As someone who hires for DevOps roles, I’ve learned that asking questions is a key indicator of curiosity and intelligence. In fact, I purposely include new and challenging elements in the technical challenge portion of my hiring process to see how candidates react. Those who are willing to ask questions and seek help are the ones who stand out to me as great team players and innovators.
Let me share an example of how we approach technical challenges during the hiring process. We onboard willing candidates to a Slack instance and add them to a dedicated channel for support throughout the challenge. We encourage candidates to ask questions for clarification and feedback, and we’re not looking for someone who has all the answers, but rather someone who has the right curiosity and gumption to tackle the challenge. I understand that asking for help during a job application process like this may seem counterintuitive, but the approach to the problem is as important, if not more so, than the actual solution the candidates come up with.
In this blog post, I want to explore the importance of asking questions in a DevOps environment, and how it can foster a culture of openness and trust.
The Value of Curiosity in DevOps
As a field that is constantly evolving, DevOps demands a curious mindset. Those who are willing to ask questions and explore new ideas are the ones who will drive innovation and push the boundaries of what’s possible.
This is why I always look for curious candidates when hiring for DevOps roles. It’s not just about technical skills; it’s about having a mindset that is open to learning and growth. And the best way to gauge that mindset is through asking questions.
Asking Questions as a Sign of Intelligence
Contrary to what some may believe, asking questions is not a sign of weakness or lack of intelligence. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Those who are willing to ask questions demonstrate a willingness to learn and grow, and a desire to fully understand the task at hand.
In a DevOps environment, where complex systems and technologies are the norm, asking questions can lead to better solutions and more effective problem-solving. And when team members are comfortable asking questions of each other, it fosters a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement.
The Importance of Vulnerability
Asking questions also requires vulnerability. It takes courage to admit that you don’t have all the answers, and to seek help and guidance from others. But this vulnerability is a sign of strength, and it is essential to building a high-performing team.
When team members are willing to be vulnerable and ask for help, it builds trust amongst the team. It signals that team members are willing to rely on each other and work together to achieve their goals. This trust is a key foundational block of a high-performing team, and it can only be built when team members are comfortable being vulnerable and seeking help from one another.
Creating a Culture of Openness
To foster a culture of openness and trust, leaders must create an environment where asking questions is encouraged and celebrated. This means creating a safe space where team members feel comfortable admitting what they don’t know and asking for help when they need it.
One way to do this is to lead by example. Leaders should be willing to ask questions themselves and show that it’s okay to not have all the answers. They should also encourage team members to ask questions and provide a supportive environment for learning and growth.
In the DevOps world, curiosity and a willingness to ask questions are essential to success. When team members are comfortable being vulnerable and seeking help from each other, it fosters a culture of collaboration, trust, and continuous improvement.
So, to all the candidates out there: don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s a sign of your intelligence and curiosity, and it will set you apart as a valuable team player and innovator. And to all the leaders out there: create a culture of openness and trust, and lead by example. Your team will thank you for it.
Thank you for reading!