Advice for breaking into the DevOps field

 A former co-worker reached out a few weeks ago and was looking for advice to give to his son who was about to Graduate and looking to break into the DevOps field.

Here is the advise I gave, specifically around the Chicago market:

A few years ago I read "The Phoenix Project" and that really got me to focus on changing my career trajectory.
I think it's a great explanation of some of the fundamentals of the DevOps philosophy without being too dry. I can't recommend it enough.


Skills wise - automation is going to the be the key thing to focus on and it's not going away anytime soon. Tools like Ansible & Terraform are really great to spend time with.



Depending on what his dream job is, I would look up and start to focus on the skills required to get there.
For example, if he's interested in working for Google, he'd probably want to put some time in to learn Golang, Kubernetes, etc.


I think the most important thing is to network, if he plans on staying in Chicago there is a great Slack community https://chicagotech.herokuapp.com/.
I would definitely recommend asking folks in #devops on their suggestions as well as i'm sure everyone has great input. There are also jobs posted regularly and it's a great resource for having direct contact with the hiring manager.


I used to benefit a lot by attending meetups, however since they're all virtual right now I don't think he'd have the same experience, but hopefully they'll be safe and back in person eventually!


The nice thing is that you can meet a lot of really smart folks and literally get your foot in the door to some companies that host events.


Also the Chicago DevOps days event just ended a while ago so there should be some recordings to look through.


Hope this helps, I am happy to help in any way I can if he has any other questions.
-Brett


Did I forget anything? Let me know in the comments :)

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