Cloud Native / Development

Cloud: The Greatest Business Metamorphosis in a Generation Needs Developers

10 Apr 2017 6:00am, by

Abby Kearns
Abby Kearns is the Executive Director for the Cloud Foundry Foundation. She is a true tech veteran, with an 18-year career spanning product marketing, management and consulting at a mix of Fortune 500 and startup companies. At the Cloud Foundry Foundation, Abby was responsible for structuring and executing operational and strategic initiatives, as well as leading the User Advisory Board and Industry Special Interest Groups. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was part of the product management team at Pivotal, focusing on Pivotal Cloud Foundry. Previously, Abby led a product management and product marketing team at Verizon focused on cloud services. In her free time, Abby enjoys posting up at her local coffee shop, indulging in food and wine, and spending time with her husband and son.

We are at the beginning of what is arguably the greatest business metamorphosis in a generation. As more organizations become essentially software companies, they need developers to write the cloud apps that will enable them to thrive as they evolve.

As a developer, you’re at the forefront of this transformation, determining how to integrate cloud-based applications and infrastructure into your business. You are changing the way companies interact and engage with your users, their community, and their customers. You are the fundamental shift in how organizations are building out a new way of business.

Yet, while there’s a great demand for cloud skills, there’s also a skills shortage. Last year, we identified a looming developer gap. In a survey of nearly 900 IT employees, the majority said they were facing a shortage of skilled cloud developers, yet they also indicated a desire to support training of existing employees, rather than seeking help via outsourcing.

Former Chief Technology Officer of the United States, Megan Smith, foresees this gap as well. In an interview with the New York Times, she predicted there would be more than a million tech and IT jobs coming in the next decade, but only 400,000 trained people to fill them.

It’s a great time to be a developer. Your skills are in high demand. I track Cloud Foundry on Talkwalker, a social data intelligence platform. The top results are always job openings. Express Scripts, a Fortune 100 company with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, plans to hire 1,000 Cloud Foundry skilled developers this year alone.

Enabling Transformation Through Training

To help you in this process, The Cloud Foundry Foundation has launched a training and certification program that will help you and other developers bridge the looming skills gap and hone your craft.  Developer training and certification is a way to train your team so that they can join you in this journey. And when you need to look outside for talent, it will help you identify the right people to hire

Beyond speeding digital transformation in the enterprise, this program solves a pressing need for developers keeping their skill sets up to date. Between increasing workloads and responsibilities — and shorter timelines for turnaround — this program offers hands-on, practical experience building software that runs on Cloud Foundry. We want to help overburdened and overworked developers upgrade their skills to keep up with the new industry practices. And with the new skills and the platform, you have more freedom to create applications that help your company satisfy internal and customer-driven requirements.

Freedom to Create

Creating and deploying innovative applications is probably what you would rather spend your time doing in the first place. That freedom to create and innovate becomes the key differentiator for your entire organization. With the right platform and tools, you can streamline the development process. We hear stories all the time about development pipelines shrinking from months to weeks or days. That acceleration allows you to get more done, faster, but what’s more, it frees you to think bigger. To fail faster, but create more, faster. You can be the enabler for change.

At Cloud Foundry, we focus on the technology that enables that transformation. Adopting the technology initiates other changes as well. It becomes a forcing function for conversations that need to happen. It forces everyone to have a discussion about what the next level of applications and processes look like. When you are using Cloud Foundry, you can’t avoid those conversations. Cloud Foundry really asks a lot of organizations, but at the same time, it brings them all together.

The Developer Training and Certification program enables you to use Cloud Foundry, but beyond that, it sets the tone for what cloud-native architecture needs to look like in your organization. You’ll learn what a cloud-native platform asks of you. The training gives you the skills to understand what that automation and abstraction will look like, so you can develop amazing applications and transform your business.

Last year, we introduced free open source training videos, and you might wonder how this program is different. The existing program is a good start. But comparing the two, it’s the difference between watching a 30 minute YouTube on international finance and taking a semester-long course on it. You can get the basic ideas and high points via the open source training, whereas with this program, you’ll walk away with practical experience.

The new training program starts in April with a free, six-week hands-on Massive Online Open Course (MOOC). The MOOC offers an intro to Cloud Foundry and cloud-native architecture and what it means to be Cloud Foundry Certified. A self-paced eLearning course will debut online on June 13, and the certification exam will debut online and at the Cloud Foundry Summit in Silicon Valley June 13th-15th.

In summary, the program is an enabler for employers to find the right talent that understands not only the platform but cloud-native architecture as well. As a developer who wants to get hired, you can show employers that you have a good passing knowledge of cloud-native application architectures, automation, and CI/CD pipelines. Your certification will speak volumes and easily quantify your skillset.

For CIOs and business leaders, this program will help you hire and retain talent. It will help your developers be more successful, which inevitably helps you with digital transformation. A positive sum game.

The Cloud Foundry Foundation is a sponsor of The New Stack.

Feature image courtesy of the Cloud Foundry Foundation.

A newsletter digest of the week’s most important stories & analyses.