Should You Train To Be A Cloud Computing Professional? – Part 1

Should You Train To Be A Cloud Computing Professional? – Part 1

Growing up as a high school student in the late 90s, I became interested in computers, and for the first time, considered making a career out of it. When I graduated high school in 2000, the love for computers hadn’t died down and I resolved to study computer engineering. Of course, that was the heyday of the dotcom boom, when any company with the word “technology” in its name had no problem getting millions of dollars in financing. We all know how it ended.

The dotcom boom, now called dotcom bubble, burst when I was still in undergrad. There was a lot of pessimism and we students worried about employment come graduation. Thankfully, things improved by 2004 and I managed to secure a position at Kanbay, a software firm that was later acquired by global consulting giant Capgemini.

Today, when cloud computing is being touted as the next big thing, it is obvious that college students would be asking themselves, “Should I train to be a cloud computing professional?” My answer is an unequivocal “Yes!” For the pessimist who would try to draw parallels with the reduced demand for computer professionals during the early 2000s, I would like to point out several fallacies to the argument.

First of all, the cloud computing boom is quite different from the dotcom boom. Whereas the former has the support of giant enterprises like IBM, Amazon, Dell and Intel, the latter was largely fueled by overambitious entrepreneurs with grandiose ideas and no business plans. I had earlier explored this difference when analyzing the recent growth of cloud computing stocks (See: Are Cloud Computing Stocks Overvalued?). Thus, while caution is never useless advice (See: How to Avoid a Cloud Computing Gold Rush ), I do believe that cloud computing is here to stay, and grow.

Second, the dotcom bubble was an aberration, the same way the Y2K scare was, just preceding it. I remember the fearful articles that predicted severe disruption if the COBOL code that ran legacy systems was not rectified. I also remember how programmers from India, with a few hours of COBOL training from nondescript institutes, were being welcomed to the US with open arms and charging $100/hour. The point of my argument is that aberrations occur; however, they do not represent a trend. And the trend is towards greater flexibility, scalability and optimization – everything cloud computing excels in (See: Virtualization: The Virtual Way to Real-World Benefits).

In the second and concluding part of this article, I will present some data which supports my assertion that indeed, cloud computing is a great career choice.

By Sourya Biswas

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