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The Proven Way to Become a Cloud Engineer in 2020

bashirk profile image Kóredé Bashir Updated on ・9 min read

Azure DevOPs

Yeah right! It's 2020, and the first month of the new decade (and the year 2020) is running to an end already. "Why not dive right into cloud computing?" - Yes, I know what you've been thinking 😉

As it stands, cloud computing is the hottest skill to have, right after blockchain, and obviously was in the last decade - and that shouldn't change this decade. At the very crux of cloud computing is DevOps (more details on this later). Since cloud is the new crazy, why not learn cloud computing the right way this year?

And Microsoft Azure is arguably your best bet, if you're looking to give cloud computing a shot. In this article, I would be sharing great insights on how you can get started with Azure and become an Azure Cloud Engineer this year, 2020. But before going forward...

What exactly do I mean by DevOps?

The word DevOps basically means Development Operations, and it's all about the developments and operations required in getting a software from development stage to a release stage. It's also a model around the development and operations needed to improve the collaboration process between the engineers of a software.

DevOps explained

DevOps essentially helps during the need to have some incremental and frequent changes in software features. A DevOps Engineer could now be said to be that person who works with software developers/engineers to facilitate the proper construction, testing, and release of each feature of a software by streamlining and automating the deployment and infrastructure management processes. Hope that wasn't too hard to grab, biko? 😀

To get started as a Cloud or DevOps Engineer, you definitely need an Arsenal (not the s**thole football club LOL) which includes weapons. A first and notable weapon that should be ever-present in your arsenal is a cloud subscription, come in the Azure Cloud credits.

Get Your free Azure credits

As stated above, the very first thing to have in your arsenal, as an Azure Cloud Engineer, is an Azure subscription with credits which you could get for free by signing up here for students, and here for non-students. The Azure subscription includes a wide range of free services which can be used in any configurations as you deem fit. After getting your free Azure credits, the very next thing is to get ready to enrich your arsenal - by...

Starting with the fundamentals

No better way to get started with learning Azure, and the Azure stack, than starting with the very fundamentals of Azure. The Azure Fundamentals learning path on Microsoft Learn contains well-prepared modules that would guide you from what an Azure subscription is, to how to get started with provisioning and managing your first virtual machine.

You can get started with Azure Fundamentals, here. After you've gotten your head wrapped around these fundamentals, it's high time to...

Become a Microsoft Learn fanboy/fangirl

MS Learn

Microsoft Learn is an online education platform announced at Microsoft Ignite 2018. Microsoft Learn provides free learning resources on various Microsoft technologies, including Azure. The platform provides hands-on learning opportunity so that learners like you could develop skills through practical and interactive labs available on the platform. As you have observed, the Microsoft Learn platform houses the Azure Fundamentals you're advised to pass through as a beginner Cloud Engineer (don't fret, most expert Cloud Engineers started with this same learning path on Microsoft Learn).

MS Learn

Microsoft Learn is absolutely free, contains in-browser access to Microsoft tools, and also includes multiple learning paths on amazing Microsoft technologies - not excluding Azure. In addition to MS Learn, the amazing people at Microsoft have provided insightful documentations on each and every Microsoft technologies available to the public, but it's not enough to just consume the documentations, as you must...

Read, and BE BETTER than, the docs

As stated in the previous module, Microsoft provides amazing contents on all technologies released by the company, which doesn't exclude Azure. Microsoft Azure is a platform for multiple cloud services from Microsoft, and I'll be listing a number of those services below - including links to their respective documentations:

  • Getting Started Guide for Azure Developers: This doc is a guide that helps developers get started faster with Azure and its underlying tools.

  • Code Samples: This doc provides seamless samples to developer tools and technologies offering from Microsoft. You can explore the various code samples and get started with building stuffs on Azure in real time.

  • Azure Quickstart Templates: With this resource, you would get access to community contributed templates that empowers you to get more done in no time.

  • Azure Migration Center: With this resource, you get all the tools and resources that are required to migrate apps, data, and infrastructure at your own pace.

  • Azure Architecture Center: This doc contains guidance for building end-to-end solutions on Microsoft Azure, which contains the Azure Architecture Center best practices, design patterns, scenario guides, and reference implementations.

  • Azure Architecture Framework: The Azure Architecture Framework helps you to build on the pillars that ensure a successful cloud solution which is built on these five pillars of architecture excellence: Cost, DevOps, Resiliency, Scalability, and Security.

  • Application Architecture Guide: This doc details the Azure Application Architecture Guide which presents a structured approach for designing applications on Azure that are scalable, resilient, and highly available. It is based on proven practices that we have learnt from customer engagements.

  • Azure Cloud Design Patterns: This doc details the Azure Cloud Design Patterns which are useful for building reliable, scalable, secure applications in the cloud. Each pattern describes the problem that the pattern addresses, considerations for applying the pattern, and an example based on Microsoft Azure. Most of the patterns include code samples or snippets that show how to implement the pattern on Azure.

  • Azure for AWS Professionals: This content helps if you're coming from an Amazon Web Services (AWS) background - a different cloud platform. It helps AWS professionals understand the basics of Microsoft Azure accounts, platform, and services. It also covers key similarities and differences between the AWS and Azure platforms.

  • Azure Hybrid: This resource is for learning about the Azure Hybrid Cloud with features and services like Azure Stack, Azure Arc, and many more.

  • Azure Sentinel: This resource provides insights into the Azure Sentinel service which is an organization's birds-eye view across the enterprise. Azure Sentinel allows enterprises to put the cloud, and large-scale intelligence from decades of Microsoft security experience, to work.

  • Azure Security: This resource provides insights into learning about security on Azure.

  • Azure Compliance: This resource provides an overview of compliance in Microsoft Azure, which includes more than 90 compliance offerings.

  • Azure Privacy: This resource provides insights into learning about data privacy and protection in Azure.

  • Azure Pricing: This resource includes insights into how Azure pricing works.

  • Azure Support Plans: This resource helps in exploring the range of Azure support options and helps in determining the plan that best fits your Azure activities.

  • Architectural Decision Guides: This resource is the guide which helps in the Cloud Adoption Framework, which includes describing patterns and models that help when creating cloud governance design guidance.

  • Cloud Adoption Framework: This documentation provides useful insights into the Cloud Adoption Framework offering from Microsoft, which is the One Microsoft approach to cloud adoption in Azure - consolidating, and sharing best practices from Microsoft employees, partners, and customers. The framework gives customers a set of tools, guidance, and narratives that help shape technology, business, and people strategies for driving desired business outcomes during their adoption effort.

  • Cloud Operating model: This documentation helps during the establishment of an operating model for the cloud.

  • TCO Calculator: This resource helps in the estimation of the cost savings you can realize by migrating your workloads to Azure.

Get Microsoft Azure Certified

Azure Cert

Aside the badges and trophies you would earn while learning about Azure on Microsoft Learn, another great way to verify and validate your newly-earned skills is by taking Microsoft certification exams on Azure. By taking the Azure exams, you are definitely helping yourself to finding the right structure to a rewarding career path. The Microsoft Azure Certifications page can be found here, and each certification costs $80. Now, there is a free way to bypass this payment (tell no one I told you). This hack would be revealed to you soon enough, keep reading - and don't tell me you're tired 🙄

Azure Certified

Join the Azure Cloud bandwagon

In order to excel in a chosen field, it is pertinent to study the traits of the present people in that field and get mentorship when necessary. A good way to get mentorship, and study the real traits of real people, is by joining a local community of real people. There are various communities around the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, a simple internet search would simply help in this case. But if you're hesitant to spend 10 seconds of your time searching the internet, below is a list of some online and offline communities that you could join:

You've already spent your 10 seconds scrolling down 😜

  • Microsoft Ignite: The Tour: Now talking about the hack I mentioned (the free way to take an Azure certification), Microsoft Ignite: The Tour which brings the very best of Microsoft Ignite to a city near you, provides technical training led by Microsoft experts and your community. You’ll learn new ways to build solutions, migrate and manage infrastructure, and connect with local industry leaders and peers. All attendees at both Ignite and Ignite: The Tour will be given a free certification exam, subject to certain exceptions, to help you continue skilling up and prove your technical expertise to employers and peers. More details here.

  • The Azure Online Community: This is definitely your goto community for best practices and the latest news on Azure.

  • The Azure DEV Community: This is a curated content on how-to posts from the Azure Developer Advocates on the DEV Community platform.

  • Local Azure Tech Communities: This is a curated lists of offline Azure communities present on Meetup. You can find a local Azure meetup happening around a city, by searching the name of such city.

  • Global Azure Bootcamp: This is a worldwide and a 100 percent community-driven event organized by MVPs, regional directors, and user group leaders around the world who work in collaboration to deliver the largest one-day, global Azure event.

  • Azure Friday: Join Scott Hanselman every Friday as he engages one-on-one with the engineers who build the services that power Microsoft Azure as they demo capabilities, answer Scott's questions, and share their insights.

...this isn't all, and these lists (documentations and communities) would definitely be updated - as I lay my hands on more information.

TL;DR?

Here's a bullet list of all things covered in this article;

• Get Your free Azure credits

• Start with the fundamentals on Microsoft Learn

• Become a Microsoft Learn fanboy/fangirl

• Read the Azure docs

• Get Microsoft Azure Certified

• Join an Azure Cloud Community

This blog post is basically put together to give you a broader insight into the Azure cloud platform, and how you can dive more quickly into being a Cloud Engineer this year 2020 - if this is on your bucket list.

If you had a swell time reading this, check out my article on Azure Quantum - and it's underlying resource offerings , here. Do also feel free to shout me out around any broken links or any resources I could have added to the contents in this article. Cheers!

PS: This post is a part of my #25DaysOfAzure challenge; a challenge around learning about Azure daily - while also sharing my knowledge along the line. This challenge is a celebration of my birthdate, January 25. You could take on my challenge too. 😉

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bashirk profile

Kóredé Bashir

@bashirk

A result-driven software engineer with expertise in community building :) // I teach Microsoft technologies - especially cloud solutions based on Microsoft Azure and Azure Stack.

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This is a nice write up Bashir :)

 

Many thanks Lou :)