Careers in the Cloud: All About Application Development
If you’re considering a career change, and you’ve been reading up on Information Technology, you know that cloud computing is – at least the basics. But, what you might be missing is a technical understanding of how cloud computing works and the career opportunities available.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing refers to applications or software that is run from a remote network or servers. This is contrasted to applications that are run locally on a person’s computer. Cloud computing virtualizes hardware so that third-party vendors manage it while small, medium, and even large enterprises focus on their core competencies.
The result is a shift away from complex IT structures to more streamlines systems where IT departments shrink, overlap is minimized or eliminated, and software and hardware management is outsourced.
Cloud Computing: Before and After
Before cloud computing became popular, large companies were the only ones that could manage a large IT staff, product development, and deployment. However, even then, it was difficult to develop enterprise-level software and get it distributed in an efficient manner.
The cost was high, both on the front and back-end. Non-developers had to worry about debugging, installation, maintenance and periodic upgrades. Companies were practically forced to maintain an in-house IT team that could troubleshoot problems and maintain the software.
Today, that’s no longer a foregone conclusion. Many smaller companies are able to take advantage of enterprise-level software for a fraction of the cost of older native applications. What’s more, IT is completely, or mostly, outsourced so that maintenance falls back on the developers.
In other words, a company, like Salesforce.com becomes the vendor that develops and maintains the software, while also providing IT support. The small business owner merely “plugs in” to the already-established infrastructure.
Whenever there’s a problem with app or program integrity, IT from the issuing vendor applies a software patch or update and everything is updated server-side. The small business doesn’t see any interruption in service or, if there was interruption of service, it is solved spontaneously on the vendor’s servers.
If you’re thinking of getting into this field, there are a few things you need to do. First, become familiar with computers (if you’re not already). Second, you will need to take some certification courses. These courses prepare you for a job in information technology.
These CompTIA courses are a great place to start. They’re vendor-neutral, meaning that you can work for any company and apply the principles you learn to any software application. Start with basics like Security+, Networking+, and Cloud+, to gain the base knowledge you need to get started.
From there, you may want to consider taking Cloud Essentials.
Each program consists of an online training course which includes both audio and video chapters. The course materials prepare you for the exam, which you must take at an approved testing facility.
Challenges For Native Applications
Going forward, cloud computing will likely dominate the landscape because of the expense of native applications. Running apps natively means providing support for them, and this is what becomes untenable in the face of low-cost server-side solutions.
Even cloud-based applications that rely on native apps being downloaded to a device may be replaced by web-based “applications” running HTML5 and CSS3.
The need for dedicated or native apps may eventually be phased out in favor of a more rich web experience. We’re already seeing this in responsive website design. When mobile websites were still viable as an alternative to “full websites,” many web developers began designing a fragmented web. There was “the mobile web” and then the “full web.”
Today, “mobile web” is dead. Most businesses have switched over to responsive design. It put an end to the “native” design of mobile websites. This process will likely repeat itself with native applications and for the same reason – it creates redundancy that’s unnecessary.
Most websites maintain a copy of their mobile app and, if they don’t, they can easily recreate the experience in HTML5 and CSS3.
Cloud Computing Ultimately Means A Better User Experience
Ultimately, the push to migrate from native computing to cloud computing is a transformation in the user experience. The goal is to improve it. By having applications reside on a remote server, and by turning individual devices into “Internet access machines,” the user will have less interaction with code, won’t have to worry about updates, and won’t need to be concerned about losing data that resides on the device. Devices will become more disposable, cheaper, and user-friendly.
Chandana Das is a Senior Content Writer for Simplilearn.com. She has a M.A. in English Literature from Gauhati University and is PRINCE2 Foundation certified. Her unique and refreshing writing style continues to educate and inspire readers from around the world.
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