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Being a generalist and being great at what you do


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What type of skills are best fit for DevOps culture organization.
It is really beneficial for the companies to hire generalists vs specialists (except the very rare cases if their business to provide special knowledge i.e. consultants).

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Being a generalist and being great at what you do

  1. 1. Being a generalist and being great at what you do IS IT POSSIBLE? / GOOD AND BAD
  2. 2. Where do I come from?
  3. 3. To DevOps or not to DevOps? This is the question!
  4. 4. 3 levels of Operational response
  5. 5. EMT
  6. 6. Emergency Room Doctor
  7. 7. Specialist Surgeon
  8. 8. Is it a progression or a differentiation? * Are you winning or are you loosing when you’re specializing? * Do you want to know 1 thing only and be clueless all around? * Don’t you need to know a lot of things anyway?
  9. 9. Organizational thoughts on specialists BENEFITS * Can quickly figure out the problem * Provides best (?) advise and solution (?) * Knows his stuff CONCERNS * Hard to find and hire * What does he do between the tasks? * Point of contention – hard to plan, need to wait to allocate * Expensive (mostly)
  10. 10. It’s a range/gradient of valid possibilities Knows Everything: * Dev * Ops * Business * Sales * Marketing * ….. Kills in ONE Things ONLY: * Ex: networking packets Most of us common folks are somewhere here ….
  11. 11. Team composition options (depends on business needs) VERTICAL SILO TEAMS Team composition: ◦ Specialists (only) Pros: ◦ In-depth specialization ◦ Easy to assemble ◦ Scales vertically (bigger team) Cons: ◦ Narrow specialization ◦ Hand-overs ◦ Long waiting queues FEATURE (WIDE SKILL) TEAMS Team composition: ◦ Generalists augmented (on demand) by specialists Pros: ◦ Flexible ◦ Autonomous (solves the tasks end-to-end) ◦ Can be reassigned in a moment to most urgent tasks ◦ Scales horizontally (more autonomous teams) Cons: ◦ Non-traditional ◦ Hard to hire and assemble ◦ Hard to incentivize people grows (Spotify uses tribes)
  12. 12. Needs of companies evolve over time
  13. 13. Who is this mysterious DevOps person?
  14. 14. DevOps Skills signature of a person/team Quality of knowledge Developer Mindset Operational/Sustaining Mindset
  15. 15. ROI of the gradient spread Compensation Availability of talent (bell curve of normal distribution) Hot-spots of high ROI Specializing Generalist Generalizing Specialist
  16. 16. Danger zones of the talent spread You’re so generic that you can be easily replaced by a cheaper guy Your head will explode ... You’re alone and have to be the best in the field to be relevant
  17. 17. We need everyone! Choose your path!
  18. 18. Thank you! Questions? @igor_moochnick