A cloud engineer takes care of any system or application that has to do with the so-called cloud.
The cloud, of course, refers to all servers that any user can access over the Internet, including all the software or applications that run on them.
A cloud engineer is thus someone who takes care of an organization’s cloud computing needs that encompass design, planning, development, management, maintenance, and support.
Read More about a “Cloud Engineer”
A cloud engineer, like any other IT professional, performs various tasks.
What Are Cloud Engineers Responsible For?
First off, there are three major types of cloud engineers. And each type takes care of a different set of business requirements. Here’s a list of the cloud engineer types and what each does:
Solution architects create blueprints of program designs, much like an architect does for a building. Their tasks include:
- Designing and deploying scalable, available, fault-tolerant, and reliable cloud applications
- Selecting the cloud services to use to deploy an application based on given requirements successfully
- Migrating complex, multi-tier applications to cloud platforms
- Creating and implementing enterprise-wide scalable operations on cloud platforms
- Implementing cost-control strategies
These professionals create actual cloud applications based on the solution architects’ blueprints. They also fix bugs before the applications are integrated into operations. They are typically tasked to:
- Develop, deploy, and debug cloud applications that use various programming languages
- Use application programming interfaces (APIs), command-line interfaces, and software development kits (SDKs) to write code
- Know the features of different cloud services
- Manage applications throughout their entire lifecycle
- Use continuous integration and distribution pipelines to deploy applications
- Use code to implement essential security measures
- Write, correct, and debug code modules
- Write code for serverless applications
- Use containers in development processes
System operations engineers
These specialists take over the monitoring and management of cloud applications once these come out of development and are deployed. They are responsible for:
- Administering systems in operation
- Working with virtualization technologies
- Monitoring and auditing systems
- Connecting cloud applications to the network and existing systems that include the Domain Name System (DNS) and firewalls
- Translating architectural requirements into operational components
- Implementing scalable, highly available, and fault-tolerant systems
- Controlling the flow of information going to and coming from a service provider
- Selecting the right services to use based on computing, data processing, or security requirements
- Estimating usage costs and identifying operational cost control mechanisms
- Migrating on-premises workloads to service providers
What Do Aspiring Cloud Engineers Need to Take Up in College?
A cloud engineer usually graduates with a bachelor’s degree in information systems, computer science, or engineering. On top of a degree, employers also require professional experience in fields such as computer system or network administration. It also won’t hurt to get certifications specific to cloud computing.
Cloud engineers can try out for these certifications:
- Microsoft-Certified Expert Azure Solutions Architect
- Salesforce Certification Training: Admin 201 and App Builder
- Google Cloud Certification Training – Cloud Architect
- AWS Architect Certification Training
- IoT Certification Training on Azure
These are only a few; there are tons more.
What Other Skills Should a Cloud Engineer Have?
Apart from the hard skills required of each type of cloud engineer above, an applicant to such post also need soft skills that include:
- Strong analytical skills
- Attention to detail
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Great leadership skills
- Strong organizational skills
- Excellent communication skills
What Are the Best Cloud Engineer Employers?
Many of the world’s biggest tech companies provide cloud services, and so require the services of the best cloud engineers. Any cloud engineer looking for opportunities can try out for jobs at Amazon, Google, SAP, VMware, Oracle, IBM, Adobe, Microsoft, and Salesforce.
Some lesser-known companies such as Zoho, Qubole, Reltio, Mendix, Databricks, Netskope, OutSystems, Box, Skytap, and LogicMonitor are also great cloud engineer employers.
But since pretty much every company these days rely on cloud computing, large enterprises in various industries that include banking, retail, education, healthcare, manufacturing, real estate, automotive, and nonprofit are also a good bet.
Who Can Cloud Engineers Find Inspiration From?
Tons of cloud computing experts have made it big and can serve as inspirations to cloud engineers hoping to follow in their footsteps. If you want to be the best in the field, you may want to learn more about:
- Andy Jassy: As the senior vice president of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Jassy led Amazon to become known as the “800-pound gorilla of cloud computing.”
- Urs Hölzle: As the senior vice president of Google, Hölzle is the one behind all of the technology that runs Google and its data centers.
- Scott Guthrie: Guthrie is currently the executive vice president of cloud and enterprise at Microsoft. He took over now CEO Satya Nadella’s job.
They are just three of a long list, of course.
How Much Does a Cloud Engineer Earn on Average?
A U.S.-based cloud engineer stands to earn a base pay of US$101,318 a year. He or she can get bonuses ranging between US$1,064 and US$22,422 annually.