Get Your Head Into The Cloud
In the 1800’s we had the first industrial revolution. In the early 1900’s we had the technological revolution. Then we embarked on the information age with the digital revolution which began in the late 20th century. This saw the birth of the internet and large changes brought on by digital computing. Apparently, we are now in the fourth industrial revolution with the widespread automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices. This information age has meant an exponential creation of data. This has only been made possible by the growth and improvement of cloud computing technologies. One cannot underestimate the importance of cloud computing in our modern way of living.
In this article I will attempt to identify what the key skills and technologies are for someone who wants to build a career in cloud computing and contribute to the enhancement of the information age.
As tech recruiters, what kind of trends have we spotted in the IT industry?
As a cloud technology specialist recruitment agency, we are uniquely positioned to see the new hiring trends within cloud computing and SaaS companies, as they happen. One of the very tangible ways this can be seen is on job specs. For example, NoSQL databases have been around for decades but were only more widely used, and therefore desired as skills, over the last decade. This was reflected by the increased prevalence of technologies such as MongoDB, Cassandra and DynamoDB in the job requirements we were given by our clients.
The advent of cloud computing and now ubiquitous presence of public cloud hosting services like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform has generated an increasingly strong demand for employers to hire talent with skills in this area.
Taking the definition on Wikipedia, Cloud Engineering is the ‘application of engineering principles to cloud computing. It leverages the methods and tools of engineering in conceiving, developing, operating, and maintaining cloud computing systems and solutions.’ Quite a mouthful. To better understand this concept, let’s look at the specific jobs that IT professionals who work in cloud engineering have.
What are the basic eligibility criteria needed to become a Cloud Engineer?
A Cloud Engineer is someone who could work with any aspect of cloud computing. This includes design, planning, management, maintenance, and support. Generally, a Cloud Engineer is not an entry level career move. You normally need a bachelor’s degree or better in computer science or a related field. You would also need to gain a minimum of two years industry experience working across software engineering, networking, systems, or security before moving into a cloud specialist role.
Here are the typical Cloud Engineering skill sets explained:
The Cloud Architect oversees a company’s cloud computing strategy. This would include the initial adoption planning, the application design and ongoing cloud management and monitoring. The Cloud Architect should be able to work across multiple stakeholders in a company and be consultative and solutions focused. They would make key decisions around the application architecture and deployment into a cloud environment (e.g. private, public or hybrid cloud). They will be well versed in programming languages such as Java, PHP, Ruby, Node.js and Python, amongst others.
Cloud Software Engineer
A Cloud Software Engineer is simply a Software Engineer who specialises in developing software for the deployment to the cloud. They will be experienced developing with programming languages like Java, AngularJS, C#, Python, Ruby, PHP and Python. The difference here is that a Cloud Software Engineer will also be familiar with tools and platforms such as Hadoop, Spark, Kafka or Kubernetes. They might also have worked with various NoSQL databases like MongoDB or Cassandra.
Cloud Security Engineer
Cloud, by its very nature, is a shared resource. This brings with it security risks and vulnerabilities. The Cloud Security Engineer is tasked with putting in place a set of control-based technologies and policies to mitigate that risk and ensure compliance with any regulatory requirements. They are there to protect the data, plain and simple. It's not just about preventing a data breach, but also about putting in place processes that allow for business continuity and data backup, should a cloud security breach occur.
Cloud Systems Engineer
A Cloud Systems Engineer is often someone who has worked as a system administrator and is now specialising on cloud systems. This person is responsible for the maintenance of the cloud system and related software. They will need strong scripting knowledge and ability to troubleshoot issues across all aspects of the system.
Cloud Network Engineer
The Cloud Network Engineer will be responsible for the implementation, configuration, maintenance, and support of a cloud network. Typically, the Cloud Network Engineer will have experience working with complex network infrastructures and connecting and directing traffic between LAN’s and WAN’s. Again security is a key aspect to a network, so the Cloud Network Engineer should have knowledge in network security architecture, practices and protocols.
DevOps, as a term, only started being widely used in the last five years. It refers to the combined skills of software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). The aim is to use DevOps practices to shorten the systems development life cycle and to provide continuous delivery of changes into normal production, while ensuring high quality.
DevOps Engineers are people who work with the software developers and the IT staff to oversee software code releases. They can come from a software development background or come from a system administration background and grow into a DevOps Engineer role.
Some examples of DevOps tools are: Git, Github, Jenkins, Selenium, Docker, Kubernetes, Puppet, Chef, Ansible and Nagios.
As we have seen, there are a wide range of technical skill sets that are required by companies that operate in the cloud. These skill sets are becoming more in demand and, as a result, more highly paid. The salary ranges vary based on level of expertise but can range from €60,000 all the way up to €150,000 for the jobs listed above. You can have a glance over the offered salary levels for these jobs in our Tech Salary Guide. If you are an IT professional and wondering whether to bring your existing IT skills into the realm of cloud computing, then I recommend you go for it. I believe it would be a highly astute career move. If you’re ready to take this leap it would be worthwhile to browse through our careers page for any relevant job opportunities. We are only getting started in the information age and the future holds infinite possibilities for the application of cloud computing technologies.
If you would like to learn more about cloud computing IT jobs, then get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org.