And How You Can Use It to Transform Your Career
Imagine scrolling through your phone only to be interrupted with a notification about low storage space. This irritating notice is often accompanied by an offer to free up storage space by offloading your data into the cloud. The simple act of moving your data off your device and into the cloud is the essence of cloud computing. Fundamentally, cloud computing is defined as an on-demand service that is delivered via the internet. While simple to conceptualize, cloud computing is actually quite vast and has numerous uses that may prove advantageous for both individuals and businesses.
Read on to learn about five ways that cloud computing can optimize your use of the internet and even land you a job!
1. Cloud computing is pay as you go. Before cloud computing, it was common to invest in the infrastructure needed to support your internet needs. This meant that you would need to purchase ownership of software or physical hardware, invest in security, and allocate space for server storage. With cloud computing, individuals or businesses simply need to pay for what they need without worrying about the other logistics. An easy way to think of this is to compare cloud computing to streaming services like Netflix! Users pay a monthly fee to access all of the services provided by Netflix and can stop that service at any time. Furthermore, the user no longer needs to purchase or store individual films and series as they have unlimited access to Netflix’s content library. By paying as you go the user does not have to take on the responsibility of owning and maintaining infrastructure and can better control the usage and costs of internet services.
2. It's both secure and has fail safes for restoring data. One of the main concerns regarding cloud computing is security. The idea of trusting your data to the cloud can seem daunting but here are a few ways that cloud computing actually makes your data more secure:
- Your data is encrypted
- Security measures are constantly updated
- All your data is stored in secure facilities usually in remote isolated locations (server farms)
- Cloud providers use AI and firewalls to keep hackers out
In addition to these security measures cloud computing is also an excellent way to store backups and copies of your data. Most cloud services practice redundancy where your data is copied and stored in various data centers. In the case of a natural disaster or power outage, redundancy is one way that guarantees zero or minimal loss to your data.
3. It creates a better environment for collaboration and is crucial for advancing remote work options for employees. Cloud computing services can make it easier for employees to collaborate and share access to files in real time. If you’ve ever used Google Drive then you’ve participated in collaborating via the cloud. This sharing of information on one accessible platform eliminates the confusion of having multiple copies of the same document and allows information to be merged coherently. Most employees prefer the ease of using one central collaborative platform and believe that doing so increases overall productivity.
Another valuable consequence of cloud collaborative platforms is synchronicity for all workers regardless of location or time zone. Cloud computing platforms like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, offer flexibility and can be instrumental in providing your employees with remote or hybrid work options.
4. Cloud Computing can be customized according to your needs. One of the best features of cloud computing is that it can be tailored to your specific business functions. There are two models that break down the ways that you can customize your usage of the cloud.
- The Deployment Model – Deployment models define who has access to the cloud. You can choose from public, private, and hybrid models. In a public model the cloud is open to all and is owned by cloud service providers. Private clouds are operated exclusively by you or a third party. Finally, hybrid clouds allow you to blend both ownership and access.
- The Service Model – These are models that cater to your specific business requirements. These three models are known as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). For more information about the functions of each model you can click here.
All in all, these models customize your usage of the cloud and help you to develop business practices that are compatible in an increasingly connected economy.
5. There’s an emerging job market in cloud computing, and it’s changing the game for many tech professionals. With more companies using cloud services, these service providers are on the lookout for skilled and knowledgeable cloud computing experts and pay them excellent salary packages in place of their services.
Want to Learn More?
These five advantages to using cloud computing are all ways to increase overall efficiency and even cut costs. If any of these reasons appeal to you then you should consider learning more about Cloud Computing via our free Cloud Skills Challenge! We’ve handpicked three different courses that teach you in-demand skills and provided an opportunity for certification. The first 50 people to complete both the challenge and exam will receive a full reimbursement. We hope that you participate, good luck!
You can also check out cloud computing jobs by clicking here!
Cloud computing has seen huge advancements in the last couple of years as the pandemic has forced companies to keep up with productivity, reduce costs, and stay connected. Instead of using in-house servers and computing power, “the cloud” offers the flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness that companies need.
So it’s no surprise that cloud computing has been rated as one of the most sought-after tech skills by LinkedIn and Indeed this year. With ever-changing technology, the demand for certified cloud computing professionals has soared. The shortage of qualified professionals in this domain presents a golden opportunity for those who are willing to learn the necessary cloud computing skills.
And that’s why we’re excited to announce that PowerToFly is collaborating with the Microsoft U.S. Developer team to bring you FREE Cloud Skills Challenges all year long. Participants can develop new, highly-sought after skills by enrolling in three new challenges every quarter and get the chance to earn a Microsoft Cloud Computing Certification once the challenge has been completed. Those who take the challenge through PowerToFly have the opportunity to take the exam for free!
Cloud Skills Challenge
The challenges consist of completing a series of modules on Microsoft’s learning platform and benchmarking progress against other participants. After completing the challenge, participants can take an exam to earn an official Microsoft certification (paid for by PowerToFly!).
PowerToFly hosted our first Cloud Skills challenge in December 2021, where over 1,200 participants completed a Microsoft certified online course focused on Microsoft Azure and DevOps-related cloud computing skills.
We were blown away by the quality of students who participated in the challenge and walked away with new, marketable skills and an official certificate. It went so well that we are pleased to announce that we will be offering more Microsoft challenges exclusively for the PowerToFly community.
We are currently offering the following challenges:
Learn to design and implement strategies for collaboration, code, infrastructure, source control, security, compliance, continuous integration, testing, delivery, monitoring, and feedback.
Azure AI Engineer Associate
Learn to analyze solution requirements; design solutions; integrate AI models into solutions; and deploy and manage solutions.
Azure Data Scientist Associate
Learn to manage Azure resources for machine learning; run experiments and train models; deploy and operationalize machine learning solutions; and implement responsible machine learning.
These courses have been hand-picked by PowerToFly’s Customer Success team because they cover some of the most in-demand, high-paying skills companies are looking for this year.
PowerToFly will reimburse the first 50 people who successfully complete the challenge coursework and the certification exam!
Don’t miss your opportunity to level up your tech career! Click here to earn a FREE Microsoft Certification exam.
From Aerospace to Computer Engineering: How DigitalOcean’s Carolyn Mason Changed Her Career to Work for Her
Advice on Shifting to Engineering & Remote Work
You know those people who go to college 100% sure of what they want to study, then graduate 100% sure of what they want to do for work? That was Carolyn Mason. Until it wasn't.
Carolyn graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in aerospace engineering and went directly to work as a propulsion systems analyst.
"I was doing exactly what I thought I wanted," she says. "I was working on jet engines, doing thermal design and analysis."
But a few years in, something didn't feel quite right.
"The culture wasn't great for me," shares Carolyn. "The work was a little bit slower and projects took a longer time; it's just the nature of how they work. And because a lot of the work we were doing was very sensitive, that added extra hurdles to things like even getting software updated."
On the work front, Carolyn knew she was ready to make a move. And on the personal front, she was building out a van with the intention of living in it and traveling. She knew she wanted a meaningful engineering role that would give her the freedom to work remotely and explore. Enter DigitalOcean.
Preparing to make a change
Carolyn is now a performance engineer at cloud computing company DigitalOcean, but her transition wasn't immediate.
When Carolyn decided she wanted to consider a new role, she started out by taking online classes on data science and software engineering to build up her relevant skills. She connected with a friend of hers who had just finished a master's in network engineering and asked for reading recommendations and homework. She set herself up on personal projects to practice what she was learning. And she read about software, companies she thought she might want to work for, and job openings.
Carolyn knew she wanted a remote job and found PowerToFly's remote job board. "There are quite a few different remote job boards on the internet, but PowerToFly is what I kept going back to," she says. She started attending PowerToFly events, including a virtual one hosted by DigitalOcean, and decided to apply.
After a year of taking classes and six months of preparing to enter the job market, she accepted an offer from DigitalOcean and joined their performance engineering team, where she now works to manage and maintain DO's cloud services. Her current project is building a tool to aggregate alerts and see over time how healthy DO's systems are, with more insight into incidents and trends.
Carolyn has one simple piece of advice for other engineers looking to make a transition to another field: "Start learning as much as you can." She says the most important skills she uses across disciplines are good problem-solving and good engineering practices, and that everything else, from new coding languages to specific tools and applications, can be learned as long as there's that solid base in place.
Taking work on the road—literally
Carolyn thought she'd like a role in software engineering, particularly for a remote company. It turns out that she loves it.
We talked to Carolyn from her van, which she's fully kitted out, complete with three bikes that she takes out on breaks during the day or on longer trips after she's done with work. The remote nature of her work allows her to pursue the lifestyle she prefers while letting her build a career, be part of a team, and pursue meaningful work, too—and to do so even more efficiently than working in an office.
"I'm not blocked on anything, really ever, for more than an hour," says Carolyn. "In previous roles, sometimes it would actually be weeks of not getting support on whatever it was. I've been really, really happy with how DigitalOcean is set up."
That set-up includes DO's IT support ("they're very responsive," says Carolyn), remote work setup (DO sent Carolyn all the tech she needed, including a monitor, laptop, and headphones), her team's availability to answer questions pretty much whenever ("I feel like I've had a much easier time asking questions as a more junior engineer because everyone's available all at once; I don't have to go wander to someone's desk and see if they're there"), her interactions with managers ("both my manager and my manager's manager have been very, very supportive"), and the fact that none of her meetings require her to book available conference rooms.
Carolyn has also enjoyed DO's focus on empowering employees, including via their "Shark-Hack" week, where engineers are given a week off from their regular work (and regular meetings) to explore personal projects, which they can then present to the whole company. Carolyn joined her first one only a week after joining and worked on a project on droplet fingerprinting. She shares an overview: "Essentially what we were doing was to see if without knowing what was running on customer machines, whether we could classify what resources they're using, so we could down the road pair droplets who need different resources. This one could be very CPU intensive and that one could be very network intensive, but if you had one hypervisor where it was all very CPU intensive, then they don't share as well. So in classifying sets of droplets, you can pair them and just get better performance."
Changing career fields wasn't without its challenges—Carolyn says her first few months were spent "taking a lot of notes on everything in a growing Google doc of things to go back and reference"—but her drive to learn and her team's generous support made it easy to work out any kinks and get fully up to speed.
"Because everyone's working in different time zones, it's more about getting your work done than sitting somewhere for 40 hours," says Carolyn. "That has been a really good mental transition for me. And I feel more ownership for the work I'm doing."
If you're interested in a role (including many remote ones) at DigitalOcean, check out their PowertoFly hub here, which also includes information on upcoming virtual events.