Creating a larger pool of engineers is not easy however, and one of the hurdles is simply improving awareness.
Uber's Nelson said that when asking people outside of the industry for their thoughts on the importance of data centres, many had little interest or understanding of the scale or complexity of the infrastructure underpinning systems used by people every day, such as smartphone apps. "The majority of people I meet don't even know this industry exists and the criticality of it. We have a brand problem - how do we attract that talent?"
More should be done to provide training at university level, according to Belady, though this is not the responsibility of the universities. More academic support will only come with demand for courses - and this means raising awareness of the benefits of a career in the industry, he said.
"We need universities to help develop cloud systems engineering degrees and we just can't hire enough people," said Belady.
"The reason that the universities don't have programmes on it is there is not demand for it. The reason there is not demand for it is that we don't build the awareness of what types of skills, what types of jobs and careers you can have."
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