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Unlocking Cloud Certification – Key Credential for Tech Job Search – ReadWrite



Unlocking Cloud Certification – Key Credential for Tech Job Search - ReadWrite

In the wake of COVID-19’s economic impact, many people find themselves searching for new work. A bright spot in the job-hunting process is the consistent growth of the cloud computing industry. Here is the key credential for a tech job search.

Unlocking Cloud Certification – Key Credential for Tech Job Search

The cloud computing industry offers opportunities for those with direct cloud skills, and increasingly, for those in non-IT roles.  Non-IT roles include skills in sales or marketing, where understanding the cloud is an emerging asset.

In fact, according to LinkedIn, cloud computing remains a top hard skill companies need most, and analysts at Forrester predict the industry will return to hypergrowth in 2021, opening up even more opportunities.

Various digital and virtual training options are available for individuals interested in upskilling or reskilling for the cloud.

These courses—and dedicated study—can be the launch pad to pursue industry certification credentials. An upgraded credential can help a job candidate stand out amongst other applicants or pursue an internal promotion.

Attaining a cloud industry certification can not only increase chances of securing employment, but research shows certifications pave the way to higher salaries and provide a competitive advantage.

It’s not just the certified individual who benefits; 93 percent of organization decision-makers agree that certified team members add value that goes beyond the cost of the certification (Global Knowledge).

Complete an Industry Certification

If you’re pursuing cloud training with the goal of completing an industry certification, below are five tips to help increase your success in achieving the certification. These tips are based on my decade-plus experience working in the cloud, and developing learning solutions for organizations, partners, and learners.

Tip #1: Plan goals and map them to specific certifications

Before diving into taking online courses or reading technical whitepapers, visualize your goals and what you want success to look like. Then, work backward to understand the necessary steps to reach your goals.

Think about your personal interest in computing and align it to in-demand cloud roles. From there, you can identify the appropriate industry certification that will help validate your skills and allow you to stand out when applying for roles.

For example:

  • Interest: building cloud applications and architectures
  • In-demand cloud role: cloud designer or cloud architect
  • Relevant certification: AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

Tip #2: Leverage self-paced study materials

Now that you have your goal and certification identified, travel no farther than your computer to access training materials, on-demand and live lessons, and practice tests.

Digital training allows learners to develop skills and knowledge for any cloud domain. You’ll become proficient at machine learning, networking, security, and more. You can gain this knowledge with short, self-paced, and often free, courses from various learning and cloud vendors.

Your prescribed study and learning path

Many training providers offer recommended learning paths that align to the various role – or domain-based industry certifications. Taking the correct path will ensure your study efforts line up with the desired finish line.

You can also look for an official exam guide, which offers detailed and prescriptive guidance about the areas the exam will cover to help you prioritize your study. Research which training provider and training program best prepare you to pass the industry certification.

Tip #3: Find community

You’re not in this alone! In addition to online study resources, there are also myriad communities online where you can connect with individuals who are also gearing up for a certification exam—whether their first or their fifth.

Insider knowledge

These groups can give you insider knowledge about the most important aspects of studying, helpful resources to make the most of your study time. You’ll learn what the testing experience is really like and how to market your industry certification once achieved.

Great places to find community online include LinkedIn Groups and industry-certification-specific Subreddits.

You could also attend a User Group Meetup—or even present at one of the groups.

Tip #4: Establish consistent study habits 

The amount of time needed for coursework and hands-on experience will vary depending on the certification.

A good rule of thumb is to allow yourself 15-20 hours to study and prepare for foundational level exams, and 5x that amount for an associate-level exam.

For a professional or specialty level exam, plan for 5x more time than you prepared for an associate-level.

Achieving success on exam day directly correlates with not only the hours set aside for study — but also the approach you use

Recommended study tips include:

  • Set dedicated time blocks to study. Treat study time like a business meeting that is mandated by a boss—non-negotiable.
  • Find a place that promotes motivation to study and eliminate distractions.
  • Study at the “right” time. Night owls might try a few units when the rest of the house is asleep.
  • Involve others when appropriate. Some courses benefit from social interaction beyond the virtual classroom, and some may find the content resonates more when discussed or practiced with friends or family.
  • Take practice certification exams to increase confidence in the knowledge you’ve retained, and the test-taking process. Generally, practice exams can be repeated as many times as needed to help a learner feel confident in the format of the test and the information that’s covered.

Tip #5: Get “hands-on” experience before test day

Take studying a step further by getting practical, hands-on experience with the technology. Depending on the certification, hands-on experience not only increases the chance for success, but it’s imperative for maintaining your deeper knowledge.

Always do your labs.

Sign up for lab-style training (perhaps offered virtually at the moment, with a live instructor) to familiarize yourself with the technology in real-world scenarios.

Explore access to a free or low-cost version of labs to further experiment with the technology. There are also self-paced tutorials that help you learn to build step-by-step.

Finally, consider identifying a friend or professional mentor who works with the technology and asks how they use it day-to-day. Take the opportunity to understand the individual pros and cons, and ask for advice about success with training and certification.

Reaching your goals

Cloud training and certification programs present a unique opportunity for currently employed individuals and job seekers alike.

Update yourself and your skills

You will want to update yourself by gaining new skills and taking advantage of the growing careers in the cloud.

Validating a demonstrable level of cloud skills through industry certification can provide a clear, competitive edge in the job market.

Image Credit: andrea piacquadio; pexels; thank you!


Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending



Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play

London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs



Deanna Ritchie

As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations



Deanna Ritchie

As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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