In my last blog post, I had spoken about the concern of Administrators about losing their job to the cloud. In this post I want to examine the concerns of middle level managers with respect to their job security in the era of Cloud.
I have had many conversations with mid and senior level managers, who have experience ranging from 10 to 20 yrs in the industry and are now feeling insecure about their job because of projects slowly moving to Cloud. Their major concern is two fold: One, the IT industry itself has been harsh on the mid level managers, laying off lot of them. Second, they fear that their skills, or lack of it, will not fetch them another job at the same level in the industry.
Many of them want to learn about Cloud in order to keep themselves relevant in the industry but are faced with the problem, what should I learn? The biggest challenge for mid level managers is not that they cannot learn new technologies but what should be the next step after learning that technology? The dilemma is due to the fact that the managers have lot of experience and the industry will hire you for your experience and that experience is not on the new technology (Cloud, in our case here).
Many ask me if they should take up a course and get themselves certified as AWS Architect – Associate. This can only lead you so far but not farther. It will demonstrate that you are willing to learn new technologies, that you are willing to adapt yourself to new situations and you are quite aware of how the environment is changing. Along with it, you need to try and check out how you can work on Cloud and how you can bring in a perspective which a person with 3 to 4 yrs experience cannot bring to the table. It is very important that you think about this carefully. Because the companies will not hire you for your certification. They can hire a 3 to 4 yr experience person for that. What they will hire you for is your knowledge on the development processes, your knowledge on migrations and your ability to understand Cloud in a wider enterprise context.
So what should managers so in this situation? One, is to choose one of the Public Cloud providers and try to understand the working of the Cloud. Get a certification if you can. Second, understand the challenges of migrating workloads to Cloud. (There is lot of literature out there.) How would you meet these challenges as a Manager? Thirdly, understand why moving to Cloud would benefit your organization and what could be the limitations. Finally, try and write articles (in your own blog, on LinkedIN and so on) in order to display your passion for the Cloud. It will also let the world know that you are interested in Cloud and have expertise on it. The best way ofcourse is to lead a project within your company (either a full fledged project or atleast a proof-of-concept project) which is based on Cloud. Nothing gives you more leverage than working on a project.
Times are tough for mid level managers in many organizations but you can definitely tide over them if you consistently work hard in learning and disseminating your knowledge.