For people in the internet technology field, terms like DevOps are common, but for outsiders, not so much. Business owners may want to take note of sites, like VentureBeat, that explain just how important developers and operations (DevOps) specialists are to a team.

(Photo Courtesy of Vinny Singh)

(Photo Courtesy of Vinny Singh)

Vinny Singh, Systems Engineer for Feld Entertainment Inc., and the owner of Affordatech LLC, can attest to this newer IT trend.

“Some of the latest trends seem to be managed services and cloud computing as part of the ongoing commoditization of IT,” said Singh, referring to companies like Dimension Data and BlueStarTec. “As businesses continue to strategically streamline their operations and reduce on-premises infrastructure, a demand for skills in virtualization, security, data analysis, database administration and programming are rising. One increasingly popular term for this would be DevOps.”

Although Chicago didn’t make the cut for Forbes’ top 10 cities creating tech jobs, Crain’s Chicago Business saw things a little differently, ranking Chicago as the sixth best city for tech jobs in 2014. Built in Chicago has kept its eyes on the top seven tech companies who are hiring in the Chicago area as well.

Singh also sees the brighter side of the Midwest. He’s worked for Feld Entertainment since 2008, both as a direct employee and as the systems engineer and IT administrator/SCCM engineer for Feld’s managed services contractor Dimension Data.

“There are quite a few excellent opportunities in Chicago and Greater Chicago, but they have only slightly increased,” said Singh. “Places like Kansas City could be growing due to the availability of Google Fiber. Competition drives down costs of existing services, entices technologists to relocate, and benefits both consumers and businesses that rely on ubiquitous internet access.”

Tech students and graduates are usually encouraged to complete internships, have a solid LinkedIn profile and volunteer. Singh has a few more pointed tips for this group to master before — or even after — they graduate.

“If you haven’t picked up some programming language to automate or to make your life easier, do that. Join a local tech community like VMUG or a local Spiceworks group so you can network with potential employers. If you don’t have that much experience, assist with an open-source or personal project with like-minded individuals and showcase it online. Obtain a current certification with a skill or product you are interested in, and references for your work ethic or interpersonal skills.”

Shamontiel L. Vaughn is a professional journalist who has work featured in AXS, Yahoo!, Chicago Defender and Chicago Tribune. She’s been an Examiner since 2009 and currently writes about 10 categories on Examiner.com.