Transform Your IT Skill Set Into a Cloud Career

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Jan 3, 2018 9:00:00 AM

In Job Trends, Job Search Tips, Resume Tips

The cloud has revolutionized Internet use, and the way companies do business. Because of this, demand for IT professionals that are versed in cloud computing continues to surge. IT staffing is now focusing more on cloud-specific jobs such as cloud engineer and related roles. The proliferation of the cloud is also causing IT pros with a more traditional background to look for efficient ways to evolve their skill set. The goal is to fit IT staffing requirements for cloud computing professionals.

Adopting a Cloud-Based Mindset

For those IT workers wondering how they will make the transition, there’s no need to panic. All of the expected IT processes are still taking place – it’s just that now they are occurring with a different mindset. Designing software and applications are still key responsibilities. They just require a different perspective – a cloud-based one.

For example, the cloud brings with it a focus on the automation of infrastructure. While traditional systems engineers may be accustomed to logging into a server and approaching things manually, the cloud offers a more streamlined process.

IT staffers looking to migrate their skillsets to the cloud can begin by considering how their normal duties might take place in a cloud scenario versus a traditional on-premises environment. What tools and skills might be required to perform expected tasks successfully with the new parameters?

Key Cloud Software, Platforms and Languages

It is also important to learn to work within Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and other cloud computing platforms.   

IT professionals learning to work in the cloud can use APIs to create infrastructure copies far more easily than in the traditional IT world. The ability to work as part of Scrum teams and within Agile software development methodology is also very important to the ability to work and thrive in the cloud. Becoming familiar with key configuration management tools such as Puppet, Chef, and Ansible is also essential for administrator and developer roles in cloud careers.

Some of the easiest traditional IT roles to transition into a career in the cloud space include:

Systems Engineer

This IT role requires in-depth technical knowledge of the client’s hardware and software, as well as advanced troubleshooting, design and analytical skillsets. All of these abilities will apply to cloud computing. Installation, support, and maintenance of the system will still be required, but systems engineers will also need to learn other programming languages such as Python to effectively interact with cloud vendor APIs.

Developing, debugging, supporting and maintaining the technical infrastructure, infrastructure platforms and all components will also require an awareness of cloud vendor software and processes. Providing user support will continue to be an important role, as well as overseeing system recovery and creating preventive measures. However, determining root-cause analysis for service interruption becomes a more collaborative effort with cloud vendor APIs.

For a cloud career, LINUX/UNIX administration and virtualization skills will be required. Also, because cloud technology is still in its early stages, employers will require workers who are both skilled and flexible. As the technology evolves, IT professionals must be able to pivot and evolve accordingly as the journey unfolds.

Database Administrator

A solid technical foundation in database configuration, structuring, installation, and practice is beneficial both on a server and in the cloud. Knowledge of Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2 and other relational database applications and languages will still be required for effective database management in the cloud. While the database will now be stored in the cloud, the need for traditional database administrator skills and knowledge bases will still apply.

A cloud-based approach to database administration will also require becoming skilled in Oracle and Hadoop database skill sets. When the server is in the cloud, setup, recovery, and backup aren’t major concerns for database administrators; however, the ability to optimize queries, set up tablespaces and execute table structure changes will be important to this role.

Network Engineer

Network engineers must be detail-oriented and have experience in areas such as network design, network implementation, server infrastructure and network security. While these abilities will still be crucial, working in the cloud environment will require awareness of cloud vendor APIs as well. While traditional network engineers must be experts in switches, firewalls, and routers, most cloud providers offer networking as a service.

Because of this, a cloud network engineer’s aim will transition to being more focused on and adept at network design. Network engineers will be required to effectively oversee auditing of the cloud environment to ensure the design and all included rules are functioning properly. Transitioning into a related cloud career would also require proficiency in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) administration and other cloud-related skills.

Problem-Solving in the Cloud

Again, because the operation of the business in and from the cloud is so new, most experts agree that the ability to think creatively and problem-solve will be among the most prized attributes of cloud computing IT professionals. The space and its technology and processes are ever-evolving; as such, companies will be looking for IT staffing and candidates who can learn on the fly and adapt to changing circumstances.

While solid skills rooted in traditional IT functions will still be sought and valued, an eye toward the cloud environment and where it might be headed will also be essential.

Become A Cloud Computing Professional

If you’re an IT professional who is looking to become more employable in the expanding realm of cloud computing, it IS possible. It doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming. Consider some of the specifics discussed here as you prepare to make the transition.

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