1. Hands-on skills with the cloud platform

The first capability one will develop is hands-on skills with working with the cloud platform itself. In our case, with one of the leading solutions in the market – Amazon Web Services (AWS). One way to get familiar with the platform is by participating in an AWS Cloud Practitioner Challenge.

“Prior to starting the cloud migration, our full team took this challenge. It gave us knowledge around cloud computing concepts and a general understanding of AWS services.  We also participated in an AWS summit and immersion days where you or your users can get hands-on experience with a selected AWS service, such as an ETL tool or a data visualization service,” shares Marius Babrauskas, who has served as a product owner for a team executing a cloud migration.

2. In-depth knowledge of AWS services

The AWS cloud has a wide variety of services available – it means virtually unlimited learning opportunities in the field one chooses.

“Most of our colleagues find the Networking area (VPCs, subnets, route tables, Network Access Control Lists, security groups…) quite tough to crack at first, yet it’s extremely satisfying to understand. However, some might be more interested in learning about the Security specialty, Data Analytics or the DevOps route, it’s a very individual choice and our skillsets complement each other,” explains Marius.

“Both of us first took the solution architect route. It indicates that now we are skilled in assessing the current infrastructure in the on-premises data centre. We can understand the main requirements (whether high availability, cost saving, increased IT security or an increase of resilience is required) and build a solution architecture in AWS based on that,” says Vladimiras Cincikas, who has experience in implementing migrations on-premises, infrastructural changes, pipeline development, and change implementation. 

3. More profound understanding of Cloud Security

Even though the name reads “public” cloud, at the end of the day, it offers financial services institutions access to practices and solutions built by security specialists they do not necessarily have access to on-premises. According to Marius, “Security in the cloud is essential for a company in financial services. We prefer to build solutions with “defence in depth” in mind. Encrypt-in-transit and at-rest, HTTPS traffic only, etc. I am sure the combination of knowledge around cloud and security is in very high demand when we talk about the labour market.”

4. Terraform know-how

Terraform is an open-source IaC (Infrastructure as Code) tool. As our colleagues say, Terraform is the language of the cloud team. “Infrastructure as Code is definitely a passion area of ours. It is crucial when managing huge, complex infrastructure like the ones you will find in financial services.  Building a Terraform that will get the job done, is like an explorative journey, that culminates in the terraform init and terraform apply,” explains Marius. His colleague Vladimiras adds, “What is more, Terraform has greatly upgraded during the last several years. By creating Terraform scripts and reusing them, we are preventing and mitigating the possibility of human error.”

5. Familiarity with CI/CD

Although Azure DevOps existed on-premises even before cloud migration, it is an essential tool for implementing and managing a cloud migration. “Azure DevOps helps out when a developer needs to spin up, change or delete an Airflow instance in AWS for example,” says Marius. “To put simply, it enables us to ensure that developers (and everyone else) are happy. Currently we use Azure DevOps for code repositories, building and running pipelines. Essentially, it helps ensure that the developer’s interaction with tools is easy and clear,” adds Vladimiras.


To sum up, working with a cloud migration might be a challenging yet rewarding task. It helps to develop a diverse set of tech skills that are in high demand today. “What fascinates me the most about this migration is that it could be considered a so-called “greenfield” project. This project allows you to implement your decisions, shape processes, build the environment, test and modify your solutions. Cloud migration is a rather complex project, giving an opportunity to learn how to succeed in uncertain circumstances. However, apart from all these aspects and technical skills, it is also the soft skills that make or break the project,” concludes Vladimiras. “You need the grit and persistence to pick yourself and your team up and continue creating small increments of value to your company every single day, despite the challenges,” adds Marius.

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