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3 tips for building a career in cloud infrastructure engineering

26 Jul 2023, 14:39

As organizations around the world race to embrace cloud transformation, there’s never been a better time for a career in infrastructure and cloud technology. But how do you go about building a cloud career?

cloud infrastructure hard drives

There was a time when mastering one or two technologies defined your career path. Not so anymore. The days of working in a silo, in a monolithic team, in part of one technology stack, are over. Today, it’s all about full-stack engineering, DevOps operating models and smaller multidisciplinary teams.

Take cloud infrastructure engineers, for example. Enterprise infrastructure in the Cloud Continuum is fundamentally different. Earlier, it was all about asset-heavy and manually intensive data centers. And engineers thought in multiyear lifecycles.

It has now become software-defined, AI-driven and hyperautomated, and much of it is consumed as a service. Engineers need to think in days and minutes, not months and years. And they need to master multiple skills and technologies as part of a full stack, multidisciplinary team.

A more challenging career, but a richer one

What does all this mean for those embarking on a cloud and infrastructure engineering career today? It means they’re entering a space that’s simultaneously foundational to cloud’s future and facing deep disruption.

That’s a challenging combination, for sure. Constant change is not for the fainthearted! But it also brings excitement and richness to a career in cloud. After all, you can’t get stuck in a box when there won’t be time for the box to even materialize. It does change the way you need to think about the future and your career.

Here are my three tips for planning a future-proof career in enterprise infrastructure.

1. Take every opportunity to learn.

There’s a well-known phrase that says, “The pace of change will never be as slow as it is today.” The secret to adapting to continuous change is simple: Embrace it. And welcome the opportunity to transform your career.

That means having a mindset of continuous learning and being willing to constantly reinvent your skills and capabilities as the Cloud Continuum evolves.

At Accenture, our people get both formal and on-the-job training. Plus, thanks to our deep relationships with vendors, alliance partners and academia, our people get priority access to trainings and certifications that are not available elsewhere.

We also have outstanding in-house training programs, focused on human-centered design approaches and created to set our employees up for success with a more hands-on approach.

To give just one example, we have set up the SD-WAN Academy, an immersive four-day training program where participants not only delve into software-defined network technologies but also get to spend a day in the Accenture Network Labs to build real use cases touching Cisco technology and learn how to sell SD-WAN to client CIOs/CTOs.

You simply can’t match that kind of experience for building exceptional cloud skills.

2. Aim high.

Building a career isn’t just about acquiring skills. It’s about putting them to use in the real world.

This is why making a bet on the right employer matters. At Accenture, the breadth and depth of our expertise means that we work on some of the most strategic, innovative, exciting and challenging engagements on the planet.

At the 5G Remix Lab, Accenture’s first 5G private cellular network housed within our Houston Innovation Hub, clients can experience the art of the possible through immersive assets and begin to co-create innovative 5G solutions with Accenture.

We have also teamed up with Cornell and the University of California to study how humans and robots work together as distributed interdisciplinary teams of digitally connected workers (including some who are not human) in actual practice.

Innovation is in our DNA, and our people have the opportunity to gain experience with the biggest and most cutting-edge cloud innovators out there.

That’s important. Because if you want to progress, you need to be working on the hard problems. Yes, you will be challenged. But it’s proof you’re working on the things that matter.

3. Do what matters.

The secret to a long, fulfilling career? Doing what matters, to you and the community. If you are passionate about making a difference to the world, Accenture is the place.

For Accenture, cloud is not just about the technology. It’s about helping clients unlock 360-degree value—beyond technology and cost savings—and become sustainable, responsible businesses.

We are committed to helping our clients and people develop the skills, capabilities and mindset to develop sustainable cloud solutions.

  • For instance, we teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to establish a carbon emissions scoring system and certification for green cloud solutions. We also launched a new cloud training program for our Cloud First professionals to help clients design, implement and operate the most sustainable and efficient cloud environments.
  • Similarly, the Green Cloud Advisor program, facilitated by MIT professors from the Sloan and Engineering schools, is all about green cloud solutions, from energy efficiency and carbon reduction to new business models and innovations.

Extend cloud horizons with Accenture

At Accenture, we know that a career in cloud infrastructure will never stand still. It’s why we put such an emphasis on training and cross-skilling our people for the future of cloud.

We’re also continuously reinventing our skills and capabilities as an organization. It makes for a vibrant internal ecosystem. There’s always a new challenge and a new opportunity on the horizon.

It’s why I honestly believe there’s never been a more exciting time to enter this industry.

When it comes to a cloud career, the sky really is the limit.

Join us and create real, long-lasting change.

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