Job Seeker Assistance Service

Working for a good company is great, if you can find one willing to hire you.  There are so many jobs available in the dev-ops space, but because this field of expertise is relatively new, its hard to find the combination of a reputable company and a role you can handle. At we believe there are some very simple questions you need to ask yourself to get the right role with the right company.

On-site vs. Remote

If you can get on-site work in your area, then your in a great position to be hired and your job search just got much easier.  If you are looking for remote work, as I was, its exceedingly difficult and it really reduces the number of jobs available to you.  I was beat-out of jobs by people less qualified (admitted by the employer’s themselves) because the lesser qualified candidate was local or willing to relocate.

I have been a candidate looking for remote work due to my location and family situation.  I have children who are well established in their school, sports and community.  Its simply not an option to pack up and move to the other side of the country for a job opportunity that may or may not pan out.  It is also not a real option to commute for several hours per day for jobs in the nearest city.

A word of advice, even if you are lucky enough to have businesses in your local area offering jobs, do not limit your search to your local area.  Limiting yourself to your local area businesses is going to limit the number of good companies you can target, and thats a bad thing.  With expanding your search to remote possibilities you have an opportunity to interview (and get better at it) and for the right candidate, telecommuting may become an option.

So, why does the option of remote and on-site work matter so much.  First, you should be aware that the option for remote/telecommute work is very much possible.  It may extend the time you need to find a job with a good company, but if you stick to searching for these positions, you will eventually get one.  Second, job descriptions that require a minimum of X years in some field or another are not realistic if they are confining their candidates to on-site work only.  The chances of finding a local candidate with a specific number of years of a specific type of work experience is unrealistic.  Third, in this day and age of outsourcing, is it fair to offer remote work to only those residing in a foreign country?  Fourth, if you are a global business, with internet presence, why are they limiting a candidate to live 20 miles from their office?  Fifth, dev-ops work is primarily done with virtualization providers.  Is it really necessary to access these providers from a corporate network?  Overall, ask your potential employer, “Why do I need to be on-site?”,  “What job duties will I need to perform on-site?”, and then ask yourself, do you want to work for an employer who does not have the means to leverage and trust the work of remote workers?  You have a choice!

Startup vs. Established

You should identify what type of company you want to work for; startup or established.  Of course there are varying degrees of maturity and size for each, but the reason this is important to help you estimate the level of contribution. Startups, in the area of dev-ops are looking for someone to take their system administration thinking and transform it into a full-blown automated infrastructure rather quickly.  If you have the stamina to run fast and be willing to lead a major undertaking like this, then you might want to narrow your search to startups.  They may also require more on-site presence because the overall team is smaller and telecommute/remote work is not within their policy yet.  There are some exceptions however, just hard to find them.

Established firms are looking for more discipline in a dev-ops engineer; someone to join an existing team.  The interesting thing is that those you may interview with (from the team you would potentially join) have been eating and sleeping system administration for years.  They look to determine if you carry the right skill set by asking all manner of technical questions.  This is fine, if you have more than 20 minutes on a phone call to answer them.  The bar is set pretty high on these interviews and it is less likely, unless you are an exact match, that you will be hired.  You also may appear as a threat to the interviewer; the hiring manager may be looking for their replacement. Either way you look, be aware of the dynamics in place for the environment of the organization you are interviewing with.  You may want to stress your experience and stay away from specifics.  You cannot possibly anticipate all that will be asked of you on a first or second interview.  As I see it, the interview process should evaluate you as a fit for the culture and if you can learn.  Quite honestly, any specific question about any current topic is not going to be relevant in a years time.  Accentuate that you are a lifelong learner, and a quick one at that.

Contract vs. Full-time

There are many considerations that go into deciding whether to target contract work or full-time work.  Again, stay open to either option if you can.  Many times the contracts are extended because the work is not done.  Also, the option to be hired is higher after completing a contract position.

Full-time positions have long been the desired method of employment for more experienced professionals.  Health benefits are the primary reason for this preference.  Now, in the United States, the ACA (Affordable Care Act) has changed this dynamic.  You can now retain health insurance outside of your employer.  This gives you the option to move around to different employers and pay less for insurance (in most cases).  Full-time positions have begun to lose their attractiveness as a result of this new legislation.

We have a lot of experience in searching for jobs, interviewing and working with recruiters. Ask us for a free assessment of your skills.  See if you are a dev-ops engineer.  Let us help you find your next employer with our mydev-ops approved job listings.