Characteristics Every DevOps Candidate Should Have

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Working in DevOps requires a skillset which spans subsets of software development and operations.

However, there are certain personality traits that will separate one candidate with the skills from another equally qualified job seeker. Below are seven of those characteristics that make for highly desirable DevOps candidates.

1. A Knack for Resource Management

DevOps requires that you learn to carefully manage resources.

If you cannot properly manage your resources, i.e. time, budget, and human capital, you will be constantly stuck with a pile of insurmountable work. Even if you are frugal with these resources, work may pile up faster than you think, and you will have two choices. Either you can refocus and assign new priorities, or you can make a move to secure more resources—even if that just means hiring a freelancer for the interim.

2. The Ability to Prioritize

The daily ins and outs of any DevOps pro will require a lot of prioritization. It’s likely that working in DevOps you will have a full plate of tasks and objectives. The ability to prioritize the most critical of these tasks is a necessary skill in DevOps. Your most important KPIs will determine what you should work on, so analyze your tasks in terms of KPIs so you can rank them accordingly.

3. Communication Skills

After prioritizing your personal workload, any DevOps expert -- particularly a team leader, will have to understand the goals and tasks of every other team member.

Communication is key to this, and to nearly every other objective in DevOps. Make sure to communicate what you’re working on with your team, and make sure to understand what they’re working on. Communication will also help you identify your team members strengths and weaknesses.

4. Teamwork

Communication and teamwork go hand in hand.

When working in DevOps, everyone on the team will have a different perspective of the most important issues. Beyond that, DevOps team members will also have to work often with external teams. The ability to work as one large team is essential, as it will help you identify the key KPIs to monitor and the mission critical issues to look out for. Any KPI may involve various factors, and the ability to work as a team to understand these KPIs will give you a fuller perspective.

5. Motivation

DevOps is one of those jobs that you can perform remotely, without any loss in quality of work. Therefore, DevOps candidates should be flexible about their working situations, because the available jobs may entail remote work or freelance jobs. You have to be motivated enough to push yourself to get your work done without an office around you. You also have to be motivated enough to stay ahead of the DevOps curve, which means you may even have to teach yourself certain aspects of the job.

6. Nitpicky

If you’re working in DevOps, the tiniest error could have huge effects. Being nitpicky in DevOps means being able to spot these issues before they arise, and being able to deal with them. A critical focus of DevOps is to create a system that is as agile and lean as possible.

Being nitpicky means that you won’t stop until everything is correct -- and that’s a good thing.

7. Leadership

Even today, departments full of DevOps team members are rare. This is not only because businesses do not fully understand what DevOps is, but also because DevOps is a job that spans many fields. Working in DevOps, it helps to have someone willing to speak up about unrealistic goals, fight for resources, and align the team’s goals.

If you’re looking for a job in DevOps, having these seven characteristics will likely make you an effective employee. If you can take the initiative to teach yourself these skills you’ll have a leg up on the competition.

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