The key to cloud success – continuous learning for a future in cloud
It takes a large degree of energy, passion, and curiosity to stay on top of the new services being released by the cloud providers, the key seems to be to find your interest and become the expert on that stream. As the Azure Tech Lead in Kainos I am very lucky to be supported by a team of specialists who own, manage, and develop their areas of expertise and encourage others to do the same. In the last year alone AWS, Azure and GCP (Google Cloud Platform) have released hundreds if not thousands of new features and enhancements so how do you stay up to date and ensure you have the right skills for cloud success?
Building out your cloud capability
Knowing the basics is no longer enough. Significant areas of expertise have developed in the last few years and having the capability and teams who can provide this wide range of skills is essential to building future-ready platforms. In software development, essential skills are required in serverless, cloud-native development, robotic process automation and low code. Low code especially will be a major disrupting factor in the next generation of cloud solutions. In platform management, the current key skills I see as being required are architectural design, containerisation, infrastructure as code, automation, governance and information security. Data Engineering, data governance and analytics are in really high demand and AI and MLOps continue to be fast-growing areas. The next generation of cloud solutions will be a combination of all of these components and having a team skilled in one or two areas will no longer be sufficient. Even with all these skills, one essential skill is now cloud security, not having the right level of cloud security knowledge and expertise is guaranteed to lead to problems sooner rather than later. So it is really important to have a training plan in place to ensure these future skilling demands are met.
Working with the cloud providers
We work very closely with partner architects and evangelists, we are very lucky to be well supported by both Microsoft and AWS to get technical guidance, early day access to private previews, places on hacks and evangelism sessions. Hacks are a great place to learn in a safe and supported manner. Working closely with the cloud providers allows us to build and innovate safely in the knowledge we have the support of partner architects, support and even product development teams.
Create a culture of learning
Being inspired to do certifications, rather than being asked to do a certification has allowed us to build more confident, invested and committed teams. We have created a culture of learning by building a safe and collaborative space that allows people to learn, to try, to succeed without the fear of failure. We have been working hard to remove barriers allowing certification and training time to be open to all and allowing people to work at their own pace to achieve certifications. Academies in DevOps, Engineering and Data have allowed us to give people a chance to reboot their careers and find a new passion. AWS Cloud Practitioner, Azure Fundamentals and GCP Cloud Digital Leader are all great certifications to get started with.
As a company we celebrate this success and enjoy the benefits of empowered and positive teams, aligning company needs with personal growth. Demonstrating to our partners that we are committed to learning and upskilling has enabled us to gain multiple Competencies and Advanced Specialisms.
If you are only getting started or are continuing to grow your knowledge and skills, there is an abundance of materials both paid and free. Some of my favourites are:
- MS Learn
- YouTube (Microsoft Mechanics, Azure Friday and John Saville)
- Cloud Guru
Success in the cloud is more than a technology shift, if you have a motivated team, who are empowered to embrace cloud it can change all aspects of your company. To unlock the most from your cloud investment you need to ensure that you have the right skills, are constantly innovating and have the right level of governance in place. A comprehensive cloud enablement program takes a lot of hard work out of the journey. At Kainos we are passionate about enabling our customers, we work alongside their teams, imparting knowledge and setting them up for cloud success. To learn more about how we help customers assess their current skills, tools and process against those needed for optimal cloud adoption and create a plan for success click here.
Martin O’Neill – Azure Tech Lead, Kainos
Martin is a Principal Architect and the Azure Technical Lead within the cloud practice at Kainos. He is passionate about developing others and works to continually grow the internal Azure community and the people within. As the primary technical contact for Azure-related matters in Kainos, he works closely with Microsoft and provides expert-level Azure delivery guidance and mentorship to our customers and project delivery teams.
Welcome to Cloud Week 2021!
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Laura is techUK’s Programme Manager for Technology and Innovation.
She supports the application and expansion of emerging technologies across business, including Geospatial Data, Quantum Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies.
Before joining techUK, Laura worked internationally in London, Singapore and across the United States as a conference researcher and producer covering enterprise adoption of emerging technologies. This included being part of the strategic team at London Tech Week.
Laura has a degree in History (BA Hons) from Durham University, focussing on regional social history. Outside of work she loves reading, travelling and supporting rugby team St. Helens, where she is from.
Zoe is a Programme Assistant, supporting techUK's work across Policy, Technology and Innovation.
The team makes the tech case to government and policymakers in Westminster, Whitehall, Brussels and across the UK on the most pressing issues affecting this sector and supports the Technology and Innovation team in the application and expansion of emerging technologies across business, including Geospatial Data, Quantum Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies.
Before joining techUK, Zoe worked as a Business Development and Membership Coordinator at London First and prior to that Zoe worked in Partnerships at a number of Forex and CFD brokerage firms including Think Markets, ETX Capital and Central Markets.
Zoe has a degree (BA Hons) from the University of Westminster and in her spare time, Zoe enjoys travelling, painting, keeping fit and socialising with friends.