Do you know any developers with expertise in cloud, containers, or serverless computing that are looking for a new job? The low nationwide unemployment rate, coupled with a shortage of skilled engineers is prompting some vendors to offer “finder fees” to followers on social media that can recommend new hires.
One company that is offering cash to resolve their hiring dilemma is Sylabs, which is offering $2,500 to non-Sylab employees that refer someone that the company eventually hires. Sylabs launched earlier this year and is offering an enterprise-focused service using the Linux-based Singularity container platform.
“The buzz around containers has helped with recruiting, but we still need more,” explained Sylabs CEO Greg Kurtzer. “People want to be associated with exciting technologies and game-changing companies.”
Sylabs’ website currently lists a handful of positions, including DevOps engineers, software engineers, core operating system engineers, quality assurance engineers, security engineers, and full-stack web developers.
Sylabs is not the only one feeling the pinch. Shannon Williams, co-founder and vice president of sales at Rancher Labs, said the current surge in interest around cloud native and containers was causing a worker shortage similar to what was seen in the past with the growth of virtual machines (VMs), big data platforms, and cloud.
“While thousands of people are getting trained and starting to use containers in productions, the demand across the board is incredible,” Williams said.
Williams explained that most engineers are getting multiple offers, and that attracting talent was becoming especially difficult in “high-demand markets like New York, northern Virginia, and San Francisco.”
Nate Taggert, CEO of Stackery, said that developer squeeze has also impacted the serverless space as “there’s not yet a deep talent pool of experience.”
What’s In Demand?
While just about any developer with experience in cloud native, container, or serverless platforms would be welcome, vendors are also seeking specific skills.
Kurtzer noted that many developers want to work in higher-level languages and full stacks as opposed to programming at the operating system (OS) level. This is tough for the company as it wants developers to work on low-level OS platforms with an emphasis on security.
“While we are coding a lot in Golang right now, the experience in C is highly advantageous, though not required,” he said.
Stackery is highly focused on Amazon Web Services’ Lambda servereless platform, and thus in need of developers familiar with the platform. Taggert said that is a bit of a challenge as developers are typically more focused on the application layer.
“Serverless requires at least a foundational exposure to the infrastructure layer, though, so we try to be very thoughtful about identifying candidates who have both an interest and a fair bit of experience working with cloud infrastructure,” Taggert said.
For its Kubernetes-focused needs, Williams said Rancher Labs was targeting DevOps engineers familiar with monitoring, security, operations, continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD), cloud services, and automation.
Despite what appears to be an unlimited market for just about anyone with coding skill, there is a growing market for training programs that can bolster a resume. For instance, the recent DockerCon event in San Francisco had a constant line of developers looking to boost their presence in the Docker container space.
Williams cited the CNCF’s Certified Kubernetes Administrator credentials as another great starting point. That program was launched last year, with CNCF touting more than 1,500 registrants since the launch.
“The certification hits on all the important elements of deploying and maintaining Kubernetes clusters,” Williams said. “We’re thrilled when we find someone who has a base with the CNCF certification exams. The test is difficult and requires a real understanding of how to use Kubernetes and containers in production.”
The CNCF in May expanded its efforts with the launch of its Certified Kubernetes Application Developer exam and Kubernetes for Developers course.
Real-world experience is also vital. Taggert noted that getting your hands dirty at just about every level of the development lifecycle is important.
“These training programs can be helpful, but nothing beats hands on experience,” Taggert said. “The leading practices of serverless development are still emerging and exposure to the entire development lifecycle is really critical.”
There is also demand for developers with a level of creativity that might be missing from a structured program. Kurtzer cited the movie “The Matrix” in noting developers should learn how to “bend the rules of the universe to make it do things that were not originally considered.”
No pressure there.