Still Chasing Those Elusive Cloud Skills

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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.

In the scramble to stay current with technology and remain employable, a lot of folks are asking how they need to shape their careers with the advancement of cloud computing.


Though there's plenty of debate about what cloud computing actually is, as blogger Arthur Cole points out, there seems to be a sense of inevitability about it. Just like high school, though it might seem like everybody's doing it, that's not necessarily true. Just like high school, it seems a lot of 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.


Yet as Laurent Lachal, senior analyst at Ovum told silicon.com:

The market as a whole has moved, in the past 18 months, from 'what the hell is cloud computing?' to 'what do I do with it, how do I take advantage of it?' 2011 will be much more a 'let's do it' year, while 2010 was still a 'let's get to know about it' year.

That could explain the three-fold jump in job listings for cloud skills (up 294 percent to 1,300) in the most recent monthly report by Dice.com and in the rise of ads looking for JavaScript (up 98 percent to 7,919) and HTML skills ( up 85 percent to 8,547). It says:

Throw in the fact that the browser is now the dominant mode of software delivery, it makes sense that hiring managers and recruiters are looking for these skills.

What cloud skills are remains as unclear as much of the rest of cloud computing. Much of the hiring these days is among service providers. I've written about what Microsoft's looking for and the advice of cloud middleware vendor Apprenda CEO Sinclair Schuller.


In addition, Tom Kiblin, CEO of cloud- and location-hosting company Virtacore, told Network World:

Our guys have to be skilled in so many areas-OS, hypervisor, storage, routing, backups-you can't find them. In three to five years other people [companies other than service providers] will realize their people have to [be] cross-trained to be an asset to an organization, not just be a member of the routing team or a load-balancing team or a SAN team, or whatever.

What cloud computing means to various companies-and to the Average Joe IT pro-could vary as much as the individual companies, writes Colin Smith at TechRepublic. While small businesses might find they don't need a full-time IT pro anymore, he foresees the need for new skills at large companies, including:


  • Workload analysis and management
  • Procurement and vendor management
  • Business analysis
  • Risk management
  • IT governance
  • Compliance


And in PCWorld.com's article "Is Your IT Job Safe in the Cloud?", writer Keir Thomas makes an interesting point: Employees increasingly use multiple devices, including laptops, mobile phones and tablets to access cloud-based apps:

... somebody will have to oversee the purchase and setup of that hardware, especially if regulations must be adhered to. Essentially, the amount of help each employee demands from IT is set to grow significantly.