DevOps Lead – Tech Hiring Guide

DevOps is more than just automation. Besides developing and deploying code and data, they are also a point of contact for facilitating code execution to fixing bugs and suggesting why X is better than Y.

Low-code software automation will take over most DevOps platforms by 2022 end. Therefore, experts predict that DevOps Lead will also have a makeover and not focus on “Automating Everything”. For example, Karl-Johan Grahn, Team Lead SRE and DevOps process lead at Sinch believes that the core tenet of DevOps and SRE lies in organizational empowerment. It happens when your team members are given great technical freedom under responsibility.

With so much said, here comes the question: How easy is it to hire a DevOps Lead? Many tech gurus say it’s extremely hard to find a DevOps Lead who is competent in sysadmin, programming and has the vision and technical potential to build a DevOps-friendly infrastructure. On these grounds, our tech hiring guide briefs you on key parameters for hiring a DevOps Lead.

Who is a DevOps Lead?  

In the era of ‘Everything as a Code’, DevOps Lead plays a critical role in eliminating the silos between developers and operations. As seasoned professionals, they have the best cultural readiness, leadership, prior implementations, and the IT service management process.

A  DevOps Lead reports to the CTO. For starters, they set-off the DevOps journey with the right set of metrics and build a frictionless pipeline. As a norm, they handle production and non-production activities too whenever required.

According to Gene Kim, author of the DevOps handbook, the role DevOps Lead revolves around three principles:

  1. Flow
  2. Feedback and Telemetry
  3. Continuous Learning and Integration

Why is this role in high demand?

As per ResearchReportsWorld, the Global DevOps Platform is estimated to reach $25783.57 mn by 2028 with a CAGR of 21.11% in the forecasted period. This makes careers in DevOps Lead a dynamic sector as there is a higher demand for IaC (Infrastructure as a Code).

Why is DevOps so popular? Well, according to Andrew Davis, author of Mastering Salesforce DevOps, implementation of DevOps culture lets you see 46x more code deployments and 7x less change failure rates.

Talking about the DevOps trends in 2022, Michelle Gienow, Full Stack Product Content Strategist at Cockroach Labs observes that serverless adoption is proliferating and they will just become serverless and will eventually become just an implementation detail, providing inherent scalability and reliability — and automating routine operational tasks that few developers enjoy.

Average pay

As per Glassdoor estimates, the national average salary for a DevOps Lead in the USA is $1,17,502 per year with an added compensation between $4,580 – $51,151

Sample KPIs:

Continuous integration and delivery are the heart of a DevOps Lead.  Here are some of the KPIs that help us measure the magnanimity of DevOps culture in an organization.

  1. Deployment frequency
  2. Deployment time and speed
  3. Deployment failure rate
  4. MTTR (Mean Time to Recover)
  5. Lead Time for Change
  6. CFR (Change Failure Rate)

Job Description

Most organizations need a DevOps Lead who is well-versed in skills like Jenkins, Git, Naggios, Zabbi, bitBucket and others. But what does a DevOps Lead do?  We have covered the job description just for you. Take a look:

  1. Initiate and lead team discussions about Configuration Management, build and release architecture
  2. Design load balancing and clustering solutions as per architecture standards
  3. Work on complex, major or highly visible tasks in support of multiple projects that require multiple areas of expertise
  4. Architect, develop, plan for, maintain and manage internal infrastructure and Configuration Management system for Secure Ops Test environment
  5. Develop scripts to automate building the infrastructure and software, create a release and build numbers, tag and branch code branches in the configuration management system, notify engineers of build problems and collect build metrics
  6. Maintain solution release notes and other collateral related to solution releases
  7. Gather, track, and supply all the tools that are required to develop and build a particular piece of software in order to reliably reproduce or maintain solution after initial customer release
  8. Develop automated software installers for various platforms in our solution
  9. Interact with key stakeholders to prepare Test Plan Automation
  10. Understand the Secure Ops Solution and its environment to develop automation approach

Interview Questions

Automation and Configuration management are the two things that define a DevOps Lead’s skills and expertise. Curated from many sources, our interview questions template will help you source the best talent for the role.

  1. What are the primary roles of a DevOps Lead?
  2. What languages must a DevOps Lead know?
  3. What would be your first priority between new and legacy applications and technologies?
  4. What does the perfect release look like to you?
  5. What are the best DevOps tools according to you? Which of them do you use?
  6. Imagine a  deployment has just failed. What steps will you take to sort out the situation?
  7. Explain the scope of DevOps in an organization
  8. How do CI and QA influence DevOps?
  9. How do you work on implementing a new feature in a current project?
  10. Please describe how you would test X, where X is the specific component of a project.

Best Practices for hiring DevOps Lead

A DevOps Lead role needs someone who can be a ‘Master of All.’ Since it is an evolving field, even hiring managers are perplexed about the right type of assessments for the role. Many video interviews suggest that recruiters are struggling to find quality talent for the role. While there is an acute talent shortage due to inadequate skills and experience, it must also be noted that most employers are still stuck in the traditional methods of hiring.

Hiring red flags like over-reliance on credentials than competencies and lack of advanced evaluation tools in skill assessments have severely limited the talent pool.

On the other hand, recruitment software like Glider AI takes candidate evaluation to the next level. Through a structured and standardized process, interviews are made candidate-friendly and also accurately assess skills and competencies. Hiring is not only bias-free but evaluated on real-world scenarios as well.

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