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Cloud journeys: Overcome hurdles to break into the cloud industry

Tips on how to gain cloud experience, learn new skills, and forge a cloud path—straight from cloud engineers and developers who’ve mastered the industry.

Mar 22, 2024 • 5 Minute Read

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  • Cloud
  • Learning & Development

Pluralsight is proud to support the growing community of cloud gurus by sponsoring the Cloud Career Journeys book by Prasad Rao and Ashish Prajapati

Welcome to Cloud Career Journeys, the blog series where we dive into the book, explore different paths into cloud, and provide advice based on where you are in your journey. In the previous post, we covered the Pathfinders, or people who broke into cloud computing without any technology background.

In this post, we look at the Undefeated—people who overcome the odds to forge a cloud path, even if setbacks force them to change direction or take a break. You’ll also get real-life insights from Undefeated cloud expert Jamila Jamilova, Solutions Architect at AWS.

Purchase the book to get more cloud tips and receive a free one-month Pluralsight Skills Premium subscription.

Table of contents

The Undefeated: Finding your cloud path against the odds

You might be Undefeated if you’re a resilient trailblazer who persists even when the road ahead gets rocky. You might experience setbacks or change course, but nothing stops you from reaching your goal, and you can use that drive to forge ahead and create a cloud path for yourself. 

Advice for the Undefeated: Learn new cloud skills strategically

Just because you can pick yourself up from every challenge doesn’t mean you enjoy the process. This advice can help you avoid obstacles in the cloud industry.

Learn cloud computing fundamentals first

Learn cloud compute, storage, database, networking, and security fundamentals before diving into deeper, more complex topics or cloud technology. Cloud computing fundamentals courses can help you start building your knowledge.

“It’s super important to be conscious about what you’re currently doing and what you are trying to achieve,” says Jamila. “If you’re early in your career, you don’t know what you don’t know, and you don't know in which area you want to start, the vertical or the industry. Just go out there and start experimenting with all the fancy and shiny technology. It’s up to you. You will learn a lot. You will hone your core skills, and it will be in your portfolio, and it will serve you for the rest of your life. 

"Let’s say you have five to ten years of experience doing certain things in a certain way. Then think about how you can do it differently in a better way, in a faster way.”

Learn more about Jamila’s cloud journey.

Earn relevant certifications to become cloud certified

Cloud certifications are an excellent way to show what you know. But earning a spate of random certifications won’t help you in the long run. Pursue certifications relevant to your cloud career goals and augment those certs with practical experience.

“I found that [the certification] boosted my confidence because it wasn’t just the checkbox to get the certification, but the actual steps I did along the way,” says Jamila. “[I] learned, got a mentor, learned a lot of new concepts, actually built it, worked through the workshops. . . . When the customer asks [about a concept], I didn’t remember a single question from the certification. But I remembered how I solved that question.”

Make learning cloud skills a habit

Build learning into your daily routine, even if only for a few minutes each day. Eventually, it’ll become a habit in your cloud journey. Look for episodic content you can fit into the little minutes of free time when you’re in line at the store, commuting to work, or even taking a shower.

Action: Network and gain practical experience with cloud skills

For the Undefeated, certain steps can accelerate career growth along your cloud learning journey.

Get hands-on experience

Build your skills with hands-on experience. You can find free projects and hands-on labs online. Revisit those projects after a few weeks to test your retention and practice those skills again.

Attend cloud industry events and meetups

You can also attend free cloud events. These meetups often include workshops led by experts and give you the opportunity to build a cloud community and connect with like-minded people.

Alerts: Define your own cloud learning experience

Be cautious of common mistakes when learning cloud computing.

Know your limits as you learn new skills

You won’t become a cloud specialist overnight, no matter how much time or effort you put into learning. Take small steps towards your goal. Don’t overextend yourself. If you take on too many projects or reach beyond your skill level, you’ll burn out.

Approach cloud experts for help—the right way

Many cloud specialists are passionate about building community and helping others break into cloud computing. Before you reach out to someone, learn about them and their experience. Consider how they can help you achieve your cloud journey goals. Then, and only then, reach out with a thoughtful, respectful message and clear request. 

Says Jamila, “I got to know [Prasad Rao] over LinkedIn, and I started to follow him. He was actually opening a mentorship kind of program where he was mentoring cloud enthusiasts. I applied for the program, but I didn't get accepted.

“I thought, even though I didn’t get admitted to that membership program, I will still keep adding people from the industry. I will start reading their posts, and this is how I got to know my mentor. He started to kind of teach me.

“And any time I was coming with dumb questions, he always made sure [to tell me] that these questions are not dumb at all.”

Find your own pace for career growth in the cloud industry

When you see others earn certifications, land job interviews, or learn faster than you, it can be easy to feel discouraged. Everyone has their own cloud journey and pace. Someone else’s success doesn’t take away from your progress and accomplishments.

Start forging your cloud path now

To hear more from Jamila, get the Cloud Career Journeys book chock-full of inspiring cloud stories and career advice.

Your copy of the book comes with a free one-month Pluralsight Skills Premium subscription worth $45 so you can learn new skills and build cloud experience. Purchase the ebook or Starter Kit on Gumroad for a discount.

Explore other cloud career paths:

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