O’Reilly launches Cloud Labs to help software developers gain cloud skills faster

Technology education company O’Reilly Media Inc. today announced an exciting new educational offering aimed at helping inexperienced software developers get started with the cloud.

The new Cloud Labs courses offer users temporary access to a live cloud account, along with expert guidance from the O’Reilly learning platform. The idea is to embed cloud learning into the daily tasks of IT practitioners, O’Reilly explained, so users can move from learning cloud skills to applying them in the real world.

Cloud Labs’ initial offering supports Microsoft Azure, providing instructions on how to get started using that platform’s cloud services. The learning modules it contains are designed to be short, digestible and practical, O’Reilly said, guiding learners through real-world scenarios with step-by-step instructions. Learners have the option to follow either the cloud console UI or an integrated command line interface. This way, they have the opportunity to practice applying their skills in a way that suits their own work preference, in a safe environment that won’t cause problems for existing systems.

O’Reilly believes there will be significant demand for its Cloud Labs offering. He notes that companies around the world are looking to hire cloud computing professionals at an unprecedented rate. Between 2018 and 2021, the share of cloud computing roles on job board Indeed grew by 42%, O’Reilly said.

Interestingly, however, O’Reilly thinks the talent to fill these roles already exists. The problem is that many developers simply lack experience with specific cloud platforms.

As Laura Baldwin, president of O’Reilly, explained, cloud environments have notoriously steep learning curves, and many companies worry that developers will make mistakes trying to learn on the job.

“By combining premium instruction with access to live cloud resources, our users gain hands-on experience in the most popular cloud environments,” Baldwin said. “Because they have the freedom to make mistakes without consequences, practitioners learn to solve real-world business problems. And it adds tremendous value to their organizations. »

Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. agreed that learning in the cloud can be a challenge. Yet cloud skills are scarce and in high demand, he said.

“Something needs to happen to help developers learn and practice cloud skills in a faster and more efficient way,” Mueller continued. “O’Reilly’s approach is promising because it provides both practice and learning environments to help new developers find their bearings. If developers are no longer bogged down by the difficult setup required to enter a learning environment, they should be able to learn and hone their cloud skills much faster. »

O’Reilly said it will soon launch additional Cloud Labs for Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud environments. Early Cloud Labs modules will target entry-level professional roles with Microsoft Azure, with future content releases expected to cover more intermediate and advanced skills.

Image: Geralt/Pixabay

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Valerie J. Wallis