Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Liz McMillan

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.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...