Job profile: Become a cloud engineer
Posted on
September 26, 2023
It takes time and patience to become a cloud engineer.

The cloud market continues to grow worldwide. Research and consulting firm Gartner predicts that public cloud end-user expenditure will amount to almost $600 billion in 2023. Most companies use cloud services in some form or other to save costs, gain flexibility and scalability, achieve high availability, and derive strategic value.

Organizations are leveraging the cloud to pursue digital transformation goals. Machine Learning (ML) and emerging technologies, such as generative AI, metaverse, and Web3 require powerful processing capabilities and scalability, which the major cloud providers are capable of providing.

The hyperscalers Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud offer cutting-edge capabilities to enable enterprises to fulfil their digital business objectives. These three vendors dominate the cloud market. According to Synergy Research Group, they accounted for 65 percent of cloud expenditure worldwide in the second quarter of 2023. (The other major player in the enterprise space is IBM Cloud.)

Cloud engineers enable organizations to design and implement their cloud strategy with a view to drive innovation, modernize and scale business operations, enhance customer experience, and help organizations grow their business. Enterprises use cloud services for different applications, including communication, data storage, server automation, networking, databases, and analytics.

Employment opportunities for skilled cloud engineers, both generalists and specialists, are currently favorable. As more and more enterprises operate an increasing number and variety of applications in the cloud, demand for cloud engineers with current knowledge and deep experience is likely to rise.

Job responsibilities

It takes time and patience to become a cloud engineer.

A cloud engineer is responsible for converting an organization’s business requirements into optimum cloud-based solutions. In general, cloud engineers design, integrate, and manage applications in the cloud, thereby enabling organizations or clients to improve the speed, accuracy, and security of business operations.

Cloud engineers may work in different specialties:

Cloud network engineers implement and administer network architectures in the cloud and work toward optimizing network operations.

Cloud developers develop and maintain software, applications, and databases for cloud networks.

Cloud solutions architects design, implement, and manage cloud solutions. They configure and deploy applications in the cloud.

Cloud security engineers are responsible for the security of data, applications, and systems in the cloud. They develop, implement, monitor, and enhance security measures for protection of cloud-based infrastructure and information.

Cloud administrators deploy, maintain, and support cloud infrastructure so as to ensure efficient cloud network operations.

A cloud engineer’s responsibilities vary based on where they work, their experience and skill level, or specialization.

Depending on where they work, a cloud engineers specific day-to-day responsibilities may include any or all of the following:

Developing and integrating cloud applications — Following company requirements, an engineer helps users to gain access to data and communicate securely.

Migrating applications and systems — Anything that needs to be moved to the cloud is likely to end up on an engineer's plate.

Communicating with management and/or clients — A cloud engineer meets with stakeholders to learn about their business requirements,

Collaborating with other — The job requires working with other cloud engineers, cybersecurity personnel, and IT pros on the team to develop, maintain, and secure cloud-based applications and platform software.

Monitoring cloud infrastructure — Security responsibilities will include identifying system vulnerabilities that can compromise availability or security.

Upgrading cloud systems — It's important to stay abreast of new tools and processes in order to enhance operations and prevent data loss and security incidents.

Implementing and supporting cloud network infrastructure — It's vital to add and maintain new tools, systems, and services.

Keeping abreast of current developments — A cloud engineer must continuously monitor new and emerging trends in cloud infrastructure and platform software.

Apprising management of best practices, trends, and tools — Company leaders will rely on a cloud engineer to find ways to get the most out of cloud technologies.

Troubleshooting existing and potential application and cloud platform issues — This includes testing, detecting problems, and resolving them.

Automating processes as required — This can enhance speed and smooth functioning of cloud services.

Keep an eye on

It takes time and patience to become a cloud engineer.

Cloud engineers need to stay up-to-date with developments and trends in the cloud computing space. This is a dynamic field where technologies and tools keep evolving.

Cloud engineers of all specialties must keep abreast of the latest technologies, frameworks, best practices, and trends. In 2023, many companies have begun adopting a multi-cloud strategy, wherein two or more cloud platforms are deployed. It is advisable to develop skills in more than one platform.

It’s important to be current with developments in different cloud environments, orchestration and automation tools, APIs, database technologies, and programming languages.  

Training and employment background

This is not an entry-level role. Typically, a tech professional needs somewhere between three and five years of experience in a related area — at a minimum — to be considered for this role. Expertise in any of the following areas would apply: system administration, network engineering, software development, enterprise architecture, or database administration.

Many organizations also require a four-year bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, engineering, or a related subject. Industry certifications can be helpful for IT pros beginning a career in cloud engineering as well as for experienced cloud professionals in some roles.

You need a combination of technical expertise and good communication skills to perform the functions required of this role.

Additionally, the following skill areas are essential to success:

Platform software: A viable candidate should have in-depth knowledge of at least one major platform, such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, or IBM Cloud. Once you gain real-world experience working with one cloud platform, learning to work on other platforms becomes easier.

Programming: Strong logic and general programming skills are essential. Cloud engineers need advanced knowledge of a number of languages used to code cloud-based applications, software, and databases. These include Python, Ruby, Java, Golang, PHP, SQL, and .NET.

Operating systems: A strong candidates needs hands-on experience with operating systems that are widely used in cloud computing, such as Linux and Windows.

Networking: Integrating corporate networks with cloud services is part of a cloud engineer’s role. You need to have functional knowledge of networking and virtualization.


It takes time and patience to become a cloud engineer.

Cloud certifications can add value to your resume by demonstrating to potential employers that you have knowledge of relevant platform software, operating systems, and best practices.

Popular cloud credentials include:

CompTIA Cloud+

CompTIA Cloud+ is a vendor-neutral entry-level certification. This performance-based credential validates basic knowledge required to manage and secure cloud infrastructure services.

Additional information is available online.

CompTIA Linux+

CompTIA Linux+ demonstrates hands-on foundational skills in supporting Linux systems, which often are applicable across numerous different cloud platforms. This is an early career vendor-neutral credential.

Additional information is available online.

Google Cloud Associate Cloud Engineer

This certification demonstrates abilities to design, configure, deploy and implement cloud solutions, maintain efficient delivery of cloud solutions, and configure access and security of cloud applications.

Additional information is available online.

Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Expert

This advanced certification from Microsoft validates expertise in designing and implementing cloud and hybrid solutions that run on the Azure platform.

Additional information is available online.

Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

CCSP is an advanced cloud security credential that proves holders have the superior technical skills required to design, manage, and protect information, applications, and systems in the cloud. Exam candidates should have over 5 years of work experience in a related field.

Additional information is available online.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Solutions Architect - Associate

This certification demonstrates knowledge of AWS technology and in-depth understanding of the AWS Well-Architected Framework.

Additional information is available online.

A cloud engineer’s role can prove to be stimulating and rewarding for IT professionals who have a combination of advanced technical expertise in multiple areas, solid interpersonal communication skills, and strong troubleshooting capabilities.

About the Author

Reena Ghosh is an independent ghostwriter who writes promotional, developmental and explanatory content for individuals and businesses. She came to professional writing with work experience in financial services operations and corporate communication. Reena speaks three languages and hopes to learn Sanskrit. She is a wanderer who spends time in West Bengal, Goa and any place that pulls.

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