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The Top 6 IT Skills Cloud Companies are Hungry For

The Top 6 IT Skills Cloud Companies are Hungry For

Despite the fact that the cloud’s revolutionizing everything, the good news for IT professionals is that the vast majority of their skills aren’t being outdated.

Companies still need skilled developers, talented project managers, and data analysts.

But those working for cloud companies will be expected to take their skills to the next level… to be on the cutting edge of both tech and business.

But taking an extra course to stay on top of the cloud is well worth it… jobs for cloud companies are hot right now.

There’s loads of meaningful, cloud-based tech startups that will turn into giant companies in the future, and they’re hiring the people who will build their companies to their full potential.

But just having the bare minimum of skills and education to coast by for the rest of your career isn’t going to work. Because the cloud combines tech and business sense, you’ve got to know both to get your foot in the door at one of these fast-growing companies that could turn into a rockstar tech career.

But before you go signing up for any random IT certification just so you can look better on paper, consider the top 6 IT skills cloud companies are hungry for so you can decide which one fits best with your dream job and which will set you apart the most from your job-hunting peers.

1. App Development

Even if you’re not a developer, a rudimentary knowledge of mobile and cloud-based computer app development can go a long way in truly understanding the depths and inner workings of a cloud business.

The cloud lets single end users and businesses access the applications they need to get work done from any device, anywhere in the world with an internet connection (part of the BYOD phenomenon). So a basic knowledge of what it takes for apps to function well on any device is more than appreciated by everyone in the business.

If you don’t know where to start, a simple development course can get you up and running quickly. Look for Java and .NET in the curriculum – they’re the leaders of the pack right now.

2. Virtualization

Virtualization is the technique that lets you run multiple operating systems at once on the same piece of hardware.

Since development for so many different devices and operating systems is essential to what the cloud is, this skill is vital to each and every cloud company out there.

Microsoft’s got a cool virtualization training program with an on-site tool to help you find institutions near your town that teach it.

3. Business Smarts

At the end of the day, there’s only one reason cloud companies are going so well—and that’s business.

Going to the cloud is one of the best business decisions a company can make, but a lot of legacy software companies (and their customers) still have a problem adapting to the idea of using the cloud and its inherently different payment models, not wanting to fix what isn’t broken.

Even a basic understanding of business and finance will help you to make the case for deployment to the cloud.

Hint: A lot of cloud-based companies like to hire business liaisons who speak IT and business languages to help get both sides of the company on the same page.

4. Data Analysis

Big data is something that’s gaining traction in almost every industry you can think of—from finance to environmental issues to farming to marketing trends and crime fighting—big data, if properly sorted for analyzation, can give a business the keys it needs to unlock success faster than ever before.

Cloud companies love data because it doesn’t require the possible mishaps involved with best guesses and intuition. It gives them answers about what to do and how successful a certain move will be.

Employees who know how to design the systems to track relevant data from the cloud in an efficient way are incredibly valuable, but so are those who know how to take that data, run the numbers and actually do something with it that leads to smarter business decisions.

5. Security & Compliance

On the cloud, more so than on a private company-based server, security is a huge issue.

No company wants their data stolen, lost or hacked.

First and foremost, every employee at a cloud company will need to know what their security protocols are, so if you know more of the reasoning behind those protocols, you’ll be seen as far less of a potential liability.

But beyond just the basics of keeping information secure, there’s some compliance regulations set by each industry that a cloud company serving that industry would also have to follow. For example, if your company handles the financial data of individual investors, you’ll need to know what risks exist and how to diminish them.

At another level, there’s also national and international mandates for data handling such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley that each company has to follow no matter their industry.

6. Project Management

Whether you’re working on a project that will move a company from old-school software into cloud computing, or you’re working on projects specifically for a cloud-based company, knowledge of the project management process helps a lot.

For example, knowing where and how to avoid scope creep and keeping projects on-budget and on-deadline while doing the best work possible usually isn’t possible without some meticulous, advanced planning. And taking a project management course helps you learn how to do that planning and work with your actual project manager to get things rolling in the right direction and not be a hold up.

The Actual Tools that Are Hot Right Now in the Cloud

Rick Blaisdell, CTO of Motus, made a list of the top basic skills cloud companies are looking for. Among them, he mentions:

• Development languages like Perl, Ruby on Rails, Python and Java
• DevOps
• Linux
• Virtualization
• Puppet and Chef
• Database skills like MySQL, Hadoop and Cassandra
• Vendor skills for Amazon Web Services

90% of Companies Use the Cloud – It’s Time to Get on Board

According to CompTIA’s 2014 cloud computing survey, a whopping 90% of companies in the United States use cloud computing in some form or another, and 60% of companies want to expand their hiring to bring on employees to help them transition from traditional software technology to cloud computing.

By getting on board with cloud-based knowledge and expanding your understanding and skill set, you’ll be on par with what the industry needs, and your career path will thank you.

How BYOD Has Shaped App Development in the Last 6 Years

How BYOD Has Shaped App Development in the Last 6 Years

In tech, six years ago is ancient history.

But in enterprise, six years is nothing.

The BYOD phenomenon caught on in 2009, and employees have been thrilled to use the phones, PCs and tablets they’re most comfortable with to do their work. Some say it even makes them more productive.

But since enterprises are usually pretty slow to adjust, there’s still companies that haven’t made the switch to BYOD yet and need expert developers and IT security professionals to help them through the process.

As an app or website developer, your understanding of the changes BYOD has brought about in development and security management is something companies making the transition to BYOD desperately need—helping you stand out as a leader and advance your career.

The Nuts & Bolts of BYOD

On the surface, BYOD seems like a nice, win-win situation for everyone: employees get to use the technology they’re most comfortable with, and companies don’t have to shell out the cash to buy new devices for everyone.

But for developers and IT security professionals, it’s a whole different ball game.

In fact, developing for BYOD differs in developing for company-sponsored devices in 6 key ways: screen size responsiveness, UI & UX, non-native development, public internet security, security patches, and no centralized app management.

1. Screen Responsiveness

Rather than only having one type of computer, tablet or phone to develop an enterprise-specific app for, you’ve got to create an app that works on any screen size, no matter what kind of wonky device an employee might bring in.

Responsive screens are really catching on both online and on mobile, though, so this isn’t the biggest of your worries as an enterprise app developer creating something for BYOD. Since website responsiveness is becoming standard, it’s nothing too different from regular website or Android-based development.

2. Instantly Intuitive UI & UX

Even though mobile and PC operating systems are vastly different from each other, companies won’t want to spend their resources on app training.

Like the majority of non-workplace apps, they’ll expect the UI & UX to be intuitive enough to be used with zero to minimal training, and with the differences in operating systems, a non-intuitive UI would mean a different training for each new device.

Each enterprise app needs to be designed and functional for immediate, out-of-the-box use.

3. Non-Native Development

Before BYOD, when everyone in the company was using a company-sponsored BlackBerry and Windows laptop, native apps were the best, safest choice.

But with BYOD, developing natively means you’d have to have the resources to develop for BlackBerry, Android, Windows, iOS, and Symbian, among others… and for companies that don’t specialize in app development, footing the bill for all of those resources for the development and subsequent updates could be a problem.

Instead, most BYOD-friendly enterprise apps are developed in HTML5, so they instantly work on any device.

4. Public Internet Security

Unless the app or internal company website you’re developing is 100% useless off the premises of the company, you’ll need to assume that employees are going to use it over public internet connections, and make in-built security capabilities to protect whatever sensitive company data may pass through their phones.

For example, you’ll need to set up the app so almost all of the traffic is directed to an HTTPS page, rather than an HTTP page.

And even though you might be developing an app instead of a website, because you’d build it on HTML5, you’d have to put securities in place to protect it against cross-site-scripting, SQL injections, and other attacks.

5. Constant Security Patch Updates

An app that operates on a closed network doesn’t necessarily need many security updates.

But creating an HTML5-based app means it’ll have to be open to functioning with new security patches added by you as the app developer, or by the device manufacturers themselves.

6. Working Without Centralized Management

For the same reason you want to develop non-natively on HTML5, you’ll also want to set up the app’s security to work without centralized management.

The end user, not someone in office headquarters, needs to be the one to configure their own preferences because the way to do this is different from one operating system to another.

Becoming an Enterprise BYOD Development Guru

Want to help your company transition to BYOD?

A fresh new IT certificate in development or cyber security could be exactly what you need to get rolling.

Check out our different IT training programs, sorted by area of expertise and experience level to find one that fits your schedule – most of the time, you’ll be finished in less than a month!