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A new Vocabulary for David

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Cloud computing has created the need for a new vocabulary - and new languag es. How quickly are we adapting to this new way of working?
From terminals, to PCs  and from storage, to the cloud

It is perhaps no surprise that the ‘utopian’ world of cloud computing should throw up new set of programming languages. A new lingua franca was inevitable as software developers came to collude inside the fresh pastures of the cloud computing cloudscape with its untapped possibilities.
While cloud vendors have sought to pacify us with suggestions that software development methodologies and core technology principles translate ‘seamlessly’ to the cloud; the reality is that a whole range of new languages and systems tools has come to be and, as yet, not everybody speaks fluently in these new tongues.

Comparatively new names including Cassandra, Voldemort, Puppet, Chef, Map Reduce and Hadoop are starting to define the skill sets that by which we measure cloud competency at the individual coder level. So has the IT recruitment industry found itself on a blind curve heading downhill faster than it can manage?     

Furthermore, have programmers themselves recognised the new skills topography they will need to navigate – and what are they doing about it?


Back to school
At the individual level, software application developers are of course responsible for their own skill sets. As such, they can take it upon themselves to ‘train up’ for the cloud by using online training tools and resources if they wish. However in practice, not every developer will choose to augment his skills, so inequalities in the programmer job market have become more pronounced.

One thing we have always noticed as cloud recruitment specialists is that there are truly excellent programmers who excel at everything they do; and then there are average programmers who ‘just about get by’ and are sometimes carried along by other members of the team. But, crucially, when it comes to the cloud, this disparity is magnified and there is an even greater wedge between the two tiers  according to  Theresa Durrant, operations director of cloud-specialist recruitment consultancy Resource On Demand Limited.

Large global IT consultancy brands  are becoming very demanding when it comes to skill sets for the cloud. This issue needs to be highlighted right the way back to the student level, or we risk the uncertainties of a job market suffering from a dearth of core skills. Aberdeen University has apparently started to offer MSc/PgDip in ‘Cloud Computing’, but this is a mere drop in the ocean in terms of what is needed, from terminals, to PCs  and from storage, to the cloud

As computer science students now face facts and realise that one or two languages (and platforms) is no longer enough, a new approach to skills agility is called for. Nottingham University Business School lecturer Christopher Barnatt has suggested that just as the PC forced many IT staff to leave the data centre, so cloud computing will drive IT professionals into a new mash-up age of far more transitory cloud technologies.

Cloud Security

Cloud security refers to the computer, network and information security of cloud computing providers and users and encompasses technologies like data protection, infrastructure and governance issues. Security concerns surrounding cloud computing are generally considered to surround security and privacy (of the information stored), compliance (with legislation and user company policy) and legal or contractual issues.  In particular, concerns have been raised about security provision within multi-tenanted public cloud offerings

Platform as a Service

Platform as a Service refers to the provision of a computing platform and the provision and deployment of the associated set of software applications (called a solution stack) to an enterprise by a cloud provider. PaaS makes deployment of applications possible across your entire network while negating the need for you to buy or maintain hardware or software, basically because it is all owned and maintained by the cloud provider. The provider can customise, integrate or develop from scratch, applications needed by the enterprise, which the client can then access via the internet.

Infrastructure as a Service

Infrastructure as a Service Instead of purchasing servers, software, network equipment or data centre storage space, cloud providers can supply IaaS to clients as a fully out-sourced service and be subsequently billed only according to what they have used. This means the cloud provider owns and maintains the housing, running and maintaining of all the equipment, not the end-user. This also gives the end-user the flexibility to use more or less storage, as required, (called scalability), which is attractive to businesses which might otherwise have needed to have maintained large amounts of storage space even at off-peak times.

Software as a Service

Software-as-a-Service is software which is deployed over the internet and used by someone on a personal computer or local area network. Customers can often use software “pay-as-you-go” by using the cloud provider’s licences, rather than buying licences themselves – which is why Software-as-a-Service is sometimes called “software on demand”. As well as removing the need to buy, install and manage software at the user’s end, it also has the advantage of the software being accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.