At Microsoft, for example, Azure developers are on call to help customers, says Mark Russinovich, a technical fellow with the Windows Azure group. "It's hard," he says, "to get out of the [boxed software] frame of mind." But that's very much the nature of the beast. For many developers, the speed and constant creative challenge is what makes jobs in the cloud rewarding, but if that pace is not to your taste, stay away from cloud providers.
How to get noticed by cloud hiring managersIT pros looking to make the leap may be wondering how to prove they're fit for the cloud. Those thinking a pocketful of certifications will help should think again. "Certifications have not caught up," says Russinovich. "When you're developing for the cloud, it is your background and skills that matter."
Russinovich does not make an exception for security certifications, although some other cloud execs believe security credentials are important. On the whole, though, certifications are not a significant hiring factor for the cloud, and as Foote partners has found in its regular surveys, the overall value of certifications in IT has declined for years.
.Net, Ruby, Python, Java, C#, and C++ are among the most sought-after languages for development in the cloud. Expertise with both SQL and NoSQL are in demand, as well as deep experience with Linux. Knowledge of distributed systems and asynchronous distributed systems is a huge plus, says Russinovich.
Assuming you have those skills or are willing to learn them in a hurry, how do you get noticed? At Salesforce.com, for instance, "the best thing you can do is have a friend or relative who already works here," says Monika Fahlbusch, who carries the title of senior vice president of employee success. Although that may sound like nepotism, it isn't. Salesforce is paying good money for people who can start producing immediately, so a recommendation from a trusted employee gives hiring managers an extra degree of confidence, she says.
Beyond the old boys and girls network, Fahlbusch urges candidates to "flex their social muscles." Salesforce is hardly the only company trolling for talent on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, of course. Having a presence on those networks and others is advice repeated by all of the cloud executives we spoke with.