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How to locate a DevOps Faker: 5 questions, 5 answers



With the rapid growth of DevOps teams and jobs, it follows that there are candidates out there who are inflating – or pretending to be nothing – their relevant skills and experience. We met with Nick Piette, director of Product Marketing API integration products here at Talend to get a scoop on how to identify DevOps fakers in the crowd:

What clues should you look for on a resume or on the LinkedIn profile that someone is simulating their DevOps qualifications?

For people who support the DevOps experience, I tend to look for the enabling technologies we have seen appearing from the beginning of the concept. What I'm looking for often depends on where they come from. If I see that they have a solid programming experience, I look for free examples where the candidate mentions the experience of supply chain management (SCM), builds automation or containerization technologies. I'm also looking for the infrastructure monitors and configuration management tools they've used in the past. The opposite is true when candidates come from an operational context. Do they have programming experience and are competent in the latest domain-specific languages?

What signs should you look for in an interview? How should you draw them?

DevOps is a methodology. I ask respondents to provide concrete examples of overcoming some of the challenges faced by many organizations, such as the candidate team reduced the cost of downtime, how they handled the conversion of existing manual tests to automated tests, what plans they implemented to prevent that the code reaches the main branch, which KPIs were used to measure and dashboards. The key is the detail: individuals who are vague and lack of attention to detail raise a red flag from the point of view of experience.

Do you think that the DevOps know-how is easier to simulate (at least up to a certain point) than the technical skills that could be more easily captured in the screening / hiring process?

Yes, if the interviewer is only verifying the understanding and the experience. It is easier to read the methodology and best practices and to have books smarter than technological experience and street intelligence. Asking for both during an interview makes it more difficult to pretend.

How can you educate people who have deficiencies related to DevOps?

Every organization is different, so we always expect some kind of shortage related to the process. We do our best to ensure that everything here is documented. We also practice what we preach: it is a mentality and a company policy.

Should we be skeptical of people describing themselves as "guru DevOps", "DevOps ninja" or similar in their online profiles?

Yes. There is a difference between being one who has just started and an expert. While aspects of this methodology have been around for some time, momentum has begun in the last two years. You could be an expert with technology, but DevOps is much more than that.


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