SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Zakia Bouachraoui, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Agile Computing: Blog Post

What Skills Do You Need for the Cloud?

A quick look at coveted skills in the cloud world

Over a year ago, I posed a simple question in a post: ‘Should developers care about cloud computing?' In the post, I went on to assert that developers should indeed care about what was at that point a little more of an emerging trend. Not that this was ever a controversial issue, but in light of the growing momentum of cloud since that post, and the realization that the effects of cloud reverberate throughout entire IT organizations, this is no longer even a question.

So, cloud computing definitely ‘affects' developers and other technical employees, thus they should certainly care about the movement, but what exactly should they care about? In other words, what skills are important for developers in the context of cloud computing?

I constantly evaluate and re-evaluate the answers to this question. As both a practitioner and advocate in my day job, it is important to understand the issues at play. After all, practicing and subsequently advocating skills that are not pertinent do not provide value to the users I interact with on a daily basis. Luckily, I frequently talk to many different users in various stages of adoption and implementation of cloud computing. It allows me to constantly collect and synthesize a wide range of data points, from a diverse set of companies, regarding this question.

Obviously, the answers to the question will always be a snapshot of a point in time of the evolution of cloud computing and its uses. That said, as I look back on some of my more recent notes on the subject, there seems to be consensus on a few valuable skills for developers and other technical users in the context of cloud:

Scaling experts: Companies looking to build and deploy applications to the cloud place a high priority on developers and architects who are skilled scalers. While this may be the most obvious skill when you think of what it takes to be a developer for the cloud, it also appears to be the most elusive. I have heard many IT managers lament the fact that they are still early in the process of cultivating skill in the design and implementation of cloud-scale applications.

Master integrators: The plethora of public and private cloud services available coupled with the lessons learned from SOA means that many enterprises will lean heavily toward hybrid cloud approaches. They are looking to build best of breed solutions that consume elements from many different sources. In this respect, solution architects and developers that can both design and implement such an integrated approach are highly sought.

API designers/implementers: In cases where enterprises are constructing private clouds, they often hand over cloud operational duties to a particular team within the company. This team becomes the internal cloud provider, and inevitably looks to enable programmatic consumption of those cloud services through APIs. If you have ever designed or implemented an API, you know it is part science and part art. You also know that this is not a widely held skill. If you possess or can acquire this capability, the cloud will provide you with numerous job opportunities.

Automation wizards: The overwhelming majority of users I talk with are enamored with cloud computing and its promise to deliver speedy access to some set of services. Users often overlook the fact that they often compose solutions that require many of these services. The promise of speedy access breaks down when one cannot automate the acquisition of services across clouds or across clouds and traditional systems. In many cases, to fully realize the notion of rapid access to solutions, one must construct an automated system. Those familiar with the design and implementation of automated systems will have a leg up on cloud jobs.

These are just a few of the technical and architectural skills that seem to stand out in the current cloud world. I based this largely on my experiences and interactions with users, and I am very interested to hear what you have to say on the subject. Let me know what kinds of skills and abilities you think are important for developers and architects in the cloud.

More Stories By Dustin Amrhein

Dustin Amrhein joined IBM as a member of the development team for WebSphere Application Server. While in that position, he worked on the development of Web services infrastructure and Web services programming models. In his current role, Dustin is a technical specialist for cloud, mobile, and data grid technology in IBM's WebSphere portfolio. He blogs at http://dustinamrhein.ulitzer.com. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/damrhein.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
ScaleMP is presenting at CloudEXPO 2019, held June 24-26 in Santa Clara, and we’d love to see you there. At the conference, we’ll demonstrate how ScaleMP is solving one of the most vexing challenges for cloud — memory cost and limit of scale — and how our innovative vSMP MemoryONE solution provides affordable larger server memory for the private and public cloud. Please visit us at Booth No. 519 to connect with our experts and learn more about vSMP MemoryONE and how it is already serving some of...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility. As they do so, IT professionals are also embr...
Platform9, the leader in SaaS-managed hybrid cloud, has announced it will present five sessions at four upcoming industry conferences in June: BCS in London, DevOpsCon in Berlin, HPE Discover and Cloud Computing Expo 2019.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
When you're operating multiple services in production, building out forensics tools such as monitoring and observability becomes essential. Unfortunately, it is a real challenge balancing priorities between building new features and tools to help pinpoint root causes. Linkerd provides many of the tools you need to tame the chaos of operating microservices in a cloud native world. Because Linkerd is a transparent proxy that runs alongside your application, there are no code changes required. I...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
Kubernetes as a Container Platform is becoming a de facto for every enterprise. In my interactions with enterprises adopting container platform, I come across common questions: - How does application security work on this platform? What all do I need to secure? - How do I implement security in pipelines? - What about vulnerabilities discovered at a later point in time? - What are newer technologies like Istio Service Mesh bring to table?In this session, I will be addressing these commonly asked ...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.