Advice on being a Cloud Developer in a DevOps World
The rise of the cloud has meant that there are new opportunities for traditional software developers. Being a developer that specializes in cloud computing can be very rewarding and lucrative. However, there are crucial things a traditional software developer needs to know before they embark on the journey of being a cloud developer. The most important thing is to understand what this new field of software engineering is, and you also need to know what skills you need to get into this growing field.
Introduction to Cloud Development
Web development has transformed dramatically over the years. One of the many transformations we have had is with the introduction of the cloud. It has changed traditional web hosting, but it has also impacted how we look at software engineering. The major thing it has done is to completely change how companies and web engineers look at hardware infrastructure. In the past, companies had to do all of the infrastructure management themselves. However, the cloud has changed that. Companies can now focus entirely on their software stack and customers.
Development in the cloud is different because it involves many specialized software stacks and development environments. Many of the cloud providers have their own specialized software that you need to interact with. It is one of the many reasons why cloud development is so complex. However, it presents an exciting opportunity for the developers who are willing to learn the skills necessary. With these skills, you can earn a lot of money, as great cloud developers could get as much as $180,000 per year. That salary can increase dramatically if you are an expert in one of the three big cloud plat.
So who are cloud developers? They are the people responsible for designing, developing, and deploying software applications to a cloud environment. They have to have great knowledge about the specific cloud they are deploying to, and they need to know how to write scalable, robust, and secure applications.
Skills Needed to Get Into Cloud Development
The big thing to note for developing applications in the cloud is that it is a completely different model from traditional web development. Your applications are distributed in the cloud, and it means you need to have a good handle on developing distributed and scalable applications. There are also many specific services that your application will access through APIs. It means you need to have a good understanding of software design in the cloud. On top of that, every cloud platform has its own APIs and services. Your application needs to be ported from one service to the next.
Storage is also a significant issue you need to contend with when developing for the cloud. There will be a need to know how to work with NoSQL databases and object stores. The majority of data storage is in this form, and it is something you will need to master as a software engineer. These things need to be combined with CI/CD knowledge to help you create scalable working applications. These applications will also need to be integrated with other services.
Even after all these skills are mastered, you still have to know basic software engineering and security management. Security is becoming a major factor in how successful cloud deployments are, and it is something your application will need to have a good handle on. If you can master all of these things, you will become one of the best developers in the cloud computing world.
Why Does It Matter to DevOps?
There is a massive connection between cloud development and DevOps. The main connection is in the tools used. You still need to use CI/CD development tools when working with the cloud, but it becomes more difficult. The first thing to note is that developing in the cloud requires many more services working together. The cloud model relies on having services and hardware connect using APIs. For example, on Amazon AWS, the way you store files on its S3 service is to connect to an API and store the files that way. Almost everything you do is over a REST API, and it might be a bit difficult for most software engineers to get used to. Since software deployments are a huge issue, you will have to master and tweak your tools to work in cloud environments.
There also many architectures you can use when deploying cloud software. It means you need to know how to deploy that software with each method. This scale is what separates the best developers from the rest. The best know how to do things like work with Kubernetes to deploy microservices on the most commonly used cloud platforms.
Can You Be a Cloud Agnostic Engineer?
The most important thing you need to know is that specialization is crucial in the cloud development world. There are general concepts that apply to all cloud platforms, but the reality is every platform is different. Amazon Web Services is going to be a lot more different to develop on than Azure or GCP. It is why you need to have a good grasp of each individual provider’s APIs and services. It will help you gain a stronger foothold in the industry, making you more attractive to prospective companies. However, you might limit yourself to only jobs in one cloud environment.
To be a cloud-agnostic engineer is to understand the foundational concepts that make cloud computing work. You have to be able to create your own private cloud environment to experiment in and learn from. The best developers will have a cloud development environment at home to learn new things from.
Being a Cloud Expert for a Private Cloud Platform
There are also private clouds environment that you will need to master to be successful in this industry. There are open source components that can be cobbled together and made into a private cloud. If you want to be one of the best in this industry, you should spend a lot of time building your own private cloud. In fact, it is one of the best ways to understand how these platforms work. It will show you the challenges that go into maintaining a cloud, and it will help you create better software for this environment.
It will also make you realize how crucial security is for this industry. Because everything acts as a networked application, cloud computing is vulnerable to network attacks. It is one of the significant problems that can happen when learning these technologies.
Cloud Developer By the Numbers
You need to know that you can make a lot of money in this industry. The median salary is about $120,000, and it can arise if you are one of the best developers. Cloud computing professionals can go into private consulting and make even more money. If you specialize in one cloud environment, it makes you even better for prospective clients. They will come to you for expert advice and analysis, and you can have a long and lucrative career.
Is This a Good Career Choice?
Overall, this is an of the best careers you can get into as a software engineer. Job growth is only getting better, and you will love the type of work you have. The industry will change considerably in the coming years, but it will remain one of the best for people who have the software engineering and developer operations skillset required.