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.
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.
A1: You can't do it all yourself, acknowledging that is the 1st step. Divide, conquer, share, enable cross-education & discussion #cloudchat
— Diana Nolting (@DianaNolting) September 21, 2017
A1: Orgs can benefit from a mix of narrow-focus people keeping up with the new & shiny and big-picture people to pick & choose. #cloudchat
— Chris (@CPetersen_CS) September 21, 2017
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.
A2: get your hands dirty; build something! study it, collaborate around it, engage it, test-deploy it, be able to explain it #cloudchat
— John Wooten (@w00tfoo) September 21, 2017
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.
A3: linear with vertical bursts as technology shifted. Metal -> Cloud -> containers. Learn, teach, learn, teach #cloudchat
— Hᴀʀᴛ Hᴏᴏᴠᴇʀ (@hhoover) September 21, 2017
And Rackspace CTO John Engates tent-pole moment? When he got his first computer in middle school.
— John Engates (@jengates) September 21, 2017
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.”
My tip to learning, be the dumbest guy in the room and listen. If you are not, change rooms. The smartest guy learns nothing. #cloudchat
— Eric Johnson (@edjgeek) September 21, 2017
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.