Cloud Academy: Test Drive Your Cloud Skills

Cloud academyAccording to IDC’s prediction, 7 million new cloud related IT jobs will be created by 2015. As cloud is still evolving, there is an overall lack of knowledge, skills and experience in the IT industry. This is intensified by the fact that new cloud features and innovations are introduced weekly by cloud service vendors, especially by the AWS cloud guys. The constant expansion of the cloud world is causing this knowledge gap to constantly increase.

The traditional IT world is very well developed and set in its ways. As a result, it is also trapped in irrelevant notions that don’t fit the new advancements that cloud technology is introducing. This presents the challenge of teaching experts who are already highly trained in traditional IT and helping them fundamentally change their concepts and work culture in order to fit this new reality. There is a great need in today’s world to train traditional IT professionals in the cutting-edge cloud technologies. Enterprise adoption of cloud strategy should be led by a structured high quality training of employees. Likewise, it is imperative for every individual IT expert to invest in gaining cloud computing knowledge and skills in order to remain relevant in an ever changing technological world.

The goal of closing the cloud knowledge gap has led to the formation of a new and interesting startup: Cloud Academy. As far as I am aware, Cloud Academy is the only neutral company that has decided to face this challenge, apart from the cloud service vendors themselves who have their own support desk, training and certifications for their specific cloud services.

Cloud Academy’s CEO, Stefano Bellasio, describes the company’s mission:

“Our goal is to offer the best solution for learning how to use cloud computing. We have millions of people that need this service now. Learning cloud computing is not like learning to code. Our goal is not only to teach you but also to guide you with starting your career and raising the bar.”

My personal experience with Cloud Academy started more than a year ago, when I was leading Newvem’s cloud community. I saw that within this community there exists a widespread lack of cloud computing knowledge. Furthermore, I realized that classifying the members of the community according to levels of proficiency could be beneficial. If I knew exactly what the distribution of cloud expertise throughout the community was, I would be able to assess the need for cloud education, and what type of training was required in order to improve our community’s knowledge. Furthermore, I would be able to pair people with high and low levels of proficiency, so that the “heavy” cloud experts members could help others who know less. The first step in order to make this all happen was to find a way to test the members’ knowledge.

After meeting Stefano, I started using Cloud Academy’s quizzes to fulfill this purpose. The results were impressive. The first engagement was great, and people were willing to take the Cloud Academy AWS trivia game and expose their grade to the crowd. I managed to quickly reach the proficient guys and get them to support the rest of the community. They helped by contributing their knowledge (in form of articles and forums discussions) and even by doing hands-on work to support the clouds of others.

Platforms such as Cloud Academy are helping the cloud community develop. With these platforms anyone is able learn cloud computing from the comfort of their home or any other location they desire. I suggest you check out Cloud Academy and take a look at the quizzes and knowledge available there.

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