#cloudchat Recap: Talent, Experience and the Cost of Expertise

We learned in our previous #cloudchat series that IT transformation is a journey, not a destination. This week, we heard this theme again, in the context of IT decision makers’ careers. We asked #cloudchat experts to share their unique stories and advice on how to make it in a cloudy, fast-paced world.

Curious about what a #cloudchat is? Read our intro post.

This week’s cloud chatters spanned many areas of expertise, allowing the discussion to be rich in perspective. Our team of Rackers included Rackspace CTO, John Engates, and cloud evangelists Eric Johnson and Kent Kingery. They were joined by Cybric’s mike d. kail, Bluelock’s Diana Nolting, CoreOS’s Hart Hoover and IOpipe’s Erica Windisch. The group discussed the following questions, which were informed by our recent Cost of Expertise survey:

  • 40 percent of IT decision makers are concerned they can’t keep up with cloud technology’s evolution. How do you stay on top of it?
  • We discussed a skills gap in a previous #cloudchat. What do you do to educate yourself and those on your team?
  • Have you had a linear career path or was there a major moment that lead you to your current role?
  • What advice do you have for those new to the workforce? How can they continue to grow and learn?
  • What’s your biggest concern related to the workforce and the cloud for the next five years?
  • There’s a predicted shortfall in skills related to automation, Artificial Intelligence and database admin. Do you think that’s true? If so, what can we do to combat the shortfall?

A common tip we heard from our #cloudchat experts was simple, but has wide reaching implications. As Diana Nolting and Chris Petersen explained, you can’t do it all by yourself; you must rely on the strengths of your team.

When asked how to combat the skills gap and maintain ongoing education, John Wooten shared his best remedy for complacency: Get your hands dirty and build something.

Possibly one of our favorite #cloudchat moments to date came from asking participants to share major moments that led to their current roles. Hart Hoover gave an insightful answer, explaining his career has shifted as tech has shifted.

And Rackspace CTO John Engates tent-pole moment? When he got his first computer in middle school.

Finally, as our discussion pivoted to advice on learning and growing, two themes emerged: You must be passionate and constantly challenged. Our own Eric Johnson put it nicely: “Be the dumbest guy in the room and listen. If you are not, change rooms. The smartest guy learns nothing.”

Want to hear more stories and advice from this week’s #cloudchat? Explore our Twitter moment below to catch it all. Be sure to join us next week on Sept. 28 at 11 a.m. CST where we’ll talk all things private cloud. And finally, the Cost of Expertise report is outstanding, be sure to get it here.

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