With the demand for cloud services higher than ever, many organizations face the challenge of attracting experienced cloud engineers. To meet the demand, Xebia, a Google Cloud Premier Partner, developed the Google Cloud Booster Program, a hybrid program for software engineers eager to gain knowledge of cloud computing. The first group engaged in the Booster Program in early Q4 2022. Now, a few months into the program, we sat down with the five Cloud Boosters, Daan Heikens, Lúcio Reis, Maan Alboushi, Daniël Rieske, and Jan-Justin van Tonder, to find out how they have experienced the program so far. This article explores the nature of the program and catches up with the 5 consultants to see how they are finding it.
Google Cloud Booster: The Program That Transforms Software Developers Into Cloud Engineers
Over the past years, Xebia has experienced a growing appetite at enterprises for cloud transformations as well as a continuously high demand for experienced engineers at digital natives. As the talent is not yet readily available in the market, Xebia developed the Google Cloud Booster Program. The idea behind the program is to tap into the larger pool of software engineers and teach them to apply their software engineering skills to utilize Google Cloud services. The free six-month, tailor-made skill development program allows software engineers you to tap into the knowledge, best practices, and experiences of some of the brightest Google Cloud brains. And the best thing is that it is free. Participants even get paid while on the program! All sparked by one goal: To make a developer’s cloud skills go through the roof!
Through workshops, training, and certifications, this unique program aims at turning ambitious software engineers into highly-skilled cloud engineers. The program is led by some of the most experienced cloud engineers, and a group of Googlers. During the program, they teach the theory and bring it to life by sharing their own experiences.
“I decided to join the program mainly for two reasons. The first one is I wanted new challenges for myself, I wanted to test my knowledge and skills and enter a new adventure” said Maan Alboushi. “Secondly, I really like Xebia’s atmosphere, its values, and its unique culture. as a company, I liked the atmosphere and the culture”.
More than just a deep dive into all the tech goodies Google has to offer, the Google Cloud Booster Program also pays a lot of attention to developing the interpersonal skills of the attendees.
The latter proved to be a very valuable part of the program for Daan Heikens. “Learning new theories and skills for weeks straight can be quite challenging. This program has had an impact on me both personally and professionally, as it pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me focus on developing my interpersonal skills as well, interacting with people, and learning from them by getting to know their insights is an aspect of the program that has proven very valuable to me.”
The Google Cloud Booster Program program is divided into three main phases.
In the first phase, the Boosters, as the participants are nicknamed, get to grips with the fundamentals of Google Cloud as well as with the basics of consulting. The phase ends with the obtaining of the first Google Cloud Associate certificate.
Brazilian-born Lúcio Reis commented on the sense of community feeling the program creates. “The Cloud Booster Program has been amazing, I really appreciate the opportunity that was given to me and my fellow boosters to learn and specialize in cloud computing”.
“Although we all come from different backgrounds, the camaraderie between us made the transition to cloud smooth, fun, and enjoyable.”
In phase 2, the Boosters deepen their skills to the Professional level as well as being challenged to write their first blog and deliver a presentation about a Google Cloud topic.
“It has been a fantastic experience working with my fellow boosters. Along the program, we challenge each other to push ourselves even further when working on assignments or training for our certifications” added Daniël Rieske.
For the final phase, the Boosters apply their newly acquired consulting skills to coach new joiners. They also work on their technical skills to obtain the Google Cloud Architect Certificate. Finally, the Boosters are ready for their biggest challenge yet: to take on a lead role in a client project.
"At the end of the program, I see myself as being a well-rounded engineer in software and in cloud services, well on my way to becoming a full-fledged solutions architect,” said Jan-Justin van Tonder.
Daan Heikens shared his thoughts on the challenges of the program:
“Learning new theories and skills for weeks straight can be quite challenging. This program has had an impact on me both personally and professionally, as it pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me focus on developing my interpersonal skills as well. Interacting with people, and learning from them by getting to know their insights is an aspect of the program that has proven very valuable to me”.
Although the program has started relatively small, we believe that by developing the cloud skills of software developers one at a time, we can truly make a difference and overcome the shortage of cloud talent, one dent at a time.
"At the end of the program, I expect to see a group of happy cloud engineers, that have integrated into the company and realize success in client projects,” said Annemieke Stigter, coordinator of the Cloud Booster Program. “This is a win-win for both the organization and the engineers selected to be part of this journey”.