Top 6 Soft Skills Every Cloud Engineer Needs to Be Successful
Cloud computing is one of the fastest-growing tech sectors in the world. As the adoption of cloud technology increases across industries, the global cloud computing market size is likely to grow from $371.4 billion in 2020 to $832.1 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.5%. Consequently, the demand for skilled and experienced cloud engineers will also increase in the coming years. However, this growing tech sector is fiercely competitive. As a result, you can't rely on technical expertise alone to be a successful cloud engineer. You also need to focus on developing soft skills. The right mix of technical and soft skills will offer a career boost like nothing else. The best part is these soft skills can also help you grow as an individual, not just a professional. You will be able to stress less and focus more, striking the perfect work-life balance. So, what soft skills does a cloud engineer need? Here are the top six skills you will need to be a successful cloud engineer or cloud consultant.
#1. Project Management
If you want to be a successful cloud engineer, you will have to start managing projects at some point. In fact, the sooner you begin managing projects, the faster you can climb the ladder of success. However, project management is easier said than done. This essential soft skill primarily involves a lot of planning, tracking, and resource management. From handpicking team members based on their skills to monitor their productivity, you have to take charge of all the resource planning. You essentially need to oversee and organise almost every aspect of the project to ensure you don't miss deadlines. The best way to start developing project management skills is to learn from your team leaders. Taking full responsibility for a part of the project, and beginning with the smallest tasks, can also help you build your project management skills gradually. Alternatively, you can learn to organise your own work to master the basics of project management.
Communication is hands down the most critical skill you need, not just as a cloud engineer but also as a person. As you will be working with a team of fellow IT professionals and other stakeholders (including the client), making communication an integral part of your job profile. Not only will your team members ask for advice, but you will also need to explain your actions (or the lack thereof) as the project moves ahead. Furthermore, communication skill comes in handy when you experience problems, make an expected choice, or need to negotiate with a vendor or a stakeholder. You will need to learn to convey your thoughts precisely. You will also have to learn to avoid focusing on technical complexity. Although they will appreciate your hard work, non-technical personnel are not comfortable with jargon. Learn to use practical examples to explain your challenges and solutions. Make sure to listen to the other person first before answering.
As a cloud engineer, you will encounter new problems every day, making it necessary to develop excellent problem-solving skills. But most importantly, the dual combo of communication and problem-solving skills will offer you a competitive advantage like no other. You will be able to solve problems efficiently while being able to communicate the solutions across stakeholders. Problem-solving skills begin with identifying the problem, which requires you to ask the right questions. Develop the habit of asking the right questions. You will also need to learn to focus on the potential solutions instead of fixating on the problem. You will need to be creative and brainstorm with your peers to find solutions quickly. Your problem-solving will require thorough research. Learn how to go about fact-finding with the resources and the knowledge you have. Develop the habit of working with your team from the start so that you can resolve potential challenges quickly.
For a cloud engineer, problem-solving skills are useless if you can't make a decision. At some point, you will have more than one potential solution to the problem, requiring you to make the final decision and put it into action. To improve your decision-making skills, you need to learn to set clear goals. Your goal could be the desired outcome, which should be measurable, realistic, and time-bound. Once you know what you want, you can align your resources and time accordingly. Learn not to overthink the potential outcome of your decision. It will not only waste your time but also cloud your decision-making process. Instead, rely on quantifiable data and insights. Data-driven decisions are often more accurate and easier to monitor.
Like most cloud engineers, you may also aspire to lead a team of your own one day. To make that happen, you will have to start honing your leadership skills from today. As a lead cloud engineer, you will need to learn to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone. The more responsibilities you can take on, the faster you can develop your leadership skills. Learn to think critically and listen effectively. While critical thinking will help you foresee potential obstacles, listening will make you a good team leader. You should also learn to encourage your team members to think outside the box, including yourself. A good leader fuels brainstorming and experiments that lead to innovative ideas and solutions.
The sixth and final critical soft skill on our list is adaptability. Being a cloud engineer, you are perhaps already aware that cloud computing is a fast-evolving industry. The technology you are using today may be obsolete tomorrow. How are you going to handle this rapidly changing work environment? That's where adaptability comes in. Whenever you encounter a situation at work that puts you under stress or throws you off your balance, you should be able to turn things around quickly. Learning to be okay with stepping outside your comfort zone is one way to increase your adaptability. You will also need to control your emotions in stressful situations. Reacting impulsively in a fast-changing environment will cause more harm than good. Learn to think calmly about the situation, think of potential solutions, and take the best step forward.
While technical skills help cloud consultants advance their career, soft skills are also equally important. However, most people fail to realise the importance of soft skills until it’s too late. These six soft skills can help shape your future, both as a professional and a person. Start developing them today. If you need more help to boost your career as a cloud engineer, feel free to talk to our experts. You can reach us on 020 3617 1040 or drop us an email at email@example.com for more information.