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Cloud journeys: Cloud tech leaders accelerate growth

From hands-on projects to cloud challenges, tech leader Nana Janashia shares advice for building cloud skills and enabling cloud career progression.

Apr 12, 2024 • 5 Minute Read

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  • Cloud
  • Professional Development
  • 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

Throughout the Cloud Career Journeys blog series, we mostly talk about breaking into the cloud computing industry. What if you’re already there? How can you continue to learn and grow your career?

Look towards the Accelerators—tech leaders who empower both new and experienced cloud professionals to level up and learn cloud skills for career development.

In this post, we uncover advice for cloud explorers and hear from Accelerator Nana Janashia, Founder of TechWorld with Nana. 

Ready to learn from other cloud leaders? Purchase the Cloud Career Journeys book and get all the expert insights.

Table of contents

The Accelerators: Force multipliers for cloud skills

Accelerators are tech leaders who help existing and aspiring cloud professionals learn cloud skills and technologies. In doing so, they enable and advocate for tech career progression.

Advice from Accelerators: Make learning part of your cloud strategy

Regardless of where you are in your cloud journey, this advice can help you level up your cloud skills (and potentially even become an Accelerator yourself!).

Start with cloud concepts

Tech is always changing, and the sheer number of concepts, tools, and technologies can be overwhelming. 

“The number one thing I tell people is focus on concepts and trying to understand the underlying problems and solutions before you even start diving into the tools,” advises Nana. “Concepts, and then, once you understand those, move on to learning the individual tools.”

Get all of Nana's advice on cloud computing.

Create a structured cloud learning path to progress your knowledge

It’s important to learn the prerequisites for one topic before jumping into more advanced applications. Find a roadmap or guide to structure your learning and prevent wasted time. Certifications and introductory courses are one way to naturally progress through new material. 

“If you’re learning something which is tech-related, in some shape or form, that knowledge is going to benefit you when you’re learning something else,” says Nana. “But I think the number one time waster for me was probably trying to learn multiple things at once, especially when they don’t make sense in the beginning. 

“Basically, trying to piece this puzzle together instead of trying to concentrate on one part and then the next one. I was curious, and I was excited about everything, so I was trying to learn everything at once, which is going to slow you down.”

Analyze your strengths and weaknesses

When considering a cloud career, assess your strengths, weaknesses, and interests. For example, if you’re more interested in abstract concepts, you might pursue an architect role. If you want to focus on specialized skills, a role in programming or operations may suit you better.

You can always grow and improve, but knowing where you stand will help you acquire the skills you need to reach your goals.

Action: Cloud strategies for learning and career development

These actions can help you accelerate your cloud career development.

Prioritize project-based learning

Deep learning requires more than rote memorization. Instead of passive learning, prioritize project-based learning and hands-on applications. 

“I was actually learning AWS and Kubernetes at once, which is not an easy task,” says Nana. “But the great thing was that I was actually learning it by implementing an actual project and not, you know, using tutorials that just give you theoretical definitions or a listing of features.”

Certifications are one way to do that, but they’re not for everyone. “Honestly, I’m not a certification type person,” says Nana. “So I remember looking at [certifications] and then deciding, ‘You know what, I’m just gonna do the hands-on stuff, like whatever was enough to get me to the next job or next project or next whatever.’”

Raise your hand for cloud challenges

If you want to kickstart your cloud career progression, take on new projects and challenges that other people aren’t interested in. You’ll build your knowledge with hands-on experience and develop valuable skills no one else on your team has. 

“There were a lot of technologies that people like software engineers generally didn’t want to touch, one of them being cloud and Kubernetes,” says Nana. “So every time that happened, I saw an opportunity, and I would raise my hand. I was like, ‘Yes, I’m going to do that.’

“I wanted to learn skill sets in all those teams that I worked in that only I had . . . that nobody else wanted to do. Basically so that I could be super valuable for the team and for the company.”

Alerts: Don’t let these things slow your career progression

Certain actions can impair your career development. Watch out for these alerts as you explore the cloud.

Staying in your comfort zone

Learning happens outside of your comfort zone. If you restrict yourself to what you already know, you’ll struggle to develop the cloud skills you need to advance your career. Adopt a growth mindset and aim for continuous improvement, no matter how small. It’s this mindset that drives the cloud.

“[The cloud community could] be like, ‘You know what? We have had enough changes and improvements and developments and tools, let’s just settle on a couple of them. Let’s just make it comfortable,’” says Nana. “But no, they just keep pushing. ‘Let’s see if there’s more room for improvement. Let’s see if we can do this even better.’”

Comparing your tech skills or career to others

Everyone comes from different starting points. If you compare yourself to more experienced tech leaders, it can be easy to feel discouraged. Try to turn that into motivation instead. What can you learn from them and incorporate into your own journey?

“When I joined the team, we had these experienced, expert-level engineers . . . that made me like, ‘Oh my god, I know nothing,’” says Nana. “That is inspiring because then you have these people in the team that also push you way harder than if everybody was just chilling in the team and didn’t want to do challenging stuff. So that always pushed me. I’m not sure if they were aware of that, but that was inspiring for me when I had people like this in the team because that made my hunger and curiosity even stronger.”

Cloud skills are force multipliers for career development

For more cloud learning strategies and insights from tech experts, check out the Cloud Career Journeys book. Purchase on Gumroad for 25% off the ebook or 50% off the Starter Kit

Each purchase of the book comes with one free one-month Pluralsight Skills Premium subscription worth $45 to take your cloud career to the next level.

Missed the other blog posts in our Cloud Career Journeys series? Explore these other cloud career paths:

Pluralsight Content Team

Pluralsight C.

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