DevOps Engineers’ Biggest Concerns About Their Current Work Circumstances

DevOps Engineers are highly sought after; the DevOps market exceeded £3.7 billion and is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 20% between 2020 and 2026. However, they are hard to obtain due to the large tech stack required and their high demand, so finding top talent can be a challenge. Once you’ve secured top DevOps Engineers, it is important you retain them.

We spoke to some of our consultants who specialise in hiring and placing DevOps and Cloud roles for first-hand information about DevOps Engineers’ concerns around their previous and current employers. As DevOps specialists, they are speaking to top-level DevOps Engineers on a daily basis, getting first-hand access to market information, and hearing their feedback on previous roles and what they didn’t like.

Here are some things you may want to consider offering as an employer to retain tech talent and keep morale and productivity high. Or even persuade others to join your company.

Remote working 

Candidates are often dissatisfied with working locations. Employees can feel restricted if they’re required to go into an office 5 times a week and may look to move on in search of greater flexibility. This is the opinion of many candidates and probably our highest complaint - 43% of employees have left their job after being refused the option of some remote working. Including remote working in your organisation can prove to be beneficial for you as an employer as well as providing your employees with a healthy work/life balance, which creates higher employee motivation and productivity. Remote working creates the opportunity to reimagine the workplace and restructure how we measure productivity and success rather than limiting it to a 9-to-5 office-based presence. It can reduce commuting expenses and lateness, increase employee motivation and productivity, reduce the need for office space, reduce staff turnover, and more autonomy.


Candidates often feel under-inspired and underappreciated that their employers aren’t aware of their worth; tech roles are in high demand, tech employs more than a fifth of the workforce in the UK’s biggest cities. Employees, in general, want to be motivated to work and recognised for their efforts. Lack of rewards/incentives can cause depletion of morale and affect overall work performance. A Reward System plays a vital role in enhancing employee creativity. The Journal of Higher Education Service Science and Management demonstrates that there is a significant and positive relationship between extrinsic reward, Intrinsic reward & employee creativity, indicating that 76.3% is a result of extrinsic & intrinsic rewards. It also affects the overall work culture if you reward employees for their efforts due to the increased productivity and motivation it causes.

Be aware of how the market is moving financially, an increase in demand for DevOps and intricate skillset has led to a continued rise in salaries, and DevOps postings grew 443% between 2015 and 2019. Employers often don’t consider inflation in the market when offering a salary and employees don’t feel they’re being offered what they deserve. This leads to them looking to resign until the employer provides a counteroffer. It is also much easier for employees to get a pay rise by switching jobs instead of asking for one - 60% of workers who switched jobs experienced increased earnings.

Therefore, to guard against this, ensure that you’re engaging in frequent salary reviews. The pace of the market in DevOps is very high and so salaries adjust very quickly, so it’s important you’re adjusting to market rates. A lot of the candidates we’ve spoken to leave their jobs after a significant period as the company was being retrenched and lowered their salaries. Don’t let it get to this point, where your employee is looking to resign before you offer what they deserve. It may negatively impact the working atmosphere and morale once they have made it clear they want to leave. Creating a promotion path or ‘scheme’ may help incentivise and motivate employees as well as offer rewards for short-term goals.

Career development

Having the option to progress or develop individual careers is very important to an employee. 41% of employees consider their organisation’s career advancement opportunities a very important factor in their job satisfaction. However, a lot of our candidates complain that their previous employer presented a lack of opportunity for them to develop within the company causing them to look for opportunities elsewhere. Most DevOps Engineers choose their roles for a love of the technology and too many complain of a lack of technical training or exposure to new tools. This is often a problem, especially in larger companies (like banks) that tend to work on legacy systems so most of their infrastructure is outdated. Those working on the infrastructure side will never get the opportunity to learn about new tech if they stay in that company. A common reason engineers will give for wanting to move jobs is to gain the opportunity to work with a particular technology, in DevOps, we often hear engineers express a desire to work with Kubernetes. Kubernetes is popular because it is highly valued by tech employers due to its flexibility and lack of fragmentation and so having it as a skill increases their value and thus their money-making potential. Therefore, it is important to identify which tech will advance your tech stack as well as keep your employees engaged and happy. Working in such an innovative industry as tech, it is easy to fall behind the curve and engineers may look to move on if they see that happening.

Improving your management style 

We’ve learned that a lot of DevOps Engineers will leave their role because they didn’t like the manager. This can be a hard one to take but statistics tell us that 56% of people leave because of poor management. This is a good time to reassess your management style, are you motivating your team? Forming good professional relationships? Being a good leader? All of which contributes to good work culture. Lots of candidates complain that they felt frustrated with the lack of goals, roadblocks, and lengthy timescales. These are all company structure issues that can be resolved. You don’t need to be everyone’s best friend but implementing a structure, processes, and a strategic direction for your organisation can help others see your goal. Offering feedback and surveys on your management style may also be a way to find out exactly how you could improve. 

There are a range of issues which DevOps Engineers take into account when considering a possible switch. It is important that employers are making themselves competitive in the battle for talent by taking note of their needs and attempting to satisfy them as best they can. A great working culture, flexibility, and attentiveness to appropriate renumeration are all important pillars which will help you attract and retain top DevOps staff. 

We have a wide range of opportunities that offer remote working and career development with some highly innovative businesses. If you’d like to talk to one of our consultants about finding your dream job, contact us on 020 3800 1234.