Companies everywhere are turning to the cloud for virtually all of their tech needs, which means technologists must learn at least a handful of cloud platforms and tools if they want to keep their skills current. Knowing which cloud platforms are the most popular can help you focus your learning time.
A new report by access-management company Okta, drawn from millions of pieces of data collected from its customers, suggests that Amazon Web Services (AWS) remains companies’ favorite cloud platform by a wide margin, followed (in descending order) by Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Twilio, Heroku, and MongoDB Cloud.
“Among customers protecting a cloud platform through Okta, AWS enjoyed 32 percent growth this year, contributing to a total increase of 152 percent since 2018,” Okta wrote in its report. “This top cloud platform counts more than six times as many customers as its nearest rival, Microsoft Azure. In contrast, Azure saw 21 percent year-over-year growth, and 116 percent since 2018.”
In addition, more companies are deploying more than one cloud simultaneously. “As companies move away from legacy and on-premise platforms, the trend toward greater cloud adoption can evolve into a need for more diverse cloud platforms,” the report continued. “We see that 40 percent of our customers integrate at least one cloud platform with Okta, up from 33 percent in 2017. This year we see that 14 percent of customers deploying a cloud platform have in fact deployed two or even more—a number that has increased significantly from 8 percent in 2017.”
Mastering one cloud platform can unlock all kinds of jobs; knowledge of two or more platforms makes you even more versatile and expands your opportunities considerably. According to Stack Overflow’s most recent Developer Survey, it’s clear that mastery of AWS and Azure can pay a bit more than Google Cloud Platform and other cloud rivals, but individual compensation can also differ wildly depending on your company, specialization, seniority, and other key factors.
If you want to learn AWS and related cloud skills, Amazon has a huge Training & Certification hub. In addition, AWS Educate offers self-paced cloud learning resources in 12 career pathways. As you progress on your learning journey, always keep in mind that it takes considerable time and effort to master a sprawling platform; don’t get discouraged if something seems difficult at first. “It’s not something you can learn in two hours, it’s experiential,” Kirk Werner, Udacity’s vice president of content, told Dice about training for AWS. “We think there’s value in the repetition of learning and the engagement of learning. If you put in 5-10 hours a week for 3-4 months, you’d have a wonderful understanding and applicable skills to become a developer.”
For those interested in learning Azure, Microsoft offers self-paced labs that let you explore entry-level topics before progressing to more specialized features. Microsoft has over 600 Azure courses or modules listed among its documentation, in addition to 50 Azure exams and certifications you can take.
As you might expect, Google also has lots of documentation around Google Cloud, including a handy “quickstart” rundown for total beginners; those with a bit more knowledge of the platform can play with tools such as TensorFlow, which is utilized for A.I. workflows.
Always keep in mind that cloud platforms and tools constantly evolve; what you learn one year might become outdated the next. It’s important to constantly keep your learning up-to-date if you want to succeed.