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Looking for a great job in IT? The cloud is hiring

Bill Snyder | Sept. 25, 2012
IT is moving to the cloud -- and so are the jobs. Here's how to cash in on the hot trend in tech hiring

Russinovich does not make an exception for security certifications, although some other cloud execs believe security credentials are important. On the whole, though, certifications are not a significant hiring factor for the cloud, and as Foote partners has found in its regular surveys, the overall value of certifications in IT has declined for years.

.Net, Ruby, Python, Java, C#, and C++ are among the most sought-after languages for development in the cloud. Expertise with both SQL and NoSQL are in demand, as well as deep experience with Linux. Knowledge of distributed systems and asynchronous distributed systems is a huge plus, says Russinovich.

Assuming you have those skills or are willing to learn them in a hurry, how do you get noticed? At, for instance, "the best thing you can do is have a friend or relative who already works here," says Monika Fahlbusch, who carries the title of senior vice president of employee success. Although that may sound like nepotism, it isn't. Salesforce is paying good money for people who can start producing immediately, so a recommendation from a trusted employee gives hiring managers an extra degree of confidence, she says.

Beyond the old boys and girls network, Fahlbusch urges candidates to "flex their social muscles." Salesforce is hardly the only company trolling for talent on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, of course. Having a presence on those networks and others is advice repeated by all of the cloud executives we spoke with.

Additionally, contributing to open source projects like Hadoop will get you attention at Hewlett-Packard, as will posting contributions on GitHub, says HP's Matt Haines.

With all this emphasis on moving functions to the cloud, it's reasonable to wonder if enterprise jobs are being lost to cloud providers, in much the same way routine IT jobs have been outsourced to India. So far, says David Foote, that doesn't appear to be the case. "In the longer term, they will," he adds.

Foote also advises IT hands who want to work in the cloud not to wait too long. The gap between the supply and demand for talent is wide now, but he figures it will close in 18 months or so.


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