Why Cloud Foundry is the #3 Paying Tech Skill

April 24, 2017 Jared Ruckle

Who doesn’t love a good tech salary survey? These benchmarks offer useful data for employers and vendors alike. And they delve deeper into compensation trends. It’s a welcome contrast to the “number of jobs with this keyword” graphic.

Dice.com, a careers site for tech pros, recently published their annual salary survey for 2016. The survey reflects data from nearly 13,000 respondents. According to Dice.com, the top 5 skills in 2016 were:

  1. HANA
  2. MapReduce
  3. Cloud Foundry
  4. Hbase
  5. Omnigraffle

Review the full list, and read more about the skills and survey methodology in the summary.

Why was Cloud Foundry third on the list? We have a few theories.

Cloud Foundry Helps Adopters Deliver Better Software, Faster

Companies standardize on Cloud Foundry because they want better business outcomes through software. They favor building custom apps, not custom platforms. This approach boosts the bottom line. It creates a virtuous cycle that fuels demand for more engineers.

Financial Services Firms are Strong Adopters of Cloud Foundry

Survey data reveals financial services as the most lucrative vertical in IT. Big banks have been some of the more ardent users of Cloud Foundry. Why?

Incumbent banks understand the threats and opportunities posed by new fintech models. The need to remaster banking with better software is clear to many industry leaders. The same goes for large insurance companies. Big dev teams, like those at banks and insurers, become immediately more productive Cloud Foundry.

Also, Cloud Foundry appeals to highly regulated verticals. The platform “bakes in” essential security and compliance features. That means these capabilities don’t impede the daily work of engineers. Teams can deliver new code rapidly, while meeting common industry security standards.

The Cloud Foundry ecosystem has rallied around this industry as well. Reference architectures featuring Cloud Foundry and network virtualization are readily available. These designs help large teams do two things. First, they achieve high-velocity output on their code (“go fast!”). Second, they improve their security posture, by adhering to “zero trust” networking principles.

Cloud Foundry is crucial to the future of several financial services firms. So, they joined the Cloud Foundry Foundation to help guide the movement.

Strong Demand Everywhere

It’s not just financial services of course. There’s demand for engineers that know Cloud Foundry in other sectors. That drives salaries skyward.

The Cloud Foundry Foundation alone includes many blue-chip power users: Ford, Volkswagen, BOSCH, and Comcast to name a few. They all use Cloud Foundry to transform their business. And they’re hiring!

Vendors like IBM, SAP, and VMware have long sought Cloud Foundry experts. Now Internet giants like Google have jumped into the Cloud Foundry hiring pool as well.

Cloud Foundry Interacts with Other High-Paying Areas of Tech

Successful platforms offer structured extensibility. Once you to standardize on cloud-native architectures, it’s time to build the apps. And that means assembling the right services for each use case. Hello service brokers!

Developers use service brokers to extend their apps to an array of plug-and-play tech. In fact, many popular add-ons to Cloud Foundry are listed on the Dice.com survey:

Just for fun: PaaS ranks #10 on the salary survey, a term historically associated with Cloud Foundry.

Cloud Foundry Skills are Portable and Highly Transferrable

Those with expertise in Cloud Foundry tend to be good at lots of other things. When you learn Cloud Foundry, you learn how to build and operate distributed systems that constantly change. This positions you well for the next 20 years of IT!

Let’s explore this further, and clarify what Cloud Foundry skills are. Operators who work with Cloud Foundry get better at automation, site reliability engineering, immutable infrastructure, horizontal scaling, and cloud-native security practices.

Most developers can pick up Cloud Foundry easily. It automates much of the grunt work they deal with today.

As an added bonus, companies that adopt Cloud Foundry also tend to adopt:

  • Test-driven development

  • Pair programming

  • Microservices architectures

Experience with these patterns and practices make you more effective across the board.

Wondering What to Pivot Your Career to?

Engineers have no shortage of options when it comes to career growth and development. That’s why education remains top of mind for job seekers, according to the survey:

“...[I]n the Salary Survey, some 15 percent of tech pros said they were concerned about keeping their skills up to date; another 15 percent worried over finding an appropriate position for their skill-set; and 10 percent voiced fears of potential job elimination. In other words, the employer willing to offer educational opportunities is one with a higher likelihood of retaining talent that wants to stay on the cutting edge of the industry.

Cloud Foundry has so much to offer in this regard.

Forward-looking employers have joined the movement. Cloud Foundry features a level of abstraction popular with the world’s largest brands. And the platform’s open source governance model provides ample opportunity to contribute. Here’s a slice of what the community has done so far this year:

Take your career to the next level! Sign up now for the Cloud Foundry Summit Silicon Valley, June 13-15, in Santa Clara, California. Use discount code CFSV17PIV20 for 20% off registration.

Want to learn more about the Dice survey? Download it here (registration required).

About the Author

Jared Ruckle

Jared works in product marketing at VMware.

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