Welcome!

Machine Learning Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Bob Gourley, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: SYS-CON MEDIA, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @DevOpsSummit

SYS-CON MEDIA: 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.

@CloudExpo Stories
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often un...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and containers together help companies achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of Dev...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
Building a cross-cloud operational model can be a daunting task. Per-cloud silos are not the answer, but neither is a fully generic abstraction plane that strips out capabilities unique to a particular provider. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry at VMware, will discuss how successful organizations approach cloud operations and management, with insights into where operations should be centralized and when it’s best to decentraliz...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, will discuss how to use Kubernetes to setup a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace....
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sudarshan Krishnamurthi, a Senior Manager, Business Strategy, at Cisco Systems, will discuss how IT and operational technology (OT) work together, as opposed to being in separate siloes as once was traditional. Attendees will learn how to fully leverage the power of IoT in their organization by bringing the two sides together and bridging the communication gap. He will also look at what good leadership must entail in order to accomplish this, and how IT managers ca...
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jared Parker, Director of Financial Services at Kinetica, will discuss how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich inf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 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 Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Wooed by the promise of faster innovation, lower TCO, and greater agility, businesses of every shape and size have embraced the cloud at every layer of the IT stack – from apps to file sharing to infrastructure. The typical organization currently uses more than a dozen sanctioned cloud apps and will shift more than half of all workloads to the cloud by 2018. Such cloud investments have delivered measurable benefits. But they’ve also resulted in some unintended side-effects: complexity and risk. ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.