According to a recent analysis by CyberCoders cloud computing talents will be the second most sought after IT skill in 2013. Interestingly the analysis specifically calls out AWS and Azure. That these two are included is not a surprise to those of us that have followed the evolution of cloud computing over the past few years. Conspicuously absent from the list, however, is Google but let’s not go there right now.
In the early days it seemed that Amazon and Microsoft took fundamentally different approaches to where they would operate in the cloud marketplace. Amazon was primarily an IaaS play whereas Microsoft Azure was a PaaS. Today the distinction has blurred. Amazon has many offerings which are certainly more than just infrastructure and Microsoft now offers true virtual machines (including Linux!) as part of Azure. Obviously competitive pressures and market realities have caused this convergence.
It is my belief that Amazon is still the market leader in public cloud computing. Don’t count Microsoft out, though. Azure has many good technical merits and the new Web Sites service (which allows you to host up to 10 simple ASP.Net web applications for free) is totally awesome. I am also pretty happy with the SQL Reporting service as I previously have said.
When an IT skill is in demand there is a good possibility that someone will develop a certification program around it so that individuals claiming competence can be validated in some sense. This is now the case with Amazon AWS. Amazon has introduced a certification program for those who would like to demonstrate competence in AWS. The first certification they are offering is called “AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Level“. Microsoft also seems to be adjusting their certification programs for the new reality of the cloud. Even Learning Tree offers a Cloud Computing Certification Program!
Obtaining the Amazon AWS credential involves completing a comprehensive exam demonstrating in-depth knowledge of AWS services as well as general IT knowledge. Learning Tree course: Cloud Computing with Amazon Web Services is a good introduction to AWS and will definitely help you on your way towards success on the AWS exam. On the other hand Learning Tree course: Cloud Computing Technologies: A Comprehensive Hands-On Introduction will give you exposure to a broad spectrum of cloud offerings including Microsoft Azure. Both of these courses offer hands-on experience in what the data shows is one of the hottest technology areas for 2013.