The key technologies and skills in our Cloud community

The cloud market is evolving and we want to stay at the forefront of the development. One way to do this is to get the pulse from our employees and hear what they have to say about cloud technologies, attractive roles, and important skills in the field. In our recent survey among our Cloud Specialists and Consultants, we got a sneak peek into their thoughts.

When asking about the most used technologies, GNU/Linux ranked as number one, and it doesn’t surprise me. It’s a core technology after all, and people in the field are generally eager to use it. Regardless of what we do in the cloud, GNU/Linux distributions provide the foundation where we build. Terraform and Ansible are also frequently used, which means that Solitans are keen on using automation. Instead of manual work, we tend to build automated processes to work smarter and minimize the risk of human errors. Git and Jenkins are also high on the list, indicating that in conjunction with automation-agile DevOps, and in extension GitOps, practices are loved and followed.

Looking at the cloud technologies, I’m quite happy to see that Google Cloud Platform ranks as one of the most used, or at least coveted after, cloud technologies by our cloud specialists and consultants alike. AWS has traditionally been the most popular cloud tech in Finland, but I’m glad that the available alternatives are also gaining traction now. Azure has its place too, but surprisingly it’s not exceptionally high in the minds of our specialists even though its market share is significantly larger than, for example, Google Cloud Platforms.

Personally, I think Google Cloud has great advantages, especially here in Finland. They have a data center in Hamina, which plays an important role for those customers who deal with sensitive data and want their data to be stored in Finland. Google is the only provider that can offer this option. I believe that Google Cloud Services will become increasingly popular, which will reflect on the talent market. Already now, we can see a shortage of talent in this area, which is why Solita launched its own training program together with Academic Work. This way, we are able to train Google specialists ourselves.

Based on the results of the survey, Docker and Kubernetes continue their victory march as the go-to technology for delivering and modernizing applications regardless of the customer case. The Google Kubernetes Engine seems to have especially gained traction, thanks to its ease of use compared to the competition when using or considering using a platform to deploy customers’ Docker containers.

Senior Cloud Service Specialists and Architects are the most attractive roles

In this survey, most of the respondents (60%) were Cloud Service Specialists, a quarter of the respondents Senior Cloud Service Specialists and a smaller minority (12,5 %) Senior Cloud Consultants (12,5%). For them, the most attractive next steps are Senior Cloud Service Specialists and Architects.

In general, the difference between a Cloud Service Specialist and a Consultant is that in many cases, Consultants deal more with PowerPoints and plan the big picture with the customer. Cloud Service Specialists focus more on the technical side of the work and deliver the projects. However, it’s not set in stone. We can be quite flexible with our roles at Solita, and within a certain framework, we can design our own roles based on our interests.

I work as a Senior Cloud Consultant myself, but I tend to be involved in the technical side quite often, as I enjoy rolling my sleeves and “get my hands into the mud”, as they say. Not any one day is similar to the next; A cliché I know, but true in my case at least. Any given day, I might be called upon to write code for our customer project if it involves cloud-native features. Or I might end up deploying a Terraform template to install something, and I might also create or present a PowerPoint deck and eat some delicious bear claw pastries with some coffee while at it. A suit and a tie are optional!

The ability to manage one’s own work is an important skill

Our professionals consider the ability to lead one’s own work the most important skill. It’s also a skill where people need the most training. The pace has been quite hectic in recent years as we are growing as a company. While resourcing and people leaders are looking after the teams, people also need skills to manage their time and work. This has been noticed at Solita, and the company is providing support and courses around this topic.

I’ve experienced that the culture at Solita is supportive, which helps in preventing burnout. Caring is one of our core values and highly visible in daily work. It means that people are encouraged to ask for help, and there is always support available. Solita is not a workplace where constant overtime and long hours are celebrated.

Other competencies that rank high in the survey are customer consulting skills, presentation skills, and knowledge sharing skills. It makes complete sense in our context; to work successfully with customers, which is our main job, we need the consulting and presentation skills to communicate our vision efficiently and credibly. Knowledge sharing skills, on the other hand, play a crucial role in teamwork. And we are definitely looking for team players who are willing to contribute towards a common goal.

Understanding the big picture becomes more and more important

The industry is evolving, and I can see even larger corporations becoming more interested in cloud services. If cloud solutions used to be the thing in start-ups and smaller companies, the big players have now woken up to see the benefits. That changes our ways of working and brings up interesting challenges to tackle as we need to dive deeper into compliance, regulations, and cybersecurity topics. But the goals remain the same, guiding customers towards modern and agile solutions that support their business targets.

Generally, I think it’s important to understand that cloud services are a big entity, not just single technologies or hype words. If you want to develop your skills in this industry, project work is the way to do it. The trick here is to understand the bigger picture and put different tools and technologies together to build solutions that serve the customer. And it’s not about knowing everything about a single technology, but more about the mindset; how can we leverage different tools to gain the best results and learn as we go.

Growth with our customers continues and we are constantly looking for new colleagues in our cloud community! Check out our open positions here!