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Discussion on: Forget Web Development, Become a Cloud Developer Instead! ☁️

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loujaybee profile image
Lou — Cloud Engineer

Ha — This is great that you shared this Moneer, I'll share it in the next newsletter I send out. You've captured a thought / conversation that I've had many times with others. I originally got into web development, and made a personal shift to cloud for a few reasons:

Why I left web development

  • The industry was getting FULL of bootcampers —> I was getting infuriated by the fact the industry was just exploding with new bootcamp engineers. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE working with juniors, but when you're working with an entire team of straight-out-of-bootcamp engineers (whilst it's great for building coaching / leadership skills) it soon erodes your own skillset when you're not sufficiently challenged or working with others who can push your own skillset further. Explaining the key skills over and over, such as TDD, good code hygiene etc becomes a drain.

  • Cloud is more challenging —> Generally speaking, I find cloud more challenging, it's growing, but growing in a way that's truly productive. The web dev industry is now just re-inventing the wheel, new frameworks, new solutions to the same problem. This is not the case in cloud. New technologies in cloud are genuinely producing step changes in the ways that we work. Containers changed so much, Serverless changed so much, and things keep on changing, fast. This is fun.

  • "High Demand + Low Supply" —> As you say, there's more demand and less supply in cloud technologies right now. It makes finding a job easier, and the salaries, etc are higher. Also, there IS a higher barrier to entry, which makes it harder for the industry to be saturated with bootcamp graduates that are (often) pretty well skilled up.

Why Cloud hasn't caught up yet...

What the web development bootcamps got right, the cloud market has yet to do. Web development bootcamps have been so successful off the back of certain technologies. For instance, the rise of the "MEAN" stack back in the day, and now what is probably just React + Node.JS or Python equivalent allowed bootcamps to create homogenous, easily "marketable" skillsets that were high in demand.

The cloud side of the market has not yet woken up to this yet. In fact, it's still thrashing around with the problem of calling everything "DevOps". Whilst that term had it's place, it's not allowed cloud skilled engineers to adequately describe their roles. I believe the growing prominence of other terms, such as SRE, and Platform are somewhat helping (and hindering this).

The cloud market has also rallied heavily around cloud certifications, AWS for instance offers: "architect", "devops" etc certifications. But there are not homogenous enough for employers. Take, for instance the architect, we all know that a real architect cannot just take the AWS course and go and apply, it's not that simple. There aren't many proper bootcamps in the cloud space that offer truly structured career paths.

Eventually the market will catch up. In the mean time, that's why I write so much on my website, I want to help new engineers find the joy in cloud engineering and see that it's a better bet than just web development (no beef on web development.

Thanks again for writing the article, I'm open to chatting about this stuff any time.

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moneerrifai profile image
Moneer Author

Lou,

Love the points you made! And I agree with most of what you said. Maybe the cloud market will catch up, but as you stated, the constant innovation and evolution of that space makes it a challenge. And you are correct in the fact that saying "cloud" or "devops" is such a vague term and it encompasses so much: code, networking, databases, ci/cd, operating systems, the list goes on and on. I have a hard time seeing how this could be possibly distilled into a 3-month intensive course, but you never know.

I think in the end to be successful you have to have a true appetite for constant learning. That's the only way to make it. Thanks for your insightful comment and I will be checking out your website and your writing!