Defining DevOps Culture and Using It to Better Source Candidates

Are you a sourcer struggling with filling DevOps positions? If yes, let’s learn a bit about DevOps, and hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have some new creative ideas to tackle this beast.

Let’s begin with the definition of DevOps –As per Wikipedia “DevOps (a clipped compound of “software DEVelopment” and “information technology OPerationS“) is a term used to refer to a set of practices that emphasize the collaboration and communication of both software developers and information technology (IT) professionals while automating the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes. It aims at establishing a culture and environment where buildingtesting, and releasing software can happen rapidly, frequently, and more reliably.”

DevOps is therefore NOT a technology. It is a mindset which development and operations team adopt to work together as a team. It is a culture which encourages communication, collaboration, integration and automation among the teams, to efficiently and expeditiously launch high quality software.

The following categories/responsibilities could be considered as core functions in DevOps:

  • Build/Release
  • Site Reliability
  • Operations/Automations
  • Performance/Monitoring

Typically, a hiring manager may seek only some of these functions tailored towards specific job requirements.

So let’s understand these functions in greater detail:

Build/Release – Here, the engineer is primarily concerned with the compilation, assembly, and delivery of source code into finished products or other software components. Since build/release engineers sometimes maintain in-house tools or write their integration or deployment scripts, they can be considered as developers (i.e., more ‘Dev’ than ‘Ops’).

Within job descriptions, you may find build/release experience or source control tools like GIT, Subversion, Perforce among others and continuous integration and deployment tools like bamboo, Jenkins, GoCD, etc.

Site Reliability – The responsibilities here entail ensuring reliability, scalability, development, load balancing, server stability, virtualization, and security. Typically, the hiring manager would require individuals with experience in Linux/Unix admin, programming languages like Python, C++, C, Ruby and Perl to perform these activities. The concerned individuals are expected to run a maintenance script to restart the server or other components of the server network typically once a week to maintain server stability. As for the keywords to search for an ideal candidate, you can additionally use distributed networks, distributed systems or distributed servers.

Operations/Automation – The primary focus in this area is to set up the hardware (more ops) and deploy the operating systems onto each hardware (typically redhat, unix, windows server, etc.) by running their deployment scripts, virtualized environment, installing and setting up server-side services as well as components (both hardware and software). Typically, tools such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible etc are used to automate much of this type of work.

Performance/Monitoring – Individuals who work in this area are responsible for ensuring optimal performance, continuous improvement (CI) & continuous monitoring, real-time tracking, as well as  server level and application level performance monitoring. Tools like Nagios, Zabbix etc. are quite useful in this area.

In most of the DevOps job descriptions one may also come across keywords related to cloud computing. Cloud computing helps and encourages DevOps culture. Various cloud services such as AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure etc can be utilized for this purpose.

Taken together, we can broadly classify a DevOps engineer’s functions as follows:

Having explained the responsibilities involved in a DevOps role and introduced some of the widely utilized tools in this area, let’s have a look at the process of sourcing for candidates in this field.

 

Sourcing DevOps engineers

My suggestion is always to start with easy wins, the low hanging fruit. An obvious choice here would be to begin your search with ATS and other job boards where candidates have either explicitly expressed their willingness to work in your company or are open to new opportunities. For more details, you can refer to this article.

No results yet? Let’s talk about alternatives.

Step 1: Build a search string (I used Hiretual to build following search strings)

DevOps – (“devops” OR “site reliability” OR “sre” OR (“build” AND “release”) OR DevTool )

Build/Release – (“devops” AND (“release” OR “build”) AND (“continuous integration” OR “continuous deployment” OR “ci” OR “cd” OR “maven” OR “git” OR “perforce” OR “subversion” OR “ant” OR “jenkins” OR “gradle” OR “nexus” OR “bamboo”))

Site reliability – ((“site reliability” OR “sre”) AND (“chef” OR “nagios” OR “puppet” OR “icinga” OR “jenkins” OR “docker” OR “ansible” OR “collectd” OR “collectl” OR “consul.io” OR “elk” OR “monit” OR “nginx” OR “nuget” OR “ansible” OR “cfengine” OR “saltstack” OR “fabric” OR “capistrano”))

Operations/automation – (“devops” AND (“operations” OR “automations”) AND (“chef” OR “nagios” OR “puppet” OR “icinga” OR “jenkins” OR “docker” OR “collectd” OR “collectl” OR “consul.io” OR “elk” OR “monit” OR “nginx” OR “nuget” OR “ansible” OR “cfengine” OR “saltstack” OR “fabric” OR “capistrano” OR “qubell”))

Performance/Monitoring – (“devops” AND (“monitoring” OR “performance” OR “integration”) AND (“nagios” OR “new relic” OR “icinga” OR “zabbix” OR “splunk” OR “newrelic” OR “dynatrace” OR “bluestripe”))

(Note: Depending on your requirement you can tweak your boolean search string)

 

Option 1: Google X-Ray

Let’s start with basic searches and then slowly expand the search criteria.

  •  Searching in intitle and inurl with a DevOps keyword:
    • (“intitle:(resume|cv|vitae|bio|profile)”|”inurl:(resume|cv|vitae|bio|profile)”) DevOps
  • Removing False positives:
    • (“intitle:(resume|cv|vitae|bio|profile)”|”inurl:(resume|cv|vitae|bio|profile)”) DevOps -inurl:jobs -inurl:job -intitle:jobs -intitle:job -intitle:sample -intitle:samples -intitle:indeed -intitle:template
  • Adding location
    • (“intitle:(resume|cv|vitae|bio|profile)”|”inurl:(resume|cv|vitae|bio|profile)”) (devops AND (monitoring |performance|integration)) (“san Diego”| Carlsbad) -inurl:jobs -inurl:job -intitle:jobs -intitle:job -intitle:sample -intitle:samples
  • Searching with filetype:
    • (“intitle:(resume|cv|vitae|bio|profile)”|”inurl:(resume|cv|vitae|bio|profile)”) Devops filetype:pdf

 

Option 2: Quora

Quora is a question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users. They have a wide variety of topics. Here is the list of all topics. So, if you are sourcing for DevOps the easiest way is to look for topics related to DevOps and then go to “most viewed writers” and get your list of influencers. Easy!

You can also do an x-ray. You can write this in Google:

site:quora.com/<profile keyword>

So, if you are looking for DevOps, you can have a search string like:

site:quora.com/profile DevOps

or

Article Continues Below

site:quora.com/profile (devops|”site reliability”|sre)

Pretty cool, right?

 

Option 3: Stack Overflow: Stack Overflow is similar to Quora, a question and answer website, but this is focused on various computer science topics. Perfect for us.

As we saw in Quora, here also are groups/topics and these groups are organized as tags. You can go through the questions and answers and get a list of folks who are often answering or who seems knowledgeable in the group. Please keep in mind that those who are not active does not mean they are not knowledgeable. They may be just silent members of the group.

If you want to x-ray then you can use following search string:

site:stackoverflow.com/users (devops|”site reliability”|sre)

 

Option 4: Sourcing with images 

I love the idea of sourcing with images, and you would be surprised to see the results.

Plug in this search string in Google

resume (devops | “site reliability” | sre (build release) (“san diego” OR Carlsbad) -jobs -sample -job

And then look into Google images (select type and face). Easy right!

Or you can also go into tools and then in color chose “black and white.” You will get tons of resumes.

 

Option 5: Github If you are looking for DevOps folks with programming experience then you are can try on Github too.

You can write your search string like this:

DevOps in:name,description language:Python stars:>10 forks:>10

Or use Hiretual which makes it very easy for you to search.

 

Option 6: Facebook Search Have you searched on Facebook yet? If not, this can be another excellent avenue for you to look into.

I did a quick search using Shane McCusker’s tool (Intelligence software) and had tons of qualified candidates.

 

Nidhi has over nine years of recruiting experience in both agency and corporate environments. She grew up in India and has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Computer Science. After working with Oracle Corp. as a Technical Recruiter for three years, she moved to the US in 2009. She worked for a staffing agency (ATTech) for two years and joined ViaSat in 2015 as full cycle recruiter and sourcer. She enjoys the entire life cycle of recruitment but truly loves sourcing and is always keen to learn new ways to source hidden gems. 

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