When companies “lift and shift” software workloads to the cloud, the move is often overseen by a cloud architect. Likewise, planning how to build an application from cloud platform services is typically the purview of a cloud architect. So how does a software architect become one of these highly sought-after cloud architects? The role is more than just a glorified networking expert, database guru, or sys admin, and there are essential skills that are much more important than certifications.
James Harding, Oracle senior manager for enterprise cloud architecture, says cloud architects have more in common with traditional software architects because application development is the secret sauce of cloud platforms.
Reflecting a growing demand for cloud architects, James Harding is currently trying to hire 15 of them across the United States for Oracle—and, he says, the skill set is both broad and rare: “A cloud architect needs to understand all aspects of a solution, from the database to the application tier and networking infrastructure,” says Harding, senior manager for enterprise cloud architecture for Oracle. “They also need whiteboarding skills and executive presence.”
In other words, Harding isn’t looking for just any Amazon Web Services geek who can assemble disparate pieces into a cloud solution. More than hands-on coding or configuration ability, the cloud architect job requires leadership, vision, and a hunger to learn.