Is the tech skills shortage holding back DevOps growth?

Cloud Expo panel discussion highlights what needs to be done to recruit developer talent

The growth of DevOps is being held back by the skills shortage affecting the wider tech industry, delegates at Cloud Expo have been told.

In a panel discussion, Federico Fregosi, lead site reliability engineer for DevOps at Curve, said that one issue creating the skills shortage is university teaching. He said that universities don't have courses teaching cloud development, which is leading to a large number of engineers teaching themselves the skills companies are looking for.

"We need to have companies help universities create courses to teach the skills needed in the industry," he said.

Jujhar Singh, DevOps lead at the Economist, said that in order to retain talent engineers "need respect and need to control their own destinies".

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"The core skills stay the same, but people need an appetite to learn, and acquire new skills," he said, adding that the skills needed in DevOps were rapidly evolving and engineers need "to develop faster ... to see through any change".

Iskandar Najmuddin, DevOps solutions architect at Rackspace, said that in DevOpss, the skills he is looking for are new ways of working that will bring new benefits. "We are looking [for those] who want to learn and feel a sense of accomplishment," he said.

Ben Saunders, client principal at Contino, said his company was making a "concerted drive" to bridge the skills gap by building mentorship programs, focusing on upskilling employees to fill gaps by putting in place education programs.

Singh also said there aren't enough minorities and women working in DevOps, adding that a change in culture in tech is long overdue.

"I'm a feminist as I believe in reincarnation, so if I come back as a woman, I don't want to see any of the crap women face in tech at the moment," he said

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