Top 10 Skills You Need to
Land a Career in Cloud Computing

See also: Career Management Skills

There is a lot of misunderstanding about the skills you need to get into the ever-growing cloud computing industry. With jobs on the rise, and a skills gap growing each year, there is an even greater need for industry professionals than ever.

The myth that you need cloud skills or cloud certifications alone to land a job in cloud is just that: a myth, and there are several soft skills required to pivot into cloud jobs.

The good news is you may even already have these from your current role, and the level of transferable skills and knowledge for cloud computing leaves a great opportunity for those looking for a change in pace in their job roles.

Below I have documented ten necessary soft skills required to land the cloud role of your dreams.

1. Ability to Dive Deep

The cloud computing industry is full of impressive solutions, built in a very ingenious way. If you are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the industry, you must be able to dive deep into the range of different technologies that exist across the cloud so that you excel in your cloud journey. 

The ability to dive deep transcends roles. Whether you are a cloud engineer diving deep into a customer problem, or a solutions architect diving deep into a particular service, this ability to explore the depths of the technology will prime you to be a success in your career.

2. Communication

Effective communication is paramount when coordinating tasks, speaking with customers or when preparing written documents for internal consumption. All these tasks seem unimportant, but if you can communicate your message effectively in a careful and calm manner, you will save a lot of hours caused by misalignment in communication.

The ability to communicate technical concepts to non-technical audiences is another extremely valuable skill set that not everyone possesses. Every role in the cloud computing industry will benefit from effective communicators, and if you have this set of skills, you will be at home in the vibrant world of cloud computing.

3. Adaptability

Things don’t always work the way they are supposed to, and unexpected consequences can often leave you needing to adapt on the fly to changing situations and changing expectations. In the fast-paced world of cloud computing there is a constant demand to adapt to changing circumstances caused by new technology, new processes and new customers and an adaptive mindset is required when applying your skills to a cloud career.

Furthermore, you must embrace innovation in the world of cloud computing as this is the domain of industry disruptors bringing new and exciting solutions to real-world problems. If you want to be on the cutting edge of technology, you’ll need to be prepared to embrace new ideas and methodologies.

4. Problem Solving

Although the cloud is designed to be highly durable and fault-tolerant, everything some time and, when it inevitably does, a problem-solving cloud professional is there to manage customer expectations or implement hands-on skills to fix the problem and ensure it won’t happen again. Solving problems is a skill that will always be needed in the cloud computing industry, and it makes perfect sense to start a new career in cloud if you love solving problems.

5. Attention to detail

Attention to your tasks and being precise in your actions is incredibly important. If something is misconfigured slightly, or if a customer’s bill is slightly incorrect then there can be greater ramifications down the line with lost trust, lost revenue and worse. Attention to detail is vital to ensuring success in your cloud career.

6. Ability to Network

I don’t mean networking with IP addresses, and VLANs or VPNs - I mean networking with your team, and your customers. This cannot be understated, as making connections within your colleagues and customers is what is going to help you learn and propel your career forward. Relationships are key to success in any business and cloud computing experts will need to work in teams and often under challenging circumstances. If you can be an effective team player, you’ll be well set for success.

7. Process Oriented Thinking

When you are deploying applications in the cloud, there is often a process of best practice to follow to make sure you are being secure and safe in your deployments. Processes also bring efficiency to complex organizations. Being process oriented is useful too in such a new industry when it comes to developing your own processes to bring success to yourself and your customers. Every industry and business has their own processes you must follow so you’ll need to be ready to learn new ways of working in each new role.

8. Ability to make short and long-term decisions

You need to be able to balance both short term, and long-term goals and this is no easy task. Long term decisions should never be sacrificed to fulfill short term goals, and there is a great deal of pressure to do this. Scaling your architecture requires you to think big and ensure you are planning to make the best use of the cloud and all its offerings.

9. The ability to explain complex ideas in a simple way

You are constantly teaching when you are in the cloud industry. The very nature of the industry is that everything is changing all the time. Whether you are a solutions architect, or a technical account manager (TAM), you will be teaching your customers how to best deploy on the cloud in the most understandable way possible. You must always assess your audience and adapt your language and messaging. How you explain ideas to a CEO will be very different to how you explain the same concepts to a subject matter expert.

10. Frugal Mindset

When you are building on the cloud you have the best tools available at your disposal to optimize your cost and ensure you are provisioning only what you need to get the job done. Having a mindset of frugality will guide you to choose the best and most efficient tools for the job and deploy future proof applications that can scale and grow to reach the demands required of it. When you’re designing systems in the cloud, cost is almost always a factor that must be weighed against other requirements such as security and performance.

Neal Davis

About the Author

Neal Davis is an AWS Solution Architect Professional and founder of Digital Cloud Training which offers online training resources for Amazon Web Services certifications.