Why Kubernetes job searches grew by 2,125% in 4 years

The most popular Kubernetes-related tech roles include DevOps engineer, software engineer, and cloud engineer. Find out how to kick off your career.

Kubernetes is the king of container management. Between October 2015 and October 2019—a mere four-year timespan—the share of Kubernetes job searches increased by 2,125%.  Kubernetes-related jobs per million also grew by 2,141% in that same time period, according to a blog post from Seen by Indeed. 

SEE: What is Kubernetes? (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

"Kubernetes gained dominance by bridging the gap between development and application deployment," said Thomas Hatch, CTO and co-founder of SaltStack, a security operations provider. 

"Containers offered a new way to write apps that made it reasonable to take existing development skills and deliver them in a reliable package. After containers, it became clear that being able to deploy and run containers in production would be the next need," Hatch said.

As articulated by TechRepublic's Jack Wallen, the benefit of Kubernetes is that it "is portable, extensible, and not only allows you to deploy those containers to a scalable cluster, but it can be used (with the addition of other tools) to completely automate the orchestration of your containerized applications."

This functionality is why 83% of tech professionals cited Kubernetes as their top choice for container management, a Cloud Native Computing Foundation survey found; Kubernetes even gained support from Docker, Microsoft, RedHat, and IBM, contributing to its popularity, according to Seen by Indeed's blog post. 

"Kubernetes has become the standard way to run and test applications, almost overnight. The proliferation of the technology is so universal that it has become standard for DevOps teams," Hatch said.

Employer and employee interest 

Kubernetes has proliferated the enterprise to the point that organizations want employees familiarized with the tool. Both employer interest and job seeker interest in Kubernetes has grown over the past few years, the report found. 

"Kubernetes can be complicated when you first approach it, so recruiting someone who already knows Kubernetes can help your whole team get up to speed faster. And if you're already using Kubernetes, your new hire will integrate into the existing team faster if they already have experience," said Connor Gilbert, senior product manager at StackRox.

Employer interest has steadily increased since as early as 2016, but, job seeker interest actually saw a slight drop in early 2018, and only rose by .85% the rest of that year. 

Individuals interested or familiar with Kubernetes may want to reconsider, however, since the demand for Kubernetes talent is still strong.

Top 5 Kubernetes tech careers

The report identified the top tech roles that make up the highest percentage share of Kubernetes jobs on Indeed:

1. DevOps engineer
2. Senior software engineer/software engineer
3. Software architect
4. Cloud engineer
5. Full stack developer

With Kubernetes being a standard platform for DevOps and in cloud-native environments, the top jobs aren't terribly surprising, according to the blog post.  

"Given its dominance in the space, Kubernetes is the de-facto platform for deploying applications," said Josh Komoroske, senior DevOps engineer at StackRox, a provider of Kubernetes-native container security. 

"As these business-critical components move to Kubernetes, there is a demand for the operational knowledge around how to deploy, configure, manage, monitor, and secure them," Komoroske said. "Having this knowledge, in this space, is just the natural evolution of the DevOps role."

In development teams, Kubernetes help manage the development and deployment life cycle. This includes automatic feature rollouts with no downtime and container health checks. This allows teams to focus more on bigger jobs instead of tedious tasks, as stated in the blog post. 

Top companies hiring for Kubernetes roles

The following companies had the highest percentage of Kubernetes job postings on Indeed. 

1. IBM

IBM has one of the first fully managed Kubernetes offerings, IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service, which has launched more than 16,000 production clusters that support billions of transactions a day. 

Along with IBM's acquisition of Red Hat, IBM also recently announced two new open-source projects, Kui and Iter8, that facilitate Kubernetes development, according to the blog post. 

2. VMware

VMware provides the necessary products to run apps on any cloud across industries. The company recently integrated Kuburnetes into its server virtualization platform, vSphere.

With vSphere now being a native Kubernetes platform, companies running on it won't need seperate stacks for cloud naitve or virtualized apps, according to the blog post.

Another significant move for VMware was its recent acquisition of Pivotal, a cloud application platform provider. The goal was to "combine Pivotal's development platform, tools and services with VMware's infrastructure capabilities to deliver a comprehensive Kubernetes portfolio," said VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger, in the post.
 
3. Microsoft
The Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform features the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), allowing for the easy managing of containerized apps.

The blog post outlined a few AKS features including serverless container capability, Kubernetes-based Event-driven Autoscaling (KEDA) and Azure Dev Spaces, helping teams test and develop a complete microservices app in AKS without replicating or mocking dependencies. 

4. Verizon

Verizon has more than 80 applications on cloud native platforms like Kubernetes. Additionally Verizon has reportedly been testing running containers and Kubernetes in both bare metal and virtual machine environments, according to the post. 

5. Cisco

Lastly, Cisco released its Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS in December 2018, allowing tech teams to deploy apps across public and private clouds, from anywhere. This solution helps developers innovate systems, reduce time-to-market, cut costs, and have a more simplified approach to managing on-premises Kubernetes infrastructure, as stated in the post.

Kubernetes is taking the tech world by storm. For those wanting to break into Kubernetes, now is the time. 

How to kick off your Kubernetes career 

"There are a number of self-study options online, including quick guided tutorials and Kelsey Hightower's well-known intensive 'Kubernetes the Hard Way,'" Gilbert said. 

"Some people also study for the Cloud Native Computing Foundation's Kubernetes certifications, whether or not they take the test," Gilbert added. "A great first step is to take a tutorial and play around in a managed cloud service like Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)."

Hatch noted the value of trial and error, saying that it goes a long way when beginning the learning process. 

"Set up a Kube cluster, get to know it, use existing training resources and put it to the test on the job. Formal education has not yet caught up with the Kubernetes trend and universities are only starting to pick it up," Hatch said. "Remember, if you are graduating college this year, Kubernetes was not popular when you started college."

For more, check out What is Kubernetes? Everything your business needs to know on ZDNet. 

Also see

Programming language concept. System engineering. Software development.

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