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Cloud services engineer: what is the profession, and how much can be earned

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A novice cloud engineer is offered from $2,000, and if the specialist is already experienced, from $4,500 and up. We tell you what this profession is and where to learn it.

Over the past two years, the cloud market has exceeded 15 billion dollars. It is becoming expensive and inconvenient for companies to develop and maintain their own infrastructure, and in order to keep up with trends, they need to respond to changes quickly. That is why businesses started to migrate en masse to the cloud – it gives more opportunities for development. In the cloud, you can not only store and process data, but also quickly build and test a new product or add additional functionality to an existing one.

The rapidly growing demand for cloud infrastructure also affects the demand for specialists who are responsible for maintaining it. According to a job market study by one of the largest HR agencies, Robert Half, a cloud infrastructure expert is one of the most in-demand and highest-paid IT professions in several countries in 2021.

What cloud engineers do

Cloud platforms serve various web services and companies that develop their own digital products: medical clinics, universities, Internet providers, marketplaces, housing reservation services. Each service has its own tasks and requirements. And the cloud engineer must make sure that the service in the cloud works flawlessly.

Tasks are versatile, sometimes you may need to develop cloud software or migrate a ready-made solution to the cloud, sometimes just software support is enough – it all depends on the company’s requirements. But more often than not, a business is looking for a “universal soldier” who can implement software, write a script, and create a disaster recovery plan to keep the company running smoothly.

The cloud engineer also talks a lot with customers to learn their needs, with developers to discuss changes, and with colleagues to get help or experience.

What a future cloud engineer should know

Infrastructure.

You have to understand how the network, storage, fault tolerance mechanisms and single sign-on technology work. At least at a basic level.

Programming languages.

At least – the three major ones: C++, Java and Python.

Linux.

A Linux Foundation study shows that 90% of the workload in the clouds is handled by Linux. You need to understand Linux distributions such as RHEL, Centos, Ubuntu, Sles, understand how processes work.

Databases.

Database skills are a must.

Configuration management systems.

You need at least a basic understanding of how configuration management systems work, like Chef or Salt.

Containers and orchestration.

You can’t do without them in the cloud. Kubernetes and Docker are the most popular.

Load balancers and reverse proxies.

Almost every web service uses them, so you have to learn how to configure, for example, Nginx and HAproxy.

Security.

The cloud engineer is responsible for the security of the service, so he must be well versed in all the nuances of PKI and SSL certificates. You need to know how SSL, TLS, TCP, FTP, SSH, HTTP(S) and DNS protocols work.

This is what concerns the technical side.
And then there are the so-called soft skills.

organization, management and communication skills, because a cloud engineer must not only know how to write code and manage the service, but also be able to quickly solve problems and be able to convince the chosen strategy.

Skills that will come in handy for the cloud engineer

Teamwork. A cloud-engineer can not exist by himself – he always works in a team. This means that it is better to ask for help and solve a problem in an hour, rather than trying to figure it out yourself and spend 10 hours on it. Or to help a colleague solve a problem, so the problem can be fixed quickly. An important point: there are no loners in a team, everyone works together.

Negotiations. You’ll have to communicate a lot with clients, discuss options and solutions, negotiate with suppliers, and coordinate with the team.

Laws. Knowing basic laws is necessary because you’ll have to deal with security, privacy, contract compliance, and more. For example, GDPR and FZ-152.

How much do cloud engineers get paid

A cloud solutions engineer is one of the top 3 most in-demand and well-paid IT jobs. In America, a beginner is willing to pay more than $120,000 per year. More experienced ones can already receive from $170,000 a year.

What the employer needs


Regardless of whether an American or Chinese company hires a candidate, the requirements are almost the same – this can be understood from the analysis of job descriptions. Here is a summary portrait of the ideal employee, according to employers. The candidate must:

  • Have a higher technical education;
  • Know and be able to work with the programs used in the company;
  • Have knowledge of various programming languages, such as SQL, Java, Python, C++, C#, JavaScript, PHP;
  • be able to read technical texts in English;
  • parse and analyze other people’s code;
  • work independently;
  • see problems and look for solutions;
  • have leadership skills;
  • be a quick learner of new technologies;
  • Have a responsible attitude to the tasks.
  • In addition, employers prefer to hire specialists with three or more years of experience and with proven certification.

Usually it’s a certificate from a cloud technology provider. If you want to work for a foreign company, you may need additional independent certifications from CompTIA Cloud Essentials and Cloud Security Alliance for cloud security knowledge.

When hired, you’ll likely have to go through an interview process. Questions that may be asked when you meet:

  • What projects have you been involved in where you’ve implemented specific cloud solutions?
  • What types of security issues have you encountered with cloud implementations? How have you solved them?
  • What web development tools are you most familiar with? What do you like best and why?
  • Give an example of how you worked with other members of the IT team to remove a particular obstacle.
  • They may also give you a test assignment or ask you to solve a real-world problem – the recruiter will assess the logic of thinking, speed, and methods of completing the test.

How and where to get a specialty

In fact, Cloud-engineer – a specialty at the interface of technical support and system administration. It is relatively new, and there are few courses. Many developers, IT administrators and DevOps-engineers start to learn on their own, getting bumps and gaining experience in practice.

You can go to university at the department of “Information and Computer Systems” or “Computer Systems and Technologies” – the program of study includes modules on cloud technologies.

If you don’t want to study for several years, you can take a course.

Cloud technology is constantly evolving, becoming more complex, there are new projects that require non-standard solutions, so the cloud experts are increasingly in demand. And getting a new specialty is now quite easy – all you need is the desire and basic knowledge.

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Microsoft to host Excel World Championship

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Microsoft has announced the first Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet World Cup for Financial Modelling. The event was announced on its official Twitter page.

The championship will take place on 8 June. Eight leading financial modelling experts from eight countries – UK, Canada, US, South Africa, Poland, India, Australia and Malaysia – will participate. They will compete against each other in creating a financial model at speed.

The Financial Modelling World Cup will be streamed on YouTube. The hosts and judges will be financial experts and developers from Microsoft, who will not only assess the work of competitors, but will also give viewers tips and tricks on working in Excel.

Participants in the Excel World Cup:

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Hunting in IT: what CVs a recruiter will never miss

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Despite the belief that CVs are nowadays just a formality in job applications, and all issues are resolved in a live conversation, this is not the case. The CV continues to play a significant role in the initial assessment of a candidate. What IT recruiters think an ideal CV should be.

Relevance

It is no secret that a lot of public resumes on online resources for job seekers and employers belong to people who are not looking for work. They post them to monitor the job market or to find out their price – and… just forget to close them. Sometimes a CV is only updated and we see it as open for offers. Of course, it is a good idea to keep your CV up to date. After a few years it can be difficult to remember exactly what you did and what tasks you were involved in at your last job. You can edit your CV on them at any time: start a project – put in a new actual line. It’s very convenient.

But it is worth remembering a tip from us recruiters – look carefully at the settings in public CV databases and don’t forget to use them. Especially the privacy settings. Otherwise every time you update your CV, even if it’s a couple of commas, your status will be “In Search” again. And you’ll get calls again from us “intrusive” recruiters and distract you from urgent work or personal tasks.

Formal style

In a CV, it’s really important to spell out in as much detail as possible your tasks in your previous jobs, the results you’ve achieved and your technical skills. It’s not just a formality – employers are really curious and very important about where you’ve worked so far and what you’re good at. Also, the more detailed your CV is, the more chances we have of finding it exactly by keywords and contacting you.

Aside from the content, it’s also good to pay attention to the “little things” involved in the layout. Of course, a photo with a bear in a hug in your resume, as well as a creative avatar in an instant messenger in our field no one is surprised. But still, a more formal style is always preferable. For example, we are wary of starting an e-mail conversation with a candidate with a “go to лес@protonmail.com” style.

It also spoils the whole impression of a CV, and recruiters may even set it aside if it blatantly violates the rules of business communication. For example, you can see CV’s that say: “Please do not disturb me from HR, let the director call you right away”. Even if you have a cool track record, but you leave such remarks on your CV, answering the phone rudely, for us this is a reason to think about how you deal with subordination and boundaries at work, and how you will work in a team with such an attitude to people.

Soft skills – today play a crucial role when choosing a candidate for an IT company. By the way, it is on soft skills that the HR department often asks for feedback from the previous employer. In my practice, there were cases when candidates who could not get along with people but had excellent technical skills were simply rejected. In IT these days, all processes are transforming rapidly, development is at high speed, everyone depends on each other and communication skills are very important.

As for inconvenient HR calls, which annoy many people: just specify a time when you can talk and a more convenient messenger. We’ll be sure to take this into account in our first and subsequent communications – after all, it’s just the new politeness today.

Truthfulnes

It would seem! But often applicants don’t deliberately deceive the HR officer, they just underestimate some CV details – and they can play a crucial role. A simple example is “willingness to travel”. There are jobs for which this parameter is critical, the work involves a lot of moving around the country. But some candidates tick this box without even thinking about it. It’s better to specify everything as it is even in such details. This way when you first meet the recruiter, you can focus on the more important things like learning more about the company or your skills rather than having to clarify ambiguous points on your CV.

The same goes for any other details – it’s quick and easy to check and clarify everything in the process. We just got feedback on a candidate from a technical interview: “Tried to google the answers to the questions during the interview. Of course +1 for resourcefulness, but after all you are working with professionals, and this usually does not go unnoticed.

Detail

Tell the truth, but don’t shy away from revealing any plus points in your favor in as meaningful a way as possible. If you write “Java” then state where you studied the language, how many months, what’s your level. Often what this really means is “I’m taking a Java course”. Our job is to ask questions, we have checklists, and the first thing we have to find out is the amount and quality of experience. Therefore, it is better to write “learning” – as it is, perhaps the company needs exactly junior specialists, you can be retrained internally, and so on. In other words, lack of experience is not a disadvantage that you have to hide, but simply a given.

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