Interesting insights with Michael Diver from Software Placements a specialised IT & Semiconductor Recruitment Consultancy. Proud Sponsor of the Dublin Beta and Start-Up Grind Dublin. This piece first appeared here.

How has the last 12 months been for you?

Things have been going well. The market is still good and there is a strong demand for good candidates. Companies are also becoming more open to receiving overseas candidates. They are also willing to accept candidates who require a visa, ie who are not from EU.

I am not recruiting for C#/.Net anymore, and I am more focussed on Python and DevOps where demand for candidates is increasing. DevOps people come from various backgrounds, including development / systems / test. They deal with the configuration, deployment, and continuous integration of software, using tools such as Puppet, Chef, Ansible, Docker, Jenkins, Team FS. They sit between software developers/engineers, system people, testing and automation and work to make sure product is in right form for release. Every company though has its own particular type of DevOps work that they need doing.

How do people become DevOps Engineers?

They will begin with one skill, such as software development, and in doing this get exposed to the other tools needed for DevOps positions. You don’t go usually straight from university to DevOps, instead moving into it by learning a range of skills in development, CI, deployment etc over the course of your career.

Are you recruiting for different roles than 12 months ago?

I have moved away from .Net and am now concentrating on Python and DevOps.

How do you make yourself a good candidate?

Good candidates will have good qualifications. We also look for someone who has good retention times at companies. It’s not good to move too often, 4 or 5 jobs in 5 years is not a good thing. It takes time to get used to a company and their products and our clients feel that better contributions are made by people who have developed a strong knowledge and understanding of the company product over a reasonable period of time.

We also obviously look for the technologies required for the job position. If developers/engineers have an active Github or Bitbucket this is a good indicator that they are creating their own interesting code snippets. This is especially useful for university graduates as it will give them more of a chance to differentiate themselves from other candidates.

How do you future proof your career?

Keep up with the technology and methodologies. Make sure you are aware of, and ideally are using the latest software releases. Code in the newest version of the language, as it will mean you don’t fall behind. You need to either keep learning/evolving or you will go backwards. If you don’t remain up to date, someone else will!

What tips do you have for preparing for interviews

Know the company well. Know the products, read the job spec, and prepare thoroughly for the HR questions too i.e., your strengths, weaknesses, why you are leaving your current role, and salary expectations. Do the basics, prepare well and you will do well. Most companies now have useful YouTube videos to advertise themselves, do watch these as you can learn a lot from them.

Remote working is an aspect some candidates are interested in, what are your thoughts on it?

Many candidates are looking for this option and it is certainly a topical issue. Few clients offer this option yet for new hires. From my experience working in both the financial sector and now in IT, remote work is something that is often requested but companies are only open to discussing the option when someone has spent time in a company and built up trust with them. Of course it’s happening more for freelancers, but with remote working, there are some pros and cons. When you are new in a company it is important to build up a rapport, with colleagues and management, which is difficult to do from outside the office. Also managers are more inclined to delegate new projects and tasks to those in the office, so you can lose out by remote working. On the other hand there is a  reduced commute and a possible improvement in your quality of life. Some studies have found that remote workers can be more stressed too, as it is easier to relate to people when you meet face to face. It’s an interesting topic but it is still in it’s infancy, and for most it will about working out of the office for few days a week rather than anything more sustained than that.


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