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What Is Cloud Development and Why You Should care

Mike Levan
DevOps/SRE Researcher & Engineer┇R&D Enthusiast┇Productivity Supporter┇Author┇HashiCorp Ambassador
Originally published at michael-levan.Medium ・4 min read

You live in a world where buzzwords are at an all-time high. I don’t envy new developers that are just getting started because there is so much going on that it’s nearly impossible to know where to start.

I’m here to help you move in a direction that will not only help you, but secure your career for a bit.

The direction is cloud development.

What Is Cloud Development

As time goes on, Developers and quite frankly, all other tech professionals need to know more and more information.

The dark ages of writing code and deployment essentially went like this:

  • You write the code
  • You put in a request from operations to create an environment for you to test
  • You wait for the environment
  • You test the code

That’s the old-school approach. As more and more organizations are moving to the cloud, developers are now being expected to have the ability in creating cloud infrastructure. Things like containers, Kubernetes clusters, serverless, etc.

Perhaps in another world you were used to building an application and handing it off to operations to install it on a server. That’s simply not the case anymore.

Developers are now required to wear many hats. Not only do you have to write the code, test the code, and debug, but you now have to understand cloud servers.

Let’s talk about an example. Say you build a web API. You need to know where to run that application. For example, are you going to run it in AWS Lamda? Or perhaps AWS Fargate so you can run it as a container? Although Lambda and Fargate aren’t considered infrastructure in most cases, they are still cloud services that are outside the typical write code and run it.

Don’t be scared of this transition, it’s a good thing (and I’m not just saying that). Once you understand cloud services and how they work, you can write code that runs best on those services. You have a leg up than what you had before. When you gave code to operations and they ran it, you had no idea if it would work or what type of environment it was best suited for. As a cloud developer, you now have that knowledge.

It changes the way you think about your applications and allows you to run them in the most efficient manner possible.

Why Should You Care

You may be wondering right now Well, what does this have to do with me? The answer is simple.

The world is moving towards the cloud. It’s simply not something that can be stopped. I’m not saying that every single on-prem server will go away or operations will go away. I’m saying that at the end of the day, more and more organizations are seeing the benefits of the cloud.

Because of that, you will need to start transitioning your mindset as a developer to become accustomed to the new changes.

So, how do you do it?

How To Get Started

There are a few great places to get started in AWS and Azure.

If you’re not into certifications, that’s fine. You don’t need to get the certifications. If you just study the material, it’ll help you a ton.

For AWS is the AWS Certified Developer Associate. This certification isn’t going to teach you how to write code, but instead, show you the services in AWS that tie in with developers. It goes over:

  • EC2
  • Lambda
  • AWS CLI and SDKs
  • Containerization
  • CICD
  • Application lifecycle management
  • Automation
  • Code prefficiency
  • Many other helpful topics…

For Azure is the Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate. Much like the AWS certification, it’s not going to teach you how to write code. It’s going to teach you how to take your programming and development skills and use them in the cloud. It goes over:

  • VMs for an automation standpoint
  • Security
  • Containerization
  • Serverless
  • CLIs and SDKs
  • Storage
  • Application monitoring
  • Service bus
  • Many other helpful topics…

Again, you don’t have to get these certifications. The curriculum itself is just a really great place to start.

Projects to Get Started

Being hands-on and testing for yourself is what you need to turn the theory into reality. Here is a list of a few things you can do to get started from a hands-on perspective.

  • Take a web API and deploy it to Azure Serverless
  • Take a web API and deploy it to AWS Lambda
  • Containerize an application and run it in Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS)
  • Containerize an application and run it in Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)
  • Start looking at the different SDKs available for Azure and AWS. You’ll see SDKs written in Go, C#, Python, PowerShell, JavaScript, etc.


Michael Levan

Michael Levan is a tech enthusiast and engineer at heart. He is a Developer Advocate at Octopus Deploy, a blogger, public speaker, and creator of content.

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Michael Levan is a tech enthusiast and engineer at heart. He is a Developer Advocate at Octopus Deploy, a blogger, public speaker, and creator of content.

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