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Three Skills You Need to be a Leading Cloud Engineer

Cloud Engineering, along with Data Science, is the new hot career direction, combining software, operation and architecture into one powerful package. Many seasoned professionals are making the transition from related fields to Cloud Engineering, and a host of students at tertiary education institutions are jostling for positions to enter the market as well.

With so few university courses specifically focused on cloud engineering, it isn't straightforward to figure out what you need to enter this market. In this article, we explore the top three skills you need to become a cloud engineer.

Understand CSPs

CSPs, or Cloud Service Providers, like Amazon and Microsoft Azure, offer end-to-end cloud services and thus cater for the majority of the cloud market. Understanding how these work and how they compare to each other, is essential in building your career in cloud engineering. Your chosen industry will determine which one (or combination) of packages you use. AWS (Amazon Web Services) has been the market leader for a long time, while Azure, being a Microsoft product, integrates easily with most software packages. On the other hand, GCP (Google Cloud Provider) is the leader in big data, while Openstack dominates the software development market.

Study at least one of these packages in depth. This knowledge will serve you well in your career. You can also use the free tier packages these service providers offer to get some hands-on experience.

Understand Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is at the center of cloud engineering. When companies opt for cloud storage, they may choose from a variety of options, such as personal, public, private, and hybrid cloud storage. Each of these has pros and cons – connecting these to the company's needs will help you optimize cloud systems and streamline workflows.

Each CSP has their unique storage options – understanding these are essential to maximizing the benefits gained from using cloud storage. Storage options are affected by factors like cost, size, and accessibility.


Virtualization is the process in which hardware is "virtualized," ie, computing power shifts from actual hardware to the cloud. Here, customers don't have to undergo enormous capital expense to access powerful computing capacity in the form of virtual machines (VMs). 

Virtual machines allow for scalability and robustness, enhancing a company's capacity for software development and system deployment. Having a working knowledge of virtual machines and virtualization is essential to any cloud engineer – knowing how to build VMs is an even better skill. Here, knowing EC2 and Lambda would put you in the lead.

In Closing

Carving out a career in the new field of cloud engineering can be tough, but at the same time, it is exciting and novel. Use the above skills as a starting point, building on them as you go along.

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