Brushing Up On Your Cloud Computing Skills

Whether you hope to join the ranks of Information Technology professionals or already have an IT position, you would be well advised to improve your cloud computing skills.

Cloud computing is not just a buzz-word. It is real and is here to stay. Employees who embrace the technology will be poised for substantial career growth in the coming years. This is because the growth in cloud computing technologies has already outpaced the supply of qualified professionals to support it. This shortage is expected to continue because so many new positions are being created each day.

For some IT employees, cloud computing education may be a matter of survival. The trend toward cloud computing may ultimately result in some traditional helpdesk or systems administrator positions being eliminated or outsourced.

Below are some tips on improving your cloud computing skills:

  • Take advantage of opportunities to get involved in cloud related projects with your current employer. Many IT employees are picking up valuable cloud computing knowledge by learning on the job. Is your employer rolling out tablets and smartphones to their employees? Cloud related applications are many times the drivers for these projects. Are they adapting services such Google Docs, Dropbox, Evernote, etc? These are all cloud based services. Are they planning on migrating their ERP applications to the cloud? This is the holy grail of on-the-job cloud computing training!
  • Improving your server virtualization skills will set you up for cloud computing technology positions. Applications that have already been virtualized locally are much easier to migrate to the cloud. Most applications that you move to a cloud environment are essentially being virtualized onto third party servers.
  • Get Certified! Most of the big software and service providers now offer education and certification programs on their cloud based products and services. This is probably the quickest way to make the move into the cloud computing, particularly if you plan on changing jobs. Many employers are looking for applicants who have knowledge of specific cloud applications and services. These companies want employees who can be productive on day-one with a minimal amount of training. For those who want vendor-neutral certifications, sites like Cloudschool.com may be helpful.
  • Many private and public institutions now offer traditional classes in cloud computing technology. Even if you work full time, you can probably find evening or on-line classes in a variety of cloud computing subjects at your local colleges.
  • YouTube and other on-line resources – The stratospheric growth in this service now means that instructional videos are available to some degree on just about any subject and cloud computing is no exception. Many videos are even provided by cloud computing service providers. One innovative new resource is Cloudcred.com. This site combines elements of education, games, social networking and certification to provide a fun learning environment for cloud related topics.
  • Practice what you preach! Be sure to embrace cloud computing technologies in your personal life. Social networking is the perfect example of this. Many individuals are giving up their traditional PC’s because they can achieve the same results over the internet with cloud based services. Give these a try. Anything you learn at home will apply directly to your cloud computing knowledge at work.

Taking a little time to educate yourself about cloud computing technologies will pay big dividends in the future. Of course, most of us live busy lives and carving out time for education can sometimes be a challenge. If you need to, start small with some of the simple suggestions in this article. Continuous improvement is the name of the game in this space. You can always ramp up your training later on as time permits.

About the author

Thomas Parent blogs for Rackspace Hosting. Rackspace Hosting is the service leader in cloud computing, and a founder of OpenStack, an open source cloud operating system. The San Antonio-based company provides Fanatical Support to its customers and partners, across a portfolio of IT services, including Managed Hosting and Cloud Computing.

Brushing Up On Your Cloud Computing Skills
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