DevOps Engineer Turnover: How to Prevent It?
Turnover in software engineering is common. Software developers will shift to another job that offers better income, better work-life balance, or better growth opportunities. According to a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021, the average software engineer turnover is a staggering 57.3 percent!
DevOps is responsible for cross-team collaborations within the organization. A turnover in the DevOps team can affect the whole organization. So, how can you prevent DevOps turnover? Let’s take a look at how you can prevent turnover in your DevOps teams to ensure a smooth process and collaboration among teams.
Avoid context switching. Ensure steady ownership.
DevOps engineers, just like every software engineer, like to have a sense of ownership over what they are creating. If you keep on switching the context of the project, engineers may face burnout, leading to their exit from the company.
The major reasons behind context switching can be:
- Poor planning and communication: If you haven’t planned an outline of your project, you are more likely to switch context while the process is ongoing. This can make engineers frustrated and also delay the overall project. Always ensure that you plan a proper layout before getting into the project itself.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln.
Ensure you have a structured approach as well while planning a project. Proper planning and communication can go a long way and benefit your project’s success.
- Emergencies such as necessary bug fixes or incident response: Such cases can lead to context switching, especially when the developers are not properly working on maintaining the applications due to being stuck with many applications to oversee.
The best way to reduce or eliminate context switching is to give full authority to the developers. The DevOps developers should have full ownership of the processes, such as scaffolding, Docker containerization, Terraform configurations, monitoring, alerts, and on-call assistance for the application.
DevOps software development cycles can be challenging and exhausting. Thus, you need to eliminate context switching so that the developers do not suffer burnout.
Ensure your engineering and product teams work in tandem.
Let’s start with an example. Let’s say that the product team takes weeks to design a layout for an application without consulting the engineering team. When the payout is presented to the engineering team, multiple feedback points from the engineering team’s perspective render the layout useless. The whole effort of the product team goes in vain.
Want to prevent this from happening? Avoid separating the product and the engineering team. Both teams should proactively collaborate, especially in the application design phase. The product team can analyze the market trends and design the product accordingly, while the engineering team can work on ways to incorporate those designs using the technology. This practice can help create a balance between the teams, enabling DevOps engineers to have control over the whole process.
Related Post: You Must Know These 6 DevOps Best Practices in 2022
Every DevOps team needs flexibility.
Flexibility to try and implement new things in a project can enhance the developer’s understanding of ownership. If a developer is expected to work on the same thing for a long time, they will likely get bored with the task. Thus, allowing a flexible approach toward the process can increase the developer’s satisfaction, thus increasing the output.
A flexible work culture that nurtures creativity can also help attract the best tech talent. And especially in this era of tech talent shortage, you don’t want to miss a chance to attract the best! Another example of adopting flexibility is allowing work from home or remote work. After all, research states that remote workers are happier and less likely to leave your company.
Can DevOps turnover be really prevented?
Yes, it can! Developers change their jobs due to non-satisfaction or no growth opportunities in their current role. Also, with the number of DevOps job openings in 2022 around the globe, developers have more options allowing them to choose jobs that offer work-life balance, better salary, and growth opportunities. If you can create a work environment where the developers feel heard and have a sense of ownership, they are more likely to stay with your organization.
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