Just a few years ago, Georgina Palavecino felt stuck.
During the evenings, the 30-year-old Argentine worked on her art. During the days, she worked in an invoicing job at a company where she didn’t feel like she had an opportunity to advance her career.
“I didn’t have the opportunity to grow,” Palavecino said. “Even when I showed interest in growing and learning new things and taking on challenges – I was all over the city, participating and learning – in my previous job, they didn’t recognize any of that.”
Her invoicing job meant she focused on numbers all day. At night, her art studies at university steeped her mind in shapes and colors.
“Both things were very different, and I couldn’t handle it anymore,” she said. “I needed something more structured, so I started looking into the technology field.”
Today, Palavecino works in a junior DevOps role for a large professional services company. While she is still finding her footing in her new career, she is taking every opportunity to advance her skills in a field that tends to reward such initiative.
“I have a growth mindset,” Palavecino said. “I really like learning things. One day I can study telecommunications or learn data visualization, and the next day I can learn a programming language.”
That agility is well suited for the fast-changing world of IT, where the need to embrace data technologies is changing how businesses and organizations operate.
“Now that I am in this new field, everything has changed,” she added. “Now my problem is to figure out where I want to grow. I’m still learning a lot.”
The Hybrid Cloud Nanodegree
Palavecino’s thirst for constant learning led her to apply for the Nutanix Hybrid Cloud Scholarship, which funds tuition in the Hybrid Cloud Nanodegree program offered in partnership between Nutanix and the online education platform Udacity. Although she doesn’t work with a hybrid cloud environment in her current role, Palavecino recognized hybrid cloud as an area of growth and wanted to prepare herself for the future of IT.
“First, I was intrigued because, at the beginning of this year, I started to study public cloud,” she said.
“In the past, at my previous job, I used to invoice for cloud services, and I didn’t really understand what that was. Then I started working in my current role, and I started to understand what the cloud was, which was very interesting. I didn’t know anything about this work, which is so big.”
The Hybrid Cloud Nanodegree is a three-course program that teaches students how to set up and run a private cloud, layer in automation and incorporate the public cloud to create a true hybrid cloud environment. One feature that sets the program apart from many IT learning opportunities is that students have hands-on access to Nutanix enterprise software, giving them the chance to work on real-world projects. Students complete the Nanodegree at their own pace, putting in a total of around 60 to 80 hours of learning and project time over several months.
“The goal of the program is to upskill the students, to empower them to drive positive business outcomes,” said Mark Lavi, principal DevOps advocate at Nutanix. He authored two of the courses for the Nanodegree.
“We want to empower the practitioners to empower their business. This opportunity for digital transformation is very disruptive, and people in IT need to learn how to get their businesses to understand, adopt, and support it.”
Palavecino said she was thrilled to learn she had received the scholarship. While working toward the Nanodegree, she joined a community of professional peers, which was invaluable.
“You get to meet people from all over the world,” she said. “You participate in the community, and we all try to help each other. It’s not a competition with others.”
Into the Future
Lavi believes more companies will embrace a hybrid cloud model as they recognize the need to keep some workloads on-premise while also taking advantage of public cloud resources.
“You have this void between where everybody wants to go and the reality of all of our legacy infrastructure,” he said. “Ultimately, we have to have a blended environment of on-premise and off-premise infrastructure, and a mix of CAPEX and OPEX financing. Hybrid – a mix of public and private cloud – is the final operating model.”
It’s a conclusion that Palavecino has reached, as well.
“Having everything in the public cloud, that’s not the best solution,” she said. “Even though there are very good benefits with the public cloud, cybersecurity is always a concern. That’s always going to be the priority, so giving customers more than one option will be the best for them. Connecting these possibilities through the hybrid cloud is often the best solution.”
Although Palavecino doesn’t yet know what role the hybrid cloud will play in her young career, she is excited to find out.
“In cloud computing, you have a lot of possibilities,” she said. “You can work with data storage, but you can also switch to working with programming languages. The most important thing is to enter and to find your path. I’m still searching for my path. I’m open to learning new things and investigating more about this world.”
Calvin Hennick is a contributing writer. His work appears in BizTech, Engineering Inc., The Boston Globe Magazine and elsewhere. He is also the author of Once More to the Rodeo: A Memoir. Follow him on Twitter @CalvinHennick.
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