Waving goodbye to infrastructure engineering

  • Having worked in the public sector, government, private single company, and now going on my third MSP; mainly consulting, building out infrastructure, and migrating services to cloud based environments (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS depending on the need). I've gotten the opportunity to see the market shift over the years, the last 2 being very interesting.

    We have been doing a massive amount of migrations to the cloud for security, uptime, and cost (subjective to the use case of course). It's been done for healthcare, eCommerce, legal systems, public school districts, etc.

    Many infrastructure skills are being deprecated in this process. High level Exchange engineering is something I'm actually a little sad to see go; I legitimately enjoy building out highly available Exchange environments, SharePoint, etc.

    As the market shifts in the next 5-8 years, it's becoming very apparent that there are going to be a handful of different positions that one would need to bet on as the nuts and bolts of the infrastructure become mystified if you migrate your clients to the cloud:

    • Development - Coders will still be in very high demand.Cyber Security - Still going to be in very high demand.Networking - I can't see this going away on-premises. If anything, things will get more complex with NIDS/NIPS, UTM capabilities, etc. Possibly offloading to hosted services all together for filtering/inspection/etc.

    • DevOps - Bridging the gap between dev and infrastructure (whether migrating or not, wherever that infrastructure might be).

    • Solutions architect - It's not really on the infrastructure side of things necessarily, even working with IaaS. It's more about working with products and business workflows really.

    • Cloud engineer/automation - Working for a major provider, whether it is in cloud computing (Azure, AWS, GCC, etc), VPS (Vultr, Linode, Digital Ocean, etc), or cloud services (Dropbox, etc).

    It's not like looking into a crystal ball, it's like looking into a black hole if you're a senior infrastructure engineer like me who doesn't like coding (not the same as scripting).

    What are you putting your time and efforts into for the coming years?

  • I don't see IE going anywhere. We have all the same need for IE in the future that we have n the past. Sure now it is DevOps rather than Snowflake, we are using more tooling, but things are also more complex and bigger.

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