Paramount Software Solutions Inc

What should you be looking for in a DevOps candidate.

No matter what time of year, organizations always need good talent. Today, however, it is a need that is proving to be much more difficult to fulfill as compared to times past. Hiring for technology roles simply isn’t about finding someone with experience in the technology your company uses anymore; today, enterprise environments use DevOps, Blockchain, machine learning, and the cloud to enable their businesses.

DevOps, especially, has taken the enterprise world by storm. The efficiencies and benefits that it promises are succinctly described in books such as The Phoenix Project, as well as in numerous case studies.

But to get the benefits of DevOps, you need the right people implementing and maintaining it. As of this month, there were over 69,000 open positions for DevOps engineers on Glassdoor. DevOps Engineer was the most recruited job on LinkedIn in 2018! Clearly, this is a position greatly in demand – but just as hard to recruit for, considering the lack of talent – they supply meets only around 39.6% of DevOps job posting demand!

So how to recruit right for this lucrative (the average salary for DevOps engineers in the US is over $100,000) role, where the right talent is so hard to find?

The decision to take when looking for your ideal DevOps engineer is not about what everyone else is looking for – but to look at your environment and identify what it needs, and where DevOps can help.

When selecting candidates, we like to emphasize – DevOps is not a technology, but a philosophy. Therefore, DevOps reaches across technology domains, and not all DevOps engineers are built for every use case.

We have put together a list of qualities that makes the perfect DevOps engineer, so you can hire right for your DevOps positions.


Certain core personality traits bring out the best in DevOps engineers.

  • Focus: The ideal DevOps engineer is determined by your environment, not their skillset. DevOps engineers typically have a background in a base technology domain (middleware, operating systems, SCM, release management, etc.). Before hiring, you will need to recognize the skill gap within your environment that you are looking to bridge through the specific DevOps role.
  • Continuous learning: Often, looking at a resume and seeing someone who has jumped technology domains often may put you off – but for DevOps, it may be a good thing. A DevOps engineer must be curious and energetic, as technology in this domain changes nearly every day – keeping up with the changes in tech and staying current and capable can only happen when one is eager to learn.
  • Data-driven: A DevOps engineer must make decisions based on data, not emotional arguments. DevOps at its best is data-driven and utilizes performance metrics to make decisions about tasks, projects, and task scaling.
  • Team player: Going with the philosophy of DevOps, DevOps engineers have to be team players – as they are often required to work with teams from multiple domains.


Most organizations present a wide variety of requirements when looking for DevOps engineers; but some threads are common when it comes to technical skills. Here’s are few we have seen across postings and resumes –

  • Experience with configuration, installation, and management of virtual systems: DevOps is almost synonymous with virtualization. It enables a lot of the efficiency that comes in through capabilities such as on-demand provisioning, pooled computing resources, and easy management. Experience with virtual systems, therefore, is an essential skillset.
  • Experience with orchestration/automation (Ansible, Jenkins) and container technology (Docker, Kubernetes): Along with virtualization, the DevOps engineer must also be adept at automating operations with virtual and physical resources as well as with newer computing technologies such as containers and microservices. A lot of teams today use these technologies, and your DevOps engineer also needs to be skilled with automation platforms such as Ansible so they are not bogged down by trivial time-consuming tasks that can be automated.
  • Linux system administration expertise: Most orchestration platforms work best on Unix/Linux, with most distributions having built-in support for DevOps tools.
  • Development Experience: Development experience comes in handy for DevOps engineers, as they would be required to put together scripts as well as playbooks to enable automation, which would involve some degree of programming skill.
  • Cloud platform experience: Experience working with at least one of the major cloud platforms – AWS, Azure, Google Cloud – is almost mandatory, as most enterprise systems, as well as software, are housed on the cloud. At the entry-level, the experience can be leveraged across different clouds but at higher levels, experience on the specific cloud that your organization is using is recommended.
  • Strong domain expertise: Expertise with the domain you need DevOps in – whether SCM or middleware or release management – is also necessary. While you may have other engineers who have these as their core skillsets, the DevOps engineer needs to be able to understand how best to integrate your software, which is not possible without knowing how it works internally.
  • Security understanding: With operations on the cloud and automation come security risks. DevOps engineers need to be aware of the security loopholes in the tools and technologies that they utilize so that when they implement DevOps solutions, they build them so that they don’t inadvertently create a security hazard. Software development in DevOps environments is very quick, so security has to be part of the release from the beginning. Candidates should have experience with specific security standards such as PCI-DSS, PII, and FIPS.
  • Expertise-linked certifications: Certifications serve as a good guideline to the ability of an engineer – but the right certifications should be looked for. Certifications with AWS, Docker, Kubernetes, Microsoft Azure, Puppet and Google cloud are all reputed and well-structured. Certificates in DevOps related areas such as Scrum are also good to have. However, there is no one exam for DevOps skillsets, so your decision-making has to be guided by what you need.


The decision to take when looking for your ideal DevOps engineer is not about what everyone else is looking for – but to look at your environment and identify what it needs, and where DevOps can help. As with all technology, trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist can create new problems of its own! However, by keeping our recommendations in mind, you can be more certain that your recruits will be able to deliver on your DevOps plan and make it a success.

At Paramount our team of recruiters curates the most relevant skills and talent for positions that are high in demand but difficult to find in the market. Our in – house DevOps team works closely with the recruiting team to find DevOps candidates that best fit the need of clients, to be able to succeed in the business goals. Let us know how we can work with you to help shape your DevOps team!


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What should you be looking for in a DevOps candidate.

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