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What it takes to become a cloud engineer

What it takes to become a cloud engineer

Elias Khnaser of Gartner on how traditional technology professionals can prepare for this “evolutionary role for a new era”

If you €need a certi€cation that captures the skillsets you're looking for, pursue it, even if it is from a provider that your organisation does not intend on using

Elias Khnaser, Gartner

Gartner says cloud projects need complex integration between on-premises services, cloud platforms and cloud services.

These projects need ‘cloud engineers’ - skilled technical professionals that are not only pro€ficient in traditional on-premises technologies, but also profi€cient in modern cloud platforms and infrastructure.

The cloud engineer is “an evolutionary role for a new IT era”, reports Gartner analyst Elias Khnaser.

The cloud engineer is a single role with broad skills, he writes in a technical professional advice report for Gartner.

Cloud engineers have broad skills that go beyond the domain of any particular IT area such as virtualisation, networking or storage, he explains.

Depending on the size of the organisation, more than one cloud engineer may be necessary.

The most successful cloud engineers have signi€cant experience with current cloud provider services and have skills such as scripting and automation, Khnaser states.

Technical professionals who want to evolve into the role must understand its responsibilities and requirements and develop the necessary skills for successful Mode 1 and Mode 2 cloud deployments.

Some projects they will work on are implementing hybrid IT by integrating different cloud services with backend, traditional datacentre services; and migrating Mode 1 applications to public cloud services in a rehosting (‘lift and shift’) approach or in a refactoring approach for effi€ciency, agility and disaster recovery.

Khnaser says technology professionals looking to become cloud engineers can start by documenting their current skill sets and creating a plan for developing skills for the role. 

The most successful cloud engineers have signi€cant experience with current cloud provider services and have skills such as scripting and automation

'Get certified'

Certifications are important and he suggests taking courses from AWS, CompTIA, Cloud+, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure.

“If you €need a certi€cation that captures the skillsets you're looking for, pursue it, even if it is from a provider that your organisation does not intend on using,” he writes.

“The skill sets are transferrable, and they give you a solid foundation to step on.”

User groups, both vendor-sponsored and independent, can provide free training, networking and strong knowledge exchange, he adds.

He also advises getting external training as cloud knowledge is quickly evolving. These could be university level courses and technology conferences.

Ensure that your training is not overly biased toward any single vendor or provider, and that it has a relevant focus for the size of your organisation, he advises.

“Educate yourself on the capabilities and limitations of the cloud providers your organisation plans to use, so that you can offer valuable advice on how to ef€ficiently deploy, secure, manage and monitor workloads.”

As well, would be cloud engineers can volunteer for cloud projects.

Gaining experience in a variety of cloud deployments and working with a variety of cloud providers will increase your awareness and knowledge of the intricacies of cloud computing, he states.

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