Although historically technology professionals were among the most adaptive specialists in the job market, a recent survey from SolarWinds found that DevOps teams, web product managers (WPMs) and developers lacked confidence in their current ability to effectively manage their current environments while engaging in future technologies. This balancing of current trends with future innovations is a necessity of having any technical role, as things change quickly in technology.
SolarWinds recently published the latest edition of its annual IT Trends Report, IT Trends Report 2019: Skills for Tech Pros of Tomorrow, which explores confidence, current and future skill sets, career development and barriers to career success to reveal how DevOps teams, developers, WPMs and the businesses they serve can better manage future technology realities. How do these tech pros personally feel about their current and future skill sets? Coinciding with SolarWinds Cloud Confessions: The Trouble with Troubleshooting,the IT Trends Report found that tech pros have an appetite to prioritize career development on a weekly basis, but are hindered by factors such as time and cost. How can they prioritize career development while confronting the barriers to career success and develop the skills necessary to make future tech implementation a reality?
The DevOps findings are based on a survey fielded in December 2018, which yielded responses from 100 DevOps practitioners (teams, developers and WPMs), managers and directors in the United States and Canada from public and private-sector small, midsize and enterprise companies.
Among many other key findings, this year’s survey revealed:
Most tech professionals in DevOps, web product managers and developer roles are not fully confident they have all the skills needed to manage their environments into the near future, especially when it comes to emerging tech.
- 75% of all DevOps teams, developers and WPMs surveyed are not “completely confident” in having all the necessary skills to successfully manage their IT environments over the next three to five years—even though 98% have worked to develop a skill over the past 12 months.
- When it comes to the idea of implementing or managing specific technologies, emerging tech is a pain point (despite how much mindshare these buzz-worthy technologies get in headlines). The top three technologies DevOps teams, developers and WPMs feel unequipped to manage with their current skill sets are:
- AI (55%)
- Blockchain (50%) and quantum computing (50%)
- Machine and/or deep learning (45%)
- According to the Gartner list of strategic technology trends that have the potential to disrupt and are on the verge of becoming more widely used in the next five years, AI, blockchain and quantum computing all rank in the top 10.
- There is a great opportunity for DevOps teams, developers and WPMs to increase their knowledge of these technologies and to have productive conversations with businesses on the reality of implementation in the near future.
DevOps teams, developers and WPMs will continue building skills in daily operations with an eye toward areas such as data science.
- In the past 12 months, DevOps teams, developers and WPMs have prioritized skills in coding and scripting (54%), systems and infrastructure management (43%) and database management (41%).
- In the next three to five years, the top two skills developers and WPMs plan to develop are security management (45%), data science and analytics (41%).
- DevOps teams’, developers’ and WPMs’ instincts are correct when it comes to the top skill set area as they’re expected to see continued growth. Gartner research analysts estimate that global revenue for the information security market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8% between 2017 and 2022, reaching $143 billion in constant currency terms.
- Hybrid IT deployment monitoring and management rounds out the top three skill sets DevOps teams, developers and WPMs plan to develop in the next three to five years.
- Gartner also predicts that the worldwide public cloud services market will grow by 17.33% in 2019, going from $175.8 billion in 2018 to $206.2 billion this year.
DevOps teams, developers and WPMs say cloud and/or hybrid IT, big data analytics and AI are the key technologies for career development, which will help achieve higher goals such as innovation.
- DevOps teams, developers and WPMs say the most important technologies for their career development are (by weighted rank) aligned with the top three technologies for organizations’ transformation over the next three to five years.
- Cloud and/or hybrid IT (59%)
- Big data and analytics (55%)
- AI (54%)
- When it comes to career development goals over the next three to five years, DevOps teams, developers and WPMs will look to prioritize (by weighted rank):
- Technology innovation (49%)
- Programming, coding and/or scripting (33%)
- Data analytics and/or data science (38%)
- Management/leadership skills (people management) and IT security protocol and/or processes round out the top five career development goals for the next three to five years.
DevOps teams, developers and WPMs have an appetite to prioritize career development on a weekly basis but are hindered by factors such as time and cost.
- Nearly 8 in 10 DevOps teams, developers and WPMs (79%) say their day-to-day IT tasks extend into time earmarked for career development, with 20% saying this always happens.
- This is alarming considering DevOps teams, developers and WPMs enjoy technology skills training, with 49% finding it informative, 32% saying it’s engaging and interactive and 27% reporting it’s not long enough.
- Currently, DevOps teams, developers and WPMs engage in IT skills training and/or career development programs ranging from a few times a year (25%) to monthly (23%) and weekly (19%); however, if there were no schedule or workload restrictions, most (42%) would prefer weekly training.
- Developers and WPMs cite time and availability (48%) and cost (25%) as the biggest barriers affecting their current ability to participate in IT skills training and career development programs at the frequency they would like.
- When it comes to their primary sources for training, DevOps teams, developers and WPMs turn to:
- My organization and/or coworkers (20%) and online communities/forums (20%)
- Industry events/trade shows (17%)
- Vendor training sessions (16%) and industry publications (16%)
- However, the ideal delivery format for IT skills training according to DevOps teams, developers and WPMs is (by weighted rank):
- Self-guided online course
- In-person workshop/user conference (full-day)
For tech pros to continue helping businesses revolutionize current technology while proactively adapting for future disruption, it is imperative that business and technology leaders provide the training that tech pros seek, through courses, self-guided training and webinars.
SolarWinds 2019 survey results emphasize the importance of empowering tech pros through training and focusing on career development. Emerging tech should not be a pain point for these tech pros—rather, they should have the opportunity to embrace strategic technology trends and have productive conversations with businesses on the reality of implementation in the near future.
2019 is the year of integrating career growth, skills development and business transformation to empower tech pros with the skills necessary to help lead the business they support into the future of tech innovation.