Raise Your Hand for Cloud Projects and Boost Your Career

Susan Hall
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13 of Today's Hottest Tech Skills

Highlights of the most in-demand skills and their growth over the past year.

I've written before that cloud computing seems to be just like high school. Though it might seem like everybody's doing it, actually a lot more folks are thinking about doing it. Cisco's latest research in 13 countries found only 18 percent of respondents using cloud computing in some fashion today, but 88 percent expect to take it up within the next three years.


So far, most of the action is happening with service providers. I've written about what Microsoft's looking for in job candidates for the cloud and those of cloud middleware vendor Apprenda.


But anything you can do to get right in the big middle of it will help you write your own ticket in your career. In this Network World article, Blue Mountain Labs CTO and cloud computing blogger David Linthicum estimates there are 50 jobs for every skilled candidate. Similarly, Dice Senior Vice President Tom Silver told my colleague Don Tennant last month that cloud computing is the fastest-growing tech skill in terms of demand.


Linthicum is quoted saying:

... IT professionals need to have skills to leverage systems that they don't own and that are outside the enterprise's control. ... They need to understand how platforms are changing, how to get access to storage and compute on demand and how to leverage infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service where needs dictate those.
Executives who are innovative and willing to take a few risks are the ones who will succeed with the advent of cloud computing. They'll look like heroes as they take infrastructure costs down by running systems outside the firewall on the Amazon or Google cloud. And rank-and-file IT professionals will discover it's advantageous to their careers to learn about those cloud systems before they appear in the enterprise; they'll be rewarded for that ...

A few companies are starting to add the word "cloud" to titles, especially for specialists in areas such as technical architecture, but the article stresses that skills such as project management and contract management are gaining added importance in the move to the cloud. The article quotes Drew Garner, director of architecture services for Concur Technologies, saying of his company's move to a hosted private cloud:

One of the product managers working for me has had to come up to speed with researching contracts, mostly from data center providers. Especially from an SLA standpoint, people have had to become mini lawyers.

And don't forget a deep understanding of your business and your customers.


So how do you gain these skills? Silver suggests volunteering:

We've always been a big believer that there's no substitute for on-the-job experience. And as tech workers see their companies moving more and more data to the cloud, I would suggest that they go in and raise their hand, and suggest that they want to learn the skills and do whatever they can to become familiar with cloud management.

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