While Microsoft is building Linux into Windows 10, the company’s cloud services may be quietly killing Linux on the server.

More specifically, Engineering Director Mariano Rentería argues that the cloud, in the form of Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure, is killing off Linux jobs.

Whereas before when companies had an IT project they would host it themselves on their own (likely Linux-based) server farm, these days companies build to the cloud, and they do not even build to Linux virtual machines, but rather platform-agnostic APIs and micro-services which are abstracted from the OS they are built on.

While the cloud may still be built on Linux servers, they are now centrally administered by a much smaller number of technicians, and Rentería argues that if Amazon wanted to, they could easily shift their servers to another operating system without affecting the APIs companies connect to.

cloud vs linux

Given the move away from writing to (and managing) the metal, the interest in becoming a Linux architect has plunged while the interest in becoming a cloud architect has soared.

It is also cheaper to certify as a cloud architect than a Linux architect with the AWS exam costing $150 and the RedHat Certified Engineer costing $400 per exam.

Rentería concludes:

I see less useful to know Linux in a cloud first era, where the number of people getting certified to be a Cloud Architect is growing, while the number of people looking to get a Linux certification is decreasing.

The current tools make a great abstraction of service without needing to have strong knowledge of Linux, are more developer friendly and allow to build products faster.

I’m not saying this is a bad thing, this is just something that could happen sooner than we have thought about.

While Linux is finding application outside of company server rooms, such as IoT devices, it seems it makes increasing sense for new IT trainers to look elsewhere for a career path.

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