Best of 2021 – The ‘Great Resignation’ in DevOps? Bah, Humbug

As we head into 2021, we at wanted to highlight the most popular articles of the year. Here is the tenth in our Best of 2021 series.

Like me, you’ve probably heard a lot about the “Great Resignation” lately. I admit – at first I didn’t think it was about technology jobs, particularly DevOps jobs or cybersecurity jobs. After all, there are not many workers in those fields who are not well paid (though, of course, when it comes to wages, they are all relatives).

When I first heard about the great resignation, I assumed it was referring specifically to fast food workers or perhaps other jobs in the restaurant, hospitality, and retail industry. You know – the kind where people struggle to make $15 an hour. But then I started hearing that it applies to better paying tech jobs. Finally, I interviewed several CEOs who cited great resignations as one of the reasons they are short on major development jobs, DevOps, and cybersecurity positions.

I know what you’re thinking: tech executives will stick with it Which Sorry to explain why they are short on these skilled jobs. I agree with you to some extent. But I’ve had the opportunity to talk to several people at some in-person conferences I’ve attended recently (it’s not the same online!) and I’m starting to see a trend. The legendary work-life/quality-of-life balance trend is back again with a vengeance.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers—even in challenging, highly paid jobs like software development, DevOps, QA and cybersecurity—changed their view as a result of working from home all those months. It is true that many of them were already working from home. But they still had a “mother” to whom they went; But sometimes. still congregate with co-workers at conferences or off-site meetings; They were still part of the “culture”. With COVID-19, despite the best efforts of HR teams and managers to foster and nurture this “culture”, things have not been the same. In the same way that we fooled ourselves into thinking Zoom and teams were as good as one-on-one, we thought we could keep our teams tightly connected and imbibe the company’s Kool-Aid culture.

Instead of this company culture, when workers weren’t working (and it took a while for many of them to learn how to use the on/off switch), they actually started doing other things. They spent time with their immediate families. They’ve tried new hobbies, started (and completed!) DIY projects and more. Lo and behold, they found that there is life outside the blade.

This radical idea of ​​doing things not related to work was not only due to the failure to pay enough money to these people. It wasn’t about letting them work with the tools of their choice. It wasn’t even about who they were working with. At the end of the day, it was because they found out that they had a life, and that they enjoyed that life.

Welcome this trend. I think it would mean less stress and more productivity for humans, at the end of the day. Heck, we might even see higher birth rates and lower divorce rates. May we all live happily ever after.

When it comes to great resignation, in the immortal words of John Belushi, “Bu-uut nooo.” While all of the above is true, I don’t think that’s what drives developers, DevOps, or cybersecurity professionals to quit their jobs in droves. They set limits, yes, but they didn’t quit just because of wages. No – they are leaving for the same reasons they did before. Once they have settled in their new job they are approached by existing recruiters offering them more money, more benefits and now more work-life balance. Add to that the growth in demand for these jobs exacerbating the already understaffed market and there you have it. A shortage of labor to fill the vacant positions. This convergence of circumstances makes it easy for them to move from one job to another as well.

At the end of the day, we still don’t have enough developers, DevOps people, QA or cybersecurity talent. This is driving the market. But a great resignation? Bah crap!

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