Camels Dressed As Unicorns

1 minute read

Stop trying to hire with titles like ‘DevOps Engineer’ or ‘Cloud Engineer’

“DevOps is … not a job title”

“It’s more of a cultural practice, like innovation, and it makes just as little sense hiring “innovation engineers” and expecting your organisation to be innovative, without also creating the culture to foster innovation.” (Joel Shea when responding to this posted on LinkedIn)

In most cases it’s clear the organisation doesn’t truly know what they want or need and likely don’t understand the nuances of the aspects of engineering.

The problem is - they’re going to end up with a ‘Camel Dressed As A Unicorn’ rather than someone with deep or natural engineering understanding in the areas they most need to help see, discuss, solve problems and deliver effective and lasting solutions.

From the what I’ve seen recently companies hiring with ‘DevOps Engineer’ titles - the organisation (thinks they) want / need a Developer with a little bit of Operations experience - but not a true understanding of Operations or platform engineering.

I’m almost certain they’re trying to appeal to the hype (in a genuine effort to find someone highly skilled) but as they’re missing the point of where people’s skills lay and what those skills mean - they’re confusing engineers, recruiters and likely themselves further.

DevOps is deeply important

Likely the most important thing to succeed at product and systems delivery - but it’s not a job title.

If you need Developers to work in a DevOps culture and environment - say so.

If you need Operations or Platform Engineers to work in a DevOps culture and environment - say so.

Staying either of those does not mutually exclude ones abilities to know ‘a bit of the other side’, e.g. a Developer that has worked closely with a CI/CD system’s backend or Kubernetes Operations, or an Operations Engineer that has worked closely with Developers and Testers and can work with APIs: or whip up some integration scripts when needed.