Breaking Into the Cloud-Storage Market

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The cloud-storage market has exploded in recent years, thanks to tech giants such as Google deciding to diversify their businesses by offering gigabytes of space for cheap.

That places companies such as Dropbox and Box, which helped pioneer the market, in something of an odd place. Even if you boast thousands of customers, how do you compete against a tech juggernaut willing to throw billions of dollars (and charge ultra-low prices) in order to secure a toehold in your backyard?

Companies that specialize in storage won’t just need good marketing—they’ll require excellent talent in order to build the next-generation storage platforms that keep businesses and customers in the fold. Over the past few quarters, Box and other dedicated-storage firms have moved aggressively into the collaboration space, offering services such as file synchronization and digital asset management in addition to cloud storage. Building those sorts of features takes innovative developers.

If you’re a developer interested in working for a company that leans heavily on the cloud and databases for its products, prepare to become familiar with a double-handful of programming languages. Various aspects of Box’s software, for example, rely on Python, PHP, Java, Scala, JavaScript, Android, and iOS for everything from mobile apps to the core Web application and business logic.

Even Perl and C are used in a very limited way, according to one of the company’s senior software engineers commenting recently on Quora.

Nor is Box unique in its embrace of multiple programming languages, given how tech companies in a broad swath of industries routinely offer a variety of products across a variety of mobile and PC-based platforms. As Box has likewise demonstrated, products also serve multiple audiences. That means addressing a variety of goals—and potentially issues, such as security—from the outset of the development process.

Developers don’t just need technical skills to succeed in that sort of environment; they need abstract-thinking skills, in order to conceptualize what needs to be done to build an excellent new product (or make an existing product better), as well as soft skills.

Image Credit: belekekin/Shutterstock.com

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