Why can’t you learn cloud architecture by doing, and become a great cloud architect? I love hands-on experience, but it’s different for cloud architects. Cloud architecture is about digital transformation – improving an organization’s business performance through technology.
Fundamentally, the architect needs to be equal parts business executive and technology professional. It’s critical to note that cloud architects, solutions architects, and enterprise architects are not hands-on technology professionals. Most architects will never touch the technology.
The cloud architect job focuses on how things work and conceptually puts the pieces together (people, processes, and technology) to optimize business performance. This is identical to a building architect – the architect designs the building while the construction crew or cloud engineers convert that architectural design into reality.
For example, let’s consider the building architect. There is no benefit to teaching the architect how to be a plumber, electrician, mason, welder, or landscaper. Even if these jobs were introduced to the architect, they still would not know system design. Learning to build part of a system does not teach someone how to design an end-to-end system.
The same applies to cloud architects, AWS Solutions Architects, Microsoft Azure Network Architects, and Cisco Enterprise Architect roles. Although getting some hands-on cloud experience may be beneficial, teaching architects cloud construction does not teach cloud architecture. Remember that cloud architects design while cloud engineers build.
The role of a cloud architect is to design, present, and sell the best product or solution for a business. To test this theory, we interviewed over 1,000 AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associates and AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professionals who learned by “doing.” We concluded that not a single AWS-certified individual knew cloud architecture, nor were they hirable. They needed additional cloud architect training and cloud skills, even with multiple AWS certifications!
The moral of the story:
When spending your time training, make sure your cloud training gets you closer to your career goals instead of someone else’s job. Stay on your path to success!
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