For millennials and grads who want to get a good understanding of the business point of view, as well as the tech perspective, a career in DevOps is a good place to start. The DevOps role serves as a sort of buffer between the developers and the end users, with responsibility for overseeing application deployments and providing support. Because of this position in the middle, the DevOps team gets an in-depth understanding of business requirements and the pressures the business operates under, as well as the challenges developers face in creating successful applications.
Get Tools Knowledge
Even if you have a technical degree such as Computer Science or Information Technology, classroom work most likely won't expose you to the tools typically used by Dev Ops teams to manage and automate the application release build, deployment, and monitoring processes. While experience with tools can be learned on the job, it's helpful to have experience or at least familiarity with tools such as Puppet, Chef, and Jenkins.
If you aren't able to get experience with these tools through school or a summer job, you can get familiar with them by installing free downloads onto your home computer. (Many have free trial periods or are open source). Assign yourself a small project, such as writing a program that uses some third-party libraries. Use the tools to automate building the application and running some test cases. Create a deployable package and write a script in a language such as Python to validate that the deployment was successful.
Build Interpersonal Skills
The DevOps team often has to arbitrate conflicts between business and technology demands to find a way to release the application that meets both sides' needs, so interpersonal and communication skills are key. Leadership roles in clubs are a good way to develop those skills.
Think About Your Career Path
Because of the depth of understanding the DevOps role provides, it offers a number of paths to develop your career. If you have strong programming skills, it's possible to move over to the development team, where your insight into the business can help insure the application meets unstated, as well as stated, business requirements.
It's also possible to move over to the business side, where your technical knowledge can help the business better understand how to leverage technology. Of course, you can always stay in DevOps and move up the leadership/management ladder, taking on additional responsibility and potentially overseeing all DevOps-related functions throughout the organization.
While you don't have to have your career planned out through your retirement in 40 years, having an idea of where you want your first DevOps job to lead you can help you make the right decision about which job you want to start with.
Every succeeding generation is more tech savvy than the previous one. The PC hadn't even been invented when baby boomers started working; early boomers had to adapt to PCs with on-the-job training, and even late boomers only encountered them in college.
The latest generation, the millennials, is far more comfortable with technology than its parents and grandparents. Companies that want to attract them, whether as customers or employees, need to use technology in ways that appeal to them.
Companies Need Social Media Savvy
Surveys show that lack of awareness of the business's brand is a major hindrance to recruiting. But companies' talent-branding techniques focus on traditional media. Few of them effectively use the digital media and social media technology that communicates to millennials in other aspects of their lives.
Millennials document their lives on social media, and they expect social media to document a company's life, too. That means the corporate job site needs to be more than just a listing of jobs. It needs to introduce the company culture, through photos and videos of real employees talking about life on the job.
Use every social media channel out there—LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and whatever new trending site comes along—to post images that convey the experience of working for you. Normal, everyday activities like team meetings and lunch in the cafeteria should be displayed as well as official corporate special events.
Mobile Tech is Mandatory
Besides using multiple social media channels, companies need to make sure their digital information works well on multiple platforms. Millennials have given up landlines for mobile phones, and most rely on mobile tech for accessing online data. A website that doesn't work well on phones and tablets isn't just ineffective for company recruiting; it's likely to push away candidates you want to attract.
Millennials aren't threatened by technology; they see it as a tool that supports innovation. Companies that use cutting-edge technology and emphasize this to their potential hires will have an advantage in recruiting the best talent of the newly dominant generation.