DFWVMUG User Conference: Cloud Skills Gap

Closing the Cloud Skills Gap: Scott Lowe (@scott_lowe, blog.scottlowe.org)


  • 50% of business w/ cloud as high priority
  • Insufficient candidates to fill openings
  • Cloud brings new set of skills unneeded in past (Curtis Robinson, IDC)

NIST Definition of Cloud Computing

  • On-demand self-service <– if you are doing something to allocate service, you aren’t doing cloud
  • Resource pooling <– if no network virtualization, you aren’t doing cloud
  • Rapid elasticity <– scale up AND scale down, often harder on the latter
  • Measured service <– assess what’s being used
  • Broad network access <– ubiquitous, access anywhere

Top Five Job Skills Needed (ranked by importance, from IDC whitepaper)

  1. Risk management
  2. IT service management
  3. Project/program management
  4. Business-IT alignment
  5. Technical skills in cloud implementation <– note that this (tech) is last

Key Technical Skills

  • Software development basics
    • No need to become a programmer
    • Do need to understand basics of DevOps, Vagrant, Git (or other version control system)
    • Do need to understand challenges software developers face
    • IT often puts the “no” in “inNOvation”
  • Linux
    • Increasingly pervasive
    • Foundation of many cloud-related tech (VMware, storage, etc)
    • Inexpensive solution
    • Key things:
      • Pick a distribution (Ubuntu, RedHat/CentOS)
      • Put it to work & figure out common tasks (DHCP, DNS, etc)
  • Automation & orchestration
    • Force multipliers (make each person more powerful than individually are manually)
    • Do more, faster, and in repeatably consistent fashion
    • Scripting languages: PowerShell, Perl, Python, Ruby
    • Config management tools: Puppet, Chef, Salt, Ansible
    • Orchestration tools: vCenter Orchestrator, vCAC, OpenStack
    • No more “hand crafted” efforts!
  • Public cloud services
    • Services include: vCloud Air, AWS, GCE, Azure
    • Remember: IT-business alignment is critical!
    • Know how these things works so you can align with business
  • Bonus round (other things that are interesting & useful, to be addressed after the prior items)
    • NoSQL databases: CouchDB, Redis, mongoDB, Cassandra, Neo4j, membase, riak
    • Containers: Docker (super easy CLI and acts like version control)
    • Hadoop (in correlation with Cassandra, etc)
    • CloudVolumes, CloudFoundry, NSX…

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