How to begin building a cloud career - and training to help get you there
Staff Developer Advocate, Google Cloud
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Cloud is a great place to grow your career in 2023. Opportunity abounds, with cloud roles offering strong salaries and scope for growth as a constantly evolving field.1 Some positions do not require a technical background, like project managers, product owners and business analysts. For others, like solutions architects, developers and administrators, coding and technical expertise are a must.
Either way, cloud knowledge and experience are required to land that dream job. But where do you start? And how do you keep up with the fast pace of ever-changing cloud technology? Check out these tips below. There are also suggested training opportunities to help support your growth, including no-cost options below!
Start by looking at your experience
Your experience can be a great way to get into cloud, even if it seems non-traditional. Think creatively about transferable skills and opportunities. Here are a few scenarios where you might find yourself today:
You already work in IT, but in legacy systems or the data center. Forrest Brazeal, Head of Content Marketing at Google Cloud, talks about that in detail in this video.
Use your sales experience to become a sales engineer, or your communications experience to become a developer advocate. Stephanie Wong, Developer Advocate at Google Cloud, discusses that here.
You don’t have that college degree that is included in the job requirements. I’ve talked about that in a recent video here.
Your company has a cloud segment, but your focus is in another area. Go talk to people! Access your colleagues who do what you want to do. Get their advice for skilling up.
Define where you need to fill in gaps
If you are looking at a technical position, you will need to show cloud applicable experience, so learn about the cloud and build a portfolio of work. Here are a few key skills we recommend everyone have to start1:
Code is non-negotiable. People who come from software development backgrounds typically find it easier to get into and maneuver through the cloud environment because of their coding experience. Automation, basic data manipulation and scaling is a daily requirement. If you don’t have a language you already know, learning Python is a great place to begin.
Understand Linux. You’ll need to know the Linux filesystem, basic Linux commands and fundamentals of containerization.
Learn core networking concepts like the IP Protocol and the others that layer on top of it, DNS, and subnets.
Make sure you understand the cloud itself, and in particular the specifics about Google Cloud for a role at Google.
Familiarity with open source tooling. Terraform for automation and Kubernetes for containers are portable between clouds and are worth taking the time to learn.
Boost your targeted hands-on skills
Check out Google Cloud Skills Boost for a comprehensive collection of training to help you upskill into a cloud role, including hands-on labs that get you real-world experience in Google Cloud. New users can start off with a 30 day no-cost trial2. Take a look at these recommendations:
No-cost labs and courses
A Tour of Google Cloud Hands-on Labs - 45 minutes
A Tour of Google Cloud Sustainability - 60 minutes
Introduction to SQL for BigQuery and Cloud SQL - 60 minutes
Infrastructure and Application Modernization with Google Cloud - Introductory course with three modules
Preparing for Google Cloud certification - Courses to help you prepare for Google Cloud certification exams
Build hands on projects
This part is critical for the interview portion. Take the cloud skills you have learned and create something tangible that you can use as a story during an interview. Consider building a project on Github so others can see it working live, and document it well. Be sure to include your decision making process. Here is an example:
Build an API or a web application
Develop the code for the application
Pick the infrastructure to deploy that application in the cloud, choose your storage option, and a database with which it will interact
Get valuable cloud knowledge for non-technical roles
For tech-adjacent roles, like those in business, sales or administration, having a solid knowledge of cloud principles is critical. We recommend completing the Cloud Digital Leader training courses, at no cost. Or go the extra mile and consider taking the Google Cloud Digital Leader Certification exam once you complete the training:
Cloud Digital Leader Learning Path - understand cloud capabilities, products and services and how they benefit organizations
$99 registration fee
Google Cloud Digital Leader Certification - validate your cloud expertise by earning a certification
Commit to learning in the New Year
A couple of other resources we have are the Google Cloud Innovators Program, which will help you grow on Google Cloud and connect you with other community members. There is no-cost to join, and it will give you access build your skills and the future of cloud! Join today.
Start your new year strong, whether you are exploring Google Cloud Data, DevOps or Networking certifications by completing Arcade games each week. This January play to win in The Arcade while you learn new skills and earn prizes on Google Cloud Skills Boost. Each week we will feature a new game to help you show and grow your cloud skills, while sampling certification-based learning paths.
Make 2023 the year to build your cloud career and commit to learning all year, with our $299/year annual subscription. This subscription includes $500 of Google Cloud credits (and a bonus $500 of Google Cloud credits after you successfully certify), a $200 certification voucher, $299 annual subscription to Google Cloud Skills Boost with access to the entire training catalog, live-learning events and quarterly technical briefings with executives.
1. Starting your career in cloud from IT - Forrest Brazeal, Head of Content Marketing, Google Cloud
2. Credit card required to activate a 30 day no-cost trial for new users.