There’s a joke among non-techie individuals about not knowing what the cloud is nor what it does exactly. You may or may not have an exact idea of how the cloud works, and that’s fine because the aim of this piece is on the job. Cloud engineers (CEs) know exactly how the cloud works, including all of its intricacies, from the beginning to end. This is because the role of the cloud engineer is to design how cloud infrastructures work and bring them to fruition.
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CEs are intimately aware of how the software integrates with hardware, leverages resources between systems, and how each individual layer works with technologies such as frameworks and security, and how to scale them—ensuring they perform optimally, remain highly accessible, and maintain efficient operation throughout.
The programming languages below are selected because they represent the best languages for cloud engineers to know when working within their field to leverage all platforms and maximize compatibility.
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Java is a mature language boasting integration into millions of different device types. Java’s wide acceptance is due in major part to its agnostic nature of being able to run anywhere. The language is self-contained, and this design feature allows it to run exactly the same across the board, regardless of which system it is operating from. This is an important consideration, especially when considering that while cloud-based systems can be based on the same underlying system, that may not always be the case. This especially applies to both public and hybrid environments where the systems used by the organization may vary drastically from the ones used by the cloud hosting provider.
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Like the language above, C++ focuses more on programming for how the cloud will function, but instead favoring the back-end, or behind-the-scenes processes. Back-end programming places its emphasis on performance and stability of the underlying system. Using the low-level capabilities that C++ is known for, programming at this level works to squeeze out the highest level of performance from the system, ensuring that systems work optimally across the full stack used to create the cloud-based app or service.
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Arguably, the Swiss army knife of programming languages, Python’s popularity across a variety of disciplines shows no signs of slowing down. Favored for its extensive libraries and cross-platform support, the language is often considered a full-stack language in that it can be used to program for and manage all parts of the cloud’s development lifecycle. This includes lending itself to many DevOps environments based on Agile standards providing a one-stop-shop (or very near to it) for cloud engineering needs.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Unlike the other languages on the list, AWS offers a bit of a dual purpose for those who choose to use this programming language because AWS may be used strictly by cloud engineers to interface with the existing systems already running on Amazon’s cloud storage platform—no design necessary as Amazon has already provided that service. Subsequently, CEs may simply use the Amazon-provided hardware resources, opting to fully design the cloud platform based on the software platforms they require. Either way, AWS has skyrocketed in popularity among businesses worldwide, and this provides a great opportunity for CEs to really dig in and familiarize themselves with the platform, regardless of whether they’re supporting the full-stack or simply leveraging the resource to optimize their hosted app’s uptime.