Despite the high demand, salaries are hardly exploding. The average salary in Dice's cloud listings is $86,300, an increase of less than 6% in the past 12 months. That tracks with research InfoWorld has done since the recession bottomed out two years ago: IT departments are simply unwilling to let salaries escalate too rapidly.
Cloud novice? No problemBecause the cloud is relatively new, executives at most of the companies we spoke with say that the right candidates don't necessarily have to have extensive cloud experience. "A great software engineer is a great software engineer. We believe in hiring great talent," says Amazon's Selipsky. He looks for "bright, talented, motivated people who are the right cultural fit. Those are the people who generally succeed."
More specifically, Amazon is hiring software development engineers, including some with experience deeper down in the stack for infrastructure services and networking. Other hiring needs include developers who can work with AWS's point-and-click management console.
That's not to say that working in the cloud is the same as yesterday's software job. "Cloud offerings are intrinsically a service. There's an emphasis on high levels of availability, reliability, and service," says Selipsky. If you can demonstrate that you've built something that meets those requirements, Amazon and other providers want to talk to you.
Some of the jobs have titles new to IT. "Lately we have a push to hire devops, a hybrid of an operations engineer who also does scripting," says Rackspace's James. "They are really systems engineers who work in a development environment." Rackspace isn't the only company hiring devops. On any given day, there are roughly 200 listings for devops on Dice, the jobs board reports.
Since Rackspace emphasizes its open approach, it's not surprising that experience with Linux is high on James' list. He's also looking for hands-on scripting experience with Python and Ruby, as well as a thorough understanding of networking and DNS. What languages are preferred? "In no particular order, Java, C#, C++, Ruby, and Ruby on Rails," he says.