Enhance your cloud career during lockdown

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It’s on. The COVID-19 pandemic is, and will continue to be, the biggest disruption to our society’s way of life for 2020. While we’re still trying to figure things out, most of us are working from home, or, worse, have lost our jobs. 

Truth be told, I’m a big fan of working at home. Even with a manageable commute, going into an office can mean about three hours of unproductive time every workday. You contribute more to carbon emissions in numerous ways and miss out on things happening at home. 

So, when life give you lemons…

Here are a few projects you can take on to spend your downtime in productive and career-enhancing ways.

Get a specific cloud certification. If you’re like me, you’ve procrastinated getting certified in a specific cloud provider. Having taught a few of the courses over the years, it’s safe to assume that most certifications worth having are intense and time consuming. 

The good news is that most cloud certifications are delivered over the Web these days, either by the cloud providers themselves, or by third-party training companies such as LinkedIn Learning, Cloud Guru, SimpliLearn, and many others. 

Many colleges and universities now provide specific cloud-brand certification training from AWS, Microsoft, or Google. The good news here is that if you’re looking to obtain an advanced (or a first) degree, many cloud-brand courses taught at a college or university will apply toward your degree. My standard advice to all college students is to fit a few cloud courses into your studies. I don’t care if you’re a history major, cloud skills come in handy, and companies pay more for them. 

Write an article about cloud computing. No matter if you just post the article on LinkedIn or Twitter—or if your family only pretends to read it—the art of writing on any subject matter is career enhancing. 

It takes more than one article to consistently improve the way you communicate and the way people perceive you. Try topics such as “why serverless containers are the new cloud revolution,” or “the reality of cloud performance in 2020.” What are you passionate about? The best way to improve your communication skills is to write about what interests you most.

Build a cloud computing application. The great thing about public clouds is that they are Internet delivered, and thus are purpose-built to provide a platform for development from anywhere in the world, including your home. 

This is an ideal time to build a public cloud-based application, either your first, or one of many. Try using cloud-native services such as serverless or container orchestration, as well as native databases to build a solution for a use case that exists in your business or one that you create. 

Most public cloud providers offer free trial accounts; however, watch for the automatic conversion to paid accounts and also watch your usage. Do not leave resources out there still running. I’ve heard of a few surprises in cloud bills from those who provisioned resources but never took them down. The meter was still running. 

These are just a few ideas to make your at-home time more productive. Most of all, I hope you all stay safe and make the best out of a difficult situation. 

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.