How to Become a Cloud Engineer: The Ultimate Guide

Cloud technology has become very popular over the last two decades as the most effective way for organizations to improve their computing capacities and safely store data.

Today, the demand for cloud engineers continues to rise as organizations recognize how valuable cloud services can be in their operations. Consequently, cloud engineering professionals can negotiate fantastic work offers with lucrative remuneration.

Additionally, the gradual shift to remote work allows workers to achieve better work-life balance. If you want to start building a cloud engineering career, this guide will help you understand cloud engineering and how you can become one.

What Is Cloud Engineering?

Cloud engineering involves designing, developing, operating, and maintaining computer system resources for improved data storage and enhanced computing efficiency. It applies engineering principles in designing systems that leverage cloud services to solve computing problems of organizations and consumers.

These cloud services include software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). Becoming a cloud engineer requires learning various technical skills.

For example, you must be knowledgeable in information technology, systems, and web engineering. You’ll also need to be familiar with security, software, service, and platform engineering concepts and processes.

It’s important to note that cloud computing is different from cloud engineering. Cloud engineering is relatively broad, with several subsets and specialties. These include cloud architecture, automation engineering, cloud software engineering, cloud network engineering, and cloud security engineering.

  • Cloud architecture: Building, maintaining, and managing cloud infrastructure and applications is the primary responsibility of professionals in cloud architecture.
  • Cloud automation engineering: Cloud automation engineers ensure that cloud services are built to run smoothly without active user management.
  • Cloud software engineering: This involves developing and maintaining databases, software, and cloud technology applications.
  • Cloud network engineering: Working in this field involves connecting users and cloud service providers. Cloud network engineers are in charge of network infrastructure management.
  • Cloud security engineering: This position is concerned with keeping cloud-based platforms safe. Cloud security engineers typically design and maintain features or processes which repel security threats and data breaches of cloud-based platforms.

What Does a Cloud Engineer Do?

A cloud engineer typically manages an organization’s cloud systems and processes. However, each engineer’s tasks and specific activities differ based on their roles and specialty. Here is a short list of what a cloud engineer’s job usually entails:

  • Utilizing cloud providers like Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, AWS, or others to set up cloud architecture
  • Managing access to cloud-based systems and ensuring their security
  • Exporting existing infrastructures and information to cloud systems
  • Administering, maintaining, and troubleshooting cloud-based systems and platforms.

Organizations hire cloud engineers to employ cloud services, improve their utilization of cloud resources, or gain an understanding of cloud service operations.

How to Become a Cloud Engineer

Becoming a cloud engineer is easier today, as there are lots of available resources for you to get started. However, it still requires a lot of hard work and dedication to learn the ropes and develop the necessary skills for a successful career in the field. Here’s how you can do it.

Obtaining an education is the first step to take if you want to become a cloud engineer. You must possess at least a bachelor’s degree in any computer science or information technology-related professions, like software development or data analysis.

These programs will provide you with the basic knowledge and technical skills you need to start building a career in cloud engineering. Additionally, you may acquire advanced educational qualifications, like a master’s degree, to increase your marketability in the employment market.

2. Take Online Courses and Certifications

You can also develop practical, job-ready skills by obtaining cloud computing certifications. Examples of certifications in cloud computing include Amazon’s AWS certifications in cloud security and cloud software development, which you can prepare for and obtain quickly. Others are:

3. Become an Expert in Several Programming Languages

Programming skills are necessary for cloud development and operation. As such, cloud engineers must be conversant with programming languages. You should be proficient with programming languages like Python, Java, PHP, SQL, Ruby, and Golang.

Furthermore, you should have a solid foundation in the Linux operating system, its architecture, operation, and maintenance of its servers. As a cloud engineer, you must be grounded in Linux OS processes, as most companies use these for cloud development. Additionally, knowing DevOps practices is an added advantage as a cloud engineer, as DevOps is a widely used framework in cloud engineering.

4. Understand the Operations of Cloud Service Providers

Technical features and cloud operation differ from one cloud service provider to another. Therefore, you should have a robust knowledge of cloud service providers and how they operate.

Doing this helps you determine the best cloud service to deploy to meet the demands of your organization. Furthermore, understanding how cloud service providers operate is essential to effectively manage your organization’s cloud resources.

5. Build an Arsenal of Technical Skills

Cloud engineers must master various technical skills, including core cloud computing skills, to thrive in the workplace and take their careers to the next level. One of these is computer networking. You should know how to connect computer systems and understand virtual networks.

As a general rule of thumb, a cloud engineer’s technical expertise in cloud database management is very important. You should also be familiar with database tools like MySQL and have extensive knowledge of cloud security and recovery because this is a priority for cloud service providers and users.

6. Find Entry-Level Cloud Computing Roles to Gain Experience

As cloud engineering roles are highly technical, starting your career in a mid-level position may be difficult. Many employers typically recruit cloud engineering professionals with three to five years of work experience. However, you can gain hands-on experience in cloud engineering by finding internships and entry-level cloud computing work opportunities.

For starters, you can apply for internships at companies like Microsoft to gain industry exposure to the industry and practical experience. Other companies like Google and Amazon AWS also have fantastic cloud engineering departments and are always looking for exciting talent. These will give you the experience you need to apply for more senior roles and better opportunities.

Reach for the Clouds

Cloud engineering is a fast-growing field with many exciting perks, and the importance of cloud engineers in this digital age is evident. However, you must understand the technicalities, gather the required knowledge, and gain experience to better position yourself for the opportunities in this field.

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