The job title Cloud Architect conjures dreamy images of people creating soft, fluffy sculptures from water vapour. However, the reality could not be further from that image. They are, in fact, high-level IT professionals who do a fascinating job. Keep reading to learn about what they do, how to become one and what makes their job great.
Why do Companies Need Cloud Architects?
It’s not just technology companies that handle vast amounts of data. Almost every company nowadays owns a website that enables its customers to do business with them online. They will also likely need to store customers’ details, capture marketing data, record sales and call up real-time productivity data.
To make all of the above possible, a company must either own physical servers or use cloud services.
The role of a Cloud Architect is to design and implement a company’s cloud solutions and oversee its cloud computing strategy. Their job might include mapping out a cloud adoption plan, designing cloud infrastructure, cloud application architecture and cloud security architecture.
What Skills Does a Cloud Architect Need?
To become a Cloud Architect, you must have the following technical skills:
- Be able to code in common programming languages such as Java, Python or C#
- Have a good understanding of network and data centre technologies
- Possess sound knowledge of cloud security
- Be familiar with API (Application Programme Interface) management systems
- Have a thorough understanding of cloud services and when to use each one, for example, SQS (Simple Queuing Service), SNS (Simple Notification Service) and RDS (Relational Database Service)
- Have a good knowledge of cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform
- Understand how to manage different cloud environments, for example, private cloud, SaaS, PaaS and IaaS
What Makes a Good Cloud Architect?
In addition to the above technical skills, three essential soft skills will make an excellent Cloud Architect.
Excellent communication skills are a must-have for two reasons. Firstly, their job revolves around how different software application systems communicate with databases and operating systems. Secondly, they must be able to translate high-level, technical details into a language non-techies can understand.
Commercial awareness is another vital requirement for this job. Cloud Architects must keep their knowledge of the latest cloud technologies up to date. This is vital if they are to implement those technologies within their client’s systems and be able to explain the benefits of doing so.
Cloud Architects must be excellent time management to do their job. Of course, they must be able to manage their own workload effectively. Additionally, they must often coordinate their workloads with other Project Managers, Software Developers and Infrastructure Engineers they work alongside.
Is it Hard to Become a Cloud Architect?
It is not necessary to have a degree in Computer Science to become a Cloud Architect. That said, this is a highly technical role, so a bachelor’s degree in a related subject is an excellent place to start.
However, if you have a background in computing, it is possible to sidestep into this career from other avenues. For example, you should transition smoothly if you have previous experience as a Systems Engineer or System Administrator and a good knowledge of cloud systems.
As long as you understand operating systems, networking, security and common computer programming languages, you will likely possess the necessary skills.
Other routes into this career path are via an apprenticeship scheme or a cloud computing boot camp.
Whatever your entry path, it will help you to gain a cloud architect certification. Each major cloud platform has its own qualification; AWS and Google are a few examples. All are widely recognised throughout the industry, the best one for you to study comes down to preference. The one a company wants employees to have will depend on which one they intend to implement.
Is Cloud Architect a Good Job?
Due to the growth of cloud computing and the scarcity of their skillset, anyone who chooses to become a Cloud Architect is unlikely to experience unemployment. Furthermore, the salary expectancy of someone in this role can be anywhere between £60,000 to over £100,000.
A Few Final Words on What Cloud Architects Do
Cloud Architects are constantly on the go and work with many other people to achieve results. This may be an exciting and financially rewarding career if you are interested in cloud systems and have a passion for technology.
To get an idea of what employers seek from professionals at this level and the current salaries on offer, why not check out our current Cloud Architect jobs?