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Gaining Experience and Clout as a Cloud Computer Expert

Cloud computing is behind – and backing up – almost everything we do nowadays. Because it has its finger in almost every type of business pie, it’s not surprising that cloud computing experts are in massive demand in every industry. The search for skilled talent to build and operate the enormous data centers that power cloud computing, has resulted in fierce competition between three generations of companies. That competition has steep rewards for anyone with AWS training and experience in the field. In fact, according to a recent NY Times article, “Old-guard companies like Oracle, tech’s current giants like Amazon and its peers, as well as Bay Area start-ups are offering big salaries and big perks for cloud computing experts.”

For further proof, call a few recruiters. They’ll verify that they have companies willing to jump hoops and hurdles to find the talent that is in short supply. The key to getting your foot in the door for those highly desired positions is to become that talent. Here are five ways you can add diverse experience to your AWS training, to make yourself more attractive to recruiters.

Join an Open Source Project

There are millions of active open source projects needing input. Explore GitHub to find a few projects that you are interested in, then put in some volunteer time. Make a contribution by fixing bugs or comments, then reach out to a project leader. If you’re hesitant to jump right in, join one of their Google discussion groups or forums, and lurk a while first. Then ask questions, and offer to help.

Become a Book Reviewer

If you have AWS training and a technical background, hone those skills by becoming a technical book reviewer. For example, Manning Publications and The Pragmatic Bookshelf welcome technical reviewers of all skill levels, from beginner to expert. Tasks include reading chapters and commenting on the writing, source code, and technical content. While the reviews aren’t paid, you will be acknowledged in the book and receive a free copy.

Interview Often

Apply for a variety of positions, even if you aren’t sure it’s the job for you. Interviewing gets you away from the computer, into the real world, and forces you to interact with people face to face. Having AWS training might help you get your foot in the door at your dream job, but you will likely be passed over if you have poor networking skills. Interviewing allows you to brush up on your personal presentation and networking skills for free. Additionally, many interviews include a test to determine your technical chops.  They are a great way to find out, in a real-world example, what a company is looking for. You may or may not do well, but you will become more comfortable being asked to login to a server, do configurations and solve real problems in the future, while learning what weaknesses you need to work on.

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