Do I need a further cloud certification?

Via LinkedIn messages, I got a very polite enquiry:

I was doing some research online and came across your article on the Oracle Cloud exam. I am trying to get a role in the cloud and took advantage of Oracle free training/certification, got 2 certs OCI Foundation and OCI multi-cloud architect, however, I am realizing that AWS and Azure have the larger Market share by far and more job openings, I am not sure what to do next, do you think I should try AWS/Azure before job hunting or do you have any advice to get my foot in the door for a cloud role?

On 11 Jan 2024, I saw a tweet from Forrest Brazeal which said

One side effect of the Cloud Resume Challenge: since I added parallel AWS, Azure, and GCP versions, I have a clear view into which cloud people prefer.
Since 2021 these ratios have held firm:
Learners choose AWS over Azure by about 2.5:1.
Learners choose Azure over GCP by 4:1.

I like OCI as a platform, and thought their security model was particularly strong, but OCI hasn’t permeated the consciousness of which clouds are serious options.

However, having said that, a few years ago, I hired a guy into a role, who had experience on IBM’s BlueMix, which was a very niche product. My new colleague did have relevant experience in linux and networking, and shown that he could work in at least one cloud, and we were happy for him to do some on the job learning to get up to speed with AWS.

My very non-exhaustive feeling is that, where developers / engineering get the choice, they go for AWS. Where corporate IT, already happily in the warm embrace of Microsoft, have the casting vote, then they often go for Azure. Azure have a strong presence in mid-sized enterprises, and for instance, it’s easy to sell the security story that Microsoft invest USD1 billion per year on security tooling. If the company sells anything, and are nervous about Amazon disrupting their industry, then that can be another reason to choose Azure over AWS.

Back to your question on whether you need more certifications - a guarded “no”. If you get to architect level on anything, then as a possible employer reading your resume/CV, then that counts for a great deal. More training would possibly make your first few months at a new employer easier, but how each company uses cloud is so different.

I would first set out to build “something” - anything, and document how you build it. Probably you still get the OCI free instance? Or you could document building and hosting a simple website on Azure web apps. For me, it really makes a candidate stand out - you show you are curious, can build something, with deployment steps (Infrastructure as Code for the Azure resources, some sort of pipeline (Azure DevOps / GitHub) to get the code onto the compute resource), and that you can write documentation.

I did write a few thoughts here about Certifications

To learn “something” on Azure, I’d check out John Savill all for free on YouTube.

And to go full circle, back to Forrest Brazeal, follow his Cloud Resume Challenge with instructions for AWS, Azure and GCP.