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Hire Cloud Engineers: An In-depth Guide to Selecting the Best

Do you want to innovate faster, deliver better products and services, and delight your customers and stakeholders? You need cloud computing if you answered yes to any of these questions.

Cloud computing represents the tech innovation that permits the utilization of computing resources, including servers, storage systems, databases, networks, software, and applications, via the internet on an as-needed basis. Cloud computing is not a fad or hype. It’s a reality and a necessity.

As per Gartner‘s projections, the worldwide public cloud market is anticipated to increase from $257.5 billion in 2020 to $364.1 billion in 2022. That’s a whopping 41% increase in just two years! 

But you need more than cloud technology to take advantage of this enormous opportunity. You need cloud talent. It would help if you had cloud engineers.

In this guide, we will show you what cloud engineers are, what they do, how to hire them, how much they cost, where to find them, and how to overcome the challenges in hiring them. By the end of this guide, you will have everything you need to know to find and hire the best cloud engineer for your organization.

Table of Contents:

Defining cloud engineers

Cloud Engineers are IT professionals with specialized skills in cloud computing. Their key responsibilities revolve around designing, planning, managing, maintaining, and supporting cloud-based applications and Infrastructure. Whether public, private, or hybrid, these engineers ensure the cloud infrastructure operates like a well-oiled machine, providing efficient and secure services tailored to an organization’s unique needs.

Who are  Cloud Engineers?

A Cloud Engineer’s skill set is vast. This necessitates command over diverse operating systems, knowledge of networking, familiarity with coding languages, and an extensive understanding of numerous cloud service paradigms, encompassing Software as a Service (SaaS), platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Moreover, they are well-versed in various cloud service platforms, with giants like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) commonly used.

It’s important to note that the term ‘Cloud Engineer’ is an umbrella term that encompasses various roles such as Cloud Architect, Cloud Developer, Cloud Systems Engineer, and Cloud Network Engineer. Each role specializes in a different aspect of cloud computing, but together, they form integral parts of a cohesive, well-functioning cloud ecosystem.

In essence, Cloud Engineers are the architects and builders of the digital landscape, playing an indispensable role in our increasingly digital world. As we delve deeper into this topic, we will explore the roles and responsibilities of Cloud Engineers, essential tips for hiring them, associated costs, and where to find reliable Cloud Engineers, among other aspects.

What does a cloud engineer do?

Cloud Engineers are like the digital equivalent of explorers, charting the uncharted territories of cyberspace. They architect, navigate, and monitor this sprawling digital landscape with a fine eye for detail, ensuring smooth sailing for the organizations that depend on them.

  1. Design and plan: Cloud Engineers start by designing cloud environments based on business requirements. They plan and set up cloud solutions, which include everything from deciding on the best cloud service model and platform to choosing the right networking technologies. They focus on security, data integrity, and system performance in their planning stage.
  2. Deployment: Once the blueprint is ready, Cloud Engineers roll their sleeves and delve into deployment. They install and configure cloud systems, integrating them seamlessly with other Infrastructure if needed. They are responsible for ensuring the cloud service is running smoothly.
  3. Management and maintenance: Post-deployment, Cloud Engineers manage the day-to-day operations of the cloud environment. They conduct regular checks for potential issues, troubleshoot and resolve problems, and perform routine maintenance tasks. They may also oversee cost management for cloud resources to prevent overspending.
  4. Security management: Security is paramount in the cloud. Cloud Engineers enforce security measures, implement policies, and conduct regular audits to ensure compliance. They also monitor the system for any potential breaches or threats, swiftly addressing any that arise.
  5. Collaboration and support: Cloud Engineers often work in tandem with other teams, providing technical support and advice. They play a critical role in an organization’s broader IT strategy, advising on cloud technology and how it can drive business goals.
  6. Stay Up-To-Date: The cloud ecosystem is constantly evolving. Therefore, Cloud Engineer continuously learns and updates their skills to keep pace with new developments in cloud technologies, services, and best practices.

From startups to multinational corporations, Cloud Engineers have a monumental role in shaping digital strategy and maintaining businesses’ online presence. They are the gatekeepers and guardians of the cloud environment, assuring its reliability, security, and efficiency. As we move further into the era of digital transformation, the importance of Cloud Engineers can only be expected to grow.

10 Essential tips for hiring a cloud engineer

1. Define your requirements clearly

The first step towards hiring the right cloud engineer is understanding your unique project needs. Have a crystal-clear idea of what you expect the engineer to accomplish within your organization’s cloud computing landscape. Be able to define the required skillset and experience level.

If the search is for a professional who is specifically skilled in particular cloud service frameworks such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), or Software as a Service (SaaS), or even for someone with expertise in a specific cloud service platform like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform, having this information beforehand will streamline the hiring process.

2. Look for relevant experience

Experience matters a great deal when hiring a cloud engineer. Verify if the candidate has worked on projects that mirror yours. 

Seek candidates with relevant, hands-on cloud experience.

Having hands-on experience in deploying, managing, and maintaining cloud infrastructure can drastically reduce the learning curve and enable the engineer to navigate through the nuances of your project more efficiently. Moreover, familiarity with the cloud technologies and platforms you’re using is an added advantage.

3. Evaluate technical skills

A proficient cloud engineer should have a comprehensive array of technical skills. This includes but is not limited to, a deep understanding of cloud computing principles, proficiency in one or more programming languages such as Python or Java, and familiarity with Linux or Unix-based systems. 

Knowledge of database technologies such as SQL or NoSQL is often required. Also, they should be skilled in utilizing cloud services from leading providers like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

4. Don’t overlook soft skills

Hard technical skills are often emphasized when hiring for technical roles, but soft skills are equally vital. The candidate should possess excellent communication skills, as they often need to break down complex technical concepts into digestible information for non-technical team members.

Problem-solving abilities are crucial, as the engineer will likely face unexpected challenges that require innovative solutions. Teamwork skills are also important since cloud engineers typically work as part of a larger team.

5. Check certifications

Certifications offer a validated benchmark of skill proficiency in specific cloud technologies. Check if your potential hire holds certifications such as the AWS Certified Solutions Architect, Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect, or Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert.

Look for candidates with relevant cloud certifications.

Such certifications not only affirm the candidates’ technical expertise but also demonstrate their commitment to professional growth in the cloud computing field. While not mandatory, they can certainly add credibility to a candidate’s profile.

6. Gauge their problem-solving abilities

Cloud environments can be complex and present unique challenges requiring creative problem-solving abilities. During the interview, present your potential hires with hypothetical problems or past challenges that your organization has faced. 

Observe how they navigate the problem, their approach, and their proposed solutions. 

This will give you an idea of their problem-solving skills, critical thinking abilities, and how they perform under pressure.

7. Explore their understanding of cloud security

Cloud security is paramount. A proficient cloud engineer should have a firm grasp of identity and access management, data encryption, secure networking configurations, and more. 

They should know the latest cloud security threats and the best practices to combat them. Consider posing questions or scenarios that explore their understanding and approach toward securing cloud environments.

8. Look for passion for continuous learning

The cloud technology landscape is constantly evolving. Look for candidates passionate about learning and staying up-to-date with the latest cloud computing trends, technologies, and best practices. 

The propensity for continuous learning is crucial for any IT professional, but it’s particularly vital for cloud engineers, given their domain’s dynamic and swiftly evolving nature.

9. Consider their business acumen

Cloud engineers need to be able to see beyond the code and understand the business implications of their work. They should understand how their role fits into the larger business strategy and how cloud technologies can drive business goals. 

Candidates with a good sense of business acumen will be able to provide more strategic value to your organization.

10. Don’t rush the process

Take your time when hiring a cloud engineer. Finding a candidate with the right skills and an excellent cultural fit for your organization is essential. Rushing through the hiring process may lead you to hire the wrong person, which can negatively impact your projects and team dynamics.

Take your time for a thoughtful hiring process

Remember these ten tips as you embark on your journey to find the right cloud engineer for your organization. With a thoughtful and thorough approach, you can ensure you hire a professional who will bring immense value to your cloud computing endeavors.

How much does hiring a cloud engineer cost?

According to Insider, The median annual compensation for cloud engineers is $120,370, alongside an annual cash bonus of $10,000, according to a survey spanning over 4,000 salaries. 

The cost of hiring a cloud engineer depends on various factors, such as the region, experience level, and position type of the engineer. 

Some of the factors that affect the salary of cloud engineers are:

  • Region: The cloud engineer’s geographic location can significantly affect their compensation. The cost of living and demand for cloud skills vary among regions, which is reflected in salary differences.
  • Experience level: Another critical determinant of a cloud engineer’s salary is their experience level and organizational role. Naturally, a seasoned professional with relevant experience would command a higher salary than a newcomer in the field.
  • Certifications: Certifications offer a concrete way to demonstrate proficiency in specific areas of cloud computing, and holding industry-recognized certifications can enhance a cloud engineer’s earning potential. Certifications acknowledge the engineer’s skills and knowledge and are often valued by employers.
  • Skills: A cloud engineer’s skills can significantly influence their salary. As different cloud domains and technologies may require distinct expertise levels, possessing in-demand skills can lead to higher compensation. These can range from understanding cloud security to proficiency in using cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud.
  • Education: While the educational background of cloud engineers can impact their salary, it is not always the decisive factor. Employers might prefer candidates with a degree in related fields, but they also recognize the value of skills gained through online courses, certifications, or self-study.
  • Benefits: The overall remuneration package for a cloud engineer is not solely the base salary. It often includes numerous benefits that contribute to the overall compensation. The scope of these benefits can considerably shift based on the company’s scale, ethos, and sector, possibly encompassing health coverage, adaptable working hours, or stock options for employees.

Where to find reliable cloud engineers?

Places to find reliable cloud engineers

Job boards and recruitment platforms

Online job boards and recruitment platforms like Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn are rich resources for finding cloud engineers. These platforms have an extensive reach, enabling you to access many potential candidates globally. They also offer functionalities that allow employers to search for candidates based on specific criteria, facilitating the hunt for the perfect fit for your cloud engineer role.

Company’s career page

Another effective strategy is utilizing your company’s career page. It allows you to list your job opening and serves as a platform to promote your company’s culture, values, and perks. This approach will attract candidates who align with your vision, mission, and work environment. Showcase what sets your organization apart: flexible work options, continued learning opportunities, and growth potential.

Professional networking

Professional networking, both online and offline, can yield valuable candidates. Attend cloud computing-related events, such as conferences and meetups, to meet potential hires in person. Online communities, like those found on Stack Overflow, Reddit, or Quora, can also be instrumental. Engage with professionals in these spaces, participate in discussions, and you might just spot your next cloud engineer.

Employee referrals

Employee referrals often prove to be one of the most reliable sources of new hires. Encourage your current employees to refer potential candidates from their network. This method can be especially effective as it carries a higher level of trust since these candidates come personally recommended by your existing staff, who understand the company culture and the nature of the work involved.

  1. Understanding the unique skillset: Grasping a cloud engineer’s diverse, multifaceted skillset can be challenging for hiring teams. The role requires knowledge spanning various fields, from networking and databases to security and programming languages. This broad spectrum can make defining the right skillset required for the job role challenging.
  2. Limited pool of qualified candidates: The high demand for cloud engineers often outstrips the supply of highly qualified professionals. This imbalance can make hiring more competitive, requiring more resources and time to identify and secure top talent.
  3. Evaluating practical skills: Assessing the practical abilities of a cloud engineer candidate can be difficult with traditional interview methods. These methods might not accurately reflect a candidate’s proficiency in handling real-world scenarios. Incorporating practical tests or presenting candidates with scenarios they might encounter on the job can help better gauge their problem-solving abilities and technical understanding.
  4. Aligning with company culture: Ensuring that a candidate’s work style, values, and personality align with your company culture is crucial. A candidate could be highly skilled technically but may not mesh well with your existing team or company ethos, impacting team harmony and productivity.
  5. Geographical constraints: Geographical differences can pose challenges when hiring remote cloud engineers. Time zone differences can affect collaboration and meeting schedules, language barriers might hinder clear communication, and cultural differences could impact work style and expectations.
  6. Keeping up with evolving technologies: Cloud technology is dynamic and continuously evolving. It can be challenging to find candidates who are not only skilled in current technologies but also willing and capable of learning and adapting to new advancements.
  7. Budget constraints: Hiring highly skilled cloud engineers can be expensive. Balancing the budget without compromising on skill level and experience is a common challenge, especially for startups and smaller organizations.


That said, the tips and strategies discussed in this article can provide valuable guidance. By understanding what a cloud engineer does, knowing the essential tips for hiring, being aware of the costs involved, and being prepared to tackle the challenges, you’re well on your way to building a robust, skilled, and motivated cloud team.

We hope this guide has given you valuable insights into hiring a cloud engineer. As the cloud continues to shape our digital future, having the right cloud engineers on board could be your stepping stone to success.

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Marketing Manager of Mageplaza. Summer is attracted by new things. She loves writing, travelling and photography. Perceives herself as a part-time gymmer and a full-time dream chaser.
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