The DevOps Job Market

DevOps as a profession and discipline just keeps growing in demand. This year alone, more than 100 global conferences are dedicated to DevOps — and even the “best of” lists are staggering. Hundreds of companies (including Scalyr) are developing tools specifically for the DevOps field, and blogs dedicated to everything from current news and trends to making light of DevOps daily frustrations abound (RIP DevOps Reactions). Even a casual survey of the trending-up of “DevOps” in Google search over the past five years makes it pretty clear that demand for professionals in this space will only continue to rise.

Point. Made. (via Google Trends)

The State of DevOps Jobs

For the past six years, Puppet has documented the rise of DevOps in industries around the world, surveying a total of 27,000 IT professionals, developers, and executives in what they call the “most comprehensive, evolving study of DevOps as it is practiced today.”

Puppet partnered with DORA for its 2017 State of DevOps report, which surveyed 3,200 IT professionals in industries ranging from tech and financial services to the nonprofit sector. Over the past three years, they’ve seen the percentage of respondents employed in DevOps nearly double, from 16% (in 2014) to 27% today.

 

The authors “feel this increase represents both an acknowledgement that DevOps works, and the fact that DevOps teams represent a strategy for shifting the entire organization from older ways of working to newer DevOps processes.”

So, Where Are These Jobs? And What Do They Pay?

We dug a little deeper to learn where in the U.S. these DevOps employment opportunities were surfacing, and also where they pay the most.

We chose two leading job sites for our research: Indeed and AngelList, and analyzed results for a recent three-month period. We used the sites to determine, state by state, which states have the most job offerings for DevOps careers.

Indeed, There Are a Lot of DevOps Jobs

Indeed is one of the most popular job sites for the tech industry as a whole. In general it’s less startup-focused than AngelList, and correspondingly has a much higher volume of DevOps postings.

The DevOps boom is substantiated by hard numbers here as well: from 2015 to 2016, “the role of DevOps Engineer has seen a 225% jump in postings on Indeed,” according to an SD Times report.

We found DevOps job postings from companies of all sizes. It didn’t take long (and we weren’t too surprised) to discover that California is the place to be when it comes to these job opportunities. California dominated the field with nearly 2,700 opportunities, handily dwarfing every other state. The closest contender was Washington, DC with more than 1,700, followed by Virginia, with a little over 1,300. That’s almost 400 more than New York, which came in fourth with 914.

AngelList – DevOps Early Adopters

As we expected, the startup-focused AngelList had fewer DevOps job postings. Even so, trends here reflected the early adoption of DevOps principles within smaller teams and by future stars. On a state-by-state basis California again emerged the clear and unsurprising winner. In fact, across all AngelList DevOps job postings for the three-month period studied, 50% were in California.

But then things got a bit more interesting. Virginia, 3rd on Indeed, came in 10th on AngelList. Texas — despite their Silicon Hills — ranked beneath both Colorado and Florida. 24 states had no DevOps job postings at all.

The Pay

Of the salaries for the DevOps jobs on Indeed and AngelList, 80% pay more than $90,000 starting. Of those, about 35% pay at least $115,000, and 17% pay more than $125,000.

Note that we didn’t break the postings or salaries down by job titles, career level, or seniority — but the results indicate that that a DevOps career is likely to be a lucrative one.

Since California leads the pack in DevOps job opportunities, we also took a look at the salary distribution for that state alone, finding that California DevOps jobs do pay a bit higher than the national numbers. Cost of living coupled with increased demand and competition for skilled DevOps professionals likely plays a role.

 

 

The Most In-Demand DevOps Skills and Proficiencies

As tech heavies Martin Fowler and Chef CTO Adam Jacob alluded to on Twitter a couple years back, it takes a full stack of skills to be a DevOps professional:

 

(Thanks D-Zone for this callout – check out What is a DevOps Engineer for more of the story.)

To learn exactly which skills were in the greatest demand, we decided to build a word cloud based on the skills and proficiencies referenced in the Indeed and AngelList DevOps postings.

However, we quickly discovered that the sheer volume of data entry needed to cull the word cloud from the thousands of job postings would just cause our research guy to quit. So, we went a different route.

First, we pulled together a list of the most in-demand DevOps skills from a variety of popular DevOps articles, and our own experience. The final list included just over 100 common skills, tools, and proficiencies. Then, we quantified the prevalence of each term across all open DevOps jobs.

The results: 

The size of the word indicates the relative prevalence of each term against the others within the required skills of open positions. Linux, AWS, Python, and Agile led the pack. Interestingly “Communication Skills” featured highly as well — a good reminder that employers aren’t looking only for technical skills, but interpersonal savvy as well.

The Role of Scalyr in DevOps

We’re one of those many California-based companies, building log management and analysis tools for DevOps-centric organizations. We live and breathe DevOps, and if you’re reading this, we’re guessing you might, too. Our DevOps-focused log management and analysis tools aggregate and search logs, graph metrics, monitor server status, and sound the alert when things go wrong. We’ve introduced perhaps the fastest speeds in the industry (searching up to 1TB of log data/second). And guess what, we’re hiring. Interested? Check out our job postings or drop us a line today.

Company Culture: Actions, not just words

I recently joined the marketing team at Scalyr. I left my previous role last fall and took some time off. After a bit of travel, I spent the last few months exploring what I wanted to do next. In my next opportunity, I wanted a product first company and a culture that aligned with my values. Throughout my search, I met with several dozen people and companies, some casual catch-ups and others more formal interviews. I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned in my process that ultimately made me believe Scalyr was the right place for me.

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CareerBuilder Resolves Customer Issues 5x Faster with Scalyr

We are excited to have CareerBuilder as a customer here at Scalyr. I recently sat down with Leon Chapman, Director of Cloud Operations at CareerBuilder, to learn more about their decision to use Scalyr and the impact the product is having on their teams and customer experience.

 

 

CareerBuilder chose Scalyr as their log management tool. After moving to the cloud two years ago, the team was looking to consolidate tools across their 250 person engineering organization. As a customer facing product, being able to identify issues quickly helps CareerBuilder deliver a better customer experience for the millions of people who use their products and services each day.

In particular, CareerBuilder found that when comparing Scalyr to other products, Scalyr beat the competition in:

  • Speed
  • Performance
  • Ability to scale without needing to manage infrastructure

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Support Driven Development: Listen now so you don’t hear it later

Here at Scalyr, we’re big fans of Complaint-Driven Development, which I’ll summarize as “focus engineering effort on fixing the things users actually complain about.” We especially focus on issues that generate support requests, with such success that, as CEO, I’m still able to personally handle the majority of frontline support – even as we head toward eight-digit annual revenue.

An important consideration is that support requests cost money even if they aren’t your (product’s) fault. In this post, I’ll explore five common sources of support requests relating to the first piece of Scalyr software most users touch – our log collection agent and how we’ve sometimes had to think outside the box to address them. None of these were bugs, exactly. (We’ve had those as well, but you don’t need to read a blog post to know it’s a good idea to fix bugs.)

Arguably, none of these issues were “our fault.” But they generated a significant fraction of our support tickets. By eliminating them, we’ve reduced support costs significantly. Even more important, we’ve increased the probability that a user’s first experience with Scalyr is positive, especially for those users (a majority!) who will bounce off of a new product at the first sign of trouble, without bothering to ask for help.

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In DevOps Incident Response, Plans Are Worthless, But Planning Is Everything

So said President Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower (more or less). His battles were fought in the trenches, not the technology stacks—but for DevOps teams, the principle holds. No plan survives contact with the enemy.

A plan is a set of instructions you can follow when you understand what needs to be done. Handy when the enemy is one you know, and can plan for. But the Enemy You Know isn’t what (literally) keeps DevOps engineers up at night.

Good DevOps teams competently respond to incidents, outages, and just plain weird stuff happening in their technology stack. Great teams go further—they see around corners, developing the instincts and skills to prepare for the unexpected. At Scalyr we start by reducing the risk of the dreaded 3 am call as much as possible. But we’d be foolish to stop there.

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A Tale of Siri and My Home’s Energy Usage

Full disclosure: I’m a Scalyr DevOps engineer, but I’d be geeking out over the sheer number of possible uses for Scalyr even if I wasn’t. It’s more than a log analysis tool—it’s a platform. Scalyr now monitors the temperature inside my house, as well as the history of my thermostat and HVAC system usage. I’m one of very few homeowners in the world with real-time access to information about my HVAC system’s energy usage.

What compelled me to do this? Siri.

And a desire to harness home automation to improve my house’s energy efficiency. Here’s the story.

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451 Research Covers Scalyr

“For Scalyr, it’s about speed, scale, and simplicity in log management,” is the title of 451 Research’s recent report on Scalyr. Nancy reached out to us to discuss our product a few weeks ago. We gave her a demo and spoke a number of times in detail about Scalyr. I was excited when I saw that she had decided to write about us and I’m even more excited to share the content of that report with the greater Scalyr family.

Click here to read Nancy’s report. 

If you’re looking for more information on Scalyr, don’t hesitate to contact us directly or to sign up for a trial.

Please Review Scalyr (And Get Free Stuff)

To help get the word out about Scalyr, we’re looking for people to write honest reviews of our product on GetApp and Capterra. If you take the time to write a review on one of those sites we’ll send you a $20 gift card for either Starbucks or Amazon (please see details below).

To write a review on GetApp you need to have a LinkedIn account and be willing to sign into GetApp with it, but your review can be anonymous once posted. For Capterra you need to give your email address and the name of the company where you used the product that you are reviewing, and finished reviews will include your name and company name.

We are only looking for reviews from current Scalyr customers or Scalyr trial users who have uploaded data and spent more than two hours using Scalyr. In order to qualify for the gift cards, please send the following information to contact@scalyr.com:

  • a link to the review in question
  • your name and the email address you use to log into scalyr
  • the email address where you’d like us to send the gift card code

We’ll take honest reviews anytime, but this particular offer of a gift card when you review us expires on February 17th, 2017. All gift cards will be issued for USD $20 from the US Starbucks or US Amazon website.

To write a GetApp review, please start here.

For Capterra, please click here. 

Thanks in advance!

 

November 2016 Product Updates: All in on the New UI…

Our new UI is now the default

Scalyr's New UI

We flipped the switch, and our new UI is now the default. The original UI will still be available for a while, but to access it, you’ll have to click on the settings menu (upper-right corner of the window) and choose “Flip To Classic UI”.

If there’s a reason you prefer our original UI, please let us know! We’re working hard to make this an easy transition.

The log timeline chart now includes both line and bar graphs

Scalyr's Hybrid Timeline Chart

By popular demand, we’ve superimposed the old “events per second” line graph over the bar chart. This allows you to see fine-grained spikes and changes in message frequency. Note that the Y axis is scaled for the bar chart only.

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The Myth of the Root Cause: How Complex Web Systems Fail

Editor’s note: here at Scalyr, robust systems are a topic near and dear to our heart, so we were happy to have the chance to work closely with Mathias on this piece. It’s based on the two-part series “How Complex Web Systems Fail” originally published on his Production Ready mailing list.

how-complex-systems-fail

Distributed web-based systems are inherently complex. They’re composed of many moving parts — web servers, databases, load balancers, CDNs, and many more — working together to form an intricate whole. This complexity inevitably leads to failure. Understanding how this failure happens (and how we can prevent it) is at the core of our job as operations engineers.

In his influential paper How Complex Systems Fail, Richard Cook shares 18 sharp observations on the nature of failure in complex medical systems. The nice thing about these observations is that most of them hold true for complex systems in general. Our intuitive notions of cause-and-effect, where each outage is attributable to a direct root cause, are a poor fit to the reality of modern systems.

In this post, I’ll translate Cook’s insights into the context of our beloved web systems and explore how they fail, why they fail, how you can prepare for outages, and how you can prevent similar failures from happening in the future…

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