Zero to DevOps in less than a year and how to encourage others to get into the practice

With zero years of IT experience and a degree in Chinese History I was offered 4/5 jobs when I interviewed for DevOps roles. I often encounter people in IT that struggle to find a path to practicing DevOps. How do we encourage more people to enter this space? My path can provide insights.

When 2019 began I had zero years of IT experience, a degree in Chinese History, and a job working as an Executive Assistant at a Physics Organization. In May I was hired as an Assistant DevOps Engineer at the Pew Research Center where I have the amazing privilege to work with a team that develops machine learning algorithms and study subjects that range from analyzing what Americans hear when they attend church to tracking twitter bots to determine bias in the content that is shared. In the past year I’ve heard numerous sources telling people that they had to be in IT for years before they should think of practicing DevOps. I often hear people ask, “How do I start practicing Devops?” or “Do you think I can get a job in DevOps as a developer/sysadmin/network engineer/etc?” Join me as I briefly share my path to DevOps, how I found the mentors that helped get me here, and how we can do the same for others.



Rachel Sweeney

Rachel Sweeney is an Assistant DevOps Engineer at the Pew Research Center. Her work consists of using Python, Terraform, Kubernetes, AWS and other tools to create a platform of resources that data ...