When I started Cloud Academy I had several discussions with many people involved in the IT industry.
Some of them are the best system administrators I ever met and some of them have been in the buttons room of big IT infrastructure for years; all of them are now in a difficult position: they need to improve their skills as fast as possible because cloud computing is basically changing their jobs. Totally.
Let me go through this. The topic of this article is learning cloud computing and, of course, it’s something that is very clear for my team at Cloud Academy. We started this company because we clearly see how important Cloud Computing is becoming, at the last edition of Amazon Re:invent, one week ago, we talked with many companies that are increasing their budgets for cloud computing training and cloud talents hiring.
System Administrators: it’s not the end of your career
Cloud Computing doesn’t mean that we will not need system administrators anymore. Small companies and enterprises still need people with deep knowledge of their IT infrastructures, this is not going to change in the future, what is changing it’s basically what a system administrator should be able to do.
Deep knowledge of Linux, as well as Windows Server, is still something really necessary, but now the request is being able to put hands on the code, on infrastructure design and specifically, in most of the things that are now in the middle, between code development and infrastructure design/management.
Well, DevOps is the right term and this is one created by our cloud computing market. If you don’t know this term, well you have a lot to study.
All the cloud computing platforms that we are using today, from AWS to Rackspace and Google Compute Engine, well, they have an API set to deal with. Our applications, mobile or not, are talking directly to the infrastructure through several API calls; you cannot manage a new AWS infrastructure for your clients without having some deep knowledge of APIs and basic coding skills.
Scalability is something that has been taught to system administrators as “add more servers and buy a load balancer“. That’s history now. In the cloud, you use to set up a clear strategy to scale your infrastructure and you integrate it directly in your application: to do it you must talk with developers and you should talk their same language to get the best job done.
Learning cloud computing is now a priority if you are involved in the IT industry, at any level, but this is particularly true if you used to be a system administrator or a freelance.
Cloud Computing Jobs Market, it’s getting huge
If you take a look at the evolution of the cloud computing market, you will get instant info about that: companies around the world are looking for more and more cloud computing experts, for private and public environments. This is a consequence of the fact that even more companies are switching from the classical server infrastructure to cloud solutions.
From a Fobes’s Article of September 2013, here what’s happening on Dice.com:
Having specific skills for a cloud computing platform like AWS are obviously a must, but there are many technologies involved and so many more specific tools to study:
- Puppet. It is a tool designed to manage the configuration of Unix-like and Microsoft Windows systems declaratively. The user describes system resources and their state, either using Puppet‘s declarative language.
- Chef. Chef is a configuration management tool written in Ruby and Erlang. It uses a pure-Ruby, domain-specific language (DSL) for writing system configuration “recipes”. Chef is used to streamlining the task of configuring & maintaining a company’s servers and can integrate with cloud-based platforms such as Rackspace and Amazon EC2 to automatically provision and configure new machines.
- Python, one of the most used programming language for cloud computing infrastructures.
- Linux, a must for every system administrator, no need to say this!
- AWS: good knowledge of the list of services and the ability to use the specific tool of AWS starting from EC2 and S3.
- CLI (Command Line Interface): the command line is still the king also in the cloud computing world. If you use AWS you know what it means.
- Scalability concept: being able to design infrastructures that scale and use Cloud Computing in order to avoid a single point of failure.
Here at Cloud Academy, we are building a complete platform to learn how to use Cloud Computing.
(Update) Over the past months, we’ve been busy creating a robust solution for organizations who are looking to upskill their teams. With a premier cloud ecosystem library, the ability to assign training plans, extend and customize training for the organization, Cloud Academy’s Enterprise plan is the most effective way to launch an enterprise technology training program at scale.