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Cloud and It’s Career Opportunities:

Test Author | Nov 11, 2020

Cloud computing as a term has been around since the early 2000s, but the concept of computing-as-a-service has been around for much, much longer -- as far back as the 1960s, when computer bureaus would allow companies to rent time on a mainframe, rather than have to buy one themselves on their own. These 'time-sharing' services were largely overtaken by the rise of the PC which made owning a computer much much affordable, then in turn by the rise of corporate data centers where companies would store vast amounts of data. But the concept of renting access to computing power has resurfaced again and again -- in the application service providers, utility computing, grid computing of the late 1990s and early 2000s. This was followed by cloud computing, which took hold with the emergence of software as a service and hyperscale cloud computing providers such as Amazon Web Services. Rather than owning their own computing infrastructure or data centers, companies can rent access to anything right from applications to storage from a cloud service provider. One benefit of using cloud computing services is that firms can avoid the upfront cost and complexity of owning as well as maintaining their own IT infrastructure, and instead simply pay for what they use, when they use it. In turn, providers of cloud computing services can benefit from significant economies of scale by delivering the same services to a varied range of customers. A fundamental concept behind cloud computing is that the location of the service, and many of the details like the hardware or operating system on which it is running, are largely irrelevant to the user. It's with this in mind that the metaphor of the cloud was borrowed from old telecoms network schematics, in which the public telephone network (and later the internet) was often represented as a cloud to denote that the just didn't matter it was just a cloud of stuff. This is an over-simplification of course; for many customers location of their services and data remains a key issue. 

The prominent benefits will vary according to the type of cloud service being used but, using cloud services means companies not having to buy or maintain their own computing infrastructure. No more buying servers, updating applications, operating systems, or decommissioning and disposing of hardware, software when it is out of date, as it is all taken care of by the supplier. For commodity applications, such as email, it can make sense to switch to a cloud provider, rather than just rely on in-house skills. A company that specializes in running and securing these services is likely to have better skills and more experienced staff than a small business could afford to hire, therefore cloud services may be able to deliver a more secure and efficient service to end users. Using cloud services means companies can move faster on projects and test out concepts without lengthy procurement and big upfront costs, because firms only pay for the resources that they consume. This concept of business agility is often mentioned by cloud advocates as one of the key benefits. The ability to spin up new services without the time and effort associated with traditional IT procurement should mean that is way easier to get going with new applications faster. And if a new application turns out to be popular the elastic nature of the cloud means it is easier to scale it up fast. For a company with an application that has big peaks in usage, for example that is only used at a particular time of the week, month or year, it may make financial sense to have it hosted in the cloud, rather than have dedicated hardware and software laying useless or idle for much of the time. Moving to a cloud hosted application for services like email or CRM could remove burdens on internal IT staff, and if such applications don't generate much competitive advantage, there will be very little other impact. Moving to a services model also moves spending from capex to opex, which may be beneficial for some companies. 

Cloud computing is said to be one of the hottest technologies with a high demand for qualified professionals. Median salary for IT pros currently in a cloud computing career in the U.S. is $124,300. However, it is not the easiest of jobs to acquire as it is a specialty area. To secure a job in this field, a candidate must have a number of specific skills. Let us see what they are in order to get your cloud computing career started!

Skill 1: Coding and database management

Coding skills: Cloud computing unlocks a new dimension in software development. The cloud allows programmers to create, host, and execute applications that can scale up much faster due to the environment’s capacity to handle large volumes. Some recent additions to the cloud ecosystem are programming languages like Python, Perl, Ruby etc. They are open source and becoming more and more prevalent with each passing year. Other conventional favorites are PHP, Java, and .NET. Python, a high-level language with simple syntax, is an excellent place to begin with as far as programming skills in the cloud are concerned. Database management: Every day a staggering 2.5 quintillion bytes of fresh data is added to the world. Corporations are in a race to understand and maximize use of this growing wealth of data. Therefore, persons who can set-up, access, and can manage databases are in high demand. Due to its scalability, the cloud platform is the most common space to host databases. Knowledge of a database query language and related database platforms are therefore essential for any professional in this field. The ever-growing pile of data also means that opportunities in this field are not hard to come by. The most prevalent language in database is SQL.

Linux: Cloud professionals with Linux skills are in demand now. One reason is that one-fourth of the servers today power Linux-based Azure. This share is bound to increase because of Microsoft’s continued thrust toward the open source market.

Businesses need professionals capable of working on cloud-based Linux servers in areas such as:

Setting up architecture, Designing, Developing, Administering, Managing

Skill 2: Courses and certifications

The IT industry is renowned for its emphasis on industry and vendor certifications. The cloud domain has also joined the fray in this field. All major service providers including Amazon and Microsoft offer training and certifications that could jump-start your cloud computing career. The most popular ones include:

AWS Certification

Azure Certification

Google Cloud Certified

Gaining the necessary hands-on experience is important, but certification can be a vital first step in the right direction.

Skill 3: Cloud platforms and technologies

An IT professional with prior experience can leverage this cognition to forge ahead in a career in cloud computing. Despite this, she or he will need to acquire some additional skills to fit into the new job. For example, become proficient in the most common cloud platforms, namely:

Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure

To begin with, a professional can learn one of them but knowing all three can be impressive since there is nothing wrong with being versatile.

Skill 4: Multi-cloud environments and data integration

A complex mix of cloud services and cloud types — public, private, and hybrid — are becoming the norm in modern organizations. This means that cloud professionals need to know how to manage these multi-could environments.

Organizations use data obtained from:

Multiple vendors, Diverse platforms, Different datacenters

Unifying these databases to make data utilization possible is a mammoth exercise. The complexities compound when cloud systems have to interact with legacy systems. For professionals specializing in cloud architecture, integration is a must-have skill.

Skill 5: Business management and data manipulation

Cloud professionals need business skills in addition to technology skills. Among them are:

Managing personnel, Communication, Negotiation

The additional demands fall under two categories.

Internal — within the organization

External — vendors and other service providers

The professional must fully comprehend cloud security and its implications for online data and applications. He or she must take extra care to ensure the security of all online operations. Cloud computing makes customization of data for each business possible. Analysts, who can remodel data and tailor it into formats specified by each department in an organization, are a highly prized asset.

Skill 6: Specific roles-related skills

 Cloud Computing career, Pixabay.

Based on the jobs posted on Indeed, the top 10 must-have skills you need to have a successful cloud computing career are:

Amazon Web Services (AWS): The pioneer in affordable cloud services and enjoys the largest market share in the field.

Python: The most rapidly growing language on the cloud.

Java: One of the most popular programming languages in the cloud and its latest cloud-friendly enhancements are bound to increase its usage.

Azure: Usage of Microsoft Azure has grown from 34 percent in 2017 to 45 percent in 2018. It’s gaining on AWS every year.

Agile: Agile project management practices and its adoption in cloud development cycles are growing each year.

Puppet: Employed in DevOps environments to automate AWS, a time-saving option of immense value to most enterprises.

Chef: Another technology deployed in DevOps environments. It offers analytics at the enterprise level through its Automate tool.

Ansible: An open source centralized server management system that makes setting up a cloud-based application cost effective.

Docker: An open source containerization technology that automates the process of setting up and use of software programs

VMware: Software to virtualize cloud environments used for computing. This is also popular in all types of domains. 

A decade from now, every business will be operating primarily from the cloud, making way for more flexible yet more productive and efficient ways of working. Hardware won’t be the problem in a decade whereas software would be.


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