Want to Become a DevOps Engineer? Hints and Tips for Breaking into the Industry.

DevOps: The hottest career in tech right now? Promising high salaries, flexible working hours, and the chance to be on the frontline of an exciting, modern, dynamic, and pioneering industry. Cited as the most recruited job title on LinkedIn, DevOps Engineering boasts an average salary of £80k (£70k outside of London). We may be biased, but we can see why you would want to make the transition into this promising industry.

The demand for DevOps is ever-growing, with an increasing number of organisations and enterprises now implementing DevOps processes to increase the efficiency of their software delivery, help streamline their processes and even boost employee motivation and morale. Thus, DevOps professionals are increasingly in high demand. In a recent survey, ‘DevOps Engineer’ ranked as the most in-demand developer title of 2021, and topped the list of roles with the highest number of LinkedIn Job posts.  

So, what does it take to establish yourself in this highly sought-after and lucrative industry? In this article, we highlight our top hints and tips to help you get your feet in the door and assist you in landing your ideal DevOps role.

First, let’s look at the most valued core skills employers are looking for when recruiting and hiring DevOps candidates.

Soft Skills

Soft, or human skills, are perceived as the third most must-have skill within DevOps (closely followed by automation in second place, and process and knowledge in first)

Entry into DevOps is a combination of two things: hard skills and communication. One of the most basic yet frequently overlooked and underappreciated skill is communication and interpersonal skills. Fundamentally, DevOps is about transforming the functional work experience between development and operations teams (hence the name, DevOps, if you hadn’t already figured that one out!). A major element of a DevOps Engineer is to act as an intermediary between silos, bringing teams together and supporting them in working towards a common goal. Thus, it is crucial that DevOps Engineers can communicate effectively, and are able to work harmoniously together with stakeholders and with their team.

In line with this, personal values, such as empathy, integrity, trustworthiness, and diplomacy are highly valued.

We have recently seen the pandemic elicit major changes to our working environments, with remote or hybrid working now becoming the norm. Thus, it is ever more important that prospective DevOps candidates possess excellent communication skills, to ensure precise and accurate information delivery across teams.

In addition to this, due to the ever-changing, fast-paced, and innovative nature of the industry, candidates need to be flexible, highly adaptable, and willing to embrace change. Successful DevOps candidates are eager to learn, receptive to constructive feedback, and actively seek out opportunities to self-educate and self-improve. Highlighting your adaptability towards your working environment will present you as an asset to potential employers or recruiters.

Technical Competencies

1. Understanding of Relevant Tools

DevOps success depends on the toolset it uses during different stages of its implementation – it’s hard to even count how many tools it has available! Some important tools to familiarise yourself with include:

  • Configuration management: Ansible, Puppet, and Chef
  • Infrastructure as Code: Terraform, Azure Resource Manager, AWS CloudFormation
  • CI/CD: Jenkins, CircleCI, TeamCity, GitLab
  • Containerization: Docker, Kubernetes

2. Automation Skills

Automation is at the heart of the process. Successful DevOps Engineers can automate the entirety of the DevOps pipeline, including infrastructure and configurations, app performance monitoring, and CI/CD cycles. Automation skills are closely linked to knowledge about the DevOps toolset, coding, and scripting.

3. Coding & Scripting Skills

Python, JavaScript, and C# are among some of the top programming languages. Whilst all three languages mentioned can be used in almost any capacity to do a multitude of tasks, each has its own specialism.

4. Security Skills

Security is becoming an increasing concern, with remote working becoming the new norm and subsequently more people on the Cloud than ever before. It is inevitable that we will see more security threats and cyber-attacks, and so the demand for integration of security into the SDLC is on the rise.

Thus, a DevSecOps skillset will put you at a competitive advantage when applying for DevOps roles.

5. Cloud Skills

DevOps and the cloud work in unison. The efficiency of one is directly dependent and reliant on the other. DevOps methodology drives a process, whilst the cloud enables that process, by providing it with the necessary platform for deployment, testing, production, and integration. The cloud enables DevOps automation and facilitates a resource monitoring mechanism.

Experience with at least one of the three major cloud providers (Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud) will be crucial for a successful career in DevOps.


Career marketability is about developing valuable intrinsic skills, followed by figuring out how to best put them on display. Research shows that 85% of positions are now filled through networking. We’re not saying that you need to become a networking whizz overnight, however, if utilised correctly, networking can be a useful tool to get you further in the industry. With the increasing digitalisation of our working world and the emergence of networking sites such as LinkedIn, it has never been easier to market yourself and show off your skills, and maintain and enhance a large professional network, with minimal effort.

The online world gives us access to an abundance of resources, and potential connections, at the tip of our fingertips. There are now ample innovative and creative ways that you can showcase your skills to potential employers. From utilising social networking sites, curating your online personal brand, or creating a blog or podcast, to more traditional methods such as attending (or speaking at, if you are brave enough!) industry events or meetups.

Why not get involved in the GitHub community? GitHub is an online platform where engineers can upload examples of their work, projects, and more, allowing them to position themselves to a network of over 73 million other users, showcase their talents to potential employers, and connect with other professionals within the industry.

Whichever method/s you chose, it is important that your networking efforts are intentional and authentic, with a focus on making genuine connections. When it comes to networking, quality over quantity is always most effective!

We are proud co-hosts of two DevOps meetups (London DevOps and WinOps) and an annual DevOps conference; WinOps Conf, which has proven to be a useful and beneficial way for many of our candidates to network and meet connections within the industry. 

In Conclusion…

‘DevOps’ has emerged as a common buzzword in the IT space, with plenty of debate surrounding exactly how it is to be defined. A successful DevOps engineer is flexible, adaptable, and possesses a combination of the relevant hard and soft skills. DevOps candidates should be clear about the fact that DevOps transformation involves stakeholder discussions, awareness about business goals, and assessment and identification of improvement areas, all driven by collaboration.

We hope that this article has helped to deepen your understanding of how to break into this lucrative and alluring industry, and how you can position yourself as a valuable candidate.

If you are ready to make your next big career move, then get in touch with one of our specialists on 020 3800 1234. We are always on the lookout for hungry and eager talented DevOps candidates to place within our extensive network of top clients.

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Written by Holly Whittaker