Where's the best place to learn about cloud computing? The cloud, of course

How a seasoned IT veteran was able to quickly ramp up his skills for the next generation of technology platforms.

What's the best way to learn more about cloud computing?  Turn to the cloud.

IBM's Gary Zeien describes how, in nicely succinct terms, one can use the cloud to learn more about the cloud.

Clouds Crane over Hudson River  cropped June 2013 photo by Joe McKendrick
Photo: Joe McKendrick

Zeien, principal cloud solutioning architect in the IBM GTS Global Cloud team, provides a handy guide to what cloud services will guide one's efforts to better understand what is involved in enterprise cloud computing. 

Resource 1: Google it. (Or Bing it):  Everything you need to know -- from cloud server acquisition to scripting languages to frameworks to databases -- can be found online.

Resource 2: Check out YouTube:  There are many helpful tutorial videos available on various programming, integration and architectural techniques out there.

Resource 3: Online learning venues: Zeien calls out KahnAcademy and codeacademy.com as great places to learn new languages that form the foundations of the cloud world.

Along with Zeien's call-outs, there are a wealth of additional resources to help get up to speed on cloud computing -- using the cloud, of course. For a widely accepted description and definition of cloud computing, check out the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) guides on cloud computing. Also, Thomas Erl and his colleagues associated with Arcitura Education maintain a site called CloudPatterns.org, a community site of identified and candidate patterns being employed in enterprises.

Another emerging online resource is the massive open online courses being offered at little or nominal cost by major universities or their instructors. Many of these courses are in computer technology. Leading platforms include Coursera, edX, and Udacity.

With all the new cloud buzzwords swirling around us, Zeien also makes a telling observation: there's nothing inherently new about cloud computing. If you are a developer, architect or IT manager with at least a decade of experience, you probably already get it.  "For all the new buzzwords, the cloud builds on everything I learned the past, reducing my learning curve," Zeien observes. "I was also surprised at how this really wasn’t any different than the things I did in the 90s . Gasp … am I old?"