Reinvent your career for the cloud the right way

The demand for cloud talent is exploding -- and driving many to cloud-wash their resumes

Those in IT have a sense for when parts of the market are driving higher salaries and better job security, and we position our careers accordingly. The hot zone currently covers cloud, devops, and big data, but in the past it was data warehousing, client/server, EAI, B2B, and so on.

The problem comes when those looking to reinvent their careers end up cloud-washing their CVs and are even able to talk their way into significant cloud-related jobs. They don’t have the core skills required and instead send their employer in dysfunctional directions. Many of these mistakes cost millions of dollars to fix.

There is a right and a wrong way to reinvent your skill sets for a cloud job.

The wrong way is easy to spot -- namely, those who oversell their cloud skills simply to get bigger bucks. These folks are easy to recognize because they typically use talking points culled from the latest analyst reports that have little to do with their situation.

Thus, they go with what’s popular, not what correct for the enterprise. They create solutions that are wrong for their use cases and can costs hundreds of thousands of dollars more per month than necessary. Alternately, they fail outright.

The right way is hard to do, but worth it. Get some training, even if you have to pay for it yourself. Don’t focus on the analyst reports and talking points; focus on the science of aligning the right cloud technology to meet the enterprise requirements. Read books rather than articles.

Work with those who have cloud skills, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s best to be open and honest about what you know and don’t know. You don’t want to get a job that will set you up for failure, even if you can fib your way in.

I suspect that the practice of cloud-washing resumes and talking your way into cloud jobs will go on for sometime. There's not enough talent in the market and certainly not enough cloud-aware people to vet the posers. Eventually, you’ll be asked to walk the walk if you can talk the talk.