Skip to content

Contact sales

By filling out this form and clicking submit, you acknowledge our privacy policy.

Tech leaders give tips on cloud training and skill development

Tech leaders share strategies for cloud transformation success, including building a learning culture in the workplace, cloud training, and skill development.

Dec 20, 2023 • 5 Minute Read

Please set an alt value for this image...
  • Cloud
  • Business
  • Team Development
  • Learning & Development

Using cloud technology isn’t the same as driving value with it. To drive value, organizations need people with cloud skills. But how do you build a cloud training strategy? And how does it fit into larger cloud goals? 

Teresa Dietrich, former Stack Overflow Chief Product & Technology Officer; Lena Reinhard, Leadership Coach & Organizational Advisor; and Erik Gross, Pluralsight Principal Consultant, answered these questions and explained what organizations need to do to boost cloud skill development and foster a culture of learning. 

Get more cloud tips from the experts with the Pluralsight cloud transformation strategy guide.

Table of contents

What is a cloud training strategy?

The evolving nature of cloud technology can make it hard to know where to start with skill development. Teresa recommended asking two questions to begin.

What foundational cloud skills and tools does your team need?

As you think about a cloud training program, consider the two types of cloud knowledge people need: baseline cloud skills and experience with new tools and capabilities. Your upskilling program will need to address both.

Everyone across your org should have access to cloud training. Start by identifying the tools and skills teams need to work with your unique cloud environment. Then give non-technical employees resources to build cloud fluency and provide technologists with in-depth cloud content like hands-on labs and certification prep courses.

How will you measure cloud training success?

As you execute your strategy, remember that things will change. This doesn’t mean it’s not worth investing time and energy into creating a learning and development plan—leaders just need to measure success and get comfortable with changing their strategy throughout the process.

Establishing metrics early on will help your teams know if they’re heading in the right direction. Employee satisfaction surveys, course completion rates, and impact on ROI are some metrics you can use to evaluate your upskilling strategy.

One overlooked benefit of building cloud skills

“I’ve led product and engineering teams, and I always ask, ‘What does the rest of the business care most about from the combined product and engineering [teams]?’ It really cares about predictability: I’m going to deliver X at about the time I said, with the features I said were going to be in it, with a certain degree of quality,” said Teresa.

Developing a company-wide learning culture and giving teams the resources they need to upskill creates more predictability. And that allows organizations to be faster to market and more reliable in delivering new products. Mistakes might happen, but learning from them is part of refining your skill development strategy and achieving full-scale cloud transformation.

Common cloud training strategy mistakes

Creating a learning and development plan for cloud skills is an ideal opportunity for cross-functional collaboration. But teams need to align their goals and objectives to see company-wide success. Keep an eye out for these common mistakes.

Misunderstanding tech learning cultures

Among the most common mistakes is trying to retrofit a learning framework from other departments to tech teams. A three-year learning path might work elsewhere, but technology changes too fast to apply this framework to learning cloud skills. When leaders recognize the need for a different upskilling approach, they can create a learning and development program that proves its value faster.

Lack of incentives for building tech skills

Many organizations also forget to incentivize learning tech skills. WIthout incentives at the individual and team level, learning often falls by the wayside in favor of urgent projects and deadlines. “The issue you’ll likely run into is if leaders across your organization aren’t incentivized to optimize for what’s best for the entire company,” explained Lena.

Not setting learning goals

Organizations also need to create cloud upskilling goals to measure success. Identify how accountability works in your organization. What behaviors or actions lead to promotion? How do cross-cultural communication and collaboration work? As you become a learning organization, consider how different departments set goals for individual performance and how you can build cloud upskilling into those goals.

Tips to close cloud skill gaps in your organization

Ready to improve cloud upskilling in your organization? Strengthen your culture of learning with these key steps.

Align cloud training with roadmaps and organizational goals

There’s likely an existing roadmap or engineering initiative you can use to understand your organization's goals. Use this to identify the tech skills and knowledge your teams will need.

Take stock of current employee cloud skills

Assess your team’s current skills and experience. Entry- and associate-level team members might need more prescriptive guidelines as part of their cloud skill development, along with basic cloud fluency. Senior staff and architects, on the other hand, can operate with more freedom and focus on deepening their existing skill set or learning new cloud technology.

Make a plan to address skill gaps

Once you know your team’s current skill levels, you can make a plan to fill gaps as cloud technology evolves and your infrastructure becomes more complex.

How to build a learning culture in the workplace

Even the most well thought-out cloud skill development strategy won’t take hold without an organization-wide culture of learning. Creating a culture of learning starts by giving employees the ability to solve problems for themselves.

“Having skills from both a technical and cultural perspective—including things like communication skills, translating between engineering functions and your finance team, and breaking down those barriers—enables people to problem solve themselves,” said Lena.

“The whole idea [of cloud transformation and DevOps culture] is to have a learning organization where people have the tools to problem solve, to figure out what we’re doing right now and how we can improve from where we are,” she added. 

Empowering people with tools puts you in a position where you can harness team members’ knowledge, power, skills, and experience. This, in turn, helps teams feel more invested in their work. 

Plus, our research shows that 94% of employees are more likely to stay with organizations that invest in skill development. And in the face of current talent shortages, retaining highly skilled employees is key.

Don’t be afraid to make cloud training mistakes

To a certain degree, Lena believes it doesn’t matter if organizations do cloud skill development “right.” As long as teams believe in their decisions and move forward with the intention to learn, the only way to go wrong is to do nothing at all.

“Organizations that approach [cloud skill development] as a cultural shift and can approach it with an agile DevOps mindset, while keeping up with the latest cloud trends, will have a tremendous competitive advantage and successful outcomes,” she said.

Ready to get started? Explore our cloud transformation strategy guide or cloud computing courses.

Pluralsight Content Team

Pluralsight C.

More about this author