Between cultural paradigm shifts and ever more complex tech, it’s been a busy decade for DevOps. Once a remedy to the unchecked dysfunction of the mid-2000s tech teams, DevOps is evolving, giving rise to new disciplines and modes of working.
Where’s DevOps headed in 2024? While some fear for its future, others recognise its critical (and unique) value in tech-enabled businesses. We’ve been having some intriguing chats with our Women in DevOps network, and there are a few recurring themes – check them out below.
Defining the Modern DevOps Role
Despite having spent 16 or so years transforming the tech industry, DevOps still gets called a fad. This is largely down to a common misunderstanding of what DevOps entails. While it is often a collection of typical software engineering and operational responsibilities, it’s also a cultural philosophy.
Defining DevOps has been a stumbling block for both employers and candidates in recent years, particularly in light of platform engineering’s growing popularity.
Crystal clear role requirements have never been so important. There’s an influx of talent on the market, a host of new tools, alternative programming languages, and a chasmal skill gap – focussing on the right candidates and dodging fake applications (they are on the rise) demands greater role clarity.
We expect this to improve in the coming year as businesses take greater care in the recruitment process. If you’re looking for support at any stage of the process, our specialist DevOps consultants can help – reach out to the team here: DevOps at Trust in SODA.
Platform engineering is being hailed by some as the next evolution of DevOps. It’s not a replacement, as it carries a few distinct differences. That said, there’s still some confusion as to how platform engineering will integrate with DevOps in 2024, especially considering the growing complexity of application development.
Platform-centric development is garnering popularity as containerisation, AI, serverless, and microservices hit the mainstream, driving demand for platform engineering talent in the process.
Here are some of the main ways platform engineering differs from DevOps in its current form:
Whereas DevOps focuses on optimising development and ensuring continuous deployment, platform engineering is focused on building and maintaining the platform that supports it, enhancing (not replacing) the DevOps function.
DevOps aims to break down silos and enable seamless collaboration between teams and disciplines, whereas platform engineering has a slightly narrower scope, consisting instead of specialised teams responsible for platform maintenance, design, and implementation.
DevOps processes are designed to ensure rapid, reliable delivery, and as a result, they typically consist of customised tools and environments that become very complicated at scale. Platform engineering seeks to rectify this by simplifying the developer experience, automating tasks, and implementing a self-service infrastructure.
As businesses continue to opt for implementing low-level infrastructures, we anticipate a sharp rise in platform engineer hiring throughout 2024 and beyond. According to Allied Market Research, the platform engineering services market is expected to reach $41.2 billion by 2032, representing a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 24.2%.
A Cultural Overhaul
Tech is calling out for greater workforce diversity at nearly every cornerstone of the industry. For a methodology based on collaboration, inclusion, knowledge sharing, and communication, DevOps is remarkably homogenised when it comes to representation.
Despite being an inherently intersectional discipline, DevOps is heavily male-dominated. According to our LinkedIn talent insights, women make up just 15% of the UK’s DevOps workforce population – it’s partly what inspired us to launch Women in DevOps back in 2017 (we’re now a global movement. Thank you to everyone who’s supported us over the years).
As the world’s ESG (environment, social, governance) concerns rise, representation is a much bigger conversation than it ever was before. Corporations are in the limelight as consumers seek greater transparency, accountability, and trustworthiness. Representation is inextricably linked to this ongoing cultural shift.
We expect more leaders to advocate for better representation in 2024, and we’re looking forward to seeing it happen. Currently, we’re still seeing a gap between intention and action, but regulations are changing, candidates are more culturally curious than ever, and DevOps teams are calling out for innovation that only the diversity of thought can provide.
It’s clear 2024 will be another turbulent year for tech, one likely marked by breathtaking technological evolution. If you’re looking to prepare by bringing the right talent on board, we’re here to help.
Here at Trust in SODA, we’ve used a community-led approach to recruitment for over ten years, and we’ve had the privilege of forming meaningful connections with clients and candidates all over the world. Contact me directly to find out how our services can help: Lauren Langdell