Full-Stack Engineer For DevOps: Fact Or Fiction - InformationWeek
IT Leadership // IT Strategy

Full-Stack Engineer For DevOps: Fact Or Fiction

DevOps requires multifaceted IT pros to help deliver results at market speed. But do these beasts exist in the wild?

If 'DevOps' is just another way of saying 'multistack' then this is a key to hiring in the future, according to the InformationWeek DevOps Survey.
If "DevOps" is just another way of saying "multistack" then this is a key to hiring in the future, according to the InformationWeek DevOps Survey.

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User Rank: Apprentice
5/13/2014 | 12:06:58 PM
Finding Full-Stack talent
When I was working as Head of Technology at a NY startup we really needed these types of developers, and I found they were really difficult to track down.

Full-stack developers (we were calling them "generalists" at the time, which probably added to our difficulty in sourcing them) are vital to small engineering teams where resources are limited and you need to move fast.  You just can't afford to have a handfull of specialists sitting on the bench, blocked by a bottleneck elsewhere on the team.  Adaptable engineers are game changers in this scenario--if your dedicated front-end man can chip in to help out on infrastructure tasks when things get backed up it makes the process much more fluid.

After going through the struggle of trying to source these engineers, I felt there had to be a better way to find these types of candidates, so I started HeapSort.  By isolating full-stack engineers and providing tools to showcase the breadth of their experience we provide a very effective way to source this type of talent when an organization needs it.
User Rank: Apprentice
5/8/2014 | 2:09:48 AM
Hiring for the Team, not just DevOps
What I see in the article is hiring for a team, not just DevOps/Full Stack.   I also see hiring for DevOps is hiring for those focused on the flow, no matter what dept/org it goes thru.  It's a value-chain that you want to focus on, and if that's full stack, great, but don't over-narrow the scope by just thinking Full Stack.

There are places for experts, and there are also places for people with broader experience.
The key to me is balance of speed and focus.

It's not to hire every 'full stack' you can find, it's hiring the right balance of people.  
I do think it's likely many companies are a short those who can cross the group silos (dev and ops being typical) and breakdown barriers/blocks/sacred cows to meet value goals (faster deploy, higher visibility, lower mttr, higher availability, fewer regressions, etc).

For speed, hire for DevOps with a set of skills in the pipeline you are focusing in (deploy, metrics, response, tools, etc).  The person with deploy experience may not fulfill all the needs of your visibility goals.  Put together a team which spans the needs with appropriate overlaps in coverage to avoid those resource SPF.

Hire the expert to crack tough questions that those in the flow won't have time to focus on.

Beware thinking everyone doing everything is the goal.  
DevOps Full Stack Engineer in that sense is a fiction.


Drew Conry-Murray
Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
5/5/2014 | 4:52:44 PM
Grow From Within
Internal training sounds like a good idea. Can you share how long it takes to train someone up to a "full-stack" engineer, or at least to get them started on a project?
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