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If you want to build a DevOps career, Jill Jubinski, technical community evangelist at IBM's Blue Box, can tell you just what you need to do, whether you're an employee or an employer.
As the keynote speaker at DevOpsDays in Boston, Jubinski explained to the packed crowd that the goal of a DevOps career was to be "as happy as a pig in sh*t." And she offered equally straightforward advice on how to get there.
Her timing is good. Just released data from a Foote Partners survey of 2,895 employers shows demand for DevOps skills is high -- and paychecks are even higher. Over the past 12 months DevOps salaries have jumped 12.6%. As of the second quarter of 2016, DevOps career engineers were earning an average of $102,672 while Lead DevOps engineers made an average of $133,474.
So, if you want to work your way into a DevOps career, here's Jubinski's best advice:
Google yourself: "As a candidate these days you are not a single note, you are an entity," Jubinski said. And it starts with your "online brand," which is what a prospective employer can see about you online. Her top tip -- Google yourself to see what an employer is seeing. "Remember, nothing dies online."
Network: Whether it's contribution to GitHub or attending conferences, it's important to get out there and communicate with others while working on your DevOps career, Jubinski said. "The more people you interact with, the more people will have things to say about you."
It's OK to skip LinkedIn: Jubinski said there's a "stigma" attached to LinkedIn in technology fields, so if it's not comfortable for you, direct your social media efforts elsewhere.
Create a well-rounded story: "You want to be searchable," Jubinski said. "Put yourself out there, whether it's blogging or tweeting or whatever."
Be nice: It's a small world and people talk, so make sure your actions will reflect kindly on you.
Don't burn bridges: It's hard, but try not to.
Be yourself: "Being cookie cutter is super old school," Jubinski said. "If a company doesn't accept you for who you are you don't want them."
Take pride: It's OK to mention a new skills or an accepted presentation at a conference. It falls under the category of "knowledge sharing" and not bragging.
Remake that resume: Don't overthink this, but avoid resume boredom. Jubinski puts three links right at the top of her resume so it's easy to quickly get a sense of who she is. And she ends her resume with a short paragraph written in her tone.
Reach out: Don't just sit and wait for a recruiter to find you. It is OK to reach out.
Jubinski also has advice for employers:
Make the work interesting: The more interesting the challenge, the happier the employee.
It's not just the pay check: "Just because you can't pay what Google pays doesn't mean you can't get top talent," Jubinski said.
Encourage communities: Internal and external communities facilitate learning and growth and keep employees engaged. Her suggestion -- give an employee time at work to prepare a conference presentation, or contribute financially. "If you have a core group of people you've bonded with at work, that's going to impact the likelihood of staying at your company."
Understanding managers: Everyone is happier when the boss knows what motivates people. And ice cream helps, Jubinski added.
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