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Top cloud skills employers are looking for

Top cloud skills employers are looking for

14032923230_627a478667_zWhen the statistic for tech employment has been constant for the last 15 years, and suddenly the numbers change, it’s impossible not to take notice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the month of July 2013, 3,600 jobs were created in data processing, hosting and related services, and that’s the single best month of job growth in this category since June 1998.

The likely reason is the cloud service providers that are included in this category. As the cloud continues to grow, so does the need for tech professionals who can develop the solutions and services it offers. And even though the cloud has been around long enough to develop a community of workers who can support it, the demand for the necessary skills still outgrows the supply.

The term “cloud skills” is somehow unclear yet because there is no single set of skills you need to get a job working with cloud technology. Basically, the cloud is making infrastructure positions at companies more strategic and less task-based, making adaptable talent more valuable in the long term. This is why most employers are looking for a mix of skills that will vary depending on the job in question and the candidate themselves.

What do hiring companies want in cloud talent?

First, you have to keep in mind is that there is rarely a job that is just about the cloud. More often, companies are looking for a developer or a business analyst who will handle a variety of projects. Even if you see titles like “Cloud Engineer”, these are often more about attracting the right candidate than anything else. Surely, the company is looking for an engineer, but not everything he will do may be about the cloud.

So here are some of the basic skills employers are looking for:

  • Knowledge of Perl, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Python, Java and JavaScript – you don’t need to know all of them, but employers prefer candidates who know their way around several.

  • DevOps – the demand for DevOps engineers continues to grow, and companies are looking for employees with an understanding of how all of IT’s parts work together.

  • Database skills – especially SQL and MySQL, but also Hadoop, Cassandra and MongoDB.

  • Puppet and Chef – Puppet’s an IT automation package and Chef is a configuration management tool, and both are becoming increasingly important to cloud projects.

  • Linux – among other things, the OS dominates the Infrastructure as a Service market, so Linux is surely a must.

  • Mobile app development – according to a study from Juniper Research, the cloud-based mobile market will generate annual revenue of $9.5 billion in 2014 from $400 million in 2009, at an average annual increase of 88%. With this mind, mobile app development skills become necessary for any company looking to grow.

  • Virtualization – the detachment from individual machines came along with virtualization, “allowing” cloud computing to be such a success. So, of course virtualization skills are required.

  • Building APIs – Migrating to the cloud is often all about the applications. Established organizations that want to keep an eye on cloud’s benefits face serious challenges, so the ability to build APIs is also important for a cloud specialist.

  • Security – As I mentioned in a previous article, companies are failing at early breach detection, with more than 92 percent of breaches undetected by the breached organization. However, the situation can be improved through a better understanding of the threat, adding patterns of behavior and better analysis. This is why, security skills are a must for a great cloud pro.

  • Vendor skills – from platforms like Google and Amazon to specific SaaS products like Actually, the required experience working with Amazon Web Services is mentioned in nearly half of all job openings.

So, what have I missed? What other cloud skills would you ask or require from the perfect employee?

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