The Cloud Skills Gap Myth – Issue #10
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
A 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
- When Chinese Hackers Declared War on the Rest of Us (MIT Technology Review)
- I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone (MOTHERBOARD)
- If You Installed PEAR PHP in the Last 6 Month, You May Be Infected (arsTechnica)