When Microsoft’s Azure cloud services was first released in 2010, I tried it out right away. The experience was not pleasant in any way at all. Since then I’ve been able to avoid working in the Cloud for the most part even though it seems clear that Cloud-hosted systems will become increasingly important.
I recently started working on an existing project that is hosted in Azure so I’ve been forced to get up to speed with databases and Web applications in the Cloud.
The one thing that stands out in my mind after exploring Cloud systems for a couple of weeks is, that like most things in computer science, it’s relatively easy once you’ve done a few introductory examples but incredibly confusing before you do those examples.
To create my first Web application in Azure I was fortunate to find a very good, up-to-date tutorial written by Tom Dykstra at https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/web-sites-dotnet-get-started/.
The article gave a brief overview of the process: step one is to use the Visual Studio program to create an empty Web site in Azure, step two is to use Visual Studio to create a Web application on your local machine, and step three is to use Visual Studio to transfer the Web site from your machine to Azure.
The tutorial was very clear and had many screen shots to completely illustrate what to do. Very nice job Tom!
Somewhat unfortunately perhaps, the ability to create a demo Web site in Azure assumes you have an Azure account, you know how to navigate and manage your account, and you have all the necessary software installed (in this case Visual Studio 2015 with special hooks to Azure). None of these prerequisites are trivial.
Well, I guess the moral of the story is that if you’re like me, you may be putting off learning about creating Cloud based systems because you suspect it’ll be quite difficult, frustrating, and time-consuming. And you’d be 100% correct. But if you think back about how you learned many of the technical skills you have, you’ll likely remember many of them had the same kind of learning curve.
Working in technology involves continuous learning (or the latest term “growth mindset”).