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Tactics To Hire DevOps Engineers Without Spending Too Much Budget

DevOps is a combination of many philosophies, practices, and cultural tools. This technology brings the development and operations phases closer together than traditional software development and infrastructure management processes.

Although the demand for software development is increasing, human resources for the DevOps industry are seriously lacking because of its high level of expertise. In the DevOps Institute’s Upskilling: Enterprise DevOps 2020 study, 58% of respondents believe recruiting skilled DevOps employees is difficult, and 48% believe retaining them is difficult.

So, how can you find and hire DevOps engineers in these complex times? In this article, Mageplaza will guide you on hiring an experienced DevOps engineer without spending too much money but still ensuring efficiency.

Table of Content

Who are DevOps Engineers?

DevOps engineers as professionals who work at the intersection of software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). They play a vital role in modern software development and deployment processes. From there, narrow the gap between development and operations teams to improve efficiency, reliability, and speed of software delivery.

DevOps engineers bring many benefits to businesses

The biggest contribution of DevOps engineers is to help complete the transformation of the software development and operations process from the waterfall model to the continuous development/releases model. Besides, it also has several other benefits, including:

  • Enhance close collaboration between development and operations teams and the ability to work cross-functionally.
  • Increase deployment frequency, helping to shorten product development/improvement time.
  • Take advantage of automation tools to help limit risks and reduce failure rates.
  • Product recovery time is faster.

All aim to improve the ability to provide IT services quickly. From there, increase the competitiveness of products/businesses.

Responsibilities And Roles of a DevOps Engineer

In general, the main job of a DevOps engineer is very close to the Sysadmin, including: deploying, optimizing, monitoring, analysis, etc. However, this position requires more soft skills, and must know how to use coding and scripting to automate the system. 

In addition, a DevOps employee needs to learn about the stack the company’s product uses to review bugs, write common unit tests, and deploy more smoothly when developing the CI/CD process. Therefore, it is not wrong to consider DevOps engineers as “new style” Sysadmins.

More specifically, the duties of a DevOps engineer include:

  • Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD): DevOps professionals design and maintain CI/CD pipelines, including build automation, testing code changes, deploying code to production environments, etc. This ensures that code changes are integrated and tested regularly so they can be pushed into production quickly.
  • Automation: They automate various aspects of the software development and deployment process, such as code building, testing, and deployment. This will help reduce manual errors, increase consistency, and speed up release cycles.
  • Maintain and deploy infrastructure as code (IaC): DevOps engineers use IaC tools like Terraform or Ansible to identify and manage infrastructure resources (e.g., servers, database, etc.) as code. This enables consistent and repeatable infrastructure provisioning and configuration.
  • Monitoring and logging: They set up monitoring and logging solutions to monitor the performance and health of applications and infrastructure. This helps identify problems early and ensures proactive problem resolution.
  • Security and hardening: DevOps engineers focus on security measures and implementing security measures throughout the development and deployment process. They can handle security incidents, including hacking, access control, security testing, and server hardening.

A DevOps professional also needs to be knowledgeable about security skills

  • Cloud and Containerization: Many DevOps professionals are involved in working with cloud services (e.g., AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) and containerization technologies like Docker and Kubernetes to create infrastructure Flexible and scalable.
  • Version control and performance optimization: They enforce best practices to track code and configuration changes, ensuring that change history is documented. From there, adjust the configuration and scale resources to optimize application and infrastructure performance.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire a DevOps Engineer?

The average hourly salary of a DevOps engineer ranges from $15 to $100 per hour. However, based on the following variables, the cost of employing a DevOps engineer may change:

The cost of a DevOps engineer can vary by many factors

  • Location: DevOps engineers’ salaries can vary significantly based on the cost of living in a particular area. The average cost to recruit a DevOps specialist in the US is $123,503, with annual ranges between $98,000 and $156,000, according to Glassdoor. Meanwhile, in Mexico, similar roles have salaries ranging from $66,000 to $80,000 per year.
  • Experience: The level of experience a DevOps engineer has will also affect their salary. A junior DevOps earns from $4,000 to $5,500 monthly and increases from $6,000 to $7,500 for a mid-level engineer. A senior DevOps engineer can earn from $7,000 to $9,000 monthly.
  • Skills: The specific skills and technology needed for a project can affect salary. DevOps is a broad field, and engineers with expertise in specific tools or platforms (e.g., AWS, Azure, Kubernetes, Terraform) can command higher salaries.
  • Industry: The industry a company operates in can affect salaries. For example, companies in the financial or healthcare sectors may offer higher salaries due to regulatory requirements and the need for additional security and compliance expertise.

Where Can You Hire DevOps Engineers?

You can hire DevOps engineers online and offline from many other sources and platforms. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. Consider based on your specific project requirements, costs, and access to skilled people in your local or worldwide workforce.

Platforms to find potential DevOps engineers

Develop Internal Experts

You may find DevOps talent within your IT Operations team. These individuals can potentially become ideal DevOps engineers in the future thanks to their often diverse backgrounds and knowledge. Additionally, development engineers can be good candidates because they understand engineering principles and are technologically savvy.

This method will help businesses save time and costs in finding human resources. However, it will not guarantee high effectiveness.

Hire Freelance Engineers

Freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer.com, YouTeam, and Toptal are extremely popular for finding IT professionals. Here, you may find a variety of DevOps professionals from across the world.

Its plus point lies in the fact that you can hire talented engineers but at a low fee. Usually, this method is suitable for specific, small, and short-term projects. That’s because it has the disadvantage that there will be no official contract signed between you and the candidate, and you may encounter difficulties in human resource management.

Through Recruitment Agencies

Another frequently used strategy is to partner with recruitment agencies or IT companies. Reputable recruitment companies can help you find the right candidate and manage the recruitment process. They have the expertise and reliability, are equipped with the necessary technology, and are available for contract or full-time positions.

Through Job Boards And Career Sites

Post a detailed job description for the DevOps engineer position on popular job boards and job sites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and Monster. You can connect with a large audience of potential prospects using these sites. You can search for DevOps leaders, connect with them, and contact them directly to discuss job opportunities.

Use Social Media

Network communication is a popular recruitment method in the market today. Share job postings on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit, and engage with the tech community. Here, you can participate in DevOps-focused forums and communities to discuss directly with DevOps experts, thereby easily identifying potential candidates.

Refer To Referrals From Company Employees

Recruiting through referrals is a traditional form but brings relatively high efficiency. Ask your employees or technology partners for suggestions. They can be useful recruitment sources for you. Employee referral methods can help you easily find talented candidates who fit your company culture without spending too much money.

Tips To Find a Talented DevOps Engineer

Finding a talented DevOps engineer can be challenging because these professionals need a combination of technical skills, collaboration abilities, and a DevOps mindset. When hiring a DevOps engineer, it’s important to have a clear job description outlining the skills and qualifications you’re looking for. 

Be prepared to conduct interviews, technical assessments, and reference checks to thoroughly evaluate candidates. Here are some tips to help you hire DevOps engineers:

Experience when hiring a DevOps engineer

Clearly Define Your Requirements

Before you search, clearly define your organization’s DevOps requirements and goals. Also, establish a budget for hiring DevOps engineers, including salary, benefits, and any additional resources or tools needed. Then, create a detailed job description outlining the skills, experience, and qualifications you’re looking for from a DevOps engineer.

Be specific about the technologies and tools your team uses. Candidates with relevant experience in DevOps methodologies and tools, including infrastructure as code (IaC), automation, containers (Docker), and orchestration (Kubernetes), will be given preference.

Choose A Recruitment Model And Identify Suitable Platforms

You decide whether to hire a full-time DevOps engineer, a contract or freelance DevOps consultant, or a part-time specialist depending on the needs of your project and your budget. From there, you can choose suitable platforms to post job listings (e.g., job boards, professional recruitment sites, DevOps communities, etc.) to find DevOps talent.

Make sure your job description is clear and appealing to potential candidates.

Check The Certificate

Collect and review candidates’ resumes and portfolios. Certifications such as AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA), or certifications from cloud providers can indicate a candidate’s expertise in specific fields.

Additionally, ask candidates about their previous DevOps projects and achievements. Look for evidence of successful automation, improved deployment processes, and enhanced system reliability. You can also review the candidate’s GitHub profile and open-source contributions. Active participation in open-source projects can strongly indicate a DevOps engineer’s skills and commitment to the field.

Assess Problem-Solving Skill

DevOps engineers must excel at problem solving because they often need to troubleshoot problems in development and production environments.

Invite candidates to participate in in-depth technical interviews with your DevOps team or stakeholders. You can ask questions about IaC, automation, monitoring, and security from there. 

In addition, discuss their experiences with specific tools and their problem-solving approaches. You can conduct technical assessments by providing coding exercises to evaluate candidates’ practical skills with DevOps tools and technologies. Meanwhile, you can give them real-life situations to solve or ask them to demonstrate their knowledge through hands-on tasks.

Assess Collaboration Skill

DevOps is not just about technical skills; it’s also about fostering collaboration between development and operations teams. Therefore, a potential DevOps engineer must have communication skills, leadership skills, the ability to handle high-pressure situations and work well in teams.

During the interview, ask behavioral questions to assess the candidate’s soft skills and cultural fit. For example, ask about their experience working in cross-functional teams or how they handle high-pressure situations.

Check References

Finally, contact the candidate’s references to verify their qualifications, work history and performance. Ask relevant questions about their experience working in a DevOps position.

Additionally, you need to better understand their work ethic and ability to work as a team. Prioritize DevOps engineers with a spirit of continuous learning and professional development. This field is constantly evolving and keeping up to date is essential.

A candidate considered a DevOps expert will typically have 4 or more years of experience in the field. This period of time is appropriate to ensure they accumulate enough expertise and experience to handle difficult problems during software development and operation.

Some Interview Questions To Screen Potential DevOps Engineers Easier

Interviews are where you can ask questions about a variety of technical, problem-solving, and behavioral aspects, helping you assess a candidate’s qualifications and their ability to work effectively in a DevOps environment. Ask inquiries that are particular to the needs and tools that your organization employs. 

Although it’s impossible to list every question during the interview process, here are some questions to help you effectively screen candidates:

Questions to hire DevOps engineers

Technical Question

  • Explain the CI/CD process and its benefits. Can you describe the components of a typical CI/CD pipeline?
  • What is Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and why is it important in DevOps? Can you name some popular IaC tools?
  • How did you handle configuration management in your current/previous role? Have you used tools like Ansible, Puppet, or Chef?
  • What is a container and how is it different from virtualization? Have you worked with Docker?
  • Explain the purpose and key features of Kubernetes. What are some common use cases of Kubernetes in DevOps?
  • Describe the difference between blue deployment and canary deployment. When would you use each method?
  • How do you monitor the performance and availability of applications and infrastructure in a DevOps environment?
  • What are microservices and how do they relate to DevOps practices?
  • Explain the concept of “Immutable Infrastructure”. How does it contribute to system reliability?
  • How will you approach securing your DevOps infrastructure and processes? Can you mention some best practices for DevSecOps?

Practice Questions And Problem Solving

  • In one scenario, how would you automate web server provisioning and configuration using IaC?
  • Write a simple Dockerfile for the web application of your choice. Step-by-step explanation in Dockerfile.
  • Design a basic CI/CD pipeline for a web application. Includes code compilation, testing, and deployment phases.
  • With a Git repository with multiple branches, how would you merge code changes from the feature branch into the master branch while ensuring code quality and minimizing disruption?

Questions About Behavior And Teamwork

  • Tell me about a challenging project you worked on as a DevOps team member. How did you contribute and what were the results?
  • How do you handle disagreements or conflicts within a cross-functional DevOps team? Can you give an example from your experience?
  • How do you stay up to date with the latest DevOps tools and practices? Can you provide examples of new technology you have adopted in your role?

Additionally, consider including practical exercises or coding challenges as part of the interview process to assess practical skills.


The DevOps recruitment market is currently very vibrant and many people have difficulty finding suitable candidates to help them develop and operate projects and products. That’s why you need to understand how to properly screen candidates and how to create a DevOps culture where your employees can thrive.

Finding a good DevOps engineer can take time and effort, but making the right hire can significantly improve your development and operations processes. This leads to more efficient and reliable software delivery. Remember that cultural fit and teamwork skills are just as important as technical expertise in a DevOps role.

Hopefully this article has provided you with a lot of useful information, making your process of hiring DevOps engineers easier and more cost-effective.

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