Practical Resolutions for Cloud Engineers

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The first official working week of 2024 is already behind us. And as the year unfolds, the tech community is once again awash with the annual ritual of New Year's resolutions. We feel you. As for many, especially seasoned cloud engineers like you, these resolutions might feel like well-intentioned but often fleeting promises. It's easy to be cynical, considering the rapid pace and relentless demands of our industry. Yet, there's something inherently valuable in taking a moment at the year's start to recalibrate our professional compasses.

This blog post isn't about lofty, unattainable goals or the usual "New Year, New Me" rhetoric. Instead, it's a straightforward, no-nonsense guide tailored for cloud engineers who view the start of 2024 not as a time for sweeping declarations, but as a practical checkpoint for strategic planning and skill enhancement in an ever-evolving domain.

Why bother with this exercise, you might ask, especially if past resolutions have dissolved into the ether by February? 

Because in the world of cloud computing, where technologies evolve at breakneck speed, staying still is not an option. This year, let's approach our professional growth differently. Let's set resolutions that are not just wishful thinking but are actionable, relevant, and aligned with the real-world challenges and opportunities that cloud technology presents.

So, we made you this list of resolutions you can pick from.

Jump to sections

Stay Updated with Emerging Technologies

Cloud computing is an ever-evolving field. Dedicate time each week to stay abreast of the latest developments in cloud technologies, including serverless architectures, AI integration, and edge computing. To give you a head start, we asked our engineers to share the courses they most valued.

Here are a couple of courses worth following:

Serverless Computing

AI Integration

Edge Computing

These resources are excellent for staying current with the latest trends and technologies in cloud computing. Whether you're looking to deepen your knowledge in a specific area or expand your overall skill set, these courses and webinars can provide valuable insights and practical skills.

Expand Multi-Cloud Skills

On to our next resolution, which focuses on further developing your multi-cloud strategies. 


Well, there are a couple of reasons.

First of all, relying on a single cloud provider can be risky due to potential outages or service disruptions. By adopting a multi-cloud strategy, you distribute these risks across different providers, enhancing overall system reliability and uptime. Relying on a single cloud provider can also lead to vendor lock-in, making it difficult and expensive to migrate to another provider in the future. A multi-cloud strategy ensures that your architecture is adaptable and not overly dependent on any single provider's ecosystem, tools, or capabilities.

An even bigger reason (especially for CEO and CTO) is cost efficiency and flexibility. Each cloud provider has unique pricing models and cost-saving features. By understanding and utilizing multiple clouds, you can optimize costs based on the specific needs of each workload. For example, one provider might offer more cost-effective solutions for large-scale data storage, while another might be more economical for compute-intensive tasks. This flexibility allows for more strategic financial decisions and can lead to significant cost savings.

And a final reason for this is compliance and data sovereignty, which is becoming a bigger deal with each day that passes. Different regions have varying regulations regarding data storage and processing. Multi-cloud strategies can help in complying with these legal requirements by allowing data to be stored and processed in specific geographical locations as per regulatory demands. This is particularly important for businesses that operate across borders. An interesting pro of this approach is that different cloud providers may offer better performance in certain regions or for specific services. And therefore deliver optimized performance and latency.

So where to start?

→ Assess Your Current Skills and Knowledge

Begin by evaluating your existing expertise in different cloud platforms. Identify which cloud services (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, etc.) you are most familiar with and which ones require more learning. This assessment will help you understand where to focus your initial efforts.

→ Gain Knowledge of Other Cloud Platforms

If you're already proficient in one cloud platform, start learning about others. For example, if you're skilled in AWS, begin exploring Azure or Google Cloud. Utilize online courses, certifications, and training materials offered by these platforms to build your knowledge base.

→ Understand Multi-Cloud Use Cases and Best Practices

Research and understand why and how organizations use multi-cloud strategies. Look into case studies, whitepapers, and industry reports that illustrate successful multi-cloud deployments. This will give you insights into the practical aspects and benefits of a multi-cloud approach.

→ Learn About Cloud Interoperability and Integration

One of the challenges of multi-cloud environments is ensuring that different cloud services can work together seamlessly. Familiarize yourself with tools and techniques for cloud integration, like API management, containerization (e.g., Kubernetes), and middleware solutions.

→ Hands-On Practice

Theory is essential, but nothing beats hands-on experience. Set up your own multi-cloud environment for testing. Many cloud providers offer free tiers or trial periods that you can use for learning purposes. Experiment with deploying applications across different clouds, data migration, and managing cross-cloud security.

→ Focus on Networking and Security in a Multi-Cloud Environment

Understand the complexities of networking and security that come with multi-cloud architectures. Learn about network design, cross-cloud security policies, identity and access management (IAM), and compliance standards across different platforms.

→ Stay Updated and Engage with the Community

The cloud computing field is constantly evolving. Stay updated with the latest trends and updates in multi-cloud strategies by following relevant blogs, attending webinars, and participating in forums and community groups.

→ Seek Opportunities for Real-World Application

Apply your multi-cloud knowledge in your current role or seek out projects that allow you to work in a multi-cloud environment. Practical experience is invaluable in solidifying your skills and understanding.

→ Share Your Knowledge

As you learn, share your knowledge with others. This could be through blogging, mentoring, or presenting at meetups or conferences. Teaching is a powerful way to deepen your own understanding.

Contribute to Open Source Projects like Kubernetes

Moving on to our third resolution, we turn to a practical and impactful goal: actively contributing to open source projects. For cloud engineers, this means going beyond your day-to-day work and getting hands-on with projects like Kubernetes.

Contributing to open source projects like Kubernetes is a rewarding endeavor, both professionally and personally. It can enhance your skills, expand your network, and contribute positively to the broader tech community. Here's how to approach this:

  • Familiarize Yourself with the Project
    • Understand Kubernetes: Before contributing, you should have a good understanding of what Kubernetes is and how it works. If you're new to it, start with the basics of containerization and orchestration.
    • Explore the Kubernetes GitHub Repository: Kubernetes’ source code and project management are hosted on GitHub( Familiarize yourself with the repository, its structure, and its documentation.
  • Learn the Contribution Process
    • Read the Contributing Guidelines: Open source projects usually have a CONTRIBUTING file in their repository. This file contains guidelines on how to contribute. For Kubernetes, you can find this information in the Kubernetes Contributor Guide
    • Understand the Code Review Process: Learn how the community reviews and accepts contributions. This includes understanding pull requests, code review processes, and continuous integration checks.
  • Start Small
    • Begin with Small Tasks: Look for “good first issue” tags in the project’s issue tracker. These are usually simpler issues that are more suitable for newcomers.
    • Fix Bugs or Improve Documentation: Bug fixes and documentation updates are great ways to start contributing. They provide a way to get familiar with the codebase and contribution process without being overwhelming.
  • Engage with the Community
    • Join the Kubernetes Community: Engage with the community through forums, mailing lists, or Kubernetes Slack channels. The Kubernetes community page provides resources to get involved.
    • Participate in Discussions: Be active in discussions related to issues and pull requests. This helps you understand the project's needs and where you can contribute effectively.
  • Set Up Your Development Environment
    • Clone the Repository: Get the Kubernetes code on your local machine by cloning the repository.
    • Follow the Developer Guide: Follow the Kubernetes developer guide to set up your development environment.
  • Contribute Code or Documentation
    • Submit Pull Requests: Once you’ve made your changes, submit a pull request. Ensure you follow the project's guidelines for submitting PRs.
    • Be Patient and Responsive: Maintainers will review your submission. Be patient as this can take time, and be responsive to any feedback or requests for changes.
  • Learn and Improve
    • Seek Feedback: Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback from other contributors. This can help you learn and improve.
    • Review Others' Contributions: Participating in code reviews for others' contributions is also a valuable way to contribute. It helps you understand different coding styles and approaches and deepens your understanding of the project.

Improve your Soft Skills

Technical skills are crucial, but so are soft skills. Improving soft skills is a crucial resolution for cloud engineers, as these skills are essential for effective communication, teamwork, and leadership in a technical environment. Focus on improving communication, leadership, and project management abilities to better lead teams and manage complex cloud projects.

We’ve made a breakdown on how you as an engineer can approach this, and added courses you can follow for free per element:

Communication skills
The ability to clearly and effectively communicate ideas, plans, and technical information to colleagues, stakeholders, and non-technical team members. This includes both verbal and written communication.

Teamwork and Collaboration
Working effectively in a team is crucial. This involves being able to collaborate with others, share responsibilities, and support team members in achieving common goals.

Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking

The ability to analyze complex problems, think critically, and come up with effective, practical solutions. This skill is essential for troubleshooting and resolving issues that arise in cloud environments.

The ability to analyze complex problems, think critically, and come up with effective, practical solutions. This skill is essential for troubleshooting and resolving issues that arise in cloud environments.

Adaptability and Flexibility
The tech field, especially cloud computing, is constantly evolving. Engineers need to be adaptable to new technologies, methodologies, and changes in project directions.

Time Management and Organization
Managing time efficiently and prioritizing tasks effectively is key, especially when juggling multiple projects or facing tight deadlines.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Understanding and managing your own emotions, as well as empathizing with others, is important for creating a positive work environment and for effective teamwork.

Customer-Oriented Approach
For those in client-facing roles or involved in product development, understanding and meeting customer needs is crucial. This involves listening to feedback and being able to translate technical jargon into layman's terms. Train this by participating in customer service training and engage directly with clients 

Conflict Resolution
The ability to handle disputes and disagreements in a professional manner and to find amicable solutions that satisfy all parties involved. Engage in role-playing exercises and try to study conflict resolution strategies 

A few pointers along the road.

Soft skills improve with practice. Look for opportunities in your daily work to practice these skills. For instance, volunteer to lead a meeting or a project, or make a conscious effort to communicate more effectively with your team.

To accelerate things further, participate in workshops, seminars, and networking events. These can provide practical experiences in interpersonal communication, public speaking, and teamwork. You could also consider a mentor or coach that excels in soft skills and can provide personalized guidance and feedback, helping you develop these skills more effectively.

Sustainability in Cloud Computing

This last resolution transcends your personal growth and focuses more on making our cloud ecosystem a bit more green. Let’s face it: this complex community could use all the help it can get with focusing on designing and implementing eco-friendly and energy-efficient cloud solutions.

In our opinion, it needs a pivotal move towards region-specific cloud infrastructures that not only adhere to the EU's strict privacy regulations but are also grounded in the ethos of open-source collaboration. We see Europe steadily shifting from conventional cloud paradigms to Kubernetes, a framework that offers enhanced control and greater congruence with European standards. Sustainability has evolved from a desirable attribute to a mandated aspect under EU regulations, making it an integral part of both corporate and cloud strategies.

Regional Clouds in Europe: Embracing Sustainability and Open-Source Innovation

Addressing sustainability in cloud computing is a collaborative effort that involves strategic planning, implementation, and continuous improvement. Here are steps an engineer can take with their team to address this important resolution.

Where to begin?

If you haven’t already, start by educating yourself and your team about the importance of sustainability in cloud computing. Organize knowledge-sharing sessions to discuss the environmental impact of cloud services and the importance of eco-friendly practices.

Next, conduct an audit of your current cloud infrastructure to assess its environmental impact. Look at energy consumption, carbon footprint, and resource utilization. A suite of innovative tools and initiatives has emerged, each designed to tackle different aspects of sustainability. These tools not only measure and manage power consumption but also provide actionable insights to reduce the carbon footprint of cloud services.

Here are some options:

  • Scaphandre stands out as a robust power consumption tracker, a tool that is critical in the quest for sustainable IT operations.
  • Kepler represents a leap forward in sustainable cloud computing, specifically designed for Kubernetes environments.
  • The WattTime API is a groundbreaking tool that provides access to real-time, forecast, and historical emissions data for electric grids worldwide.
  • The Carbon-aware SDK is a toolkit designed to help developers create applications that are sensitive to the carbon intensity of different energy sources.
  • Kube-green is an innovative Kubernetes add-on that addresses the issue of resource wastage head-on.
Navigating the Cloudscape: Sovereignty, Flexibility, and Environmental Responsibility

Now you have a clear(er) view on what your status quo is, you can set clear sustainability goals. Make sure to define specific, measurable ones, such as reducing carbon emissions, optimizing energy usage, or increasing the use of renewable energy sources.

As it is only the beginning of the year, you can start with implementing strategies to optimize the use of resources in the cloud. This includes rightsizing instances, shutting down unused resources, and using auto-scaling to match resource usage with actual demand. Don’t overplay your hand. At least, we won’t be bothering you with the next steps from here. It’s already a giant leap towards a more sustainable cloud environment.