DevOps resume: main points and a template

Writing a compelling DevOps resume is essential for every talent willing to land a job as a DevOps engineer. What points to cover and what template to follow? Read this article to know!

The job market is in high demand for DevOps specialists and many experienced system administrators are rapidly switching their careers and becoming DevOps engineers. However, while many software engineers already have the required experience, many more are just starting their journey and don’t know what to mention in their DevOps resume. Today we cover what the companies expect of a DevOps specialist and provide a template of what points you must cover in your job application.

The DevOps methodology is the mainstream and the crucial prerequisite for survival and long-term success in the modern fast-paced business world. However, while the need for DevOps engineers is ubiquitous, the main challenge is that there are multiple “experts, gurus and consultants” that have little to none practical experience with DevOps workflows, yet keep convincing the businesses across the globe that they know how to make DevOps work.

DevOps challenges: myths and misconceptions

For example, there is a hugely popular misconception that DevOps is a combination of Dev, Ops and QA skills.

This results in inflated expectations, as the businesses think they have to combine the Dev, QA and the Ops teams in one room so that these specialists teach each other the necessary skills and blend into an all-around capable DevOps team that will make its DevOps magic happen, right?.

Wrong!

As the real DevOps engineers like you and IT Svit know, DevOps is not about blending the skills — it is about blending the goals. It is done through removing the siloed responsibilities, aligning the goals of different teams with the business objectives and ensuring new product features are developed and released to customers as seamlessly and frictionlessly as possible. It is done not by placing Devs and Ops into one room — it is done by making DevOps engineers define the processes and select the best scenarios for all teams involved in the software delivery and infrastructure management.

Define DevOps culture in the company

Thus said, the first thing to do at the interview is to ask the company representatives what they expect to achieve by DevOps implementation, whether they have a DevOps team already and what tasks this team is involved with. Otherwise, you risk wasting time and effort trying to break a wall with bare fists, which will be detrimental to your professional growth and resume in the future. On the contrary, outlining your vision of the DevOps workflow and checking that it meets the company’s understanding is crucial for building mutual understanding and lay the ground for fruitful collaboration. What should a company understand about DevOps culture?

DevOps is a methodology for increasing the speed and quality of delivering new product features and ensuring reliable system operations in production. Thus said, it requires a DevOps engineer to be an open-minded individual with great adaptability and willingness to constantly learn new cloud computing technologies and adapt them to the needs of your project. Therefore, checking the company view of the DevOps culture and if they really know what to expect and how to achieve this is the essential prerequisite for actually landing a great job for you.

A normal DevOps workflow is not a cycle — it is an infinity sign:

  1. In the planning stage, the team discusses the project requirements, customer feedback available, input from business stakeholders and any other information that is relevant to the project roadmap. This helps define the technology stack, future app architecture and other parameters crucial for building your new product or feature.
  2. Once the outline is ready, the developers begin to write the codebase for automated tests and the DevOps engineers begin to build CI/CD pipelines that will automate all the routine tasks involved with this process. Terraform and Kubernetes manifests for infrastructure provisioning and configuration, Ansible playbooks and Jenkins jobs, Circle CI scripts that will turn each future code commit into a release-ready app build.
  3. A new code is built and tested by automated unit and integrity tests, and if it passes the tests, it is pushed to the staging environment.
  4. QA engineers test the new code in detail to ensure it can be delivered to end-users
  5. DevOps engineers prepare to release the latest product version by updating the Docker images with all the required runtime
  6. DevOps specialists deploy the new product version to production using Canary release, Blue-Green deployment or any other deployment strategy
  7. They operate the systems to scale them up and down based on the workload or improve the existing infrastructure
  8. Finally, as DevOps engineers monitor the product in production, they gather the DevOps metrics and system logs, customer feedback and business stakeholder input required for planning the next cycle.

Rinse, repeat. Make sure your potential employer understands this is the real DevOps lifecycle.

DevOps resume: tell the why, how and what

According to famous Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle”, the best teams are composed of people who do something BECAUSE of a goal, not just to earn money. Your resume must show you care about WHY you do something, that you know HOW to achieve this goal and know WHAT to do to reach it. This will help your resume stand out amidst the CVs of people that just need to make money.

Once you’ve described your job experiences and attitude, it’s time to cover your technical skills. The companies are looking for the following expertise:

  • Experience building CI/CD pipelines using tools like Ansible, Jenkins, Circle CI, GitLab CI, etc
  • Expertise with cloud computing platforms (AWS, Azure, GCP and their web services)
  • DBA experience (installing, updating and configuring MySQL, MongoDB, Redis, PostgreSQL and other SQL and NoSQL databases)
  • Profound knowledge of Git and mastery of Version Control Systems like GitHub or GitLab
  • Mastery of some scripting and shell programming tools (Bash, Python, Ruby, PowerShell, etc.)
  • Hands-on experience with infrastructure and configuration orchestration tools (Terraform, Puppet, Ansible, etc)
  • A profound understanding of container orchestration and configuration management best practices and tools (Docker, Kubernetes)
  • Working experience with cloud monitoring, logging and alerting solutions (Nagios, Icinga, ELK stack, Prometheus & Grafana, Google StackDriver, AWS CloudWatch, FluentD, Splunk, New Relic, etc)

DevOps resume template

In your cover letter, you need to show the buy-in to the company culture, buy-in to the product or project you will work on and you need to demonstrate technical excellence. The businesses don’t want to merely see that you know how to work with the tools above. They want to see how you used these skills to deliver value to the business. If you have some certifications — mention them to prove your expertise.

For example, don’t say something like “I worked for the ABC company. My job was managing the cluster of 400 servers and performing daily infrastructure maintenance operations. I wrote various configuration scripts to automate my routine tasks”

Instead, tell that “At ABC company I was entrusted with a task of running and optimizing IT operations on an AWS cluster of 400 servers. By building a base of CI/CD scripts in Ansible and implementing automated testing best practices using AWS CodePipeline for the Dev team, I was able to reduce average lead time by 25%, reduce the numbers of post-release bugs by 90% and decrease monthly infrastructure maintenance expenses by nearly $3,000”. Adding facts and details like that shows that you know WHAT to do and WHY to do it — and HOW to do it well.

To wrap it up, your DevOps resume must cover your work experience, certificates and technical background. Your cover letter must show your understanding of the DevOps culture, your ability to communicate and collaborate with the team to reach the common goals, and your attitude to organizing the workflows to reach tangible benefits for the business.

DevOps & Big Data lover