October 27, 2015 | Written by: Matthew Heitzenroder
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This is the second blog in a series on Continuous learning in the era of cloud. In the first blog, Scott Simmons focused on the need to focus on education and building a learning organization to be successful with cloud. Bottom line, organizations adopting cloud need to plan to build and manage cloud skills in this rapidly changing technology area.
In this blog, I share my experience learning the Cloud Advisor core curriculum and how my training might be a good approach for you to bring to your technology organization.
The evolving team of IBM Cloud Advisors come from a wide variety of diverse backgrounds – probably similar to your staff. I recently joined IBM this past August as a Cloud Advisor and previously spent my career helping build open-source software companies and running a Database-As-A-Service company. I have a lot of experience to share with my colleagues, and, as Scott highlighted in the initial post in this series, the topic of “cloud” is so broad that there still is plenty for me to learn. Thankfully, IBM’s core cloud curriculum has helped me strengthen my skills and address topics that I would like to expand upon.
Haruki Murakami, a famous contemporary Japanese writer, has a great quote: “Everybody has to start somewhere. You have your whole future ahead of you. Perfection doesn’t happen right away.” That is precisely why there’s a three-step approach to fostering the skill set of the Cloud Advisors.
I started, like all CAs, by watching a rigorous series of recorded lectures and presentations covering IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. The classes were divided into four sections designed to take me from a basic understanding of cloud and the market landscape, progressing to specific technologies in the cloud including databases, orchestration and management tooling, and DevOps. At the conclusion of each of the 4 sections, I had to pass a test covering the material.
The next step of the curriculum is a five-day training known as the IBM CA Cloud Academy. This part of our development focuses on an in-depth analysis of business and technical aspects of cloud computing using a case study approach. More importantly, the Cloud Academy emphasizes team collaboration and role-playing/interaction.
The final step is taking the Cloud Architect Certification exam, which Cloud Advisor needs to pass. This is a proctored test managed by a third party. A training plan for your organization may take a similar path.
The core curriculum of the Cloud Advisor training lasts four to six months. Following this set of milestones, the Cloud Advisor is recognized as a certified “Master Cloud Advisor.” But it doesn’t stop there — remember I told you that there are three steps in the CA skills development roadmap. As Scott always says, “Always be Learning” — in the next part of our series, Scott will describe the training and experience we require to get to the next level, which is an “Elite Cloud Advisor.” Stay tuned for the next installment on learning in the era of cloud…