Coming soon: the best jobs in cloud

Let me give you the inside track on great cloud jobs.

It’s a big week here at Cloud Irregular.

Tomorrow this newsletter comes full circle with the launch of the Cloud Resume Challenge book, which began as a post right here in April 2020 and has since blossomed into a global initiative helping countless people on the road to their first job in cloud.

The e-book is 50% off for a few more hours until launch, and wraps up everything I’ve learned about the challenge in partnership with the worldwide challenger community:

  • 130+ pages of tools, tips, and challenge add-on ideas

  • The secret “17th step” that makes your project stand out above the crowd

  • How to write a challenge blog post that will get the right kind of attention

  • Four all-new bonus projects covering AWS, Azure, GCP, Kubernetes, Terraform, and more

  • Proven challenge-to-job strategies for both career-changers and upskillers

  • Case studies from challenge champions: how they got hired, what they learned

Plus, there’s one more perk for book buyers that I’m incredibly excited about. Tomorrow, I’ll be sending out the first issue of something I’m calling The Best Jobs in Cloud.

But first: how exactly do you find a good job?

A big part of the Cloud Resume Challenge for me has been connecting tons of champions to hiring mangers within my personal network. I love doing this (despite the number of LinkedIn DMs it requires), and I wanted to do it for as many folks brand-new to cloud as I could.

What I did not so much anticipate was that many established engineers would also reach out asking for help getting their next gig.

When you think about it, this makes sense. For the most part, working engineers are doing just that: working. They’re not spending long hours building their professional network, tweeting or blogging or whatever. And so when the time comes for a job change, they often feel like they’re starting from scratch.

Sure, there are tons of opportunities out there for people with experience. But that creates a problem of its own. How do you separate the signal from the noise, the great jobs from the terrible ones, ensuring that you won’t be burned out and back on the market in three months? (Just as the great engineers aren’t usually on the market, a lot of open roles out there are … open for a reason.)

Some of us in the industry have tried to solve this problem by encouraging all engineers to build thriving professional networks in their spare time. I have also encouraged this, and still do. But I’ve come to accept that it’s not reasonable to expect every programmer, sysadmin and engineering manager to become their own personal brand guru.

So what to do? You could check out job boards, but those are noisy and have weird incentives. You could hope that someone you know happens to have a great opportunity open exactly at the time you’re getting fed up with your current role. Hope isn’t much of a strategy, though.

I’ve come to realize that the best solution is the one I’ve been running ad-hoc off the side of my desk for the last 16 months: editorial curation. Outsourcing your networking to a friend who can swing you internal referrals to companies they trust. Basically, I’ve been acting as a talent agent for engineers, both junior and senior. And I figured it was time to put some process around this.

I’ve realized there’s a leg up here for hiring managers as well. We all know that 90% of the great engineering talent isn’t actively on the market at any given time. Instead, they’re building, sharpening their skills … and, for several thousand of them at least, they’re reading this newsletter. Why not meet them where they are, every two weeks, with an offer they can’t refuse? In a newsletter where job ads aren’t mixed in with other stuff, but where they’re the whole point?

Introducing “The Best Jobs in Cloud”

“The Best Jobs in Cloud” is a new add-on to this newsletter that will come out every two weeks on Thursday.

In each issue, I curate awesome cloud job opportunities from around my network, including an inside referral for each job so you can skip the application line.

What do I mean by “the best”? I’ll be using the following editorial criteria when putting this newsletter together:

  • I bias for remote jobs; even better if they are true, global “work from anywhere” remote jobs without a geographical restriction.

  • I bias for jobs that include a salary range (it’s hard to get companies to post these, but I push for it wherever I can).

  • I bias for jobs where I personally know people inside the company and can vouch for the health of the culture and the interesting-ness of the work.

  • I sort the list according to required experience, and I try to make sure I have a healthy balance of junior, mid-level, and senior jobs. (I may use a few sponsored listings to make sure I achieve that balance; don’t worry, the sponsored posts will go through the same editorial criteria as everything else.)

Some of the jobs will look familiar; the big 3 cloud providers will represent, for sure. Others will be with interesting startups you’ve never heard of. All will be excited to hear from you. (If you’re hiring and you want to list a job, just fill out this quick form!) Yes, I really am serious about using the Cloud Resume Challenge to help you get hired.

There’s a $5 /month subscriber cost if you just want the newsletter, mostly to keep my hiring managers from getting too overwhelmed with resumes, but again — you will get this newsletter for free by purchasing the Cloud Resume Challenge book. That’s right: it’s really intended as a free, ongoing add-on to the book, for as long as you need it. I’d argue you need it as long as you work in cloud. It’s always important to know the state of the market, even if you’re not actively shopping for a new role.

Plus, I’m going to send the first issue to the whole newsletter for free, so keep an eye out for that tomorrow. I’d love your feedback on whether it’s useful to you, or what other information you would need to make it worth your while.

To all of you who have contributed to making the Cloud Resume Challenge community a small miracle in tech, thank you. I’m hopeful that these new features will help the mechanics of the challenge scale much bigger than “Forrest’s inbox”. And I can’t wait to see many more of you take the next step in your careers.