After 10 years I am leaving Cloud Academy. It feels strange to write it but I am getting used to the idea by now and it’s time to get back to writing.
We started Cloud Academy in 2013, even if we really started working on it in 2012. I was 24 back then and if I look back there are a few things that come back to mind: in 2012 I was running another company in Italy, I did not know much about the US, I did not speak English (not well, at least) and the only way I thought you could build a company was bootstrapping it.
Back then Cloud Academy was a bit more than idea and we were trying to understand what it could have been a few years later. I felt confused about it, not sure it was the right idea but the more we worked on it the more passionate we became about it. Everything changed a lot in 10 years, our product did, our vision improved and evolved and we matured as founders. Reading my emails of 10 years ago is a fantastic experience!
Cloud Academy has been an incredible journey for me and for everyone that has been a part of it. From day we obsessed on creating something unique and I feel we achieved it. I can’t use a post to describe what I’ve learned and how it changed me, but I am planning to write a few more to remember all the lessons we have learned.
When you build a business like Cloud Academy and scale it to millions in revenues and hundreds of people, the most important thing you remember when you leave are people. Not the product features, not the contracts, not what you have done in that business trip. Your thoughts and memories are full of people and I am planning to talk a lot about what I have learned about people and companies. The idea is to share lessons for new founders, executives, managers and anyone else is involved in building a new company.
This is it for now 🙂
If you are wondering: I am good, Cloud Academy was my life for 10 years so losing it meant losing a part of me but I am fine!
A candidate asked me this question yesterday. “How do you see artificial intelligence impacting Cloud Academy?“. The short answer is that I don’t have a precise answer but I think businesses like Cloud Academy will define a new category in the enterprise business software. Let me explain why.
AI is already impacting cloud and infrastructure management, and that will grow in the next 2-5 years: most of that is already happening for AWS or Microsoft Azure within their managed services (think Amazon RDS), but I expect that to be the norm for every type of infrastructure, private or public.
But Cloud is much more than infrastructure today, cloud computing is how companies build and operate their software and services. If you are a junior developer today you will likely start building your application using something like AWS, Google Cloud, Azure or Salesforce and your application will be deployed on these ecosystems. Today, the common enterprise cloud stack is already quite complex and it goes from infrastructure to SaaS, with several layers that need to communicate to each other and need to talk to your legacy systems. Keep in mind are still living in a world where a bit more than 10% of software is SaaS, there is still a lot of legacy stuff running in private data centers ready for disruption. So what’s AI role? It will likely help companies to automate more and more in their infrastructure and we will see several titles disappear forever, think of database administrators, sysadmins and storage administrators but ultimately enterprise companies in every industry will keep hiring more and more software engineers as the real challenge will increasingly be about creating competitive digital solutions for your own business, building on top of hundreds of frameworks and vendors that are providing resources and APIs to do it.
In this context, companies will have to not only invest billions in developing and updating tech skills for their teams, but they will also need to have a platform that allows them to collect data, insights and understand skill trends in their IT organizations. That’s why we keep building Cloud Academy focusing on technology first, our final goal is giving enterprise companies an Operating System to manage technology skills, at scale.
LinkedIn has a nice report on how AI is impacting the job market and which positions are getting hurt by artificial intelligence. Nice read. Stay tuned….at Cloud Academy we are close to releasing a nice set of tools to understand a bit more how the cloud computing jobs market is changing 🙂
If there’s one thing that I know for sure, it’s that change, especially in IT, is the only constant.
Photo by Dylan Lee (https://www.flickr.com/photos/canon_dlee/40565384360/)
Eleven years ago, I was working in the web hosting industry. At the time, I was invited to visit a customer who owned some of the best and biggest Tier 4 data centers in Germany. These facilities were mostly operated by banks and large brands like Equinix, Global Crossing, and others, and they had thousands of racks, servers, and cables.
This customer was one of many companies who leased data center space and resold web hosting services like dedicated servers or Virtual Private Servers (VPS). These guys were particularly smart and spent a lot of time trying to automate their services so that their customers could monitor the infrastructure and take control if needed. Most of that software was written in Perl (I actually remember a big book about Perl on their desk!) and it was absolutely scrappy, a few charts, some commands to reboot servers, and so on.
I was curious. Instead of reselling hardware and space, why didn’t they focus on software? Continue reading →