Toptal, a global network of top engineers, designers, and finance experts that empowers companies to accelerate, adapt and scale, today announced it is launching a new on-demand talent specialization that is focused on meeting the rising need for skilled DevOps engineers. Tapping into Toptal’s private network of highly skilled software professionals, the new specialized service will connect businesses and organizations with freelance DevOps professionals who are experts in virtualization, containerization, automation, continuous integration and delivery, and cloud application distribution.

Since 2016, Toptal has seen a 109 percent annual growth rate in demand from its clients for DevOps positions, growing consistently by more than 25 percent for each of the last four quarters. Similar data from the Linux Foundation’s 2017 Open Source Jobs Report finds that 60 percent of open source professionals and hiring managers are currently looking to fill vacant DevOps engineering positions. Andreessen Horowitz’s Scott Weiss calls DevOps “More than just a methodology. It’s a must-have skill set for the modern programmer — and is increasingly becoming its own department.” He agrees that “the rise of the hyperscale cloud datacenter has made this job much harder.” The 2017 State of DevOps Report has found that high performing organizations spend 21 percent less time on unplanned work and rework, and 44 percent more time on new work.

“As organizations undergo DevOps transformations to more quickly deliver applications and services and compete more effectively in the market, most still don’t have access to the right talent who can make this happen,” said Alvaro Oliveira, VP of Talent Operations at Toptal. “Our new DevOps specialization provides a reliable pipeline of qualified software professionals who can enable shorter development cycles, increased deployment frequency, and more dependable releases, among other agile software development goals.”

Toptal’s new DevOps specialization builds on recent successes working with clients like Motorola Solutions and Arduino. Toptal’s DevOps specialization provides the talent needed for organizations to successfully move business applications to the Cloud and compete more effectively.

One such DevOps expert in the Toptal network is Andrea Villa, a former DevOps engineer at Atlassian and system architect at CloudReach with 15 years of experience in system administration, information security, and networks, having worked as a specialist in cloud migration, deployment, and automation.

“To be effective, today’s DevOps Engineer needs to have a developer background and possess a wide knowledge of system administration and network knowledge,” Villa said. “It’s important that they be able to bridge the gap between the raw code and the challenges that the business has to face everyday – such as reducing friction between ideas, delivery, and consumers.”

Another Toptal expert with 12+ years experience in DevOps is Fredrik Håård, who specializes in back-end product development and lifecycle maintenance. Håård was a Senior Cloud Architect at McKinsey and at Wondersign ensured the success of their final migration to the cloud.

“Good DevOps engineers must be a champion – and take responsibility for – all the areas that might not be prioritized by the organization such as data security, disaster recovery, mitigation, and audits,” Håård said. “The choices you make in DevOps can have long-lasting effects at a company.”

Toptal attracts the best talent across software development, design, and business. Applicants undergo a rigorous screening process that accepts less than three percent of applicants. Toptal then looks for the perfect fit between talent expertise and the needs of clients.

By leveraging a curated, expert-driven matching process that ensures that the right individual or team is found without time-consuming resume reviews and interviews, Toptal’s proprietary technology platform automates the hiring process, driving speed and efficiency. The outcome is a highly qualified workforce with specialized skills to meet the needs of companies – saving both time and money. This model has led Toptal to become the largest distributed workforce in the world with annual revenues exceeding $100 million and growing at approximately 300 percent over the prior two years.

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