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What does it mean when a job requirement says: experience in cloud computing?
What kind of competence is it?

Is the competence to know what services they offer in detail and choosing the most appropriate one?
Or how to use the web interfaces?
Or to know how to insert it in a architecture?
Or to know how to migrate a service into cloud?
Or how to deploy and maintain a service in cloud?

In my humble view there is no difference for a programmer on which computer the code runs. How do I know how experienced I am with cloud computing?

I hope this is not a dumb question to ask and it is not completely wrong here.

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    That's a vague and open-ended question. Do you have any experience with AWS, Azure, or GCP?
    – joeqwerty
    Feb 17 at 13:29
  • Unless we know what the actual job requirements are, AND what experience you have, we can't answer "How do I know how experienced I am with cloud computing?".
    – Peter M
    Feb 17 at 13:29
  • The question is to vague (not from the OP, but on the requirement). Which possibly means that it was 'improved' by a HR team who has no idea that they cut out the essense of the requirement. Personally I would prepare a few answers, then mail and ask for a clarification. Do you mean X, then I have X2, or did you mean Y, then I worked with Y2 and Y3' style.
    – Hennes
    Feb 17 at 13:38
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    Having done development on AWS for the past year or so, I can tell you there are differences between developing on a cloud infrastructure versus a traditional on-prem setup. If you aren't aware of what those differences are, this may not be the job for you.
    – Seth R
    Feb 17 at 15:11
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    It depends a lot on what industry you're in. Cloud computing for an engineer would be vastly different than for a sales person or developer.
    – Kilisi
    Feb 17 at 15:28
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A simple answer is that the answer is just whether you've used cloud products before, but you've touched on how you can read between the lines here:

In my humble view there is no difference for a programmer on which computer the code runs. How do I know how experienced I am with cloud computing?

In many companies developers are expected to take ownership of an entire application, rather than just the code. Putting this as a requirement for a software engineer indicates that this is one of those companies. What they would likely want to see is that you have previously:

  1. Been responsible for the entire lifecycle of an application, rather than just writing code.

  2. Used cloud tools to do the above. The more experience you have interacting with the associated devops tools, the better.

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  • Using cloud services to run a program is slightly different than running it locally, and is also a bit different than running it on a production server. In terms of difficulty, a production server is the "highest" because it can literally be setup in super obscure and archaic way. Cloud is the middle because, although specific to the platform (AWS, Azure, etc), it's standardized for all customers so it'll be consistent and published (but still can be obscure). Local deployment is basically brain dead and also completely not secure.
    – Nelson
    Feb 18 at 8:00
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What does it mean when a job requirement says: experience in cloud computing? What kind of competence is it?

Don't over think it. It's a straight forward yes or no requirement.

If level of competence isn't specified, then try to infer it based on the job title and description. As they haven't been specific, you should simply read it as:

Have you ever used cloud computing before?

Nothing more. You either have or haven't. It doesn't matter to what degree or they would have specified it.

To what level you need to know it and how competent you are usually comes later, in interviews.

Sometimes these things are purposely vague because "experience" with something is a nice to have, or would be useful for the candidate and not required knowledge. - unless it specifically sits under a "required" section.

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There is a big difference depending on where your software is going to run. You would not write the same code for an embedded device with extreme constraints, than for a big enterprise server which will be usually underutilized. The same goes for the cloud: you do not write the same code if you are accessing a file locally, than if you are accessing an object on Amazon S3 or Azure Blob. They behave in a different way and, if you do not account for that (e.g. latency) your code will be subpar to say the least.

Without having more information about the job description, it is difficult to assume what they mean. I will just give you some tips about what would be generally expected. For a junior or middle position, it may be just familiarity with how to use the services (e.g. using the relevant SDKs), and what they are actually are. There may be frequent conversations with people mentioning EC2, or S3, or RDS, and they want the new team member to be able to follow them. And you may be tasked with stories such as "Store the results of X in an S3 bucket".

For a more senior position, it could also involve being able to design solutions based on the cloud. Knowing how to leverage the services to solve the particular problem that your applications needs to solve, properly designing a high availability system, maybe lead a migration from on-premises to the cloud, etc. The more senior you are, the more time you will spend on this type of tasks.

Then again, it may also require that you are able to implement those solutions yourself. Meaning getting into the actual CLI/Console and create an instance, or a database, or debugging a network issue. This would be mostly for a system administrator role (or a "cloud engineer"), and most companies will have specific people for this, but still, in some teams or companies they may expect this from developers.

And of course, it could be just a bogus requirement, with someone (probably non-technical) just copying information over from other offers without understanding what they are demanding. This is also probably a warning sign for the job, but still, it happens.

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What does it mean when a job requirement says: experience in cloud computing?

Sarcastic answer: It likely means that a manager read lots of brochure about the benefits of "the cloud" and now thinks "the cloud" is something they also need, because all the cool companies are using "the cloud".

It might be better to take a look at the other entries on the list of required skills to get a better idea of what "cloud computing" actually means for that company. Do they ask for skills with AWS? Kubernetes? SAP Cloud Platform?

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