Three ways to stay up to date on cloud while working in IT

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Nowadays, cloud businesses are all over the world. Cloud is everywhere—phones, tablets, medicine, applications and more, just to point out a few. So what if you are in the IT area? I work with Linux and virtualization and want to get focused on cloud computing. How difficult is it to keep up to date with new technology and specialized fields?

IBM Smartcloud for SAPHere are three recommendations to follow in order to stay informed that have worked for me.

1. Read

There are many websites, blogs and even mobile applications that can help you understand new technologies emerging in the cloud world. I use a browser add-on named Feedly and a mobile app available for both iPhone and Android named Zite. They are like intelligent magazines that let you find the most frequently read articles on a specific topic. I favorited topics like cloud computing, IBM Cloud, OpenStack, KVM, IBM Bluemix and more.

2. Get your hands dirty

This has to do with hands-on tasks; for example, if I want to get familiar with OpenStack, it would be a good idea to start reading on how to set up an environment. I would find out what architecture requirements are needed (hardware specs, most recommended virtualization client) and get to know all the services the solution offers, like dashboard (Horizon), compute (Nova) and image (Glance) in the last OpenStack release, IceHouse. Once you have gathered all the information, you can try to set up your own cloud.

Need a server? You have options like IBM SoftLayer, and there is even the chance to get one server at no charge for a month in IBM Marketplace. Another option is the one mentioned by Michael Fork in “OpenStack in a day for under $20.” Last but not least is the option of doing it with your own computer. It has to be a powerful one—in my case I run Linux so KVM is a very nice option.

In my example I mentioned OpenStack, but this could be done with any client in the industry.

3. Social media

If you’re an active person in the world of social media, let’s look at the example of Twitter. There are many accounts for companies and people you can follow for information and updates. A few I recommend are: @IBMcloud, @RedHatNews and @SoftLayer. You can also check out hashtags like #cloudcomputing. A lot of information is there for the taking in social channels—use it wisely.

Cloud computing is growing very fast. I just provided you with some tips for gaining more knowledge that have worked for me. There are also several certifications available; you can read more about them in the blog post called “Achieving IBM Cloud Computing Certification.”

It is important to get prepared for the future of the IT industry. Get all hands on deck and get ready for it. If you think of more ways that knowledge can be gathered, share your thoughts in the comment section or send me a tweet @ovegarod.

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