Cloud developers create applications that are served in the cloud. Their work is similar to software engineers or web engineers, except that Cloud developers make them run on virtual systems. This adds a layer of complication (especially while architecting the systems) for security and efficiency aspects.
In many recent studies, cloud computing has emerged as an essential skill set that companies are seeking. In fact, a NASSCOM report states that the Indian cloud computing market is going to be valued at $7.1 billion by 2022, suggesting a high demand for trained cloud engineers. Here are the five essential skills to build a lucrative career as a cloud developer:
1. Knowledge of Cloud Service Providers: Understand how different cloud service providers work. The most prominent ones are AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, Alibaba and IBM which offer end-to-end services like compute, storage, databases, ML, migration – just about everything related to cloud computing.
2. Computation and Storage: Depending on its needs, an organization could choose Public Cloud Storage, Private Cloud Storage or Hybrid Cloud Storage. As a cloud developer, it is necessary to know where and how to store data and you must choose the storage based on the type and volume of data the organization wants to store and use. For example, if the data is archived, it is better to hold it in an S3 Glacier than a standard S3 bucket, as it is more expensive to maintain a vast archive in standard storage.
One of the most widely used computation services is the EC2 instance. You should know how to create, login, set up the termination policy, and configure security groups of EC2 instances. By the time you learn this process, you must also be familiar with Containers that offer a logical packaging mechanism where applications can be abstracted from the environment in which they run. It is also essential to have a good understanding of Kubernetes and Docker; how the Docker framework works, store docker images, deploy containers from docker images, etc.
3. Network & Security: Data is unarguably an organization’s greatest asset, and it’s vital to have users at various levels with defined roles to limit access and ensure security from public traffic. As a cloud developer, you must be aware of the security measures specific to the cloud. For instance, if a few S3 buckets are holding sensitive information, not all IAM users in an AWS account should access these S3 buckets. Similarly, if you have your RDS database (database service provided by AWS), it should be accessible to only applications that fetch data from the RDS. Proper VPC should be architected, and network security should be enforced vigorously. Applications should be developed in a manner that while an application bootstraps, the credentials are pulled from those credentials managers and maintained in application memory and not in any file.
Serverless architecture is a more recent concept that helps reduce the overhead of managing servers. Using this, developers need to focus only on coding without worrying about server management and099i OS provisioning. They could use a service like AWS Lambda – and write their code in Java, Python, NodeJS, etc., to achieve their business functionality.
4. Disaster Recovery: For any computing environment, cloud security involves maintaining adequate preventive measures like knowing the data and systems are safe, tracking the current state of security and responding to unexpected events. Many cloud service providers have their disaster recovery measures but many require cloud developers to opt for a disaster recovery policy. For instance, in the case of AWS RDS, you could opt for a multizone availability configuration so that secondary servers automatically take over in case of the primary servers fail, without affecting the business. You could also configure Read Replicas in different regions. In critical applications, you could also configure load autoscaling so that additional servers come into action and help maintain the load.
5. Monitoring and Automation: After the development of an application, go-live issues such as high CPU or memory utilization, application booting, DDOS attacks and insufficient storage, may commonly arise. To overcome these, you will need to set up a robust monitoring process. Cloud service providers have various monitoring services such as CloudWatch logs, CloudTrail, CloudWatch metrics, CloudWatch log groups to provide information about application logs and server metrics. With such services, alarms can be configured to notify whenever the acceptance limit is breached and to take necessary action.
It is also necessary to take automated actions in a cloud system to heal, secure, and optimize the system. CloudWatch not only provides metrics but also offers options to configure automated events. These could be periodic or event-based. By scheduling events, services can be invoked at a specific time, such as automatically starting/stopping servers, backing up of data, scale-up/down of servers, etc.
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