So many people want to become cloud architects, and for good reason. It pays extremely well, and there’s lots of career progression. The key to being hired as a cloud architect is having the right skills, but certification won’t equip you with them. At Go Cloud Careers, we teach the skills cloud architects require. It’s this “Plus,” more than just certifications, that makes an applicant stand out among a competitive pool of interviewees.
The skills you need to become a cloud architect
Certifications are perfect for cloud engineers. They enable you to complete tasks like setting up S3 buckets or storage. Certifications will get you a cloud interview, but they won’t ensure your success as a cloud architect. In this career, you need technical competency, high-level emotional intelligence, executive communication skills, executive presence, and business acumen.
The cloud architect job is as much a leadership position as it is a technical position. Up to two-thirds of what cloud architects do is entirely non-technical. Cloud architects need to be able to design, document, sell, lead, translate, build customer relationships, handle project management, and entertain clients.
Unfortunately many people who desire to become cloud architects train for other cloud computing careers, and not cloud architecture . Learning the skills for another career such as studying Python, DevOps, or SysOps does not help the cloud architect. It’s effectively the same as a surgeon trying to build their surgical career by learning to fly an airplane. It creates brand confusion on the cloud architect’s resume. When the hiring manager reviews an applicant’s resume with certifications from several cloud computing careers, that applicant is not seen as an architect, but rather a jack of all trades and a master of none.
Cloud architects need design skills
First and foremost, cloud architects design. We start by learning all we can about our client’s business. What are the client’s goals? What are the client’s pain points? Who is the client’s competition?
After learning about our client, we must possess the business acumen to translate what we’ve learned into a technology solution. The critical skill for architects is having enough business knowledge to understand the company’s problem and design a technology solution.
After asking questions, we baseline the organization’s current system and create a design to meet the customer’s business objectives. Finally, we present that design and sell it to the customer.
As a cloud architect, you need a deep knowledge of how your client’s business works. Engineers need knowledge on how to do things, but architects are more about how the system works. You can’t design systems you don’t understand
Cloud architects need communication skills for documentation and translation
Documentation is a critical skill for a cloud architect. At least 25 percent of your time will be spent writing documents.
Cloud architects have to write clear and concise documents for executives who are not technology professionals. We also need to write documents for the technical people. We have to write at both levels and be relevant to whatever audience we’re trying to reach.
You must have excellent written communication skills. These skills need to be a part of your cloud architecture training program.
In addition to written communication skills, you’ll also need exceptional verbal communication skills. Cloud architects spend half their time translating. We translate between genius engineers and business executives, between engineers and engineers, and between engineers and architects.
As cloud architects, we translate business problems into technology solutions. We translate tech into business language. Translation is a critical part of everything we do. Communication skills are vital.
Cloud architects need sales skills
As cloud architects, we’re always selling. We sell a solution to the customer, and we sell our ideas to internal management.
As an architect, we have to sell our designs and get buy-in from our customers. Whether we’re selling to internal leadership or external customers, we need the communication and relational skills to influence the people around us.
Cloud architects need leadership and project management skills
The cloud architect job is a leadership job, and in many cases, architects are director level or above. You’re going to be leading and managing teams. You’ll need to motivate people to complete your designs, even when you’re not their direct supervisor.
As a cloud architect, you’ll be managing many projects. Your design might require a proof of concept. You’re not the person building that proof of concept, but you’re in charge of making sure it gets accomplished. In another situation, you’ll find yourself with a team of engineers working on your design.
You’ll constantly be managing projects, and you need the leadership, communication, relational, and management skills to get the work done. To be an effective cloud architect, you have to possess high-level emotional intelligence, extraordinary influence, and top-notch persuasion.
Cloud architects need relationship skills
If you want to be an effective cloud architect, you’ve got to know how to treat your clients well. Customer relationship management is critical. You’re constantly smoothing ruffled feathers.
As a cloud architect, you will often be entertaining clients to establish relationships. Whether it’s golf, dinner, or a sporting event, you’ll need to find ways to form meaningful relationships with your clients.
You will also be building robust relationships with your coworkers. Cloud architects are only as strong as the weakest link on their teams. Your network is your net worth.
As a cloud architect, leadership skills, communication skills, emotional intelligence, and empathy are critical. These skills will enable you to maintain productive relationships with the people around you.
Cloud architects are respected and well paid. That’s because the job requires a combination of highly specialized skills. Design skills can be technical, but there is another skill set that is equally necessary. Leadership, communication, and relationship management all involve high-level emotional intelligence and your ability to bring out the best in others. It’s your soft skills, project management skills, business knowledge, and ability to see things from another’s perspective that will make you successful as a cloud architect.