What Cloud Platforms Should You Learn For A Job In 2022?

Anthony PellegrinoAnthony PellegrinoLast updated

Are you considering becoming a Solutions Architect or interviewing for a Cloud Architecture position?

If so, you're probably wondering which cloud platforms you should learn about, which command the highest salaries, and which are the most in-demand platforms for 2022.

You don't need to do any guesswork to figure that out!

Stack Overflow, the legendary software engineering platform, recently published its annual Developer Survey.

Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022
In May 2022 over 70,000 developers told us how they learn and level up, which tools they’re using, and what they want.

They asked thousands of developers all sorts of questions about their tech roles. Whether that be the most popular programming languages, highest-paid tech jobs, most dreaded technologies, or, for our purposes, the top cloud platforms of 2022.

The Developer Survey detailed which cloud providers solutions architects were paid the most to use and which were the most popular.

So, if you're currently or aspiring to be a cloud or solutions architect, you should consider becoming experienced with these cloud services to advance your career.

The Top 10 cloud platforms are:

  1. Amazon Web Services
  2. IBM Cloud or Watson
  3. Linode
  4. Microsoft Azure
  5. OpenStack
  6. Google Cloud
  7. DigitalOcean
  8. VMware
  9. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
  10. Heroku
We used the median salary data reported by the Developer Survey to make our top 10 list. At the bottom of this article, we'll go over the most popular cloud platforms.

Amazon Web Services

Source: AWS

The first cloud platform on our list is Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS, by far, is the most widely used cloud platform today. It counts many of the biggest tech companies in the world as its customers, including Netflix, Facebook (Meta), Adobe, Twitter, and others.

As such, it shouldn't be a surprise that Solutions Architects knowledgeable of AWS cloud command some of the highest salaries amongst cloud computing professionals.

AWS includes many different features and services, including IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) and PaaS (platform-as-a-service).

The cost of using AWS is calculated based on usage, hardware, operating system, software, and networking features through a pay-as-you-go model.

According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the median yearly salary for AWS was $81,387.

IBM Cloud or Watson

Source: IBM Cloud

IBM Cloud is the cloud service provider offered by the legendary tech company IBM. IBM Cloud comprises IaaS, SaaS (software as a service), and PaaS services in its platform.

With IBM Cloud, Solutions Architects can completely control their cloud environment using both virtual and hardware-based servers.

Solutions Architects using IBM Cloud can manage the entire platform from a single system using the web portal, API, or mobile apps.

While IBM Cloud professionals commanded the 2nd highest median salaries according to the Developer Survey in 2022, IBM Cloud is not used as extensively as any of the other platforms on our list.

As such, it may be more challenging to find a job as an IBM Cloud Architect compared to other platforms, despite the higher potential salaries.

According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the median yearly salary for IBM Cloud was $75,504.


Cloud Computing & Linux Servers | Alternative to AWS | Linode
Source: Linode

Linode is a cloud hosting provider that provides virtual machines and virtual private servers using Linux.

Linode was first released in 2003 and was considered ahead of its time in cloud hosting. Microsoft Azure, for instance, would not come out until 2008.

Nevertheless, many cloud computing professionals do not consider Linode beginner-friendly, which could contribute to the high salaries commanded by Linode professionals.

According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the median yearly salary for Linode was $74,651.

Microsoft Azure

Source: Azure

Microsoft Azure is the eponymous cloud computing platform offered by Microsoft. After AWS, Azure is one of the world's top cloud service providers.

For the most part, Microsoft Azure cloud runs on data centers managed by the company.

Microsoft first released Azure over ten years ago, in 2008, shortly after the release of AWS. Now, Solutions Architects can use Microsoft Azure to build and run any service on the cloud.

Microsoft Azure is a popular choice for cloud hosting for many companies because of the comprehensiveness of the platform. Solutions Architects can use Azure to build solutions useful for nearly any industry.

According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the median yearly salary for Microsoft Azure was $74,651.


Source: OpenStack

OpenStack is a free and open-source cloud computing platform managed by the OpenStack Foundation.

The platform was initially developed in 2010 by Rackspace Hosting and NASA before the non-profit foundation was established.

After over a decade, hundreds of companies have joined the open-source project to contribute to OpenStack.

In addition to the typical infrastructure-as-a-service solutions offered by cloud computing platforms, OpenStack also includes components for orchestration, fault management, service management, and more.

According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the median yearly salary for OpenStack was $74,472.

Google Cloud

Source: Google Cloud

After Microsoft Azure and AWS, the Google Cloud platform is the next most popular cloud service provider. Like other major cloud hosting platforms, Google Cloud allows Solutions Architects to build solutions using computation, machine learning (ML), storage, networking, and the internet of things (IoT).

As you can imagine, cloud computing services on Google Cloud run on the same infrastructure as Google's own products and services, such as Search, Drive, and Gmail.

Solutions Architects can use Google Cloud for all their infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, and serverless computing needs.

According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the median yearly salary for Google Cloud was $73,140.


Source: DigitalOcean

Outside of the big three cloud service providers (AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud), DigitalOcean is another top provider used by many companies today. The New York City-based company was first launched in 2011. Since then, the platform has grown to include hundreds of thousands of cloud developers.

DigitalOcean was one of the first cloud computing platforms to use SSD (Solid State Drives) for virtual machines. The end result is a developer-friendly infrastructure that allows Solutions Architects to rapidly enhance their output.

According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the median yearly salary for DigitalOcean was $67,055.


Source: VMware

VMware is the cloud computing platform used and owned by Dell Technologies.

The company is notable for being one of the first cloud computing providers and for the contributions that its founders, Mendel Rosenblum and Diane Greene, have made to virtualization.

VMware has partnered with AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud to host VMware virtualization workloads on each platform.

According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the median yearly salary for VMware was $65,000.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Source: Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Oracle Cloud is the famous database software giant's cloud computing platform. While it isn't as popular as many other platforms on our list, it is still a feature-rich provider of cloud services.

Oracle Cloud is a powerful cloud platform for cloud solutions in IoT, online transaction processing, microservices, AI, and machine learning.

Many companies use Oracle Cloud for big data analytics and business intelligence operations along with Oracle's relational database service. Still, the platform also has many SaaS features.

Compared to platforms such as AWS and Azure, Oracle Cloud is typically more suited to enterprise cloud solutions rather than small or medium business needs.

According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the median yearly salary for Oracle Cloud was $56,521.


Source: Heroku

Heroku is another popular cloud provider widely used by many companies. The platform is also notable for supporting several programming languages.

When it was first launched in 2007, it only supported Ruby. Now, however, developers can use Java, Scala, Clojure, Node.js, PHP, Go, and Python with Heroku.

As such, it is referred to as a polyglot cloud platform. Not only that (as you'll see below), Heroku is one of the most popular cloud computing platforms among developers. However, its popularity with companies has declined in recent years.

According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the median yearly salary for Heroku was $53,322.

Which Cloud Platform Should I Learn?

Abstract by Dani Grapevine

If you're looking to become a Solutions Architect or a Cloud Architect, needless to say, you'll need to learn to use a cloud computing platform.

As you can see from our list, however, there are many lucrative options to choose from. So, which one should you learn?

How to Become a Cloud Architect: The Career Path Guide
Do you want to become a cloud architect, but don’t know where to start? Check out our guide on the different cloud architect career paths here.

Along with listing the top paying platforms, the Developer Survey also includes which cloud platforms were most popular and widely used by actual Solutions Architects in 2022.

These were:

  • Amazon Web Services - 51.01%
  • Microsoft Azure - 28.72%
  • Google Cloud - 26.81%
  • Heroku - 19.98%
  • DigitalOcean - 15.64%
  • VMware - 8.71%
  • Managed Hosting - 5.76%
  • Linode - 3.92%
  • OVH - 3.76%
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure - 2.18%

Considering that the Big Three (AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud) are the most widely used and highest paying cloud platforms, it's probably best to learn one of these, especially if you're early in your Solutions Architect career.

Not only will doing so allow you to command high salaries, but it will also make finding a job as a Solutions Architect significantly easier (because there are many more jobs).

Also, each of these three cloud platforms offers its own certifications (and these are commonly required by many employers). We'll detail each of them below.

The Best Cloud Computing Certifications

Abstract by Oleg Shcherba

Many job postings for Solutions Architect will likely want to see a bachelor's degree in computing science or a similar field. However, that may not be the only credential you'll need to get invited to interviews.

As we mentioned, many employers will require one of the following certifications on your resume (so long as their organization uses the cloud platform in question).

AWS Certified Solutions Architect

If you're wondering which Cloud Certification to choose, the AWS Certified Solutions Architect is a solid choice.

Of all the cloud computing platforms out there, AWS accounts for more than 30% of the market.

As such, obtaining this certification can do wonders for your Solutions Architect career and your interviews.

Before you schedule an exam, however, AWS recommends that you have at least one year of experience with the platform and most of its features.

Schedule an Exam on the AWS website here.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Certification
Earn your AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Certification. We provide exam guides, sample test questions, and training resources. Learn more!

Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert

Microsoft Azure is another cloud computing platform with a massive market share of 22%.

Because of this, obtaining the Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification is another excellent choice if you're looking to become a Solutions Architect.

Like AWS, the Microsoft Azure certification will give you a comprehensive knowledge base of the cloud platform and its many features.

However, the company recommends that you already have extensive experience using Microsoft Azure for cloud and hybrid solutions if you consider sitting for the exam.

You should also understand networking, virtualization, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data platforms, and governance.

Schedule an exam on the Microsoft website here.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert - Learn
Azure solution architects have subject matter expertise in designing cloud and hybrid solutions that run on Microsoft Azure, including compute, network, storage, monitor, and security.

Google Professional Cloud Architect

Finally, the Google Professional Cloud Architect certification is another lucrative certification given the popularity of Google Cloud.

While not as big as AWS or Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud still enjoys a significant market share at 10%.

So, that suggests many Solutions Architect jobs are available for those with experience with Google Cloud.

However, Google recommends that you have at least one year of experience working with Google Cloud before taking the certification exam.

Schedule an exam on the Google Cloud website here.

Professional Cloud Architect Certification | Google Cloud
A Google Certified Professional - Cloud Architect designs, develops, and manages solutions on Google Cloud. Prepare for the exam.

Ace Your Solutions Architect Interview With Exponent

No matter which cloud platform you choose or are experienced with, you'll need to ace your interviews if you hope to become a Solutions Architect.

The best way to do just that is with lots of practice!

How to Prepare for the Solutions Architect Interview
We asked solutions architect interviewers from top tech companies to share what’s asked in the solutions architect interview and how to prepare.

Luckily, Exponent has you covered. We have dozens of interview prep resources to help Solutions Architects get their dream jobs in tech:

👯‍♂️ Practice your behavioral and system design skills with our interview practice tool.

👨‍🎓 Take our complete Solutions Architect interview course.

🖊️ Software engineering interview cheat sheet

☁️ How to Become a Cloud Architect

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