How to Make a Career Shift to Cloud Computing


Career Shift to Cloud ComputingCloud computing skills are in high demand across the globe. This is especially true in the US where companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco, Walmart, and VMware are leading the way with thousands of other companies vying for cloud talent as well. 

The skill sets and knowledge needed for cloud computing professionals continues to change and evolve as cloud platforms become more robust. Luckily, there are a number of free and inexpensive resources available that allows just about any IT professional to gain the knowledge needed to stay up to date on any cloud technology.

When trying to decide which platform to learn first, it probably makes sense to look through the jobs for companies you are targeting. The platform(s) they use will be listed in the job description.

(Read The 8 Best Places to Learn Cloud Computing)

Software Developer
Software Developer is the most resourceful technical position in the industry today. However, to adapt your Software Developer skill set for a cloud role, you will need to learn specific features available on each of the cloud solutions be it AWS, Google Cloud, or Azure. You will need to understand it well and be able to create cloud-native applications. A cloud-native approach means your applications will need to be built and run on various applications in the cloud. Cloud Software Engineers need to write in web-centric languages such as Java, JavaScript, .Net, Go, Node.js, PHP, Python, Ruby, HTML, and CSS.

Database Administrator
If you are currently in the role of a Database Administrator, you will need to educate yourself on databases that are used in the cloud. That means learning specific cloud database skills. For example, if you are an Oracle DBA, you can learn database administration for Oracle databases running on the cloud. Amazon’s RDS relational database is now a popular cloud option in the enterprise that is good to learn. Redshift is used in cloud data warehousing. MySQL will use an Aurora relational database running on AWS. You also have Couchbase and MongoDB. You will need to see what is being used in the organization(s) you are targeting and prepare accordingly.

(Read The Ultimate Guide for a Successful Cloud Engineering Career)

Network Engineers
If you are a traditional Network Engineer, gaining knowledge about cloud-based networking will help you make the transition to a cloud-based environment. Skills like the ability to monitor network traffic in the cloud and work on cloud-specific services like AWS and its DNS services. In the same manner, networking skills can be developed for specific cloud providers.

Test Engineer
Cloud-based Test Engineers will need to learn about DevOps involving continuous testing, test script creation, and aim for an SME role that automates testing tools and practices.

An Architect is a generalist role that typically works on a variety of technology platforms. As an Architect, you will want to consider moving into a cloud role as a Public Cloud Solutions Architect or as a Cloud Security Architect. It’s important to understand that generalized architecture skills will not be suitable for a cloud role. You will need to specialize in one or more of the leading cloud platforms.  

Public Cloud Solutions Architect

  • Google Cloud Solutions Architect
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Solutions Architect
  • Azure Solutions Architect

Cloud Security Architect

  • AWS Security SME
  • Azure Security SME
  • Google Security SME

Making a career shift is never easy. But learning how your current position can be a starting point for transitioning into a role in cloud computing is wise. The industry is rapidly shifting to cloud technologies and the demand for professionals who can enable, support, and optimize this shift is accelerating.


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