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It's more than an IT job -- it's a cloud career

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How Java developers can find cloud computing careers

In a new IT landscape, IT pros are worried their jobs are on the chopping block -- but Java developers in particular can position themselves in the cloud world.

How can Java developers find cloud computing careers?

Fortunately for developers, cloud services are an ideal match for many software development efforts. Platform as...

a service (PaaS) offerings help developers avoid unnecessary infrastructure management issues. Java developers interested in a more cloud-oriented career can start by learning to work with one of the major PaaS services, such as Heroku, Red Hat OpenShift or Google App Engine for Java. It's important to learn how to use the tools supported by PaaS providers, especially Git for version control and Jenkins for continuous integration.

An alternative approach is to demonstrate your skills with development on an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) -- in particular, big names such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

AWS has developed certifications for developers and solutions architects; developers can get started with the AWS Certified Developer-Associate Level or the AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate Level. There is also a Professional Level exam for the solutions architect track, and one planned for the developer track.

The developer exam includes topics such as choosing the right AWS service for an application, using software development kits (SDKs) and working with security controls. The solutions architect exams focus on building scalable, highly available systems in the Amazon cloud, migrating applications to the cloud, data movement and management, estimating and controlling costs. These certifications are most helpful when they complement practical experience with AWS' cloud services. Certifications are not a substitute for experience in coding and designing applications in the cloud.

No developer is an island; stay in touch with other developers who may be able to help with your cloud computing career. Major cities often have networking opportunities. Meetup alone lists more than 800 Java Meetup groups. Participate in LinkedIn groups related to Java and cloud computing. This will help keep you visible to recruiters who routinely scan LinkedIn for candidates.

About the author:
Dan Sullivan holds a Master of Science degree and is an author, systems architect and consultant with more than 20 years of IT experience. He has had engagements in advanced analytics, systems architecture, database design, enterprise security and business intelligence. He has worked in a broad range of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, software development, government, retail and education. Dan has written extensively about topics that range from data warehousing, cloud computing and advanced analytics to security management, collaboration and text mining.

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This was last published in June 2014

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Essential Guide

It's more than an IT job -- it's a cloud career

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I very much disagree with the premise of the article. In fact, I the idea of a 'Java career' seems very much the antithesis of what I do.  I am currently a Java developer, but if I was hired to work in PHP I can, although I'm a little rusty.  If I was hired to work in C# I can.  Even Ruby, a language I have never done any serious development in would only take me a few weeks to get up on.  Sure there is complex tooling behind it, but if you understand most of the concepts, figuring out new tools is not that hard.

As a co-founder of a meetup, I think meetups can be great, but the value you get out of them is limited to what you put into them.  If you go and listen but never try anything any of the speakers talk about, you will get very little out of it.

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I agree with JCD.   THere's a lot of alarmism and people worrying if they can no longer be an X dev.  Why does being an X Dev even matter.  You learned how to program, the language is negotiable.
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The first framework supported on AWS Lambda is Java. Use your Java background to start figure out these new paradigms. And I agree with the comments below - it's no longer a single language world (or ever was). Being a good learned and system-level developer are skills that are transferrable and will evolve. 
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