November 20, 2019 - Blog

Version 1 Careers: Entering the World of Cloud Computing

Version 1

In our latest Careers blog we chat to Version 1's Mathijs Lautenbach, a Solutions Architect, and Thiago Di Giorgio, a Cloud and Infrastructure Consultant, about all things Cloud Computing.

Key Insights: 

  • A successful career in Cloud Computing is developed over years, bolstered by hobbies and personal interests that expand your knowledge.
  • When considering a role in the sector it’s important to understand the latest updates, developments and skills in demand.
  • Security in the Cloud is also a huge responsibility of any role in the industry; entrants to the sector should familiarise themselves with relevant best practices here.
  • Technical knowledge is not the only vantage point when entering Cloud Computing; with the right attitude anybody can be successful.

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Version 1 are experts at developing Cloud strategies that deliver real business benefits. With broad and deep expertise across Microsoft, AWS and Oracle stacks, we look beyond specific requirements to underlying issues and identify integrated solutions that benefit customers across a range of public and private industries.

Internally at Version 1, these efforts are spearheaded by several teams across Ireland and the UK. To understand what it takes to become a part of these departments, we interviewed Mathijs Lautenbach, a Solutions Architect, and Thiago Di Giorgio, a Cloud and Infrastructure Consultant, about all things Cloud Computing. Their teams are busy, fast-paced and laser focused on implementing innovative solutions – and they’re hiring. Being recipients of several industry awards for their efforts, the team has seen massive success over the past few years.

Professional success, though, doesn’t come without commitment in this industry, according to our interviewees.

Mathijs, who joined Version 1 in 2018, has an extensive background in IT, and believes his grounding in the subject has helped guide him on the successful career path he is on today. “I’ve been in the industry for 15 years,” he states. “I started as a Windows Application Administrator, and since 2012 I’ve worked with many customers on their Cloud journey, mainly as Cloud Solutions Architect.” Thiago has invested a similar amount of time in the sector, working his way up the ladder: “I started in IT 14 years ago as Level 1 Support, and now I’m a Cloud Consultant and Senior Engineer,” he states.

Both Mathijs and Thiago primarily use Microsoft Azure daily in Version 1, with the former having hosted several talks and workshops on the topic at Microsoft’s office in Dublin.

Always busy, the pair believe that their hobbies outside of work helped to hone their technical skills and progress their careers; Mathijs managed all technical activities for his family-run online health platform hosted on the Cloud, while Thiago often renders 3D images for his wife who is an Interior Designer. “I like making the ideas look real and come to life,” he states. Both agree that extra-curricular activities can help to keep you on your toes in terms of updating skills outside of business-as-usual proficiencies. “The more you put into a career in Cloud Computing, the more you’ll get out of it,” says Mathijs.

Cloud Skills in Demand

With Cloud-Computing providing so many possible career paths, the pair have similar advice for those looking to enter the industry: make sure you stay up to date with the latest developments and in-demand skills. Mathijs explains: “For businesses, being able to react quickly to changes in demands/asks in the market has never been more important. As such, keep an open-mind and can-do attitude when adopting new technologies; it will enable you to guide your customers in these exciting technological times.”

Depending on your role or interest in the industry, different skill sets can help to boost your career in Cloud Computing. Both Mathijs and Thiago suggest that those looking to enter the sector should familiarise themselves with the full range of services of one cloud provider. “You simply won’t be a Subject Matter Expert across every Cloud service,” Mathijs states, “but definitely know one inside out.”

Further, having skills to automate Cloud provisioning is also a plus, according to the pair. “Being able to use offerings like, for example, the cross-platform tool Hashicorp Terraform will allow you to work in a uniform way across different Cloud providers,” states Mathijs. Thiago, meanwhile, prefers to remain vendor agnostic; stating that “offerings like COMPTIA can give beginners the knowledge to understand basic Cloud concepts.”  Becoming familiar with Container technologies and Container orchestration systems (like Kubernetes), together with learning how to read (and ideally write) a programming language (like Python), is also recommended by the pair to help further your Cloud career.

With modern IT-departments, SysAdmins and DevOps Engineers having great responsibility in protecting and securing customers data, it’s also important to know your security responsibilities in the Cloud too. “Make an effort to become familiar with the tools and features that the Cloud provides for security too,” suggests Mathijs. Thiago agrees, explaining: “Cloud is majorly based on trust. Customers have to trust that their provider will implement enough security to protect and isolate their data from everyone else. Anyone looking to enter the industry must know the tools available to them and the techniques to implement good security around these solutions.”

Insider Tips when Job Seeking

If it’s impossible to become an SME on every Cloud solution though, as mentioned above, how can those considering a career in the Cloud Computing realm keep up with new features and services? Mathijs prefers a rather old-fashioned solution: “I subscribe to multiple RSS feeds (so much for cutting-edge technology!) using an App on my phone called: “Feedly” as part of my daily routine. I would also recommend following and connecting with various Product-Managers responsible for your service of interest on LinkedIn – is a great way of getting the latest information in your daily feed.” Thiago is more a fan of video content, suggesting that YouTube can be an excellent source of news and learning. “I follow a lot of tech channels, like Channel 9, John Savill and Azure Friday, to stay updated on industry discussions,” he says.

Aside from technical experience and knowledge, Mathijs looks out for additional traits when interviewing for his team too. “I’m looking for candidates who possess good interpersonal skills because we interact with customers everyday,” he states. “We also need people who can guide customers in adopting potential complex technical solutions, so individuals who are capable of explaining the benefits and risks of an offering in an a understandable manner is equally (if-not-more) important than the actual technical implementation of the solution itself. Be sure to include real life examples of this in your interview if you want to impress.”

Indeed, Mathijs suggests that even if you have no interview coming up, you can still hone these skills. “A good way to develop these skills before you even start your job hunt would be to get familiar with a Cloud topic and present this to your team, your fellow students or at a local Meetup. Practice makes perfect.”

Thiago agrees that it’s not all about the tech. “To join my team you have to have the right attitude. You don’t have to be a master of any one thing, but you have to have the Version 1 Core Values in you. The technical we can train, but the attitude we can’t.”

Looking to the Future

When we put Google Cloud’s recent claim that “[the] future of business will depend on realizing the promise of Cloud Computing” to the pair, they both nodded excitedly. “It’s a true statement,” agreed Mathijs. “Today’s consumers have different asks and requirements of technology than they had in the past, from the way they shop, bank or even the way they interact with government services. Therefore, for most businesses, it has never been more important to stay relevant for this new type of consumer and their desires for tech in the future. Being able to react quickly to their fast-paced demands using data-driven decisions is essential, so I really believe that leveraging ‘the promise of the Cloud’ will enable companies to do this seamlessly going forward.”

Indeed, in terms of careers, the future of the Cloud Computing industry looks bright, according to the pair. “There is no denying the fact that making the step to the Cloud enables companies to collect and use data in different ways,” says Mathijs. “What I particularly like about Cloud Computing are the capabilities and advanced features that would have cost thousands of euros in investments in the past and would have been outside of budget for many smaller organizations, now are easily available and can be enjoyed for a small monthly fee. This demand shows no sign of slowing any time soon. The future of this industry is promising, and it’s an exciting time to get involved. “

More Insights from the Cloud:

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