Although organizations are boosting their cloud architecture investments, the developer and database market is experiencing a severe skills shortage. Organizations need to start building those skills from within by giving employees the time and resources they need to be successful.
The ongoing expansion of cloud and cloud-based database architecture expenditure has created a significant gap in the software developer and database market—namely, a shortage of developers with the right skill sets.
The lack of developers and professionals with enhanced abilities was the top challenge in the market for two years running, according to Infragistics’ annual Reveal Survey. More than a third (37.5%) of respondents said they expect to continue to have trouble finding skilled developers in 2023. DevOps engineers, data analytics developers and IT security engineers were highlighted as the most difficult jobs to fill.
Finding skilled developers may be a priority for organizations, but there still aren’t enough skilled cloud architects in the job market, despite the recent tech sector layoffs. This talent shortage is industry-wide, with the U.S. Department of Labor estimating the global shortage of software engineers will reach 85.2 million by 2030.
To overcome this, organizations must adjust their approach. It’s crucial that they adopt effective ways to help employees quickly develop the cloud architecture skill sets their organization–and the industry–requires.
Identify the Skills Most in Demand
The first step towards filling the skills gap is to identify the specific skills IT professionals and developers require to support cloud-based database architectures. These core skills include:
- A proficiency in PostgreSQL and distributed SQL databases
- An ability to build global applications
- A deep understanding of cloud environments
PostgreSQL proficiency is in high demand these days. It’s the number-one database according to the latest StackOverflow survey. Moreover, according to the DB Engines website, PostgreSQL is one of the fastest-growing databases in the market. It’s already ranked as the fourth most-popular database on the market (it runs the majority of applications) and is PostgreSQL-based.
Looking toward the future, distributed SQL, which combines the relational database features found in PostgreSQL with the scalability and availability of NoSQL systems, is poised to emerge as the de facto database architecture for enterprises looking to deliver market-leading applications and services. Distributed SQL allows them to monetize and scale their data regardless of industry or operation size.
In a rapidly developing cloud-native environment, applications and services are increasingly going global, with user bases around the world. Organizations seek developers with experience building cloud applications that are seamless, flat and scalable across all locations. These developers need to be able to build global applications that support business continuity and disaster recovery, comply with data residency laws, and move data closer to users wherever they are based. They must also build geo-distributed applications that span multiple geographic locations and provide high availability and resiliency while enhancing compliance and performance.
Because cloud architectures involve a mix of environments, developers also require a thorough understanding of cloud environments—public, private and hybrid—as well as familiarity with the largest cloud providers. These include the big three: AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.
The type of cloud being used can have unique security, compliance and governance requirements, as well app migration issues. Each cloud provider has their own set of procedures that developers should be familiar with.
These skills are all necessary for developers operating in today’s cloud workforce. But the question remains: How can employers fill this skill gap when developers who already have the necessary skills are so scarce?
Building Skills From Within
Investing in hands-on training and upskilling people already on staff is a great way to start enabling developers to acquire the skills they need. Organizations can choose from a variety of learning paths.
One option is to make use of communities of cloud-native developers and database practitioners. A good example is Yugabyte University, a global community offering free training in distributed SQL, provider configurations and cluster replications, and many other useful topics. Communities like this offer database training libraries, developer hubs and content libraries to their students.
Many other vendors and developer groups, including the Linux Foundation, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and GitHub offer specific cloud-native training with certification, as do companies specifically focused on training.
Organizations need to be aware that one of the biggest challenges with upskilling employees is time. Developers already have a full plate, especially in cloud environments where the emphasis is often on building and deploying applications, services and updates as quickly as possible. These valuable staff don’t have time to spend on learning, studying, and then practicing new skills.
This is where organizations need to make an investment, not just making training resources available to developers on staff but giving them the time required to train. Learning platforms that give employees self-paced learning options, virtual training, and in-person workshops can help. This allows them to learn more easily on the job. It’s also important to tailor any training to focus on developing the skills your organization needs most.
A successful training program will benefit the company by increasing the quality of software development and the employees by enabling them to develop new skill sets that further their careers.
Invest in the Right Kind of Training
The skills shortage afflicting the entire IT industry shows no sign of easing. A significant number of developers with advanced cloud-native skills will not suddenly appear on the job market. Organizations must find ways to upskill their own developers.
Employers need to make resources available, tailor them to meet the highest priority needs and offer courses and workshops in a flexible platform that makes learning on the job practical and stress-free. It’s important that employees have the time they need to learn these vital new skills rather than making upskilling one more burden on the shoulders of already overworked staff.
As cloud environments continue to grow, training and upskilling your existing staff is a necessary investment that promises to pay off in the longer term.