Fully Committing to Platform Certifications Fills the Gap the Cloud
Those working in technology teams of all kinds have seen dramatic shifts in business orientation from on-prem to the cloud in recent years. The once lowly abstracted world of infrastructure has become a thing of the past with highly abstracted cloud platforms as the new platform for managing company technology resources and digital assets. You could say that nowadays if there is a need, there is a service in the cloud! All sounds great, so with our vast computer science knowledge and industry architecture experience, why do we need to worry about learning a service that simplifies the set-up and maintenance of our digital assets?
An interesting question that becomes even more interesting is if your cloud team has a good set of How-to documents and Runbooks covering what you need to do and when. All good when things work as they should but as we know, that is not always the case. The layer of abstraction for all major cloud providers is essentially a layer of automation for tasks once managed by engineers over the command line or on occasion via scripting. This cloud abstraction layer leads to quicker time on task, which is great for performance efficiencies but terrible for maintaining skill sets. This deterioration of skill sets through process-driven engineering maintenance only surfaces when the engineer is faced with a non-prescribed issue that presents as a problem, which requires skilled troubleshooting to resolve it. This risk was identified by cloud providers as was the opportunity to bridge the gap with training certifications that cover their cloud platform's architecture and engineering operations within it. So, all well and good so far so why bother getting certified? A fair question but I would argue certification when taken after course content was pursued vigorously for the learning experience brings the following benefits:
- The wider understanding of the cloud platform outside of the engineer's daily tasks and duties on the platform. This architecture and service education is horizontal in nature thus augmenting the engineer's understanding of the platform and what it offers to solve different problems and issues
- A deeper understanding of the cloud platform deepens the engineer's understanding of service process, interactions and known issues arising as a result. This deepens the engineer's troubleshooting capabilities outside of established team Runbooks adding to the issue resolution capacity of the engineer on platform related events.
- A wider and deeper comprehension of a cloud platform's capabilities may allow the engineer to identify improvement opportunities such as automating deployments via AWS Cloud Formation or Azure Resource Manager, which templates the deployment configuration. If done properly, it can drastically lower error propensity on deployments.
- The engineer's reputation is positively impacted by the certification improving their employability whilst at the same time offering employers the chance at discounts with major cloud providers for a certain number of certified engineers on staff.
There are many reasons to not bother but as you can see, putting in the extra hours has many benefits that should not be ignored by engineers at all levels and their employers. It's a win-win collaboration and investment-worthy in time and money by the respective parties.
Stay tuned for more on Infrastructure in this blog along with articles on other areas of interest in the Writing and DevOps arenas. To not miss out on any updates on my availability, tips on related areas or anything of interest to all, sign up for one of my newsletters in the footer of any page on Maolte. I look forward to us becoming pen pals!