One of the questions people always ask me is: “What tech skills should I learn to be successful in IT?”. To be fair, this question cannot be generally answered. That is because IT is such a vast topic with many different flavors. You will find lots of different types of jobs like consulting, engineering, administrator, development, and so on. And every job role requires employees to have a different skill set.
However, I have seen some trending IT technologies that came up lately, which have become important industry standards. Because they apply to every size of a company in all industries, they are extremely valuable for every kind of IT job role. Let me present to you four of these technologies, that are tremendously important and will help you to accelerate your IT career.
Generalize or specialize?
Let me tell you a short story of how I got into IT. When I started my IT career, I did not have any certifications, no degree, and no previous knowledge. I was lucky when I applied for an entry-level IT job in IT support. I mainly worked with desktop computers running Windows, printers, networks, and small server environments. This was a great way to familiarize me with a variety of different technologies.
If you work in an entry-level IT job or if you want to get started with IT, it is important to have a broad overview and a broad skill set. Because at this point you even do not know what you want to do, what technologies you are interested in, or what makes the most fun to you. But if you want to make the transition from an entry-level position to a higher skilled IT job, you will need to specialize in some areas. And for those jobs, it is extremely important to know what tech skills you should learn.
The following tech skills we will discuss in this article helped me to apply for higher-skilled IT jobs. And I believe that everyone in IT should at least have heard of them. And if you can prove a good knowledge of these skills in your resume, that will help you to be successful in your IT career.
Cloud computing had a huge impact on the IT industry. I have seen many companies moved from on-premise to cloud. That means these companies had to run all their servers, infrastructure in-house before. And this required a good team to manage and maintain these IT resources. Cloud computing offers other interesting business models like SaaS (Software-as-a-service) to take away the workload from internal teams and outsource them to managed service providers.
You may think that reduces the need for internal teams and IT professionals. But companies still need to hire IT professionals to manage their cloud infrastructures. Therefore, there is a high demand for IT professionals like cloud architects, cloud engineers, etc. If you can prove good cloud computing skills and get certified for cloud, that is valuable to show on your resume.
But how could you get started with the cloud as a private person you may wonder? Well, that is much easier than you probably think. There are three big cloud computing providers that enterprise companies rely on Amazons AWS, Microsoft’s Azure, and Google’s Cloud. All of them offer free accounts or free credits where you can simply sign up and start playing around with the cloud. Just try to set up a simple Linux server with any compute engine and get yourself started!
If you want to follow the career path of a cloud engineer, you should also try to get certified. All three cloud computing providers offer IT certifications that are very respected in the IT industry. Achieve those certifications if you want to start your IT career in cloud computing!
Why is Linux so important for the IT industry these days? The answer might not seem obvious, but it is connected to all other topics and tech skills in this article. The first reason is that Cloud computing becomes more and more important. And Cloud computing often relies on the Linux operating system. A lot of services and applications are running in Cloud environments that are using the Linux operating system. Combining good Cloud computing skills with good Linux skills is more important than ever.
The second reason is that Linux is a free and open-source Operating System that is an extremely powerful enterprise-ready. Even companies like Microsoft are highly invested in Linux and create tools for developers and enterprise companies around the open-source system. Also, other vendors from networking, IoT, or edge devices often build their systems on a Linux Operating System. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for Linux professionals and important tech skills to learn.
You can easily get started with Linux because there are tons of free learning resources available. I also write a lot of articles, and tutorials about Linux and I recently started to create a free video series on YouTube to teach everyone how to work with the Linux command line.
If you want to get certified in Linux there are a variety of different Certifications. The most valuable is the vendor-specific certification of Red Hat or vendor-free certification like LPIC and CompTIA Linux+.
Containerizing is one of the tech skills you need to learn that came up as a trending IT technology in the last past years. But I think it is not a trending technology anymore, instead it has become a considerably basic technology in the IT industry. And every IT professional should at least have heard of it and have some basic skills in containerizing engines like docker.
It has completely changed the way how we develop and deploy applications. Because nowadays nearly every use at least one service that is running on a containerized engine. You may guess it; this is also because of cloud computing. If you want to deploy applications in cloud environments, you need to scale those applications. And this is where containerizing has a lot of benefits over the traditional way of software deployment. This integrates well with other managing and orchestration tools like Kubernetes, Rancher, etc.
No matter if you are still an entry-level IT guy, a professional developer, or a network engineer, there is no way these days to get around containerizing. Therefore, you should have at least some basic skills in containerizing. I’ve also recently created tutorials about deploying applications like WireGuard in docker and I also made a YouTube video where I explain docker.
Automation and Scripting
The next tech skill you need to learn is automation and scripting. And this is also because it is connected to cloud computing, Linux, and containerizing. An important part of application deployment is the automation and scripting of the build process.
Most modern applications these days follow the architecture of micro-services. That means an application does not consist of just one binary, instead, it consists of multiple services all connected and communicating via APIs. And this needs to be scripted and automated somehow.
Therefore, it is important to have skills in scriptings like Bash, PowerShell, or Python and advanced automation tools like Ansible or Puppet. This is important and I think there is a high demand in IT for people having these tech skills.