Software companies are slowly closing the pay gap between men and women in DevOps teams


Puppet’s State of DevOps report also reveals that platform engineers are the highest paid for the second year in a row.

The State of DevOps 2021 revealed that the benefits of this approach to building software are clear. Picture: Puppet

The pay gap between men and women working in DevOps teams is slowly closing, according to a new survey from IT automation firm Puppet. The 2021 State of DevOps report found that women are steadily increasing their income status across all regions, roles, and industries.

The survey included more than 2,600 technology professionals and found significant growth in high-income salary brackets. Research also shows that other countries are catching up with the United States in terms of high salaries.

The Pew Research Center also found evidence that this gap narrowed, as long as the workers in question were under 30 and lived in a few cities across the United States. Pew researchers analyzed Census Bureau wage data and found that women under 30 earn the same amount as or more than their male counterparts in 22 of 250 U.S. metropolitan areas. However, the national chart shows that women in this same age group who work full time, full year earn about 93 cents on the dollar compared to men in the same age group.

Abby Kearns, Chief Technology Officer at Puppet, said in a press release that it’s exciting to see more and more women moving into higher income brackets, especially in DevOps, which has historically been dominated by men.

“The gradual narrowing of the pay gap hopefully indicates a long-term shift in pay equity,” she said.

SEE: DevOps: a cheat sheet

The study also revealed that:

  • More than double the number of women entering the $150,000+ salary range from the previous year: 17% in 2021, compared to 8% in 2020 and 10% in 2019.
  • In France, 45% of technology workers (managers and workers) earned more than $75,000 in 2021, compared to 38% in 2019.
  • Respondents working in financial services earned the highest salaries, followed by those working in healthcare and technology.

Puppet research also found a link between team salaries and DevOps implementation. Companies at a high level of DevOps evolution continue to compensate their employees at the highest level, with practitioner salaries doubling and manager salaries nearly tripling from 2020 to 2021, according to Puppet. The share of those earning more than $150,000 in high-scaling companies has more than doubled from 8% in 2020 to 20% in 2021.

SEE: Infrastructure as code and automation are top DevOps trends

Ronan Keenan, director of research at Puppet, said the survey showed platform engineers to be the highest-paid title among respondents for the second year in a row.

“This year, for the first time, we asked respondents to identify not just with a job title, but with a team, given the increase in collaboration in the DevOps industry,” Keenan said.

DevOps state of play
Puppet analysts conducted an in-depth analysis of companies that were in the middle stage of DevOps evolution to understand blockers. Picture: Puppet

DevOps at scale is the challenge

This way of working has been around long enough now that the approach has gone through the hype cycle, according to Puppet analysts. The problem for most companies is the difficulty in moving from the intermediate stage of evolution to the highest stage. The report found that “the vast majority of organizations are stuck in the middle of the transition.” A continuing challenge seems to be the successful implementation of DevOps at scale:

“Middle organizations have achieved pockets of success (increased automation, more self-service available, etc.), but these successes are often limited to a few teams and therefore fail to create meaningful organizational change. This can lead staff and management to think that their DevOps implementation has failed when in fact they are simply facing new or more advanced hurdles.

The survey revealed several significant and universal barriers to successfully implementing DevOps practices at scale: lack of leadership buy-in, weak momentum behind the effort, and a separate DevOps team positioned between the development and engineering groups. operation.

SEE: The four main aspects of successful DevOps teams

Other obstacles are specific to a company’s stage in the DevOps evolution. For teams with low levels of implementation, the obstacles are:

  • Organizational resistance to change: 31%
  • Legacy architecture: 28%
  • Skills shortage: 23%
  • Limitation or absence of automation: 20%
  • Unclear goals or objectives: 20%

For mid-stage teams with higher membership levels and clearer goals, the blockers are:

  • Skills shortage: 33%
  • Legacy architecture: 29%
  • Organizational resistance to change: 21%
  • Limited or no automation: 19%

According to the report’s authors, this year’s survey shows that highly evolved organizations have discovered the models that work well for rapid change flow. These tactics tie into the four fundamental topologies that inform DevOps strategies in general. These four fundamental team organization plans are:

  • Stream-aligned team: Aligned to a workflow coming from (usually) a segment of the
    business domain.
  • Enabling Team: Helps a flow-aligned team overcome obstacles. Also detects
    missing abilities.
  • Complicated Subsystems Team: When significant math/calculation technical expertise or a hard-to-find technical niche is needed full-time.
  • Platform Team: A grouping of other team types that deliver a compelling internal product to accelerate delivery by flow-aligned teams.

The report’s authors also noted that top-performing platform teams treat their platform like a product and “strive to create a compelling value proposition for application teams that’s easier and more cost-effective.” than to create their own solutions”.

Is DevOps promoted or resisted
The 2021 State of DevOps report asked whether this way of working was actively promoted or discouraged among survey respondents. Picture: Puppet

How to continue the DevOps evolution

The report’s authors took an in-depth look at companies in the middle of the DevOps evolution to understand companies at the lower, middle, and upper levels of the mid-stage. There are cultural and operational blockers. Developing a DevOps culture is still a work in progress for these midsize companies. The biggest blockers for organizations up the middle are:

  • Insufficient feedback loops: 18%
  • Unclear responsibilities: 18%
  • Failure to share best practices: 17%

At the low end of the mid-evolution, only 17% of organizations in this group said DevOps is actively promoted, while 35% describe DevOps as actively or passively resisting.

These same lower-midsize organizations report that DevOps advancement is hampered by the company’s discouraging risk. The authors recommend that teams and companies looking to implement more DevOps learn to love risk. Some executives consider frequent code releases more risky, but the reality is:

“…long, slow, infrequent, controlled deployments are much riskier than small, frequent changes.
The upshot of all of this is that organizations that claim to deter risk are actually following practices that increase risk, and many of their existing practices for managing the risk of infrequent deployments are just risk management theater. … »

To move to the high end of DevOps implementation, the authors of the Puppet report recommend implementing change leadership at all levels, revising the hiring process to bring in people with new ideas and to find ways to encourage new behaviors every day through praise, recognition and challenges for behavior based on old ways of working.

According to research from Puppet, the successful use of internal platforms is essential for the DevOps approach to work. Picture: Puppet

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