Cloud Certification Path

itsmevic used Ask the Experts™
Hello Experts! Looking for a bit of guidance here.  I've been in IT for several years and realize Cloud and Big Data are prominent names in our field today.  I'd like to become Cloud certified but would like to pick a cloud platform to learn that is going to give me the most bang for my buck so to speak.  So actually three questions here:  

1.)  What cloud platform would you choose to get certified in moving forward into 2020 and beyond? (AWS,   Azure or Google)

2.)  which cloud platform would be more lucrative pay wise?  (AWS, Azure or Google)

3.)  Which one would be least expensive in your experience in obtaining, let's say to an Architect level?

     Your input is greatly appreciated!   Thank you.
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Scott FellDeveloper & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013
I would first look locally for what jobs are being offered

To answer your question about which platform, there are different options and especially for azure or aws. Are you working for yourself or looking to get a job with a small or larger IT company?  If you are working for yourself, I suggest doing some research on your own. Start by getting a free trial and perform some options you may be doing with your own clients to test. You may want to look at at the partnership options each offers as well.  By doing your own experimentation, you will find out what you like and what you don't like about each and when it comes time for you to give an opinion to your own clients, you can talk from experience.

My own preference has been Microsoft and I work primarily with office365 which ties into Azure and Google GSuite. Overall, Google scares me because they will switch up what they are doing from year to year. More importantly, the support from Microsoft has been far superior. I have written about that here multiple times.
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018
An alternative approach.

Certification... hum... I've personally never seen any certification lead to maximum income.

With certifications... you'll be competing with other people with certifications...

Better to compete where there's no competition.

1) Best way to become a tech expert is to first define some project you'd like to do with Cloud tech, including a monetization strategy.

2) Implement your project.

3) Start cashing your checks.

4) Then if you'd like to sell your services, start talking about your project via content/podcasts/vlogging or small group talks or large group talks.

At this point you may find you lose interest in working for others, preferring to just cash your checks.
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018
Tip: Start with your money first. If for example you'd like to operate in the $100-$250/hour range, you'll approach marketing very different than the $10-$30/hour range of work.
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IT Systems Director
Top Expert 2014
1.- Following Gartner's 2019 cloud review, the top current players are (in this order): AWS, Azure & GCP.
2.- This one is hard to say as it really depends of the needs of your recruiter (I would go again for AWS & Azure).
3.- Currently the cheapest cert is AWS, followed by Azure, and the dearest being GCP.

I would recommend to go for AWS or Azure, just choose one (you can join a trial in both, and just stick with the one you like the most).

Another technology that I would recommend is terraform and packer (both from hashicorp), to use Infrastructure as code (IaC).
That way, you can also build solutions as code, which can be transferred or tested into another cloud with a minimum of effort (depending on complexity, of course). This will also facilitate work in 2 clouds at once, or transitioning from one cloud solution to another.

Documentation and blogs with info about AWS and terraform are aplenty, which should also ease the learning path.


Thanks, all.
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

You're welcome!

Good luck!

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