Technology advances more rapidly today than ever before. We are hearing more and more tech companies integrating artificial intelligence and virtual or augmented reality into their platforms and products. The exponential growth in cloud computing is drives demand for flexible or “pay as you go” consumption models. As technology becomes more advanced and user-friendly it is becoming integrated into every aspect of our lives. As we integrate technology more and more into our business, there is an increased need for cybersecurity and data availability. But what does this all mean for the IT industry and the skill sets our IT teams will need as we look into the future of IT?
The way we design and interact with applications is changing. They are designed to be more easily administered and today’s IT teams must adapt their skill set to integrate these different applications together and do more with the new design methodology. Application simplicity is designed around the user experience and today’s applications are becoming easier to consume, but they are not always simple to integrate. There are some applications that do well at creating integrations for you, but that isn’t always the case. To keep up with the evolving application needs IT engineers are starting to learn the “next-generation of skill set”, which can involve some light programming or API calls, to really help utilize and troubleshoot these applications.
DevOps is another trending skill becoming more important in the technology industry. DevOps increases an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at a high velocity through automation of the processes between software development and IT teams. This concept builds a collaborative culture between teams that function in silos in the past.
More customers today are turning to products and solutions with GUI base and a centralized controller. Customers are looking for simplified technology and application management. This can be daunting for engineers especially for those who have background in and are more familiar and comfortable with CLI. These new GUI interfaces are simple and easy for users to deploy, run, troubleshoot and maintain, but the simplified interfaces come with limitations. To do more than what’s in the GUI it typically takes application developers have CLI type access to build more robust capabilities in the application. This is a great opportunity for engineers to learn new skills and develop a skill set to carry them into the next phase of IT.
We equate a shift to the cloud with simplicity, but the truth is there is still a semblance of skill and understanding of the technology and “stuff that rides below it” – still need foundational knowledge to make it work well. Cloud platforms are designed to be simple and they are, when they work. The idea is to alleviate the day-to-day work of your IT team, but when it comes to troubleshooting advanced knowledge is still a necessity. Working in the cloud changes the way the application looks, but the underlying protocols (TCP, UDP, etc.) are still the same. Even in AWS, diagnosing issues in throughput VPCs requires understanding what is happening with the traffic – is it actually traversing the VPN and what does it look like?
We asked a few of our engineers, and our CEO, what they are doing to keep with new IT trends and technologies and here is what they had to say:
“Whenever I get into a product and I feel like I’m missing that skill set, or it’s something I need, then I start developing it around what I’m doing at the time. This helps actually retain the knowledge.” – Lee Jolly, LookingPoint Systems Engineer
“I’m focused on applications and looking at what languages are relevant to interface with today's products. Looking at our different tools and how you interface with those APIs and make valuable decisions automatically. Thinking about how to make IT use able from and automation perspective is one area I’m really excited about.” – Sean Barr, LookingPoint CEO.
“IT itself has forever been an industry of change. We don’t know what cloud platform will be the better in the end, so I’m trying to figure out what foundational skills you can move between. In the transition to cloud and as DevOps becomes more mainstream it’s what skills are you able to foster and build around that you can move around anywhere.” – Dustin Kaplan, LookingPoint Consultant Services Engineer
“A lot of our customer base in the enterprise space don’t have dedicated DevOps teams, so we still have traditional CLI and I think we will for the foreseeable 2-3 years. I would like to get more involved in Python, to a level where I’m at least proficient and can read some script in. Everything is built on top of Red Hat or some iteration of Linux, so I think having a foundation in Linux is also going to be key.” – Chris Marshall, LookingPoint Senior Solutions Architect
If you need help keeping up with the rapidly changing technologies out there the LookingPoint team can help! We successfully design, implement and manage advanced IT solutions with expertise centered on collaboration, data center, security and networking.
Written By: Eden Reid, LookingPoint Marketing Manager