcile Dev and Ops, you have to know how to make yourself understood. If we see that you are able to communicate with everyone and justify your choices in a simple and concise way, it inspires confidence and is proof that you yourself have understood your choice.

Simply put, be friendly, warm and smiling: the main recruitment criterion is "Do I want to work with this person?", so put yourself in their shoes and the odds are in your favour 😉

To conclude, all these elements serve only one purpose: to reassure the CTO. He must feel that with you, he will put the infra in good hands and that he will have nothing to worry about! Of course, the feeling does not depend on this advice and it may not work. But by following advice, 1) you greatly increase your chances and 2) a slight feeling can become great in the process thanks to your example.

Feel free to comment or give your own feedback, the best way to go deeper into a subject is through exchange!

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