How To Hire A DevOps Engineer

June 29, 2023

how to hire a devops engineer

A DevOps Engineer is an IT specialist who works within a software development and operations team, combining the two areas to manage the collaboration and integration of the different areas. They have a wide range of responsibilities including writing code and deploying and maintaining the different systems.

DevOps Engineers bring a high level of value to an organization as they are highly skilled and have a variety of areas of expertise. As they also work in both areas - development and operations - they create collaboration and increase the speed it takes for the product to get produced.

This article will explain the key skills and abilities DevOps Engineers need and how you can efficiently test for them to be most beneficial for the company.

What should a DevOps Engineer be able to do?

A DevOps Engineer has lots of responsibilities and should have a diverse skill set. Their role involves different tasks on a daily basis, including coding, monitoring systems and troubleshooting.

A DevOps Engineer must be able to code efficiently. Depending on the product and the company, specific codes may be required, but often DevOps are expected to understand code such as HTML, JavaScript or Python. Understanding and being able to write code is one of the key skills needed for the role.

They must also be able to manage and monitor systems. It is common that a DevOps Engineer is tasked with monitoring performance and analyzing data for the organization, working off spreadsheets and databases to ensure their systems are fully optimized.

Another key task is troubleshooting. DevOps engineers face difficulties and situations regularly, which means that they must have strong troubleshooting and error checking abilities to identify issues and understand how to fix them in a timely and financially efficient way.

Skills to look for in a DevOps Engineer

how to hire a devops engineer

When hiring a DevOps Engineer it is crucial that they have specific skills to be able to complete their job efficiently. These skills include:

  • Time Management: a DevOps Engineer must have strong time management as they will often be working to a deadline and have strict time restraints. They may have to work on multiple projects at the same time, meaning the ability to manage their time will be essential.

  • Stress Tolerance: this role can be highly stressful as DevOps Engineers have a lot of responsibilities and often are involved in many different areas of the organization. Being able to have a high tolerance for stress is essential.

  • Teamwork: as well as working with the organization, they will be a key part of both the developmental and operations team, meaning working with different people on a daily basis. Due to this, they must have strong teamwork skills.

Useful abilities for a DevOps Engineer

As well as essential skills, there are key abilities that are crucial for a DevOps Engineer.

  • Multitasking: one ability is being able to multitask, managing and conducting different tasks at the same time. A DevOps engineer often has different projects and responsibilities at the same time, being able to multitask and work on different areas at the same time is an important ability.

  • Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment: to be efficient in the role, they must be able to set up systems that automatically test the code they are working on and make changes quickly and effectively.

  • Analytical and Logical Thinking: a DevOps Engineer should also be analytical and logical in both their thinking and actions. They must be able to approach their daily tasks with a rational mindset and make decisions that will benefit both them and the company. A large part of this ability is also being able to problem solve, a useful skill and ability for this role.

Which soft skills tests could I use to hire a DevOps Engineer?

DevOps Engineers need a range of soft skills to complete their job, including problem solving, communication, project management and accountability.

  • Problem solving: a DevOps Engineer will come across a wide variety of problems and must be able to solve the problems independently in a timely and financially efficient way. Being able to solve problems quickly without requiring other people to help, is a crucial skill to test when hiring someone.

  • Communication: expressing what is needed and what is done by a DevOps engineer can be difficult, however with efficient communication it makes the role significantly easier. It is important to be able to communicate with the team, managers and possible customers, depending on the product.

  • Project management: even though a DevOps engineer will often work within a team, having project management is a useful skill. They need to understand how to manage the different areas of their project, and potentially others within their team. A DevOps engineer often has the broadest knowledge due to the role being a combination of a developer and operations member, placing them within a management position.

  • Accountability: it is crucial that a DevOps Engineer can take accountability when they are in the wrong. In projects there are often mistakes that can be fixed, however, each member of the team must be able to take accountability to speed up the fixing process to produce the best product.

Which technical or aptitude tests could I use to hire a DevOps Engineer?

how to hire a devops engineer

Just like soft skills, there is a range of aptitude and technical tests which can be used when hiring a DevOps Engineer.

  • Error Checking: this test is a simple way of understanding a candidate's ability to recognize mistakes and fix errors. This aptitude is needed in the role as when writing code it is essential to be able to find mistakes and fix them quickly.

  • Spatial Reasoning: this test is also very useful when hiring a DevOps Engineer as it identifies their ability to understand objects in both 2D and 3D - a key part of being a DevOps Engineer.

  • Numerical Reasoning: basic math is required for this role and the numerical reasoning test can highlight candidates' strengths and weaknesses in all areas of math.

There are lots of useful tests to use when hiring a DevOps Engineer, however, our recommended tests are:

  • Logical Reasoning: this test allows employers to assess the candidate's ability to analyze and solve complex issues, ensuring they have the necessary skills for the role. This is a crucial ability to assess as it is not uncommon for problems to arise in the development and deployment process.

  • Time Management: this test assesses a candidate's ability to follow deadlines and complete tasks and projects on time, a required skill for this role.

  • Error Checking: using this test is highly beneficial when hiring for this role as working with code requires a high level of error checking.

If you want to know more about pre-employment testing, check out our DevOps Engineer test.

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