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In recent times, there has been an undeniable boom in the popularity of Cloud Computing, and cloud skills are more in demand than ever. It has been a long time coming in my opinion, as the Cloud has been responsible for a seismic shift in how applications can be launched, managed, and supported for enterprise organizations, and small businesses.
Cloud Skills: Hard and Soft
The skills required to launch a career in cloud computing come in two different flavors: hard cloud skills (technical skills and hands-on experience) and soft cloud skills. ‘Soft’ cloud skills do not require any hands-on experience in the field, and you may already have them in the wider retinue of your professional skill set.
In this article you’ll learn:
- Which soft skills you may already have that can help you launch a career in cloud.
- Which job roles are suitable for different skill sets.
- How you can gain further skills and certifications.
The Need for Cloud Skills
With more companies than ever adopting the Cloud either partially or fully, there exists a need to find employees with cloud skills alongside the attitude required to dive straight into a career in cloud computing. Whilst there are a lot of legacy IT jobs which make you perfectly qualified to jump in (Network Administrator, Software Engineer etc) there simply are not enough of these pre-existing professionals in the job market to fill the roles and the demand that is required in this growing industry.
With Andy Jassy (CEO of Amazon) set to hire 55,000 new workers at Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the coming months, the desire to have ready-to-work staff with the ability to help propel cloud computing to new heights is ever present. This need isn’t going anywhere either. Cloud skills are very much in demand!
With things propelling so quickly, those who want to transition to a new career in Cloud Computing will more often than not have to lean on transferable skills from their previous roles in order to show their worth on a job application. That is why I have compiled a list of the top 5 Cloud Skills you (may) already have, which will help you land your first role in Cloud Computing.
Whilst these skills alone will not be enough to get you a job, this subset of the wider set of cloud skills is an often-overlooked part of what it takes to get involved in the Cloud world. You will need to have demonstrable examples of how you have these skills, and how you can use them to benefit the companies you are interviewing for. This is especially important if you are breaking into Cloud Computing, and the following skills would sit comfortably alongside a portfolio of projects proving your hands-on knowledge of how the cloud works.
Let’s dive in.
The ability to communicate openly and effectively will serve you well in your pursuit of a new career in the Cloud. Depending on what specific role you end up doing will determine how much communication you end up doing, but if you are a keen communicator, you would be more than comfortable doing the following roles:
- Technical Account Manager
- Solutions Architect
- Sales Representative for a Cloud Company
- Technical Consultant
Communication also comes in many forms! Both internal team communication, communication with Stakeholders, as well as customer-facing communication are all important so be sure to tailor your CV to direct attention to the particular type of communication your potential employer would like to see.
2. Attention to detail
This is a seemingly obvious one – and if you are tinkering with highly configured enterprise systems on a daily basis you clearly need to be attentive when doing so. However, attention to detail isn’t just important in the obvious ways: Imagine yourself speaking to a customer who wants to start utilizing the cloud for their business. Only through keen attention to detail would you be able to pick up exactly what they want to accomplish from the cloud, and it might even be your job to help them navigate their needs by listening to them attentively and guiding them to use the best tools for the job. Some roles that are particularly attention-to-detail heavy are the following:
- Cloud Software Engineer
- Solutions Architect
- Cloud Engineer
- Cyber Security Analyst
- DevOps Engineer
3. The ability to explain complex ideas in a simple way
This is a big one! Quite a lot of people who you will be dealing with in your day-to-day life as a Cloud Professional will not know very much about cloud computing at all. Thus, it might be your job to act as a ‘translator’ of sorts to help your client understand exactly what the cloud is all about and how it can help them achieve their goals. Tied alongside this skill, is the need for a degree of patience and empathy to understand exactly where a customer is coming from and how they need to be helped. The key roles with this skill are:
- Solutions Architect
- Technical consultant
- Cloud Sales / Account Management
4. Problem solving
If you are a problem solver, the cloud has no shortage of opportunities for you to get to work and figure out the answers to some seriously challenging problems. You can approach this skill from two different angles:
There is the ability to solve individual, tricky, and cognitively demanding tasks (such as debugging code, configuration changes etc.) or to tackle colossal broad and thematic problems at a high level (if you are talking about a company’s strategic direction and how the cloud fits into that vision).
If you are either (or both) of these kinds of problem solvers, then you will be at home working with the cloud, and adept at many different job roles in the world of cloud computing. If you are not scared of being at the forefront of innovation, computing might be the career for you.
If you are a problem solver at heart, you might be at home in any one of these roles:
- Platform Engineer
- Solutions Architect
- Software Developer
- Cloud Consultant
- DevOps Engineer
5. Adaptability / Willingness to learn
On any given day you might be asked to wear many different hats with different cloud skills attached to each role you might be undertaking. The sort of person who is comfortable in different roles (a ‘Chameleon’ so to speak) would make a fantastic cloud professional.
The versatility of the cloud is what makes it so attractive to so many companies. If you are lucky enough to land yourself your new role, one day you might be dealing with a Government Body that needs a secure and responsive database solution, the next day a fast-food chain that needs an employee app to manage their HR commitments, and the day after an Energy Giant implementing IoT technology to monitor their power plants. The beauty of this is that all of these different use cases have different specialist requirements that each require bespoke solutions.
I have tied ‘Willingness to learn’ in with adaptability for a reason, as I feel that these skills go hand in hand. With an ever-evolving set of technologies to choose from when using the Cloud, you need to demonstrate the ability to evolve and grow with the technology, for fear of being left behind and becoming a ‘dinosaur’!
This means that you need to be constantly learning!
This could be in the form of gaining new Certifications and accolades and throwing yourself into technologies you don’t know much about and trying to put something together. You might fail, sure – but a lack of curiosity and desire for growth will leave you behind in the fast-paced world of the cloud.
The Hard Skills
So far this article has concentrated on the soft skills that you’ll need for various job roles. But if you want to make a career out of cloud computing then you will also need the technical skills to perform in your chosen role. Here at Digital Cloud Training, we provide the highest quality Amazon Web Services (AWS) training courses in the market at affordable prices. Our training options include:
Ultimate Training Packages – Our popular training bundles (on-demand video course + practice exams + ebook) will maximize your chances of passing your AWS certification the first time.
Membership – For unlimited access to our cloud training catalog, enroll in our monthly or annual membership program.
Challenge Labs – Build hands-on cloud skills in a secure sandbox environment. Learn, build, test and fail forward without risking unexpected cloud bills.