If you’re looking to start a career as a platform engineer, you might already know that companies are demanding prospects to have certain skills and qualifications on their resumes.
As platform engineering continues to grow, the job market is becoming increasingly saturated, as there are more candidates than ever before. It’s vital to expand your skillset as much as you can, making yourself much more desirable for potential employers.
To that effect, here are four skills that should be learning priorities for any professional looking to make their way into a platform engineering role. You’ll be required to have a deep understanding of technical infrastructure and, as such, it’s recommended that you focus on developing these proficiencies to reduce the amount of learning you’ll have to do on the job.
Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
IaC is the management of infrastructure via code, rather than manual processes. Mastery of this discipline will form the basis of your career as a platform engineer. Through IaC, automating various infrastructure configurations will replace hand-written notes and scripts.
At its core, IaC is the automation of provisioning software, virtual machines and networks. It accelerates everything around it, aiding programmers to consistently test and share software updates and supporting the release of project code in manageable segments.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
As a platform engineer, you’ll need to know how to effectively utilise cloud services to ensure your organisation is utilising theirs in the most efficient way.
AWS is a platform that supports you in building apps, offering a combination of software and infrastructure services. Moreover, you can use the services to test and deploy resources in minutes, giving you the opportunity to be more inventive and experiment with projects.
Scala is a programming language that is influenced by Java. As a strong static language, it supports both functional and object-oriented styles on a large scale.
The reason you’ll want to learn Scala is that it offers great flexibility in defining abstractions. Using its integrated development environment (IDE), Scala connects with Java Eclipse to run alongside Java Runtime Environment (JRE). The huge benefit for platform engineers is that the resulting code is simpler and testing takes very little time. Essentially, Scala will help you deliver on projects faster.
If you’re already looking at platform engineering roles, you may also have some experience with Python. Whether you do or don’t, it’s fundamental.
A great way to get started, or refresh your memory, is by automating your life. Consider the things you do in AWS consistently. Specifically, think about whether or not those things could be turned into scripts.
For example, if you have several aspects to check when a particular type of incident occurs, pulling out key data is a process that could be automated. If the user interface of your cloud provider is leaving more to be desired, maybe you could program a solution that avoids it.
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