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Date: 09 July 2020

Author: Nicole Brinson

DevOps Demand, the IT Talent Gap and Your Company's Options

Despite record unemployment and a recession, many economists and analysts believe we’re on the edge of the biggest skills shortage in U.S. history for specific roles, especially in IT.

The tech industry is feeling the skills gap the most, and the search for DevOps is near the top of the list.

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What does DevOps mean?

DevOps is a combination of software development and information technology operations practices that emphasize the collaboration and communication of software developers and IT professionals. DevOps also may be described as a link between development, quality assurance (QA) and other departments. The goal of DevOps is to establish a culture and environment where software innovation (e.g., building, testing and releasing software) occurs more rapidly and reliably, contributing to a better customer experience. 

Another aspect of DevOps entails skilled professionals automating formerly manual processes, where developers become users of their software, and manual labor related to an infrastructure becomes unnecessary. The explosion of cloud computing has expanded DevOps’ potential and made it more popular in the tech community. Many companies are looking at ways of using DevOps to streamline operational efficiency or improve working relationships across their organizations.

 

If you can’t hire DevOps talent, develop it

Given how rare unemployed IT talent is these days, companies should consider alternative ways to acquire DevOps talent, starting with their existing IT resources. Most IT pros agree the fastest path to IT burnout is being stuck doing repetitive and uninteresting work that contributes little to the business beyond keeping the lights on. DevOps tools training, which involves IT automation practices, can go a long way in curbing IT boredom and give IT workers a reason to stay with your company.

 

Outsourced DevOps (i.e., DevOps as a Service) is a viable option, too 

Devising a holistic infrastructure strategy requires a lot of expertise and deep insight into current trends and projections, which is why Cisco predicts that most companies will turn to outsourced solutions to take this burden off their shoulders.

For companies that already understand the value of software development outsourcing, outsourcing DevOps to a qualified provider is a natural next step. If your company wants to embrace the benefits of DevOps and is considering DevOps as a service, be sure to keep the following considerations in mind before selecting a partner:

  • Technical skills

  • As you examine a prospective DevOps partner's technical capabilities, consider the following:
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    • Do they have the relevant skills and tools experience you need? For instance, they should have programming language expertise in Java, PHP, Python and Ruby. They also should know infrastructure-oriented software and tools such as Ansible, Docker, Puppet, SaltStack and Windows PowerShell.

    • Is this a core competency of the company, or the expertise of a small select few within the company?
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    • They should be experienced with the continuous integration (CI) method—the CI tools (e.g., GitLab, CruiseControl) that support the associated processes. CI tools also help merge source code updates from all developers on a specific software build, notifying the team of any failures in the process.

    • What certifications do they hold?
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    • In addition to holding certifications in the tools and languages mentioned earlier, a good DevOps prospect should be certified in project management methodologies, such as Scrum or  PMP.
  • People skills

  • A DevOps partner’s ability to communicate well is equally important to its technical skills and design iterations, and project sprints cannot happen without this skill. Before working with the partner, evaluate how well the prospect responds to your due diligence questions. 

Also, when checking references, try to determine if other customers experienced any communication issues.

  • Vertical experience

  • A DevOps candidate should have experience in your business vertical (e.g., banking and finance, education, healthcare, manufacturing, retail). It also should ideally have experience in the specific area within your vertical that you need help in (e.g., e-commerce, data analytics, warehouse management) and demonstrable experiences using Agile and DevOps techniques.

At Bedroc, our IT and business expertise enable us to work closely with clients to determine and meet their specific needs, including application development and DevOps services. Contact us today and discover why our customers enthusiastically recommend our company to anyone interested in building a successful partnership for IT delivery.