7 AWS skills you need on your resume in 2020

By Jamie Mercer

There’s no disputing that the demand for cloud computing skills is on the rise.

According to Forbes’ roundup of forecasts and market estimates, global spend on cloud computing services is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 19.4% from nearly $70bn in 2015 to well over $141bn in 2019.

Our own research shows that 83% of AWS partners we spoke with expect the amount of work they’re involved with is expected to increase in the next year. With that growth comes incredible demand from businesses all over the world for cloud professionals, and this demand isn’t slowing down at all.

Companies are no longer talking about potentially migrating to the cloud; they’re already there and they need help from skilled AWS professionals to help make their cloud projects a success. But staying up to date in best cloud practice can be tough – especially with AWS’ rate of change with more and more products are being added to the AWS catalog month by month.

We spoke with thousands of people working with AWS and looked for any trends we could spot and have identified these seven must-have AWS skills that you need to highlight on your resume in 2020 to get ahead of the game.

1. Cloud security

Early adopters of cloud technology were initially concerned about hosting their data in the cloud. However, cloud security has improved massively since then and there is now more confidence around cloud security than ever before.

In fact, our AWS Market Trends and Salary Survey report ranked security as the third most important factor to consider when choosing a cloud provider, with 36% of respondents highlighting its significance compared to 13% last year.

Security is a shared responsibility between the providers and the organizations that use them, which means companies are crying out for cloud professionals with security specialization who can leverage the cloud security tools offered by AWS. This is a trend that is only going to increase in 2020.


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2. DevOps

In our AWS Market Trends and Salary Survey, DevOps was ranked as the top technical skill for budding AWS professionals to have in 2020.

An amalgamation of attitudes, practices, and tools, the DevOps approach vastly increases the speed at which development and operations teams can deliver apps and services.

This revolutionary model is helping businesses innovate and improve existing products much faster than those using traditional processes.

DevOps automates moving code from development to production while automating tasks such as monitoring, testing, integration, and deployment. DevOps is focused on continuous development, integration, and deployment, which directly benefits the SaaS applications that thrive on cloud computing.

It’s not surprising that those in the AWS community would place such a high value on DevOps skills: the size of the global DevOps market is expected to balloon to almost $13bn by 2025.

To help professionals in the cloud space prove their DevOps skills, AWS offers the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification. The badge is intended for those in a DevOps engineer role with two or more years of experience provisioning, operating, and managing AWS environments.

We also asked respondents to rank the top three most used third party DevOps and Big Data tools:

  • Jenkins (46%)
  • Terraform (23%)
  • Ansible (19%)

3. Cloud migration and deployment in multi-cloud environments

More and more companies are looking at moving multiple applications to the cloud, as customers look to get the most out of cloud platforms. In August 2019, market intelligence company IDC conducted a multi-cloud management survey among nearly 300 US-based enterprise IT decision-makers.

They found that 93% of respondents were using multiple infrastructure clouds for their business operations:

  • 81% use multiple public clouds and one or more private or dedicated clouds
  • 11% use multiple private or dedicated clouds
  • 5% use one public cloud and one or more private or dedicated clouds
  • 5% operate in multiple public clouds only

Where companies are really struggling is finding permanent or contract employees who are able to help them with their cloud migration efforts. Failure to do so can result in business downtime or data vulnerability, which is definitely something they’re keen to avoid!

Half of AWS pros we spoke with in our report told us that cloud migration experience is one of the top 10 skills that are most important for successful cloud workers.

4. Serverless architecture

Today’s cloud consists of industry-standard technologies and programming languages that all help to move serverless applications from one cloud to another vendor.

These services are easier to scale up and apply patches to as well, and serverless application development has become a niche in its own right. It’s so much more than just better abstraction for servers, and many businesses are now making it a priority.

In fact, 74% of AWS partners we spoke with told us that compute products such as AWS Lambda were the most in-demand from clients over the past year.

We also asked professionals working with AWS to tell us which they work with most often: 93% stated that they regularly work with serverless products featured, Amazon EC2, Elastic Container Service, AWS Batch, and AWS Lambda.

This just goes to show the importance of serverless architecture among both employers and people working on the frontline with AWS!

In a recent blog, Justin Pirtle, specialist Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services, identified these skills that every Serverless Architect needs to know:

  • API and Microservices Design (API Gateway)
  • Event-driven architectures and asynchronous messaging patterns (Amazon Kinesis Data Streams)
  • Workflow orchestration in a distributed, microservices environment (AWS Rekognition and AWS Step Functions)
  • Lambda computing environment and programming model (AWS Lambda)
  • Serverless deployment automation and CI/CD patterns (AWS Serverless Application Model, AWS Amplify, and AWS Chalice)
  • Serverless identity management, authentication, and authorization (Amazon Cognito and AWS Identity and Access Management)
  • End-to-end security techniques
  • Application observability with comprehensive logging, metrics and tracing (AWS X-Ray)
  • Making sure your application is well-architected

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5. Programming Languages

Through speaking with thousands of AWS professionals, we discovered that in the next 12 months they expect JavaScript (51%), GoLang (23%), and Python (22%) to be the most in-demand languages for AWS professionals to be using.

Python is great for AWS Lambda environments because of the incredible spin-up times. When it comes to spinning containers, it’s significantly quicker than Java or C#.

Python also has a vast library of third-party modules that can help ease interaction with other platforms or languages. It’s also incredibly simple and easy to learn, which can help avoid overcomplicated architecture.

As a Software Engineer, Pickr‘s Simon Rogers has a keen eye for useful programming languages.

“Some AWS requires knowledge of mainstream programming languages, such as Java, Python, C# or another programming language which all have an official AWS SDK.”

Simon Rogers, Software Engineer

6. Containers

Almost two-thirds of respondents cited containers as an important skill for AWS professionals to master. Expertise and experience with the likes of Docker, Jenkins, and Kubernetes were all ranked highly.

Offering a standardized way to package an app’s code, configurations, and dependencies into a single object, containers are becoming increasingly popular, allowing businesses to create hybrid applications, package batch processing jobs, and scale machine learning models quickly.

AWS’s container services are widely used—Amazon EC2 currently one of the most popular container tools on the market—making containers a great thing to get familiar with.

7. AWS specialty certifications

Typically, cloud computing certifications follow a pretty familiar setup; you’ve got Foundational, Associate, and Professional certifications. As far as Simon is concerned, there are two that should help get you noticed: “The two I would recommend would be AWS Certified Developer – Associate and AWS Solutions Architect – Associate.”

AWS also offers three Specialty certification paths. These paths are designed to build on and validate advanced skills in specific technical areas and can really make your resume stand out—especially if you’re looking to focus on a particular area of AWS.

The three specialty paths are:

AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Speciality

  1. Exam readiness: Advanced Networking – Specialty (intermediate) – 9 hours digital study
  2. AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty (certification) – 170 minute exam
  3. Optional: AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (certification) – 4.5 hour exam

AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty

  1. Data Analytics Fundamentals (foundational) – 3.5 hours digital study
  2. Big Data on AWS (intermediate) – 1 day of classroom-based training
  3. Exam readiness: Big Data – Specialty (intermediate) – 1 day of classroom-based training
  4. AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty (certification) – 170 minute exam
  5. Optional: AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (certification) – 4.5 hour exam

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AWS Certified Security – Specialty

  1. AWS Security Fundamentals (foundational) – 2 hours digital study
  2. Architecting on AWS (intermediate) – 3 days of classroom-based training
  3. Security Engineering on AWS (intermediate) – 3 days of classroom-based training
  4. Exam Readiness: AWS Certified Security – Specialty (intermediate) – 4 hours of classroom-based training
  5. AWS Certified Security – Specialty (certification) – 170 minute exam
  6. Optional: AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (certification) – 4.5 hour exam

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