What is Cloud Talent? Microsoft Floats its Expectations

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All that buzz about the move to cloud computing at times becomes just a dull roar as all those words fly over our heads. So we're told that the cloud will be huge within the next five years, but what does that mean for jobs in IT?


IT Business Edge bloggers Ann All and Mike Vizard have been writing about that question, adding in the rise of automation, the need for tech people to gain more business and people skills and the consolidation of roles in operational administration.

So it's interesting to find a series on Microsoft's JobsBlog about what that company's looking for in the way of cloud computing talent. So far three of five planned posts have been published. Part 1 is an interview with Chandra Prasad, development manager of Microsoft's Distributed Application Server group in the Business Platform Division. He notes:

In addition, to the traditional software engineering disciplines SDE [software development], SDET [testing] and PM [program management] that we would need for working on cloud computing, there is another discipline that is emerging for managing the operational aspects of the cloud infrastructure.
... this is still a new discipline that will continue to be more and more important at the company. The main goal of the operations engineering team is to keep the service running while investing in predictability and cost reduction.

In Part 2, Yunus Mohammed, development manager with the Windows Azure team, talks about what Microsoft considers "cloud computing experience,"-it's basically experience with large-scale software-as-a-service projects or infrastructure-as-a-service initiatives. But he also gets specific-always a good thing-about required technology experience.

He says you should have worked on designing/developing/testing/program management/marketing in one or more of a list of technologies. Here's some of them:

  • Secure Web APIs (Bing, EC2, Heroku)
  • Web API stack (WCF, HTTP)
  • Security (certificates, LiveID, ADFS, WS-Security, OpenId)
  • Shared Hosting (ASP.Net, PHP)
  • Code container isolation and sandboxing (.Net CLR, Java, OS-level isolation)


In Part 3, Prasad talks about what the company looks for beyond core engineering skills-and essentially that's the ability to collaborate across teams, to see the big picture, and to put the customer's needs first. He even talks about a working knowledge of statistics. (We've heard how that's becoming ever more important.)


Check it out. The next installment, "What if no cloud experience?" is due next week. That ought to be interesting.