Why a leader at Twitter thinks Google Cloud training is a must for IT execs and employees


Editor’s note: Today we’re hearing from Kathleen Vignos, Director of Platform Engineering at Twitter. Kathleen shares how Google Cloud training and certifications help Twitter leaders and employees increase business impact, stay up to date with the latest technologies, and grow their careers. 

One of Twitter’s core values is having a growth mindset, and as a director in Twitter’s Platform Engineering organization, I believe it’s important for engineering leaders like me to stay up to date on technical training and ensure our teams also have the training they need. 

I lead our infrastructure automation group which includes our cloud acceleration team. As part of our hybrid cloud strategy, our cloud acceleration engineers focus on enabling Twitter developers to use cloud services such as Google Cloud. To ensure we promote best practices in the cloud, I helped organize and participated in a 6 day-long Google Cloud training session at Twitter. This training gave us all an opportunity to better understand how we could use the latest cloud technologies as well as learn new skills and ways of thinking. 

During the sessions, we focused on how to design and plan secure cloud architecture solutions as well as manage and provision cloud infrastructure. We also learned how to analyze and optimize technical and business processes. On top of that, the training helped us prepare for Google Cloud’s Professional Cloud Architect certification. 

Why IT leaders should take Google Cloud training

Cloud architecture training is important for technical leaders because it helps you further your cloud architecture expertise and understand which business decisions to make and the trade-offs involved as you assess your cloud strategy. 

The training can also help you improve your on-prem strategy. I see the way Google Cloud groups their products together as a type of organizational framework which helped me gain a fresh perspective on how I should structure teams who support our on-prem environment. I’ve also been able to improve our on-prem strategy by considering some of the cloud best practices taught in the sessions. 

The hands-on experience provided during Google Cloud’s training is valuable as well. As engineering leaders progress in their careers, they get further away from the hands-on experience of coding every day and digging into consoles and features. This type of training provides a unique opportunity for us to keep learning, which is vital as our industry continues to rapidly evolve. We need to have a strong understanding of the technologies we’re already managing and the emerging innovations we need to invest in. 

For example, running gcloud commands in training labs helps demonstrate how to do things like spin up instances, along with options to do that on the command line, through the console, or via the Cloud API. Creating a networking subnet during the sessions helps mimic the problems that arise for our teams when they need to troubleshoot while setting up networking between services. Simple queries against Bigtable show the power and ease of being able to manipulate large datasets.

Moreover, taking the training allowed me to assess the value of the coursework to decide what kind of training to continue providing for my teams.

Why IT leaders should invest in Google Cloud training and certifications for their teams

To earn a Google Cloud certification, individuals need to take Google Cloud training and pass a comprehensive certification exam. The certifications are valuable credentials which help your team validate their expertise and grow their careers as well as help organizations retain top talent. 

When members of my team became certified, it signaled to others at Twitter that my team includes cloud experts. Certified individuals can also help others at Twitter grow their cloud skills. 

Developers and engineers highly value the ability to work with new technologies and continue learning new skills at their jobs. In fact, given Twitter’s commitment to learning and growth, our developers and engineers have an expectation that they’re going to be able to work with the most interesting, complex, challenging scale problems and have access to the newest technologies to solve those problems. 

Providing training and certification opportunities along with the ability to train during work hours signals to employees that a company is invested in their careers and growth. Employees feel more engaged in their work and are more likely to stay at an organization when it’s clear they can move their careers forward within the company with strong support from leadership. 

Kathleen Vignos
Director of Platform Engineering


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