As technology continues its rapid evolution, businesses are increasingly relying on software that is accessible via the internet or even online-only. This is very common these days as most companies have some form of computer software running their operations!
This is particularly true in the tech industry, where almost every major company uses at least one piece of software from a large software provider (e.g., Microsoft, Oracle, Google) to run their business.
These mega-companies produce billions of dollars in revenue each year, making them serious money empires. But what happens when they stop developing new features or shutting down old ones?
Well, we as consumers are left with no choice but to find other providers for those services! More importantly, we are left without access to critical functions and applications made by third party developers like themselves.
Fortunately, this situation is not limited to just individuals and small businesses anymore! It is becoming more prevalent in the corporate world as well.
The term for this state of affairs is referred to as _cloud computing_. Simply put, it is when someone else hosts your favorite apps, websites, or programs so you do not need to. The host can be a private organization or corporation, an individual, or even another country!
There are several types of cloud computing out there, but the two most popular ones are _Software-as-a-Service_ (SaaS) and _Platform-as-a-Service_ (PaaS).
It is impossible to be successful as a cloud architect without reading about various platforms, technologies, and systems. You will need to be familiar with both software-as-a-service (SaaS) products and platform-based applications before being able to work effectively in this field.
Reading business books related to technology or web design novels is one of the best ways to expand your knowledge of these areas. Business books give in depth insights into how certain companies operated and what tools they used to succeed.
Business technology books contain information that can help you become more efficient at using computer programs.
As an entry level cloud architect, there’s no need to be afraid to ask for help. You can find mentors in your field via online forums, social media groups, or even word of mouth.
Most experienced professionals are willing to lend their expertise to beginner architects. By asking questions and learning from others, you will quickly pick up new skills and knowledge.
Asking about things like what resources people used to learn about a technology or how they were able to get ahead in their career is a great way to gain insight into potential opportunities for you.
By being aware of what tools other engineers use to do their job, you can determine if these tools would be useful for you.
If you are interested in becoming a cloud architect, then your first action should be to take a certification exam. There are several certifications that focus exclusively on being a cloud architect, so if you want to prove yourself as an expert in this field, you can start here!
Most major technology companies offer their own certification exams for aspiring architects to take. By taking these examinations, you will show proof of expertise in the areas which an architect must be familiar with, such as networking, infrastructure, operations, and software engineering.
By having this proof, employers will give you more trust than those who do not, making it easier to win positions in the future. Some popular certification programs include:
The Infrastructure Design Professional (IDP) certificate from Cisco Systems is designed to develop professionals with in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience in designing and implementing scalable network architectures.
This two-day program covers topics such as fundamental concepts of IT architecture, types of infrastructures, hardware fundamentals, operating systems, and web technologies. Beyond just learning about networks, students are also exposed to applications used for business including eCommerce, gaming, and social media.
Networking equipment vendors typically offer credential assessments tests or VDAs (Verification of Domain Expertise) for their products. These tests evaluate whether you have solid understanding of their product line, and if you are able to use it effectively.
As technology becomes more prevalent, using it effectively requires you to be familiar with several types of clouds. You will need to know what kind of cloud each company uses for their services, how to manage your personal data in these clouds, and which skills are needed to architect and develop applications and systems that run on a cloud platform.
There is no one right way to become a professional cloud architect. But by being aware of different types of clouds, what companies use those clouds for, and how they apply various software engineering principles to achieve their goals, you can start developing your knowledge and expertise as a cloud architect.
You may also want to consider becoming an expert in some other field related to information technology (IT), such as web development or mobile application design. By having this additional depth of understanding, employers can look past only having an IT degree to prove your talent.
Disclaimer: The link above leads to our website where we sell books and academic products. We have partnered with Amazon to provide a quick route to purchase a Cloud Computing Book if you’re interested.
As mentioned earlier, there are three main cloud service model types that most companies use in the technology field. These include Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaSS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
The key difference between these is how much of the work gets done outside your company and what services get integrated into each solution. For example, if you run out of space on your current hosting plan, another one can be found elsewhere and installed quickly.
With IaaS, this external party handles all of the infrastructure, which includes things like power supply, networking, servers, software, and more. This is the cheapest option but comes with the caveat that users will have to find and install everything themselves.
The next level up is SaSS, where the provider hosts the software but other parts are offloaded to someone else. This typically costs slightly more than IaaS because they pay for their own hardware and utilities. But it also gives you more flexibility in picking and choosing what tools you want to use.
As discussed before, being a cloud architect means designing and developing infrastructure services that work in tandem with other services. This includes everything from software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and platforms to mobile apps and computer systems.
Cloud architects are also responsible for making sure all of this technology works together effectively and efficiently. They make sure there is enough bandwidth for everyone using the service, that servers are allocated properly, and that users have access to their data where, and how they want it.
This may include moving someone’s data to another server or even creating an account so they can use the service themselves. It depends on what features the company offering the service has!
There are many different positions within the field of cloud architecture, but some of the more senior positions require you to be able to design new systems. This could be designing your own internal platform or figuring out how to best leverage public ones.
The most experienced people I know are very creative as well.
A cloud architect is someone who makes sure that your applications will still work in case of hardware failure or catastrophic software crash. This includes having multiple backups, knowing where those backups are stored, and developing a contingency plan in case something goes wrong.
Hardware can fail at any time, so it’s important to make sure you have back-up computers ready and functioning as soon as possible. It also means being able to quickly access all of these backup devices, which requires careful planning and testing!
Your first step towards becoming an architect in the clouds should be reading about different types of disasters and how to prevent them happening.
As mentioned earlier, becoming an architect in the cloud requires understanding how software works, what types of servers exist, network fundamentals like TCP/IP, and how different layers work within a computer system.
If you are already very familiar with these things, then great! You have already made a big step towards being an architect in the cloud. But if not, no worries! There is still something you can do to make this career path possible for you.
You can become a so-called “cloud specialist” or “network engineer” by learning more about individual components that make up the cloud. For example, there are only two really important parts of the internet — IP addresses and HTTP (the language used to communicate over web browsers).
By mastering those topics, you would be able to construct your own private clouds or develop applications that rely heavily on the cloud. And who wouldn’t want to be their own boss and earn a good living doing either of those?
There are many ways to learn about IP addresses and HTTP, such as through books, YouTube videos, and blogs. Many large companies use this knowledge to help power their online services so exploring those resources may also give you some insights into the job field.