The Ultimate Guide to Hire a DevOps Engineer this 2022

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If we thought Senior Software engineers were expensive, nowadays, a DevOps is the most expensive position in the IT landscape, and to hire DevOps engineer can turn complicated. One of the reasons is the massive demand, and the lack of education at universities in DevOps practices, deep Linux administration, or Cloud practices. Additionally, you might go for the software engineer path instead of the DevOps developer as a college student.

So, how will I find and hire a DevOps developer if it’s so complicated? We have excellent news for you; here’s the solution in the following guide on how to hire a DevOps engineer without breaking your budget.

Table of Content

Why Should you Hire DevOps Engineer?

Suppose you have a web application or digital product with multiple environments and services. Are you interested in improving your web development productivity or scaling your web application? Are you planning to distribute your system and services? 

Let’s say one of the above questions was a yes. In that case, you need to hire DevOps developer with good skills in Automation, Infrastructure as Code ( IaC ), Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery, Cloud Expertise, and a deep understanding of the Linux O.S (Or windows / .net ecosystem), among other skills mentioned in this article.

What does a DevOps Engineer do?

As a former DevOps engineer, I would like to explain that before the DevOps term was coined, we had Network engineers, Security engineers, System administrators (Unix and Linux admins), and Automation engineers. These positions with the Cloud and DevOps practices have evolved into a DevOps engineer position.

A DevOps engineer automates infrastructure tasks via IaC or bash/python scripting, maintaining and configuring a cluster of servers. They also create and sustain CI-CD pipelines, secure servers, and cloud services.

Additionally, don’t forget that they are the masters of Linux and create highly distributed systems using the AWS cloud (or any cloud) with microservices, Kubernetes, Amazon ECS/Fargate, or virtual servers on-premises. 

And finally, they are also the gurus of cloud services, they know how to integrate any AWS managed service, including Amazon RDS, Aurora, Amazon S3, or even a cloud networking issue (VPC Networking). And of course, if you have an intruder in your systems, server hack, or the classic Jenkins/WordPress hack; they are the ones to investigate and inspect the root cause, find the vulnerability, and provide the analysis and remedy.

hire a devops engineer

As a DevOps developer, you can be in charge of the Code release management and troubleshoot any production deployment. Also, a DevOps engineer can do the task of a Site reliability engineer, such as maintaining servers, triaging server production issues, and attending to any server alert (on-call schedule). Yes, this looks like a tasks for a DevOps engineer, right! Well, sometimes SRE does DevOps functions and vice versa.

Do you understand now why it is better to have a DevOps engineer within your organization? It is common for your bold software engineer or Tech leader to take on these responsibilities. So, instead of using your improvised software engineer that was born to develop features, take your DevOps strategy to the next level and hire DevOps developer.

DevOps Engineer Principal Tasks and Responsibilities

Now that we understand how a DevOps engineer can benefit our organization, let’s review the specific tasks that he can develop.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

Create, design, and maintain Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery pipeline in Jenkins, Gitlab, CircleCI, or AWS CodePipeline. A DevOps engineer can find ways to increase the deployment time from 1-2 hrs into minutes! Or do you need deployment on the weekend? He can take care of it , though you need to schedule it in advance.

Automate and Script Repetitive Tasks

Handle Bash and Python scripting to automate your infrastructure, servers, containers, cronjobs, or any process that a DevOps engineer can codify.

Maintain and Deploy Infrastructure

The DevOps engineer can bring new production environments with Terraform or CloudFormation, and with good knowledge in Infrastructure as Code (IaC), they maintain and deploy infrastructure through IaC tools.

Security and Hardening

They handle security incidents, including hacking, security audits, hardening of servers, and user security controls like AWS accounts, SSH keys, Linux/Unix privileges, permissions, SSL certs, encryption, and API key encryption (Ex. Amazon KMS).

Troubleshoot any Linux instance

Is DNS a problem? Server? Networking? Are emails not working? Probably an AWS DevOps Engineer can help. After all, he is the Linux guru. As a Windows or .net-based app, he should be good at maintaining Windows servers with similar responsibilities.

Cloud Networks Tasks

A DevOps engineer Interconnects different VPC networks, troubleshoot networking issues, deploys a VPN service, or creates virtual networks. 

Dockerize Open Source Applications

The DevOps engineer creates microservices architectures for your enterprise SaaS application. Our blog on how to dockerize a Python/Flask app may be helpful.

Kubernetes Clustering

A DevOps developer can create a Kubernetes Cluster in production with Amazon EKS, Azure KS, or Google KS. We have created an article about creating a Kubernetes cluster on AWS that can help your DevOps engineer.

Security Compliance

Are you a Fintech health-care, or do you care about application security following PCI, HIPAA, ISO27001, or SOC2 regulations? Great! They can help you with all the technical qualifications from security compliance, creating a VPN, hardening containers, adopting DevSecOps, Vuln assessments, patching vulnerabilities, and disaster recovery strategies.

Back-end Development

DevOps engineers can work with Python, boto3, and AWS SDK for back-end and AWS development.

Application Troubleshooting

They can troubleshoot your web application, either Java, Node.js, Python, Go, or Laravel. Sometimes this falls more on the side of the Software engineer, but the DevOps engineer should be capable of understanding if it is a code issue or a DevOps issue and channeling it to the right tech team.

Maintain and Administer Database

The DevOps engineer is not the DBA expert per-se (SQL query expert) but has proficient knowledge to troubleshoot, create and build database clusters. Ex. Mysql, RDS replicas, PostgreSQL, MongoDB sharding, etc.

It is important to remember that a DevOps developer might not cover all these tasks. Usually, 50-70% of the above functions are suitable for a good senior AWS DevOps Engineer.

DevOps Engineer Roles

  • DevOps engineers focused on DevOps practices: One of the most common roles.
  • Cloud Engineer: Focused on Cloud administration in one or two clouds, such as, AWS, Azure, GCP, Digital Ocean, or on-premises.
  • Linux administrator: Concentrates on maintaining Linux servers, open-source services, and server troubleshooting.
  • DevOps engineers focused on-premise servers:  Focused on physical data centers and virtual environments (Vmware, Hyper-V, etc.).
  • DevOps – Site Reliability Engineer (SRE): This type of DevOps role usually maintains Linux servers and increases the reliability of the production systems. He also responds to on-call incidents and conducts Root Cause Analysis (RCA) from previous incidents. It sounds like a DevOps role, right?

Read our slideshow to discover the Common roles in a DevOps Team

DevOps engineer roles

Skills Required for a DevOps Engineer

  • Linux Administration: Make sure that at least the DevOps engineer has  2-3 years of Linux administration experience.
  • Knowledge of Open Source Services: Being familiar with at least two Open sources services including Apache, Nginx, PHP, MySQL and PostgreSQL.
  • Knowledge of network protocols:  A DevOps developer should understand network protocols, such as TCP/IP and networking. Ex. TCP, UDP, HTTPS, etc.
  • Bash or Python scripting.
  • AWS Experience: At least know about one Cloud with  2-3 years of experience in Amazon S3, VPC, EC2, ECS, IAM roles, and RDS.
  • CI-CD Pipelines and Toolchain Knowledge: A DevOps engineer should understand the SDLC, having the ability to create and maintain CI-CD pipelines. Proficient level, at least one CI-CD tool.
  • Basic understanding of IaC tools: A DevOps developer should know at least one of IaC tools such as Terraform, CloudFormation, or Python.
  • Ability to deploy and launch web application stack: Ex. Java app, MERN stack, or Python / Django application. 
  • Troubleshoot Server Experience: Such as security incidents and EC2 instance issues.
  • Basic Security Knowledge: Including AWS security, Linux security, and hardening (Server / Containers).
  • Docker and microservices proficient expertise.
  • Knowledge with Amazon ECS or Fargate
  • Basic understanding of managing databases: Mysql, Postgresql, or Amazon RDS. At least one.
  • Basic monitoring knowledge: Including Amazon Cloudwatch, Prometheus, Nagios, Zabbix, Grafana, DataDog, or New relic. At least one Monitoring tool.

Advanced Skills for a DevOps Engineer 

  • DevOps culture adoption: In the end, the DevOps culture is the whole DevOps practices landscape. 
  • How to apply the 12-factor methodology: As a DevOps engineer, he should be able to isolate dependencies, backing services, Dev/Prod parity, stateless processes, etc. This blog will help you to know about the 12-factor methodology.
  • Kubernetes clustering: The DevOps engineer must have the ability to apply at least one of the following technologies to your projects; Amazon EKS, Azure EKS, Google Kubernetes Service, and on-prem Kubernetes Standalone.
  • Security compliance: He must be at least familiar with one of these regulations, HIPAA, PCI, or SOC2, are very similar but with different names. (If you don’t need any security compliance, disregard this tech skill).
  • Basic DevSecOps experience.
  • Multi-tenant architecture: The DevOps developer should apply it to SaaS platforms and apps.
  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC) Knowledge: The DevOps engineer must have advanced practices and automation of IaC, Terraform best practices and build production environments through Terraform or CloudFormation.
  • Serverless CI CD pipeline Understanding: For the creation and design for serverless apps (Amazon Lambda).
  • Ability to troubleshoot: At least dozens of servers and microservices.
  • Ability to create highly scalable systems in the cloud: Such as Cloud native architecture environment, AWS autoscaling, APIS autoscaling, Kubernetes clustering, stateless applications, and immutable infrastructure. To learn more about cloud native architecture, read our blog, What is Cloud Native Architecture?
  • An AWS certification: It is an excellent nice to have for complex projects, given that it is essential, but this increases the hourly rate of the DevOps developer.
Technical skills to keep in mind to hire a DevOps engineer

Soft Skills Needed for a DevOps Engineer

To successfully hire a DevOps engineer, it is not only necessary to have technical skills. Companies need to count on DevOps Developers who have soft skills to carry out the position correctly.

Here are some essential skills that will help you hire a DevOps developer.

Good Communication 

Communication is one of the essential skills a DevOps should have since he can be working remotely. Therefore, communication can turn complicated, and having the ability to manage it would work in their favor.

When facing a problem, he should determine its cause and search for options of how to solve it; listening and understanding their team’s needs is crucial to have a good communication.

These tools can be helpful in the communication flow for remote collaboration, such as Slack, JIRA, and Zoom. 

Teamwork

Working nicely with a team has many benefits, such as having a coherent product. 

A DevOps engineer has to understand how his team works and know each member’s activities and skills. Collaborating and understanding their environment will result in a good workflow and an efficient process in the project or product. So, with the proper teamwork mindset, development can increase significantly.  

Adaptability

As the DevOps field keeps changing and evolving, a DevOps engineer needs to be adaptable. Learning new things to grow his expertise provides a flexible development that can positively contribute to a project and problem-solving. You can discover the adaptability capacity when you hire DevOps developers by their knowledge, courses, and experience.

Leadership 

The soft skills above can help identify a DevOps engineer with leadership. 

As a developer faces digital transformation, he should be able to identify problems and solve them, considering the team’s opinions with empathy and humility as they allow an agile work process. Choosing a leadership style depends on how team members respond to the essential changes in operations, technology, roles, and mindsets.

Soft skills to consider to hire a devops engineer

Guide to Identify a Good DevOps Engineer on a CV/Resume

We can define a good DevOps engineer in four aspects:

  1. Excellent knowledge of Linux servers and Networking.
  2. Very Dynamic to manage AWS services. Amazon S3, EBS, EC2, ECS or VPC, etc
  3. Passion for automating everything with bash, python, or IaC tools.
  4. Great communication.
  5. A great plus is a DevOps Certification. Such as AWS Certification (AWS Architect, SysOps or DevOps, even Practitioner is good), Terraform Certification, Kubernetes Cert, or Docker Certification.

Determine the experience in Linux or Windows servers, working as a DevOps engineer for at least 3-4 years. Look for experience working with CI-CD tools and Cloud expertise. Also, your DevOps engineer must understand your programming language and platform.

Finally, identify if the DevOps Engineer has good soft skills, like the ones mentioned above, including communication, collaboration, energy to change the SDLC within your tech team, and the ability to push your software engineers with new DevOps initiatives and practices.

how to identify a good DevOps engineer

Interview Questions to Hire a DevOps Engineer

We won’t cover the whole batch of questions per DevOps area, just a few questions so you can have a good start with the interview process to hire a DevOps developer.

Linux Sysadmin experience

Questions about Linux, Operative systems and Open source services

  • Any specific questions about setting up a Vhost in Apache or Nginx.
  • How to set up a redirect in Nginx or Apache.
  • How to check memory, storage, disk usage, and CPU usage in Linux.
  • What are the top 3 essential files to review logs in a Linux server?
  • The server is crashing; how to investigate the root cause?
  • Please explain a few parameters found in htop/top. 
  • What is Sar?
  • Differences between a Soft link and a Hard link?

Troubleshoot Server, Linux, and DevOps issues

  • Would you walk me through your process to troubleshoot a web application that is currently DOWN. You can use an example of a Linux instance, Kubernetes cluster, or a highly scalable monolith web app with EC2 and ECS. One environment with a scalable web app is enough.
  • How do you troubleshoot a DNS problem?

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI-CD) questions

  • What is your experience with CI-CD tools? 
  • What is the difference between CI and CD?
  • How would you optimize a CI CD pipeline from 1-2 hrs to a few minutes? This question is a bit wide, and it might need more context.
  • Walk me through the steps from the developer’s commits code (Git push) until the code is released in production (Live changes). Local dev, testing, production with any CI-CD Tool. Ex. Jenkins, GitLab, AWS Code Pipeline, or any other.
  • How does the git-flow process work? Could you walk me through it?
  • Git branching model
  • Basic Git Questions.
  • How do you create a Jenkins job?
  • How do you integrate git with Jenkins? Or any CI-CD tool that the DevOps engineer is familiar with.

Cloud Platform Fundamentals

 You can pick one for questions about AWS, GCP, or Azure Cloud.

  • What is the EC2 Instance Metadata?
  • What are the differences between Amazon ECS, Fargate, and EKS?
  • How do you set up an Application Load balancer (ALB)?
  • How do you set up AWS autoscaling, either with EC2 or ECS?
  • How could you save costs in Amazon S3 Buckets?
  • How do you interconnect two VPCs? 
  • How do you copy one AWS account to another? (AWS resources, including ec2, rds, etc.) 
  • How do you create an EBS snapshot?
  • If you were assigned to change the local images in /var/www/webapp/images/ into an Amazon S3 bucket? What would you change? What is involved?
  • Can you tell me at least three ways to save or reduce AWS hosting costs on AWS?

Basic Programming Skills

Depending on the scripting language, ask them a few questions about the preferred language by the DevOps Engineers. Let’s say it is Bash.

  • How to take input from the terminal in Bash?
  • How to read the second word or column from each file line.
  • Question about awk or Sed
  • How do you execute a bash file?
  • How will you debug a shell script?

Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

Select one IaC tool, Terraform, CloudFormation, or python automation, and ask questions about IaC tool experience, and best practices.

Docker Microservice Architecture

  • Best practices for dockerization. How do you dockerize a React/Python/Node app? To learn about dockerization, you can read our blog, How to Dockerize a Node.js App
  • Best practices for Docker Security.
  • Questions about Docker commands.
  • What are namespaces in Docker? Advanced.

Amazon ECS or Fargate

  • How do you create an ECS cluster?
  • If I want to launch containers, why do I have to launch tasks?

Kubernetes Clustering and Administration

Depending on the cloud, either Amazon EKS, Azure EKS or Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).

  • Can you describe in a bit what Kubernetes architecture consists of? Components, parts, main config files, networking, etc. It might help the DevOps developer to read a bit of this article: Kubernetes architecture URL (Article from Nikola).
  • Questions about the Kubectl command.
  • What is Kubelet?
  • What are the different types of services in Kubernetes? Node port, Load balancer, Cluster IP, etc
  • What is Ingress, and how does it work?

Experience in Deploying Web Stack

Either you use Node/React, Python, PHP, .NET, or Java. DevOps engineers should be familiar with how to deploy a Web stack. It is NOT a must, but you could ask questions about specific configurations on your web stack.

Questions About your Database Engine

Mysql, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Amazon RDS and Aurora.

  • How do you troubleshoot a Mysql Database?
  • How do you tune/tweak a database? Explain a few parameters. 
  • What are the differences between Amazon Dynamodb and MongoDB?
  • How do you create an Amazon RDS Replica?
  • How do you add a user in Mysql?

Are you looking to create a Cloud Native architecture with the hand of a DevOps developer? Please watch this video about patterns, principles, and a quick strategy to build a cloud-native architecture.

Best Sites to Hire a DevOps Developer

Some sites can be very helpful in your search to hire DevOps engineer. Here are some of them to make the correct decision depending on your needs.

Upwork

Upwork is a freelance portal with access to many experts in different fields. In this case, to hire a DevOps developer. It offers you options to match the right DevOps developer and allows you to communicate with them.

Fiverr 

Fiverr is a freelance platform with various talents at your disposal. This site manages the cost per project instead of per hour.

Freelancer

Freelancer allows you to find DevOps engineers while setting up interviews, collaborating with DevOps experts, and contacting the support team 24/7.

Toptal

Toptal is a marketplace where you can hire a DevOps developer. You pay only for work that you are 100% satisfied with. It also allows you to use a free trial period to ensure your available prospects. 

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a DevOps Engineer? 

Nearshore Senior DevOps engineers come at rates ranging from 6-8K USD per month, while for a middle engineer, the value goes from 5-7K USD, and for a Junior DevOps, it can range from 3-5 USD. However, it depends on the technical expertise and years of experience working in the IT world or as a DevOps engineer. 

USA-based DevOps engineers charge $120,000 – $150,000 per year on average, while the same role is $66,000 to $80,000 in Mexico. However, these engineers have a similar culture. Therefore, we can say that Mexican DevOps engineers are more liable and cost-effective than offshore engineers.

We help companies save around 40% to 60% of the DevOps costs vs. On-shore DevOps engineers based in the U.S region.

** These rates include Benefits, taxes, and perks.

** They are an average per seniority level.

** These rates are in USD.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a DevOps Engineer?

Why Choose ClickIT to Hire a DevOps Engineer?

To create a DevOps team, you should consider choosing the adequate talent to manage and organize your projects across customer value streams. Choosing the right people for the right task delivers results in the long run.

Every DevOps team needs a leader who knows the business process and has technical expertise. You can hire a DevOps developer evangelist to fill this position. It is also crucial to provide the team with the right tools.

To learn more about how to build a DevOps team. Go to our DevOps team roles and responsibilities article.

ClickIT is an excellent option to hire DevOps engineer or a team. As a Software Development company, we continuously provide our customers with top-notch solutions, counting on a team that will help you automate your applications, decrease time to market, and increase efficiency while reducing IT costs. 

We count on an extension of dedicated devs, such as; Site Reliability Engineer, Cloud Engineer, DevOps Architect, Security Engineer, Automation Engineer​, DevOps Evangelist.

ClickIT Case Studies on DevOps Projects

Eplexity

Eplexity deals with Cloud Consulting and Cloud Managed Services. ClickIT helped them conduct an AWS assessment covering the five AWS pillars. Eplexity achieved the client’s requirements, and now the microservice and serverless ecosystem is running seamlessly and with top cloud practices.

Technologies used in the Eplexity project

Bebop

Bebop provides DevOps services and is in charge of managing the Operations stage of many applications.

We supported them by updating their Terraform templates to keep their production environments up to date and make them easier to manage and update. Now, the Bebop deployment processes with Terraform are more straightforward, the implementation times in the infrastructure were reduced, and managing the infrastructure became easier for new members.

Technologies used in the Bebop project

The Voice of our Customers

Suppose you are still unsure where you can hire DevOps engineer or a DevOps team. Here are some reviews of ClickIT’s customers about DevOps projects so you can have a better view. 

PCI Platform on AWS for Card-Dynamics

Card-Dynamics is a B2B platform that connects banks with e-commerce to update payment methods and create new users in merchants with verified banking information.

We had the opportunity to support them by building a PCI platform on AWS since our DevOps engineer has the necessary knowledge in Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery models, Container Orchestration, Infrastructure as code, Server provisioning, Cloud monitoring, Cloud security, and PCI Compliance.

They were thrilled by the result, given that the audit date had advanced by a month, and they were also pretty satisfied with the communication workflow.

Review of clickit about a DevOps project

Staff Augmentation for Boundless

Boundless is a venture studio focused on B2B SaaS and building multiple Softwares companies, while partnering with aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs.

ClickIT assisted them with staff augmentation in projects that involved numerous greenfield development opportunities and managing DevOps with cloud providers such as AWS, writing frontend and backend code operating various technologies.

One of the outcomes of this collaboration was creating multiple products, like launching the MVP and continuing to build on it with additional features. The adoption of the DevOps culture was a great result as well, as having the same time zone and workdays helped the company with logistic and overlap.

Review of clickit about a DevOps project

To Conclude

We know that hiring DevOps engineers can be complicated but not impossible. It is best to count on a DevOps engineer in your organization, as they are the gurus of cloud services and Linux. To hire DevOps engineer, you have to keep in mind they own the proper expertise and technical skills depending on the language you are looking for. Also, consider the soft skills that will help develop the position effectively.

Now that you know all about how to hire a DevOps developer, you can contact ClickIT and find the proper DevOps developer for your projects, as we count on a variety of talented devs. At the same time, the hiring process is quick and straightforward.

hire devops engineer

FAQ of How to Hire a DevOps Engineer

How do I hire a DevOps engineer?

Hiring a DevOps engineer involves a few steps, such as identifying in their CV/Resume, excellent knowledge of Linux servers and Networking, good communication, leadership, DevOps certification, management of AWS services, and Cloud expertise.
And ask questions that prove their expertise in their interview.

When should I hire a DevOps engineer?

You can find yourself needing a DevOps engineer, if you have a web application or digital product with numerous environments services and are interested in enhancing your web development productivity or planning to distribute your system and services.
DevOps engineers can be in charge of the Code release management and troubleshoot any production deployment. Also, they can do the tasks of a site reliability engineer.

Where can I find DevOps engineers?

Some sites can be beneficial to hire a DevOps engineer, like freelance portals: Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, and Toptal. You can also directly contact a DevOps outsourcing company, such as ClickIT.

What is the salary of a DevOps engineer?

The average pay for a DevOps engineer depends on the level of position and the region. USA-based DevOps engineers demand $120,000 per year on average, while the same roles are $66,000 to $96,000 in Mexico.

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