Variety is the spice of life, and it makes a devops career endlessly fascinating and intriguing. But while devops requires an intimate knowledge of a myriad of technologies — software, infrastructure, middleware, as well as business processes and operational best practices — the most important skills to have for a successful devops career aren’t technical at all: They’re interpersonal, says Eric Sigler, head of devops at incident resolution software platform company PagerDuty.

“Critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration are the foundation for what makes devops work. Empathy in particular is a must-have for those building a career around devops. True devops engineers have a high degree of compassion and will use it to enable those around them. By being open to alternative points of view, you can pick and choose the best practices and skill sets available to solve the problem at hand,” Sigler says.