The Cloud Skills Gap Myth – Issue #10

Take Note

Finding employees with the right skills to fuel your cloud journey can be challenging. However, many employers are throwing their hands up in the air and lamenting an insurmountable skills gap as a barrier to proceeding. This skills gap is a self-imposed impediment that is not reflected in the overall job market, particularly as we deal with an unexpected glut of cloud certified engineers struggling to find their first jobs in the field. Employers are filtering their ideal candidates based on the wrong criteria, never seeing the great resumes of candidates eager to contribute. We focus on the cloud hiring paradox in this issue and outline a strategy for finding the right candidates and harnessing existing talent.


The Cloud Skills Gap Myth

lot of attention lately has been given to the cloud skills “gap”—an apparent shortfall of workers with the skills and expertise required to build cloud-native applications. But that’s news to many of the young, certified engineers looking for a job in their field in a historically tight job market. In reality, there is not a skills gap so much as a misunderstanding of how to build a team with the right foundational skills. Employers are looking for unicorns—people who have been in the cloud for five to seven years, know every in an out, and can ruthlessly build exactly the right code on an unrealistic schedule.

Ignoring the unrealistic expectations, we can focus on one key metric: five to seven years of cloud experience. If we think about AWS, one of the oldest cloud platforms, five years ago they closed out 2013 with an estimated $3.8 billion in revenue. Their customers were largely startups and small businesses, and they were just beginning to pivot to larger enterprises. Today, AWS will close 2019 with nearly $40 billion in revenue, a 10-fold increase. That such early adopters are hard to find is all but a foregone conclusion.

Unfortunately, companies are in such a scramble that they often don’t realize this paradox; they’re pounding their head against the skills gap wall, wishing current workers would skill up while searching in a different job pool that was sized correctly for the time: 90 percent smaller. So, doesn’t that imply a gap? Not necessarily. Companies need to get to the cloud in a way that is smart, thoughtful and effective. And people are key to get the job done. Perhaps there is a self-imposed gap, but it is not a necessary one.


In the News

From the Blog

Route 53 Resolvers

To minimal fanfare, AWS released Route 53 inbound/outbound resolvers at re:Invent 2018. That’s unfortunate because if you’re one of the [all of us] running a hybrid infrastructure or using centralized authentication of some kind (e.g., ActiveDirectory, FreeIPA) in the cloud, this is a game changer.

In the past when you had complex DNS requirements, the solutions of choice were to edit your hosts file everywhere (uggh) or set a custom DHCP Option Set for your VPC (slightly less uggh). Both have undesirable qualities and neither is particularly scalable, particularly across accounts and VPCs. It’s the sort of thing you forget is there while troubleshooting a complicated DNS issue.

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What’s New

SLA Coverage for AWS Services (SummitRoute)

SLAs in AWS are a tricky thing–it’s difficult to get your money back, and the check is usually far smaller than the impact that it had to your operations. Still, SLAs are an important commitment by AWS that can be valued and used as a pillar for your own uptime and reliability expectations. – Cris 

CFRipper (GitHub)

CFRipper is a handy tool that goes beyond CloudFormation linting and looks for security anti-patterns. It’s easy to get up and running and provides another layer of defense to your automation and infrastructure. -Cris

Databases and DevOps with Silvia Botros (Real World DevOps)

“With all the headlines we’ve seen asking whether the role of the DBA is dying, it was interesting to hear how one DBA has combined DevOps with good tooling to re-imagine her role and focus her skills on the kinds of things that bring long term value to the business – which is exactly what DevOps aims to do.” – Heather

Security Tip

9 Kubernetes Best Practices Everyone Must Follow (CNCF)

Kubernetes has become dangerously easy to set up, with managed services like EKS, GKE, AKS and Kops. Companies can quickly prototype in Kubernetes and equally quickly flip the production switch on, perhaps without fully appreciating the necessary steps to properly secure their clusters. This article outlines 9 key steps that every company should consider when running Kubernetes, particularly in production. -Cris

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