Q&A

1. Is it easy to get into DevOPS?

With the right background, yes. But you need not only the right skills (e.g. extensive knowledge of operating system internals, be it Linux or Windows); you need the proper mindset. You need to stop thinking of servers in terms of physical boxes that take hours to configure and are a pain to maintain.

2. Linux or Windows?

Actually, both. One can get some Windows Server experience by getting such node up in AWS. You may be able keep such node up for a few days for less than $1.

3. RedHat or Debian?

Again, both. Some companies prefer RedHat-based installations such as CentOS, other prefer Debian (Ubuntu). Master them both.

4. Why didn’t you go on with C++?

Not that I did not want to. The problem with C++ is that almost no new projects get started these days, apart from embedded work, which is a different beast of its own, and trading software, which is a more or less closed environment.

There still is a ton of C++ code in need for maintainance, that’s for sure, so this skill will not get deprecated any time soon. This means that any new C++ position that is created out there is actually a replacement for someone who went do something different or maybe decided to retire. This reality even causes a compensation imbalance, as “new technology” skills (e.g. Mobile, Python, Ruby) or ones with an active market (Java) tend to get paid better than a legacy skill like C++.

5. Romania or …?

Depends. Rising rental and childcare costs throughout Western Europe in the recent years made physical relocations from “cheaper” countries like Romania, Hungary or Bulgaria be less financially viable options. Not being able to “draw fresh blood” will probably cause issues when planing future growth, but even in the “cheaper countries” the talent pool has started to dry out. The larger pool is also drying out because fewer people than 5 years ago graduate these days from universities. I have personally chosen Ireland (Republic of) for both professional and personal reasons.

6. Do many recruiters call?

Not that many. When there is an opening that is hard to fill and I might be a match, I get many calls and messages during the few days before a good candidate is found. Otherwise it’s just about people filling up their contact lists, “just in case”. In most situations that “case” never ever happens. The last update to my Linkedin profile (starting with Facebook) actually sent the profile visits counter down through the floor.

(TBC)