Exploring this Job
One of the best ways to prepare for this career is to learn how to code. Programming languages that are frequently used by cloud engineers include Python, Golang, Ruby, Java, C++, Node.js, Perl, and ASP.NET. The following online learning platforms offer free or low-cost classes in coding: Code Academy (https://www.codecademy.com), edX (https://www.edx.org), Coursera (https://www.coursera.org), and Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org). They also provide introductory cloud computing courses. Your high school computer science department also probably offers coding classes.
Participate in computer science, software development, and other IT-related summer exploration programs that are offered by colleges and universities, high schools, and park districts to build your skills and obtain experience.
Get involved in student competitions to build your skills and meet people who share your interests. Ask your computer science teacher to suggest local competitions. National competitions are offered by SkillsUSA, a membership organization for middle school, high school, and college students who are interested in pursuing careers in technical, trade, and skilled service occupations. It offers computer programming, cyber security, information technology services, and other competitions. Visit http://www.skillsusa.org for more information.
Join the Technology Student Association (http://www.tsaweb.org), which will provide you with a chance to explore career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, enter academic competitions, and participate in summer exploration programs.
The duties of cloud engineers vary based on their employer, level of education, and other factors, but the majority perform the following tasks: work with cloud architects and other IT professionals to plan, design, develop, maintain, and operate cloud systems and applications; troubleshoot incidents, identify root causes, fix problems, and document solutions; collaborate with computer security professionals to develop software and hardware systems to protect cloud infrastructure from hacking and other types of cyberattacks; create disaster recovery and business continuity plans to prevent data loss; develop and implement policies for the use of cloud services; and educate and train work teams or clients regarding new cloud-based initiatives or technologies.
Cloud engineers may also develop new cloud architecture for clients. In this work environment, they first assess an organization’s information technology infrastructure and explore options for moving some or all of it to the cloud. They meet with the company’s executives to determine their IT needs and business goals regarding cloud infrastructure and usage and then make suggestions on how the client can save money and time by migrating some or all of its systems to the cloud. They also present design proposals for new cloud infrastructure. Once a plan is approved, the engineer works with programmers, computer security professionals, and other IT workers to migrate his or her client’s system to the cloud and build new cloud infrastructure. They configure computing, networking, and security services to ensure that they work together properly and continue to test and monitor these components until the migration and new cloud infrastructure development process is completed.