DevOps Hiring Explained In 10 Points

Photo by Sayan Nath on Unsplash

Almost two years ago, I started DevOpsLinks, an online community of DevOps professionals, developers, system administrators, managers, and even recruiters.

The community has been growing since that time, we were a few dozens, now we are thousands and every day new members are joining.

DevOpsLinks is a technology watch, helping DevOps practitioners save time by curating the most important news and tutorials from the DevOps ecosystem.

The community evolved quickly and I was amazed to hear the feedback of the community members. Jobs For DevOps is, for instance, a project inspired by our members' feedback.

We created this job board and now it is part of this professional DevOps ecosystem.

Having worked with different companies as a developer/ops or DevOps engineer, I’ll try to give my opinionated thoughts.

In a regular day, I receive at least 5 job offers: calls, emails, LinkedIn messages, and even SMS. With time, I became more comfortable answering phone calls and chatting about stuff related to the DevOps ecosystem and hiring.

Based on my experience with recruiters, companies and my previous jobs, I enumerate here some tips to hire DevOps engineers.

Join our new Devops Job Board http://jobsfordevops.com

There Is No “DevOps Engineer”

Even “DevOps Engineers” don’t call themselves this way.. at least most of them. This role name is more used by recruiters and headhunters more than anyone else but now since it’s common to say “DevOps Engineer”, I will be using it in this article!

What is DevOps ?

DevOps is not a just a role or a team, it started with a movement, a philosophy or better: a culture.

Don’t Just Focus On Tools

DevOps is not tooling and tooling is not engineering. A good engineer is the one who has the capacity to learn new technologies, someone who never stops learning!

What are some technologies you are learning this period ?

Ask About Behaviour & Methodology

DevOps, agile, lean, Kanban are sets of behavioral and cultural skills and checklists. DevOps focus on modernizing teams before technologies.

I worked with companies where technologies and tools are underused because of cultural problems.

What are some cultural problems you have seen during your last experiences and what solutions you imagined to make things better ?

A Cross-Functional Person

Some “DevOps engineers” comes from system administration, others come from development teams, but the ideal DevOps should come from both ops and dev teams and can speak the language of each team.

What have you been doing over the last 3 years?

The Release Hero

Release management is one of the most important skills. It is not just some tools and techniques but requires a good understanding of business KPIs like Time To Market.

What are some metrics that could measure the DevOps success in an organization ?

Automate Everything But..

Automation is one of the keys to DevOps success. Find out how much your candidate is passionate about solving business and technical problems by automating stuff!

What is the configuration management tool you use and why ?

However, automating failure or vulnerable systems may cause a disaster:

How to implement security and quality checks in a DevOps environment?


There is an urban legend that says that developers and software engineers care less about money than the project itself. This is a myth. If 10% or 20% or even 30% of engineers think that way, this doesn't mean every other engineer think the same way.

Sure, an interesting project is a source of pride and fulfillment and a springboard to success but between two interesting projects, it is evident to choose the one with the higher compensation.

Compensation could be the first thing that impacts the choice of your candidate. If you are sure that the developer who stands in front of you is the right one to recruit, make sure to suggest a motivating salary.

€$$ $$€$€€$ $$€$$€$$$, $€€$$$€$$$€€€€$ $$ €$€$$$€€$$€€$ $$ ! $$€€$$€ ???

Learning Requires Freedom (and Freedom Requires Learning)

For the vast majority of any developer and IT professional, freedom is important.

The first freedom is freedom of choice.

As a recruiter, you should understand that hackers are like painters, both are creative and creativity needs freedom.

Besides, everything in the IT ecosystem is disputable, debatable and questionable. Technologies are not established as facts, and so open to question or debate.

This is why some of us do not use proprietary solutions while others do not find any problem in using proprietary and closed source systems. 
This is also why some of us use this or that technology while others find that a madness .. There are plenty of examples.

Take this as a reality: The candidate will choose the work environment that gives her/him the freedom to choose, test and learn.

Technology is moving fast and one should follow tech trends. After all, DevOps is about learning, building and measuring to generate feedback.

Do you contribute to Open Source projects or have side projects ?

Technical Background

Of course, you should ask technical questions and test the skills of your candidate. A good engineer should have knowledge in development, operations, QA, tooling, releasing software, building, CI, CD, network and security. Well, in my experience, DevOps practitioners will touch everything.

How does traceroute work ?

(Note that the questions I share in each tip are just for here are indicative only)

I co-wrote this checklist and it may help you:

Decision-making & Problem-solving

DevOps professionals are faced to manage emergencies and blackouts.

We act like firefighter.

These special cases require a good understanding of IT processes, good technical knowledge, and proven experience. Ask about incident management and postmortems.

What’s the first thing to do after fixing a production problem ?

Share Your Job Offers With Our Community!

Our community counts more than 10k members and our sponsored posts reach more than 20k DevOps practitioners.

Posting your job in our job board Jobs For DevOps, will help you in reaching this community.

Once your job is posted to the job board our web bot Kina, will share it on our Social media accounts + our Slack team chat.

Read more here:

If you are an employer, you can create an employer profile and start posting your job offers. It depends on the plan you want to use but your job offer could be shared to our weekly newsletter and our Slack team chat (channel #jobs) so it could be seen and noticed by people that are really looking for new opportunities.

You can find plenty of other questions to ask, like the ones that I published in “The Must Know Checklist For DevOps & Site Reliability Engineers” article, but keep in mind that not only technical aspects are important but also the human sides of this cultural shift: Check my article The 15 Point DevOps Checklist.

Connect Deeper

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Do you want to give it a try? Post your job on Jobs For DevOps, and Kina will do the rest.

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