Hiring a Cloud Engineer? Questions to Ask and What You Should Hear
AWS Startups
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Paul,

Culture is so very important to public *aaS yet absent in your article. I’m a “DevOps” “cloud solutions architect” for an AWS partner and sit on our hiring committee; so we are kinda competing for the same candidates and some of what you say is what we look for as well, but culture is so critical to this modern movement.

PG: The only thing about PagerDuty that any (sane) techie should love is its ease of use. Everyone’s goal for alerts should be to prevent last night’s page from happening again. That due diligence is for more valuable in long term customer satisfaction, but not specific to Cloud. It doesn’t actually matter whether it is the PD app or my old school, physical pager than blew up at midnight.

9’s: I know you’re joking about tattooing 5 9’s on our pale, techie bodies. ☺ But seriously — even AWS is realistic about setting expectations. EC2’s SLA is 99.95%. You do make good points about how techies can increase uptime but those methods aren’t Cloud specific. We’ve been using a variety of tools for a long time to increase uptime, whether F5 in front of Gridserver or ELB in front of an ASG.

DevOps: One invaluable skill that is specific to Cloud enabling DevOps is very basic. A candidate should just get “dev” and “ops”. I’ve talked to so many smart technologists who are still thinking in silos. To get DevOps and the shining value of Cloud, the ideal candidate _enjoys_ walking over to developers to talk about their latest checkins AND walking over to the InfoSec gal to openly discuss holes to plug before release. I wished you had made the DevOps points more poignant — and top of your list — because it is a truly unique ability that Cloud enables.

DevOps in Cloud is a mindset and less so a skillset. Folks look down on these “soft” skills when compared to technological tools but I keep bumping into smart folks who cannot exceed customer expectations because their soft skills are stuck in 1990s IT-land.

Jp