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Cloud_engineer

How to become a cloud engineer without a technical background

By ILX Team | 20 February 2020

According to a 2019 report by NetEnrich, 68% of IT departments currently use cloud infrastructures to store their data. With this figure set to increase rapidly in 2020 and beyond, there has never been a better time to become a cloud engineer. In fact, TechRepublic reported the role was one of the most in-demand tech jobs of 2019. But what if you don’t have engineering experience or qualifications? Is it still possible? Well, in this blog we’ll be revealing what it takes to become a cloud engineer without a technical background.

What does a cloud engineer do?

Cloud engineers are primarily responsible for assessing and auditing existing IT infrastructures, identifying opportunities for migrating different functions to the cloud, managing the migration and maintaining the new systems. In addition to technical knowledge, cloud engineers need to be able to negotiate terms and contracts with suppliers, project manage system integrations, and manage risk and security. As an integral part of the IT team, cloud engineers must also communicate progress and developments with senior management and train staff on their responsibilities relating to the systems.

While many cloud engineers have formal qualifications in IT or computer science, it’s not the only way to succeed in this lucrative career. Providing you can demonstrate a thorough understanding and practical knowledge of the following disciplines, becoming a cloud engineer should be well within your reach.

Database skills

Because of its scalability, the cloud is the most common place to host databases - a staggering 2.5 quintillion bytes is uploaded every day, in fact. So, with this in mind,it’s no surprise that businesses are desperate to optimise the use of their data, and that’s where cloud engineers come in.

Cloud engineers must be able to set up, access and manage databases, so knowledge of database query languages such as SQL, MySQL, Hadoop and MongoDB is required. SQL is the most widely-used of the query languages, but for an ambitious engineer, it is worth learning others to make your CV more competitive.

Programming languages

SQL

SQL, or Structured Query Language, is one of the key languages for data manipulation and management, and is used in most computers to connect a database with a server. SQL is a great language to start out with as it has simple syntax and is easy to learn.

Python

Python is another required cloud computing language that is easy to learn in a short amount of time. Python enables cloud engineers to create, analyse and organise large data sets, and stream cloud-based data analytics applications.

Go Programming Language (Golang)

Known for its scalability and memory efficiency, this Google-invented open source language is a popular build and development tool. Golang has also been used to develop tools including Consul and Docker, which are used extensively in cloud computing.

Clojure

Clojure is considered a more challenging programming language to learn, but its ability to support immutable data structures and provide a platform for building multi-threaded data designs make it a popular and necessary language for cloud engineers.

Erlang

Erlang is an important cloud computing language as it supports distributed systems, and is used to build structures that require real-time data transmission. It is also fault-tolerant, so particularly suited to complex cloud computing projects.

Haskell

Haskell is a widely-used, purely functional language that is semantic rather than syntax-based. Haskell only uses expressions and does not have statements or give instructions.

XML with Java Programming

XML, or Extensible Markup Language, is a popular text-based language and a standard method for transporting and storing data. XML is usually used alongside Java to parse, modify or query XML documents.

Additional skills for a cloud engineer

In addition to learning essential programming languages, there are some other skills needed to pursue a career as a cloud engineer:

Linux

Due to its versatility, scalability and adaptability, Linux is one of the most prolific operating systems in the world and a great fit for cloud computing. It is also highly secure, reliable and affordable and performs well on a variety of computers and wearable tech, with the functionality staying the same no matter what device you’re using.

DevOps

Cloud computing requires a thorough understanding of the entire software lifecycle, so it is vital that cloud engineers are well versed in DevOps, or Developmental Operations. Learning DevOps skills enables engineers to rapidly develop and release software and security updates, improve automation and testing processes, and deliver better value to the end-user.

Quality assurance

The best cloud engineers constantly strive to improve processes and identify opportunities that enhance the experience for the end-user, all while saving money and resources for their employer. None of these are achievable without a strong grasp of quality control, failure prevention, risk management and data governance.

Data integration and analysis skills

Making sure that data integrates seamlessly with internal and external data warehouses and other systems is critical. Learning how to design and manage these systems will make your CV really stand out to prospective employers.

Information security and disaster recovery

Understanding how to effectively manage security is vital for succeeding as a cloud engineer. For those interested in this career, getting to grips with analysing existing structures, identifying and detecting risks and creating enhanced systems is essential. Strong skills in problem-solving, communication and project management are also required.

We hope this article has helped you gain an understanding of the fundamental skills and knowledge required to succeed as a cloud engineer, without a technical background. Put in the hard work, remain curious and motivated, and keep up with industry developments and your goal should be well within reach. It’s a fast-paced and competitive industry but the rewards are certainly worth the challenges.

Interested in learning the skills it takes to become a cloud engineer? Check out our range of courses to get started today.

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