Welcome!

FinTech Journal Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Flint Brenton

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

Building a Winning DevOps Team | @DevOpsSummit #API #Agile #DevOps

A DevOps team’s first mission is to build, maintain and support the company’s technology stack

Guest Post: Building a Winning DevOps Team
By Adi Glasman

DevOps, and Ops in general, is one of the most important components of a company’s production machine. Investing in building a winning DevOps team should be a priority for every company and will pay off quickly.

As organizations and operations grow (products, features, number of customers, etc.), the scale of traffic, data, OS types and so on, increase rapidly. More products to support, new features to release and a lot more in-house cycles (e.g., QA, CI\CD, SME, SRE) need to be managed.

A DevOps team’s first mission is to build, maintain and support the company’s technology stack. Whether it’s a PaaS, SaaS or IaaS environment, microservices or monolithic, Docker or K8S, it does not matter – DevOps engineers need to be able to support any environment the company chooses at any time and anywhere (On Premises, Data Centers, Cloud).

Here are the subject areas any organization and it’s DevOps engineers have to deal with:

The list goes on, and every item is its own area of knowledge. It’s “a small world” of expertise, and any DevOps engineer is expected to master it all (or at least a large subset of it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).

For example, let’s say your company is building the next edge, top of the line API serving tool. The tool is web based and expected to serve TB of daily transactions. TB of events pounding your chosen big data tools, logging everything for sanity, monitoring everything so you’ll be able to wake anyone up when necessary, profiling, ingesting, segmenting…It’s growing and doing so exponentially.

Recruiting and finding DevOps engineers to support this environment is challenging. Finding someone who understands all the aforementioned subjects is rare, and if you do find that person, they’ll cost you accordingly. (Let’s assume money is not an obstacle right now and focus on finding the right engineer to fulfill, create and maintain your environment.)

A Six Step Process
My strategy is divide and conquer. Let’s break down and define what we’re looking for.

Defining the interview process is crucial for successful hiring. A good process will result in your finding a quality candidate (technical, personal and cultural) and will help maximize the candidate’s compatibility with the company and role.

Throughout my years of experience, I’ve defined a 6 step process that helps me form and create winning engineering teams:

  • Step 1 – Define the role, and sync with the company recruiter.
  • Step 2 – Phone screen.
  • Step 3 – Break down the skills to interview modules.
  • Step 4 – Prepare questionnaire for each module.
  • Step 5 – Form your interviewer squad and begin interviewing.
  • Step 6 – Closer. All interviewers meet and decide.

Step 1. Define the role, and sync with the company recruiter.
The company recruiter will be your liaison to the candidate and will have the first interaction with them. It’s important to follow these steps:

  • The recruiting manager must have a conversation with the recruiter and make sure they understand the job description and the role’s technical requirements. Talk with them, explain yourself, explain the role and expectations. Don’t skip this stage. If you do, you’ll end up wasting everyone’s time in the long run.
  • The recruiter should have a phone conversation with the candidate. The purpose of this conversation is to understand if the candidate is a good fit for the company and how the position fits within the company culture, the candidate’s career development, and so on. This call also involves verifying the content of the candidate’s CV.

The recruiter should pass their feedback to the hiring manager and if both gives thumbs up then proceed to Step 2.

Step 2. Conduct a phone screen interview.
Phone screen interviews are very helpful and significant time savers. Since the process is time consuming and involves numerous engineers interviewing the candidate, it’s important your time is well spent. You should respect the candidate’s time as well.

After posting\advertising the job, people will start applying. Your time is precious so treat it accordingly! Even if the CV is appealing and it seems like the candidate is a perfect match, you still have to set up two phone calls, each being no more than 15-20 minutes:

  • Recruiting Manager Interview – The recruiting manager needs to talk with the candidate to understand if the person is qualified and is a good fit for the team and company culture. They should also use the time to find out whether the candidate thinks the role meets their career aspirations, as well as validate the candidate’s CV.
  • Technical Interviewer – This can be any existing DevOps engineer or software engineer who can ask a series of easy, medium or hard questions related to the posted position and candidate’s background.

The recruiting manager and the technical interviewer should meet following these interviews.  If both give thumbs up, proceed to step 3.

Step 3. Break down the skills to interview modules.
Interview modules represent a subject to discuss during the interview. For example:

  • System + Networking
  • Methodologies\Processes – Agile, CI\CD, etc.
  • Software Engineering, Architecture Design
  • Problem solving, debugging, monitoring
  • Culture fit
  • Practical\Code challenge

Step 4. Prepare a questionnaire for each module.
For each module, prepare a questionnaire that applies to different skill levels (junior, intermediate, senior and expert). This is best organized in a question and answer format as the answer section will be helpful in situations where the answer differs from what is expected.

System + Networking module example:

These questions will assess a candidate’s skills and knowledge in areas of your specific flavor of operating systems and scalable networking. It is very important that these areas are well understood to allow for effective troubleshooting and competency in a technical environment. Lacking this basic knowledge can result in a long learning curve.

  • How does traceroute command work?
  • What is ARP?
  • What is jitter/latency/packet-loss-ratio?
  • What is proxy ARP?
  • How do you set up a TCP connection?
  • Etc.,

System engineering module example:

The intent of this module is to determine whether the candidate has a reliable and repeatable process for solving complex problems. The interviewer will present a subset of the problems outlined below and progressively increase the complexity of the required solution through discussion with the candidate. If the problem field of knowledge is unknown to the candidate, only the process used to arrive at a solution should be judged and not the solution itself:

You are to architect a new email system capable of supporting an expanding user base with low delivery times. The incoming mail throughput is expected to be around a million emails per minute.

  • Describe in detail or draw the mail system you would implement.
  • What software choices would you make for each layer and why?
  • What are your kernel, networking, storage and monitoring considerations?

Step 5. Form your interviewer squad and begin interviewing.
Each interviewer should pick a module that fits with their skill set so that they’re able to ask and understand the candidate answers. Every interviewer takes notes and gathers feedback. Best of luck for a great interview!

Step 6. Closer. All interviewers meet and decide.
All interviewers meet and share thoughts and concerns. At the end of the meeting, ideally each person will be able to give a thumbs up or down. If, however, there’s a lack of clarity or unresolved concerns about the candidate, you can set up an additional interview before making a final decision.

I’ve been using this method for a couple of years and it’s proven to be very successful.

Good Luck!

Adi Glasman is a Senior Operations Manager at APAC – Zendesk. You can find more articles by Adi, as well as the original post here.

The post Guest Post: Building a Winning DevOps Team appeared first on XebiaLabs.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By XebiaLabs Blog

XebiaLabs is the technology leader for automation software for DevOps and Continuous Delivery. It focuses on helping companies accelerate the delivery of new software in the most efficient manner. Its products are simple to use, quick to implement, and provide robust enterprise technology.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abilit...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project result...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessio...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.