We've been trying to grow our team for a few months now and the title we're hiring for is Devops Engineer. One of the candidates our recruiters reached out to, let's call him John, came back to us with a bunch of questions including:
How do you feel about hiring someone with a devops title?
It's a very legitimate question, Devops is a cultural and professional movement, so how could it be a job title? What I argued in my reply to this fella is that Devops isn't the job title, Devops Engineer is, and in this sense Devops is just a qualifier and I strongly believe a very useful one.
I really sympathize with those that are fighting hard to keep Devops real and avoid the same faith that some refer to as the sad commercialisation of Agile. My campaign to make of devops a job title isn't a campaign to come up with a set of bullet points that define Devops as a job so that I can put it on a resume or build it into a product.
My argument here is that the guy I'm trying to hire, John, I want him to be a certain kind of guy and the best way I have to describe what I want is Devops Engineer. I'm looking for an operations guy , but I want him to be open to developers, consider engineering and the company as a whole, be focused on delivering value and not rat hole into fights about technology or claim root access only on principle. I want that guy to have great communication skills and the interest to explore what's besides his infrastructure, to be wanting to borrow as much good he can find in other disciplines across the organization. And then of course there is the practical part, the desire to automate and escape a boring manual routine, the familiarity with cloud that willing or not has powered the movement, and even more specific things like configuration management. You may argue that this is just a good engineer or what systems engineers are becoming, in other words nothing new under the sun. And you may be right, but job titles are in many ways just another way to communicate, to broadcast an intent and a need.
So you know what I told John about hiring Devops Engineers? That I felt pretty damn proud about it. The true ones, not the ones slapping it on their CV to get a job, are fantastic engineers and I can't but encourage them to start to respond to that qualifier. Likewise the companies and individuals seeking them out are likely the ones building great groups those people will want to be members of. Yes, the moment it becomes a keyword recruiters start to match against we're likely to see a spur of fakes trying to land a job, but that's nothing new under the sun.
Signed, a Devops manager