DevOps success is about more than tech

What is the biggest challenge to a successful DevOps practice?

–           Organisational culture is resistant to change

–           Lack of an automated test strategy

–           Legacy applications

–           Technical staff want to be technology gurus

There has been a dramatic rise in the adoption of DevOps as a culture and practice across many businesses, from SMB’s to enterprises. DevOps is now a strategic part of many of today’s organisations. The ability to deliver an application to an end-user was always the function of IT. In today’s environment, the need for speed and quality requires far more than IT skills.

New technology

DevOps will invariably be in the front-line for adopting new tools and technology. However, rather than becoming a guru in any one particular area, it’s vital that a DevOps engineer has a good understanding across the board, being familiar with multiple technologies including:

–           Cloud services including AWS or Microsoft Azure

–           Using Orchestration to build containerised applications, with Google’s Kubernetes or similar

–           Repeatable software builds using a Continuous Integration tool such as Bamboo

–           Source Code Control using GIT etc.

A DevOps engineer with a wider knowledge will be better able to assimilate new tools quickly and to understand their place in the overall picture.


Leading businesses have already coined a term for the sub-discipline – DevSecOps – building security into the DevOps workflow by including security processes and automating key tasks. A DevOps engineer needs to go beyond virus scan updates and consider cybersecurity implications at the requirements and design phases.


Writing a script to carry out routine actions, using Python or similar is a traditional IT task and removes the possibility of manual errors. DevOps takes this further and requires knowledge of the underlying discipline being automated. Automated testing is well known in software development – by both developers and testers. A DevOps engineer will be able to extend automated testing into the deployment phase so that applications are proven before being presented to end users.

What about non-technical skills?

Returning to the first bullet – Organisational culture – a successful DevOps engineer will be able to demonstrate a track record of skills that are not purely technical. They will be able to combine tech with organisational and people skills.

A great DevOps engineer will have a strong customer focus. In the majority of cases their customers are internal: Development, Quality, Project management and of course end-users. An outstanding engineer will have the ability to grasp what’s important to those customers, try their best to achieve it, and will see the whole picture.

A common challenge is departments which are used to working in a particular way. Overcoming internal boundaries and resistance to change requires influencing skills and empathy. A DevOps engineer with a resume demonstrating these skills will be in high demand.

Next steps

The speed of technology change and the need for innovation are real challenges for management teams. However, this brings opportunities for forward-thinking business leaders to change the way they use technology, and for skilled DevOps engineers to make their mark in today’s enterprises and SMB’s. Why not contact our team here at Clifford Associates. We are an industry leader, we understand the challenges and we can help you to resource your DevOps team.



  • I am writing to express my gratitude to Ross Clifford & Associates who helped me successfully secure the role of Enterprise Sales Executive at Concured. Ross was extremely professional and understood the specifics of the job I required. I especially appreciated his fast response, transparent communication, and coordination in a timely and efficient manner.
    - Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
  • Ross is one of the friendliest recruiters I've dealt with. He was always attentive, quick to respond and ready to help with any questions I had. He's very professional, and not at all superficial like so many other recruiters out there. I would highly recommend him.
    - Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
  • “We look for commercial people with a rare blend of talents. They need to be able to advise our blue-chip clients on thought leadership strategy. They need to be highly strategic and purposeful in uncovering opportunity. And they need the hunger it takes to thrive in a rapidly evolving business. Ross was quick to understand our need, he only delivered high-quality people for interview, and he succeeded in getting us a winning candidate incredibly fast.”  
    - Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
  • I can't rate or recommend Ross highly enough. He brings a thoughtful, personal approach to the process, carefully matching opportunities with candidates, through a good understanding of their priorities and skills. Throughout, he keeps candidates up to date in an open, honest way. A genuine pleasure to work with.
    - Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
  • Ross is the best recruitment agent I have worked with, he stayed in contact, kept me informed and was with me every step of the process. He also checked in with me during my first couple of weeks in my new role to make sure I was settling in. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him.
    - Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, part of RetailMeNot
  • I have worked with Ross over 4 years now and he has always delivered a really high standard of candidate both at senior and junior level. His online knowledge is second to none and all the candidates he has put forward over the years have only good things to say about Ross and his work ethic.
    - Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
  • Ross is a fantastic recruitment consultant -  extremely professional, meticulous, patient and supportive. Throughout the process, I felt he represented me really well and genuinely cared about my career and finding the right role. Thanks to Ross I am now in a role I love, working with a brilliant team. Very highly recommended!
    - Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude
  • I have no hesitation in recommending Ross. He is, by quite some distance, the best recruiter I have worked with. Perhaps unusually, Ross listens carefully in order to understand the needs of his clients and candidates, thereby ensuring that good matches are made; we are not talking 'spray and pray'. Likeable and on the ball, I hope to work with him again.
    - Pete Braham, Business Development, Longitude.

© Ross Clifford Associates. Website by Outlines Design.