Cloud Skills

  This is a repost from Linked In. See the original post here to comment.

Cloud has had a defining impact on the IT industry; reworking established models, re-thinking solutions and changing the way people need to think about IT design, delivery and management.

One reaction to this change has been the drive towards needing more ‘cloud native’ skills. Subsequently this drive has led to one of the largest IT re-training and re-skilling efforts since the introduction of PCs in the 1980s.

One theme to reskilling is the push for IT professionals to “go deep” into specific cloud platforms to demonstrate their knowledge and their experience in cloud design, delivery, and management. This push has also led to the establishment of cloud specialist teams who are organised around specific hyperscaler platforms and create cloud specific skills pools of professionals dedicated to and certified in that specific technology.

These specialist cloud pools are most definitely needed; however, it is worth exploring the value of a complementary, albeit more generalist skills base. This generalist skills base is fully versed in cloud-based design, delivery and management but are not dedicated to a specific technology platform. In other words, they have a cloud native mindset but their skills are omnidextrous across multiple platforms.

Why we need omnidextrous skills?

IT professionals need to be flexible and adaptable to be able to shift with technology trends and adapt to changes in the marketplace.  It has been said that the average half-life of IT skills is five years so there is a constant change in the skill demand profile needed.  Therefore, professionals need to be omnidextrous insofar as they can apply their skills and experiences to multiple different, albeit fundamentally similar, IT platforms.

The omnidextrous cloud professional will be:

  • Adaptable to the ebbs and flows of the market to address skills shortages or oversupply in particular technologies
  • Curious to maintain their skills in one cloud but also how to apply them on a different cloud platform
  • Have objective perspectives on the best cloud service for the job, irrespective of the cloud vendor
  • T-Shaped insofar as they will have deeper knowledge in one cloud platform but will be comfortable applying the general cloud mindset on any platform

Where do people reading this sit? Are you pinning your flag to one of the hyperscalers or are you trying to remain more floaty to keep your options open? In my view, the industry needs both types of people mind you!