Career In Cloud Computing
Usha Albuquerque & Nidhi Prasad
The term “cloud computing” is everywhere. Simply put, cloud computing is computing based on the internet. In the past, people would run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in their building, cloud computing allows access to the same kinds of applications through the internet, on a virtual server.
When you update your Facebook status, you’re using cloud computing. Checking your bank balance on your phone? You’re in the cloud again. Chances are you rely on cloud computing to solve the challenges faced by small businesses, whether you’re firing off emails on the move or using a bunch of apps to help you manage your workload. It is like having a large warehouse for storage which not only saves your computer material but also distributes and connects to a variety of other services.
In short, the cloud is fast becoming the new normal.
Cloud computing refers to many different types of services and applications being delivered in the internet cloud. In cloud computing, the hardware and software are placed in a distributed manner and connected to form a “cloud” and the applications or services are served as Software as a Service (SaaS). All the processing and file-saving will be done “in the cloud” of the Internet, and the users will plug into or access that cloud to do their work. This can be done strictly on a usage-basis.When this kind of cloud is made available to the users on a “rent basis” or “pay-as-you-use basis”, then the cloud is called as “public cloud”. Fundamentally, cloud computing provides a thin separation between the resources used and personal computer of a user.
Cloud computing helps in logging in to the computer applications you desire. Its services include software solutions provided over the Internet, or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), virtual server storage (Infrastructure-as-a-Service or IaaS), such as Amazon Web Services, and software and product development tools (Platform-as-a-Service or PaaS), such as Google Apps. Major cloud computing providers include Amazon, Yahoo and Google.
Why are so many businesses moving to the cloud?
Cloud computing increases efficiency, helps improve cash flow and offers many more benefit such as:
*Automatic software updates
* Work from anywhere
Cloud computing services make life easier for organizations and helps them save unnecessary costs in terms of time and money. All the company needs to avail this service is an Internet connection. A career in Cloud Computing is in demand these days as IT professionals are realizing that there is a huge potential and scope of growth in the market with this upcoming technology.
Since it is still an evolving market, there are hardly any full-time courses exclusively on cloud computing. However, most
B.Tech (IT, computer science, etc.) and M.Sc (software engineering, computer science and so on) courses offer modules on basics of cloud computing and its practical applications. Computer training institutes such as NIIT and others offer some certificate courses on the subject.
Though an engineering background is not mandatory, development skills such as AJAX, SOAP, Web services like Net, Java, testing skills will be handy to sustain and grow.
IBM too has started a course on Cloud Computing.
In order to be able to work within the field of cloud computing, certain kinds of exposure or experience is required, especially in one of the bigger cloud computing service providers. Even experience with virtualization technologies such as VMware, or running servers, infrastructures, etc. can also be fruitful. Knowledge of a cloud service can also be helpful.
One may take a certificate program or a diploma degree, depending upon the time and other resources available to you. You can also choose the mode of study as regular, distance education or online medium. Courses in cloud computing usually include subjects like fundamentals of cloud computing, grid computing and clustering, types of clouds, cloud computing architecture, virtualization techniques, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS), cloud management tools, securing cloud storage, network level security, introduction to data centres and storage essentials. The courses deal with Windows Azure, VMware or Red Hat computing platforms.
The critical skills one would need while making a career in cloud computing is the ability to integrate and combine infrastructure and applications and develop a service-oriented architecture.
Apart from professional experience, qualifications and skills required include;
*Enterprise Architecture and Business Management
*Project Management Skills
*Data Integration and Analysis Skills
*Mobile App Development Knowledge
*Security Protocol Knowledge
Cloud computing is a tremendous innovation in the digital landscape that has changed the way IT solutions are delivered and how end-users put them to use. The cloud computing space is growing and will continue to do so.
There are two categories of cloud computing careers that seem to be emerging in this space - positions seeking IT professional’s architecture knowledge with specific cloud skills and positions looking for IT administration with cloud know-how. Cloud architecture jobs are typically posted as cloud solution architect or other descriptive terms.
Cloud computing spans across a wide variety of IT related fields including, data storage and use, cloud network infrastructure, applications scaling, operation and maintenance of cloud based services. Since there are no standardized positions, you will come across new positions. Some of the jobs commonly posted by employers include;
*SaaS (Software as a Service) Developer
*Cloud Security Engineers
*Web Services Systems Engineer
*Programmers (with knowledge in scripting languages such as Python and Hadoop and data management language SQL)
Once equipped with the desired qualification, you may be able to work as a cloud architect, cloud security specialist, cloud developer or cloud infrastructure manager in an IT company.
Since a cloud service has a huge potential, the demand for professionals will be equally high in the coming years. Jobs are already getting created in the fields of data structures, big data analytics, and map-reduce programming. The future promises many more applications, for example in areas such as banking and telemedicine.
It has also been estimated that India will need about 3 lakh cloud computing professionals in the next four years. Since it is a new technology and supply of such IT experts is less than the demand in the market, the salary levels of cloud computing experts are high too.
Cloud Architecture like virtualization or SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) is already being implemented in some of the IT giants like Google, Amazon and Microsoft and it is expected that other companies will adopt it soon enough as it reduces their start-up costs and investments, is easier to scale up or down, and is a very flexible and powerful computing platform that does not require any licensure or maintenance.
(Usha Albuquerque is Director and Nidhi Prasad is Senior counseling Psychologist at Careers Smart Pvt. Ltd. e-mail :careerssmartonline@ gmail.com)