Career tips and no-cost training for the next generation of cloud technology
Staff Developer Advocate, Google Cloud
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Cloud continues to change the landscape of IT. Today we see an array of new job types, functions and roles that have only recently come into existence with the emergence of cloud technology. Have you heard of titles like Cloud Cost Optimization Engineer, Hybrid Network Engineer, or Multi-Cloud Specialist? They are out there, along with many others!
So what does this mean for you? Here are some tips to help you build a sustainable job role to keep you growing as we move into the next generation of cloud computing. Plus, you’ll find a variety of training opportunities to help you meet your skills growth goals.
Start by understanding how cloud will evolve
It’s important to understand what the cloud looks like today, and where it is headed in the next decade. This will help you plan a progressive path for your cloud career.
I recently talked about this topic in depth with Janakiram MSV. He shared that the current cloud environment includes three building blocks: compute, storage and networking. On top of that are layers like databases and application platform services.
Most current job roles are focused on modernizing applications, migrating workloads, and other activities to get the most out of the cloud. However, this is going to stabilize over time, and native cloud architectures are going to become the norm. This leads us to the need for new job functions.
The four key pillars of the next generation of cloud computing
Before looking at the actual job roles that cloud will create in the coming years, let’s first identify the four key pillars Janakiram foresees that will define next generation cloud computing.
Modern compute - Today’s compute is defined by virtual machines and virtualization. The future of compute is going to be defined by containers, Kubernetes and serverless. This means building highly composable, decoupled and autonomous applications that work together to deliver the desired functionality.
Polyglot database engines - While the database engine will be the same today as in the future, it will span the entire cloud, and speak multiple protocols. This fundamentally changes the way we look at databases.
AI/ML - This is going to significantly change the way infrastructure is delivered to make the cloud more economical and efficient. Defining infrastructure for data preparation and for other AI/ML tasks will be the type of new roles that will be needed.
Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud (aka super cloud) - Clouds are combining to include datacenters, with compute moving closer to the data for multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures. Again, we see Kubernetes in the driver's seat to make all of this work.
The new job roles we expect to see
As a result of the evolution of cloud, the types of job roles needed will also evolve in alignment with the four pillars above.
What we see currently is that System Admins, Network Admins, and Storage Admins have transitioned to CloudOps and DevSecOps titles, or DevOps Engineers.
Where do we go next from DevOps? How will this branch out in the future? Here is what we predict:
Cloud-native Ops - This role will determine how to provision Kubernetes clusters, secure workloads and runtimes, and other functions for your cluster infrastructure. Kubernetes is not just in the cloud, but also in hybrid clouds, and even at the edge.
Edge-native Ops - Edge will be powered by Kubernetes and containers. Edge architecture is everywhere! From aircrafts and ships, to trains and cars. And not just transportation. It’s in businesses with multiple locations like restaurants and hospitals, and so many others. Specialists focused on managing edge infrastructures will be critical. Note: AI/ML will also need to happen at the edge.
AI/ML Ops - DataOps, ModelOps and MLOps as a team - the data scientists need someone to take care of the infrastructure and this is a very exciting area to get into!
Multi-cloud Architects - Today we see Cloud Solution Architects, but the future is about expanding across multiple clouds. These new Multi-Cloud Architects will pick from a plethora of clouds to create a best-of-breed solution. Hybrid Cloud Specialists who can bridge the gap between datacenter and public cloud will also be in high demand.
Bridging the skills gap
Now you may be wondering how you can keep up with these trends in your career. We recently released some new tools to help you learn these skills, and to make these jobs easier.
In the multi-cloud category, we launched Anthos to analyze and manage workloads across clouds and on premise. Check out my Anthos 101 video for a five-minute overview. We also offer an introductory course called Google Cloud Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure, which is a great place to start learning. It’s part of a larger hybrid and multi-cloud learning path, which I’ve listed below.
In the AI/ML space, take a look at Vertex AI for tools to get started if you are new to this specialty, or for tools to build pipelines and scale your production machine learning deployments if you are already advanced in this field. Get in there and train and deploy a custom TensorFlow Regressor model to predict customer lifetime value in this 90 minute lab (credit required).
AlloyDB - just recently announced - is a fully managed PostgreSQL- compatible database service. Watch this four-minute video to learn how to scale your applications to millions of users, and try your hand in this 90 minute self-paced lab (credit required) to perform key tasks using AlloyDB.
And one more very important thing to note! Containers and Kubernetes will rule the infrastructure world! This is the new Linux and it is needed to manage a production cluster. Invest in Kubernetes training because it's the new operating system for the cloud, edge and data center. Here is a suggested introductory level quest to learn about Google Kubernetes Engine and a variety of deployment approaches (credit required).
Training to get you started
Are you ready to get going?! Google Cloud Skills Boost is our definitive destination for Google Cloud training and certification that includes multiple resources to help you on your cloud learning journey. Here are some of my recommended training sessions based on the trends and job roles identified above.
Check out these *no-cost* introductory labs to get you on your way. They are in a hands-on format, and each take between 30-45 minutes to complete:
Here are some quests that require credits but are specific to the cloud trends discussed:
Intro to ML: Language Processing - Introductory, four hours
Baseline: Data, ML, AI - Introductory, five hours
DevOps Essentials - Introductory, six hours
Manage Kubernetes in Google Cloud - Intermediate, five hours
Optimize Costs for Google Kubernetes Engine - Intermediate, one day
Role-based learning paths are designed to guide you through a hand-picked collection of on-demand courses, labs and skill badges to get you real-world, hands-on, practical experience using Google Cloud technology. They’ll help you get ready for the roles we see becoming critical in the next 10 years across multi/hybrid cloud, AI/ML and edge. These take varying amounts of time to complete, depending on which is best for your needs:
Ready to get Google Cloud Certified? This is the biggest time commitment, but it also has a big payoff in your cloud role marketability. Take a look here at our courses to help you prepare for Google Cloud certification exams. You can complete these preparation courses at *no-cost* and discover more resources to help you prepare for each certification by visiting the Google Cloud certification site.
Join Innovators Plus
Looking to invest further in your cloud career and skills development? Innovators Plus is built for technical practitioners just like you. For $299/year* Innovators Plus offers you access to the entire catalog of on-demand training on Google Cloud Skills Boost including all the learning paths and labs outlined above, up to $1000 in Google Cloud credits, a certification voucher, special access to Google Cloud experts and executives, live learning events, and more. It’s the best of Google Cloud skill building at an unbeatable price, with up to 80% savings off the retail value of benefits included! Explore more about Innovators Plus today.
*Subject to eligibility limitations.