Can you transform IT professionals into cloud experts in just 6 weeks?

– Well, I’d say Yes and No, but let me elaborate on that answer a bit. 🙂

I’m one of the participants in Nordcloud’s first Talent Acceleration program, which kicked off in the beginning of June. Nordcloud helps its’ customers to utilize the public cloud, but currently there’s a real shortage of cloud professionals, especially of seasoned Cloud Architects. Nordcloud Talent Acceleration is a fast-track program – lasting just 6 weeks – for training cloud experts from seasoned IT professionals to help Nordcloud mitigate talent demand.

After the training period ends in middle of August we’ll graduate to become Cloud Engineer, and start working in real customer projects, with the support of more senior staff members in the beginning. Getting real work experience in actual customer projects is a valuable thing, and one you can’t get with just taking cloud courses.

 

From software developer to cloud expert

For myself, the program is a return to a more technical role. At the start of my career I worked couple of years as a software developer and later on part as a sysadmin, but my last role has been working as a consultant – in theory mostly helping customers with collaboration tools and B2B marketing, but in practice selling my expertise in a very wide range of topics related to digitalisation. I’ve done everything from doing studies and compiling reports to delivering trainings and public speeches but also some technical work as well.

All of us in the #1 program have several years of work experience in the traditional IT fields; most seem to come from a networking or a sysadmin background, but some have also programming experience. We will be going through several AWS courses (architecting, systems operations and DevOps), which comprise of both classroom training and labs, but we’re also working in small teams on a couple of case studies, i.e. architecting, implementing and automating an environment modeled after a real customer case (so called ”Lift & Shift” case).

 

Digging deeper into cloud platforms

I’ve been following the developments in the cloud field, but never had a change to dig deeper into any of the cloud platforms, while working as a consultant on the application layer things. Getting familiar with Amazon Web Services has been very interesting, and I’ve been amazed about the possibilities virtual servers in the public cloud, containers and serverless offers. We have currently learnt both how to build modern server architectures in AWS by ourselves, and also started to learn how to automate infra creation as well. The thought that one can just store a complex server infrastructure in a version control system, and easily deploy that to any other region is mind-boggling – to say the least.

Nordcloud has also done quite a lot of IoT and AI / Machine Learning projects – which I wasn’t aware of before joining – and offers advisory services as well. As I’m always interested in new technologies and have consulting experience, I might lean into that direction in the future; let’s see.

So getting back to the original question – yes, I think we will be ready to work as Cloud Engineers after the program, but I’m sure there will still be a lot to learn and working with our experienced Cloud Architects will definitely help us get productive in a fast manner.

I’ll try to find the time to write another blog post or two about my experience later on, so stay tuned!

Harri Lakkala, Nordcloud Talent Acceleration Cloud Trainee

 

BTW. If you are an IT professional working on the ”old stuff”, check out the Nordcloud Talent Acceleration websiteNordcloud has at least 2 more infra tracks coming up in August and there’s also a new Cloud Developer track. You are a salaried employee from day 1 (including the training period) and get pretty extensive AWS trainings, so becoming a cloud expert has never been easier!

 

Harri Lakkala is one of the Nordcloud Talent Acceleration track #1 participants and a seasoned IT/Digitalisation Expert. This blog post has been cross-posted from Harri’s LinkedIn blog.