With the exponential increase in modern mobile device usage, different operating systems are coming into existence with varied characteristics and a wide range of screen sizes. To cope up with demands of various mobile device types, app developers are adopting cross-platform capabilities. But alone cross-platform can’t manage the hoards of data inflow coming from millions of devices. 

The solution to this problem has been around since decades, but now it is gaining an edge with more and more developers moving to cloud technology to build cloud-based apps that increase the storage capabilities of apps, help businesses handle data efficiently, and more.

If you are also thinking of moving to cloud technology to build more capable apps, you need to acquire a certain set of skills that aid you in building fully-fledged cloud apps.

Before we take a hike on what those skills are, let’s have a brief look on what cloud application is and how it works.

What is Cloud Application?

A cloud application is an internet-based software program processing logic and data storage in the cloud. 

A software program, in this case, is an app where the user interacts with the app. The app collects the data and stores it in the cloud. From the users’ point of view, a cloud app is similar to a standard website while the app works behind-the-scenes, processing data in the cloud.

Some common examples of cloud-based apps that have become a part of your daily life are Gmail, Google Drive, and Facebook.

Source: Wikipedia

Cloud apps are similar to web-based email sites, allowing users to enjoy all the features and files of the program without  worrying about storing bulk of the data in the mobile. Users send their personal data to the cloud-hosted server which stores information for later usage. Not only from the users’ side, but the cloud apps are also valuable for businesses that need access to large amounts of data without getting confused over which data resides on which corner.

As per the studies of International Data Group, 69% of businesses use cloud technology in one way or another and 18% are planning to move on cloud app solutions for their users.

Long story short, this is the perfect time to upgrade your cloud app development skills so that you can be on the experts list when businesses search for best cloud app developers.

Without further ado, here’s the set of skills you need to master now:

1. Get a Grip on Elements of Cloud

Cloud app developers generally work with cross-functional teams which is a mix of various teams from various departments including software, operations, designers, architecture, etc. It means when it comes to learning cloud-app skills, you have to get aware of a few elements to understand how different parts of cloud apps work in sync with each other:

These are some of cloud app development elements you must grasp before starting the development journey:

  • Cloud service providers: If you are about to get started with cloud apps, you cannot do that without cracking the code of how different cloud service providers work. Cloud service providers offer various cloud-based services including storage, databases, compute, Migration, ML, etc. Most of the parts of a cloud-based app is catered by these cloud service providers, making them a vital part of cloud app developers.

Source: Shasta Tek Solutions

  • Storage: As the name suggests, cloud storage is storing data online in the cloud. It allows companies to access data from multiple locations and connected resources.

Based upon the needs of an app and the organization, you can choose any of the 4 basic types of storage:

  1. Personal Cloud Storage
  2. Public Cloud Storage
  3. Private Cloud Storage
  4. Hybrid Cloud Storage

Data is the centre of cloud apps. It is important to understand how to store data and where. That’s because each app and the organizations have varying needs of data like how much to store and how much to use. Hence, learning all types of cloud storages and their capacities is the fair idea to start for a cloud app maker.

  • Networking: Cloud app developer is also responsible for designing an app ensuring the network is responsive to users by creating automatic adjustment systems. Hence, having a coherent idea on networking fundamentals and Virtual Networks are highly important skills in the Cloud world.
  • Data coming from: Data comes from multiple places. It is important for organizations to understand where the data is coming from to take future decisions for business. Cloud is surely a starting point, but data is direction. So it is the responsibility of cloud app developers to be aware of where the data is coming from and make it easy for organizations to know the same via app.
  • Virtualization: Virtualization is the development of something that doesn’t exist physically but virtually on a server, desktop, a storage device or other network resources. To simplify, virtualization is the way to share a single physical instance of an app among multiple organizations and customers.

Virtualization has allowed many developers to reduce the use of multiple hardware assets. It also helps developers to rely on less assets with more efficiency by using multiple virtual machines at a time on the same hardware.

To conclude, virtualization makes you scalable and avails fault tolerant resources. So it’s crucial for cloud app developers to acquire some experience in virtual services like virtual machines, EC2, etc.

2. Learn to Draw A Clear Picture Of Requirements

Before you jump in making a cloud-based app for a client, make sure you understand their requirements very well. Not only the requirements of the organization but also of the consumers. Create a framework communicating requirements in a crystal manner so that you don’t lose the track during the actual cloud app development process.

Here are some examples of how to shed lights on demands:

  • Understanding the UX
  • Whether the customer feel comfortable with the app or not
  • If customer doesn’t feel comfortable, how to shape the app to build customers’ trust
  • Sharp intellectual to solve problems during and after the cloud app development cycle.

Your job as a cloud app developer is to understand the business domain, its problems, and fitting the solution in the app. For this, you must be able to transform a business problem into a visual model of the app.

Do remember, solving the business problem via app is the key. 

3. DevOps

In this digital age with complex requirements knocking doors from all the four sides, developers can’t go long with limited skills of writing code. They have to be cognizant to solve complex systems. 

Let’s just say, developers need to keep a bigger picture in the mind. They have to be in sync with how things work in the field and on the network. They must follow a consistent design pattern to save the app from randomness. They must have an equal idea on what’s going on with the app. 

This is where DevOps comes into the play to simplify the structure and keep everyone on the same page.

DevOps enable cloud app developers to organize communication and the team involved in the app to solve the problem and offer solutions that add value to the business. This ability brings a redefined culture in the team and results in innovation. One of the biggest parts of DevOps is automation that reduces workload from the team, allowing them to concentrate on more creative tasks.

4. Micro Services Based Development

Microservices are the cloud-based native architectural approach where a single application holds many independent, smaller components or services. Generally, these services:

  • Contain their own stack, including the database and data model
  • Communicate with each other using a combination of REST APIs, message brokers, and event streaming
  • And are arranged by business capabilities

While most of the debate about microservices revolve around architectural meanings and characteristics, their importance can be easily understood through simple business and organizational benefits. Like:

  • One can update the code easily
  • Teams are free to use different stacks for different components
  • Components can be used independently of one another, reducing cost and waste kindred with entire applications as some features face too much load.

Being a cloud app developer, you must understand the importance and use of microservices at the right place and at the right time. Lack of microservices may end up in a project taking too much time to complete with unnecessary cost involved.

5. Security and Disaster Recovery

Security and disaster recovery aims at protecting apps, data, and infrastructure involved in cloud app development. 

The fact that everything is moving to the Cloud makes it important to get a first grasp on security matters.

For all types of cloud app development environment, security entails maintaining sufficient preventive measures like:

  • Ensuring that the data and other systems are safe
  • Keeping tracks of current state of security
  • Getting earlier solution to unexpected events

Being a cloud app engineer, security and disaster recovery tools, concepts, and experts, will help you play on a safer side. Security methodologies are central to operating an app in the cloud. Alike skills would help you get a lucrative job.

6. Programming Skills

Talking about cloud app development skills, you can’t ignore the importance of developers with various programming skills. Developers with varied skill sets possess the ability to build, manage, and deploy applications quickly. A cloud-based app needs different skill sets for strength and scalability. Thus, learning suitable programming languages and taking help from others with another level of expertise would be a book for a cloud app developer.

Here’s the list of some popular languages and frameworks of cloud world:

SQL : for data manipulation and process

Python: To create, analyze, and organize big chunks of data with ease

XML With Java Programming: Data description

.net: must have framework for Azure Developers

Put these programming skills in your learning basket and you would become an unstoppable cloud app developer.

Keeping Up with Changes

Along with everything else, you need a big appetite for walking along with the changes as cloud is an ever evolving technology. Embracing changes give you the ability to create up-to-the-mark apps based on business and users trendy requirements.

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