Cloud computing has become indispensable ever since the pandemic.
Cloud has become an integral part of the digital world, and so, there is a high demand for professionals with cloud engineering skills.
A strong foundation in this field will certainly help you land a high-paying job for your dream career.
In this article, I will list the many correct paths you need to take to become a successful cloud engineer.
First, let us understand what a cloud engineer is.
What is a Cloud Engineer?
A cloud engineer’s roles and responsibilities include creating and managing cloud infrastructure.
They are IT professionals in charge of all technological duties associated with cloud computing.
A cloud engineer is an umbrella term that defines a number of cloud computing roles.
It includes a focus on engineering, architecture, development, and administration.
A cloud engineer has to deal with the technicalities that can arrive with the ever-increasing cloud work environment.
It includes cloud architecting, development, administration, and maintenance.
In other words, cloud engineering deals with the process of designing the systems necessary to leverage the power and economics of cloud resources to their optimum level and solve related business problems.
How to become a Cloud Engineer?
To become a cloud engineer, you need to gain some foundational cloud engineering skills.
👉 Earn a Bachelor's Degree:
The primary step is having a formal education in a technical field.
Attaining a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is critical, and is the basic criterion for most companies.
You can also consider graduating with a cloud computing certification to make you a more desirable candidate.
👉 Gain Proficiency in the field of Cloud Computing:
Get proficiency in at least one of the three major cloud computing platforms like AWS, Azure, or GCP.
There are plenty of resources online where you can acquire more knowledge on these topics.
👉 Gather Experience in a Programming Language:
Consider having experience in at least one data-oriented programming language like Python, Java, and Clojure.
👉 Make yourself a Specialist:
Apart from your knowledge of cloud computing platforms, you must have a conceptual understanding of
- Storage and Networking
- Virtualization and Operating Systems
- Security and Disaster Recoveries
- Web Services and DevOps
👉 Go for an Internship:
If you want to gain more experience in cloud engineering, an internship can be a great way.
Apart from acquiring a piece of practical knowledge, you will also develop an understanding of what your actual job will be.
And if you land an internship in one of the MAANG companies then it will be an added boost to your career.
Interview Process for Cloud Engineer Role
The general interview process for a cloud engineer role is quite straightforward.
Most interview questions are based on security, services, and procedures, which you can solve if you have some basic cloud engineering skills.
The interview process usually starts with easy to medium-level questions.
You should start your interview preparation journey knowing more about Array, Lists, Stacks, and Binary Trees, and establish at the interview time that you have a sound knowledge of DSA.
Normally, the interview process is divided into four main sections:
✅ Aptitude: This section tests your ability in mathematical aptitude, logical reasoning, and general reasoning. Most of the questions are of easy to moderate difficulty level.
✅ Operating Systems: Here, you need to share your knowledge of operating systems, including memory management, process lifecycle, contiguous memory, and process tables. This section is of a moderate difficulty level.
✅ Coding: Under this section, you require proving your theoretical as well as practical skills. You must have a decent level of coding skills under your belt.
✅ Analytical And Troubleshooting Skills: You will be tested on how you interact with instances and have to establish your troubleshooting and problem-solving skills. Analyzing things and getting to a result from a log file is an important attribute that comes under cloud engineer roles and responsibilities.
In addition to the above, cloud engineer requirements include that a candidate has good communication skills.
They must be able to make an effective channel between the working team and all the stakeholders.
This ensures that a cloud engineer can share the most time-efficient solution when an incident occurs.
Interview Preparation Strategy for Cloud Engineer
You can start your interview preparation by researching the common cloud architectural patterns and techniques they work on.
The best way is to familiarize yourself with the three-tier architecture pattern, as it is most popular among various companies.
You should consider learning the appropriate cloud services that can be applied to a particular type of architecture.
Apart from having a general knowledge of cloud computing, you must have a basic knowledge of different platforms like AWS, Azure, IBM, Red Hat, etc.
Understand the features of various platforms and know the problems they can tackle.
If you are looking for more opportunities, focus on the market leader.
And in the case of cloud engineering, AWS is the leader, so prepare your interview in accordance with this platform.
Regardless of the job position you are applying for, find the common practices in your line.
Once you know them, go into deep details, along with the techniques you can use.
In case there are specific technologies needed in your job, focus on them.
This will help when your current practical experience is insufficient, but you will still be capable of explaining the concepts in general overview.
Most of the time, an interviewer will test you with the adaptability of your cloud technology knowledge rather than your in-depth knowledge of a particular cloud platform.
You can also start your interview preparation with a project development report on cloud computing.
This will help you establish that you are experienced in cloud-based tech and have a firm grasp of SaaS technologies, platforms, and applications.
Your working project can also reveal that you have an intimate knowledge to customise cloud computing attributes to a business effectively.
Interview Preparation Tips - Cloud Engineering Skills to Have
There are several tips to help you get your cloud engineer interview right.
The interviewer is most likely to ask debugging questions, including situational questions.
It helps test the hands-on knowledge of a candidate and tells the interviewer the way a candidate will implement things in a given situation.
This is the strategy where the recruiter understands that you are comfortable with a long-time or a short-time solution.
➡️ Practice Scripting, Python, and Golang and understand layers of networking.
➡️ Learn Mind Mapping trick. It will help you to explore every topic in detail and let you answer anything the interviewer may raise on your way.
➡️ Get yourself enough time to go into interview mode. If you are a working professional, ask the recruiter for more time to help prepare yourself with the interview topics.
➡️ Make a schedule and stick to it. Create a timeline goal and calculate the time you want to spend for preparation, considering your current job.
➡️ Categorize your topics according to weekdays and weekends. As you will have less time on weekdays, choose the points that need less time to grasp. Likewise, on weekends, work on the conceptual elements that need more time.
➡️ Prepare your topics according to the desired role you are applying for, that is cloud computing.
➡️ Make sure you find the skills that are needed and restructure them.
➡️ Take help from a mentor, as they can share the right resources. They can also help you with the best interview preparations through a series of mock interviews. They will also discuss the weaknesses you need to work on and the areas where you need to focus on during the interview.
➡️ Prepare yourself for the specific cloud engineer role. It is easier to go through the interview when you are well prepared with the technologies and the specifications that a particular role is demanding.
Recruiters usually prefer experienced candidates for the post of cloud engineer. But freshers are not kept away.
For example, MAANG companies and most startups prefer fresh candidates, as they are easy to mould and are ready to fit in any environment.
If you are new to the field and your cloud experience is not of industry level, then you should work on other parts of your skill.
Like, you can work more on the programming level, strengthen your networking part, or polish your debugging skills.
It will surely help showcase you as a desirable candidate for the post.
Common Mistakes to avoid during Interview Preparation
There are some most common mistakes mentees make during interview preparation.
🔶 Sticking to a Single Resource
Never stick to one resource during your interview preparation. For example, most candidates rely upon gathering information online.
The Internet is a good source of information, but most of the content there is generic and may not fit your particular situation.
🔶 Failing to Consult a Recruiter or Mentor
An open-ended conversation with your mentor can be paramount in your interview preparation.
They have already gone through the interview process, so they can find the right resources to help you.
Moreover, they can tell you the topics you can expect at the time of your interview.
🔶 Not Practising Questions Online
One of the most common modes of interview preparation is mugging up the sample questions online.
You might go through a series of sample questions, but there are fair chances that at the interview time, the first question you are asked is far away from what you have learnt online.
Certifications and your Job Interview
Certificates are just for your interview purpose, and after that, your knowledge will get you through.
Your knowledge is the key and can never be compromised.
If you can showcase your working knowledge, then certificates are merely added qualifications.
However, certain roles require a certificate as an eligibility criterion, but in most of the job roles for cloud engineers, they are not the only way.
Many service-based companies prefer having certification.
You can consider earning a relevant certificate to help showcase your knowledge and skills.
Some of the most popular certifications include:
🟢 AWS Certification:
Here you can choose from Cloud Practitioner, Solutions Architect, Developer, SAP on AWS, and SysOps Administrator.
🟢 Google Cloud Platform Certifications:
It includes Professional Cloud Architect, Professional Cloud Developer, and Professional Cloud Security Engineer certifications.
🟢 Microsoft Certifications:
Here, you can opt for Azure Developer or Azure Fundamentals.
There are two types of certifications: vendor-neutral and vendor-specific.
Vendor-neutral typically covers all general concepts very well.
But, if you want to start working on actual projects, then a vendor-specific foundation-level certification from a platform like AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud can be a better option.
How can someone Apply for a Cloud Engineer Role?
In order to apply for a cloud engineer role, start by creating a winning resume.
While crafting your resume, focus on your knowledge of scripting and emphasise your understanding of the application side.
Moreover, don't forget to mention your internships, previous jobs, and academic or personal projects related to the cloud or even to IT.
You can follow the steps below towards your cloud engineer journey:
☑️ Step 1: Make Yourself Familiar with the Cloud Industry
Cloud computing world is consistently on the change, with new tools and updates arriving every day.
So make yourself familiar with the changes and understand how to secure data for the end user.
You must know about Kubernetes and Docker services.
Repetition in problem-solving skills will help you make faster and is a key factor for a skilled cloud engineer.
☑️ Step 2: Take the Help of a Mentor:
One of the best ways to create a cloud engineer career is to find a mentor.
Cloud engineering skills and languages are changing over time, and you need to keep pace with this industry.
A mentor can guide you with the right way to develop knowledge and can keep you updated, always.
They will assist you at each step of your career journey, providing you with the right approach for a cloud engineer role.
Apart from assisting and prepping you for the interview with the help of mock interviews, a mentor can point you to the right organisations that are looking for your kind of skill sets.
They will also share your weak points where you need to grow.
Mentors can also introduce you to like-minded communities and groups.
Joining events and groups of learners who have common interests is a better way to find a job.
In addition, your networking capabilities will be appreciated by your prospective employees.
☑️ Step 3: Understand the Cloud Engineering Skills You Need
Learn cloud engineering skills and work on them with the help of a mentor.
There are certain skills, and mastering them will keep you a step ahead of other candidates.
✪ General computer and system knowledge with the know-how of programming languages
✪ Knowledge of storing, managing, accessing, and using the data contained in a database
✪ Understanding cybersecurity best practices, ensuring secure information according to cloud-specific needs
✪ Datacenter utilization and designing with skills in information management
✪ Quality Assurance capabilities with testing and controlling both, processes and products
✪ A hands-on DevOps for gaining skills on the development and operations side of a project
✪ Project management skills along with Agile and Scrum practices
☑️ Step 4: Get Yourself Prepared for the Interview
Prepare yourself for the final round - the interview.
Go through the most common interview questions while not forgetting about the technical side.
Your interviewer probably might ask some technical questions, but they will focus more on your ability to perform the given tasks.
Your mentor can be a good source for your interview preparation.
They will take you through various mock interviews and will help you become more confident.
The best advice for new candidates is that they must be ready to quote their price when asked.
You must know your worth.
If you fail to quote yourself, an interviewer might keep your resume aside with a note - lack of planning or inability to compare on a crucial metric.
Automation in the field of technology has made cloud resources easier to use, which is why the cloud computing market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of almost 15.8% for the period 2022-2028.
So, it is a great time to be looking at cloud engineering as a career choice.
If you are looking to know how to become a cloud engineer and learn more about cloud engineering skills, a mentor can be the right help.
This also applies to those who want to transition from a traditional IT role to a specialized position as a cloud engineer.
Cloud engineering is a technical field.
Preparing for a suitable post without the right preparation is a tough nut to crack.
Since the mentors have already gone through the rigorous interview process with the industry giants and are working in the same industry, they are the best guides.
They can be your guiding light at every step of your interview preparation. 💫
Preplaced offers 1:1 consultation and is a platform where you can choose the right mentor for your field.
These mentors not only help you in interview preparation but also assist you in resume building.
You will also learn interview-facing skills, gain industry referrals, and know your weak and strong areas.