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Guide to Hiring Azure Developers

  • What is Azure, and how is it used?
  • Why is Azure popular, and how will it benefit your business?
  • Roles and responsibilities of an Azure developer
  • What skills should an Azure developer have?

What is Azure, and how is it used?

Launching an application online is more complicated than it might seem at first. Pulling it off requires a lot, including components like servers, storage, dedicated networks, developers, and application security systems. All of these cost a lot of money individually; however, since the 2000s, technologists have found a ready solution in cloud computing, which is quickly taking over the IT market. It was only ever a matter of time before a company like Microsoft dipped a toe in these waters. Enter Microsoft Azure.

Formerly known as Windows Azure, Microsoft’s public cloud computing platform offers over 200 cloud-based products and services. The services in question include Platform as a Service, Software as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service, all of which can power further services like analytics, networking, and virtual computing. Serverless databases like Azure SQL and No SQL are also part of the service, as are its end-to-end backup and recovery solutions, arguably Azure’s most basic use case.

Getting involved has turned out quite right for Microsoft. Since its release in 2010, Azure has risen to become one of the top cloud services in the market, as many startups now rely on it and hire Azure developers to build their cloud infrastructure. It beats others like Google Cloud Platform and IBM Cloud and is second only to Amazon’s AWS, which hit the market way back in 2006. Among Fortune 500 companies, the product has reached outstanding popularity, as over 95% of major global corporations and startups rely on its services.

Why is Azure popular, and how will it benefit your business?

Microsoft Azure’s share of the cloud storage and computing market in 2023 is 22%, behind AWS’s 33%. All around the globe, different types of companies are making great strides with Azure-powered business technology. More than 56% of organizations now have the cloud provider as part of their technology stack, which has resulted in a corresponding spike in demand to hire Azure developers. Moreover, the number of users worldwide, developers included, is more than 720 million.

By all indications, Azure will only get bigger with time. Soon enough, anyone not on this bandwagon might be left behind. But maybe you’re not yet convinced that you need to migrate to Azure for your cloud computing and storage infrastructure. Perhaps the following reasons for the staggering popularity of the platform will convince you.

  • High Security: Azure’s security infrastructure is one of the best in the cloud service market. To boot, it offers the best security compliance portfolio of any cloud service, covering up to 50 different compliances. Moreover, its security engineering is based on the Standard Development Lifecycle. This process emphasizes security policy at every stage of development, allowing startups that hire Azure developers to build highly secure cloud solutions.

    The security infrastructure also includes a whole suite of features and capabilities. For example, there is Microsoft Sentinel, a native security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) and security information and event management (SIEM) system. Other features include web server and app diagnostics, Azure App Service authentication, penetration testing, and a layered security architecture. Simply put, Azure’s security capabilities are top-notch.
  • Easy Learning Curve: Most developers find Azure relatively easy to learn and use, which is excellent, given how many things it can do. When building technology solutions on Azure’s platform, developers work with things they are already familiar with. They deal with programming languages like C#, C++, and Visual Basic and tools like ASP.NET and Microsoft Visual Studio. Pair this with the platform’s intuitive design and user-friendly features, and you can understand its popularity among developers.
  • Analytics and Intelligence Features: Azure’s framework features capabilities that facilitate business intelligence operations and data analytics. It’s essentially a product built for data-driven businesses.

    The platform’s advanced architecture incorporates advanced bots, machine learning, advanced API capabilities, and analytics tools like Azure Synapse and embedded Power BI. With these and other tools, a developer can perform large-scale data analytics, transforming business data into actionable insights.

    In addition, hundreds of data visualization tools and others like Microsoft Teams and SharePoint streamline the process of transmitting these acquired insights between units in the organization. With advanced features like this to exploit, the need to hire a dedicated Azure developer becomes very evident.
  • IaaS, BaaS, and PaaS Capabilities: Azure provides an impressive combination of infrastructure, blockchain, and platform services. Businesses can outsource their processing and other digital operations to Microsoft’s excellent infrastructure, eliminating the need to have their own physical servers.

    Azure’s blockchain services are among the best in the tech industry; the platform’s managed infrastructure enables developers to launch and operate blockchain projects at any scale. In fact, Azure developers and the platform’s blockchain support many crypto projects like Ethereum, Corda, and Hyperledger. So, as the CTO of a company set on leveraging blockchain technology, you might consider the move to hire an Azure developer who can build and manage your blockchain network.

    With the platform service Azure offers, developers can also build highly functional web apps and software solutions without needing to keep or maintain the underlying hardware infrastructure. In any combination, the infrastructure, blockchain, and platform service constitute a powerful cloud solution for effective, software-driven businesses.
  • Hybrid Capabilities: You will find a suite of hybrid solutions for hosting application services and workloads on Microsoft’s Azure platform. These solutions can also provide security, extend the platform’s services, and provide operational tooling for hybrid environments, such as hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, and edge frameworks.

    One of these solutions is Azure Cloud, which carries the IaaS, PaaS, networking, computing, and storage services mentioned before. Another is the Azure Stack, a multi-use-case family of technologies that includes Azure Stack Hub, HCI, and Edge. The cloud platform also allows a broader suite of hybrid connections that improve performance and usability. For instance, you can leverage caches, content delivery networks, virtual private networks, and ExpressRoute connections.
  • Integration with Other Microsoft Tools: Over 1.5 million companies worldwide use Microsoft Office products like Office 365. Chances are, your company is in this Microsoft basket as well or, at least, uses Linux. If so, it makes sense to hire an Azure developer and build with this technology. The reason is simple: Azure uses the same virtual on-premise machines as Windows and Linux, so it integrates splendidly with packages and services from both.
  • High Scalability: Azure is a highly scalable cloud solution, allowing developers to build apps that can scale up to any user base size. It enables this by providing tools and features to manage application scaling. For example, some of its services adapt to changing workloads by automatically scaling out during peak usage and returning to normal when activity reduces. Moreover, Azure’s ductile, secure, and performance-efficient cloud storage and processing makes it easy to assign more processors for applications to use.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Azure’s cloud services are a highly cost-efficient solution for any digitally-active business. Microsoft offers these services on a pay-as-you-go, subscription-based model that charges users only for the resources that they use. This is basically a much more affordable solution than spending precious funds to buy and maintain the physical infrastructure for native processing or application development. The smart move is to outsource the processing load to Azure and hire Azure developers who can leverage its technologies without the burden of managing native infrastructure.

    Azure also provides a convenient cost analysis tool in its Azure TCO (total cost of ownership) calculator. With this tool, you can analyze the total cost savings from migrating to the service.
  • Flexible Solution: The accelerating pace of change in various industries means organizations that can’t adapt quickly enough are soon left in the dust. Azure’s cloud services provide just the level of digital flexibility any business needs to remain relevant and competitive.

Roles and responsibilities of an Azure developer

There are many roles for developers working with cloud technologies, including some that you don’t need to be a cloud developer to fulfill. You should hire Azure developers for the right roles so that your company can operate like a well-oiled digital product machine. If you know the right tasks to assign your developers to, you can maximize their productivity and enjoy the fullest benefits of outsourcing your processing to Azure.

So, what are the core roles for which you need to hire Azure engineers?

  • Azure-based App Design and Development: One of the primary jobs an Azure developer must do is handle app design and development. To build these serverless and lower-cost applications, the developer will use tools like Azure Grid, Visual Studio, and GitHub, as well as programming languages and frameworks like .NET, Java, Python, and Node.js. Additionally, they must test and debug these applications, performing such operations and unit and integration tests. The tools available on Azure facilitate these development stages.
  • Migration Management: Migrating to a new cloud service may initially seem straightforward. However, it is a process that has to be done right to get the best advantages, hence the importance of well-executed migration strategies. This is why managing migrations to Azure cloud services is another of the main tasks companies hire Azure developers for. There are several strategies for migrating to Azure’s cloud, and you need a developer who can decide which ones to implement, depending on the conditions on the ground.
  • Continuous Integration and Deployment: Once the application development stages are through, then comes deployment, another task to hire Azure engineers for. This stage will involve tasks like deployment script creation and configuration of the necessary infrastructure. There is also room for automation here as smart deployment comes into play. Azure developers are responsible for creating and maintaining release pipelines,  continuous integration and deployment pipelines, and workflows for automating deployment.
  • Performance Monitoring and Troubleshooting: After your application hits the app stores, someone needs to keep tabs on its performance under use and troubleshoot any issues that arise. Azure and its tools for performance monitoring and end-to-end observability across networks place this task neatly within an Azure developer’s purview. If you hire a dedicated Azure developer, they will leverage tools like Azure Monitor to collate, analyze, and act on telemetry data from across your apps and networks. They can proactively identify performance issues and utilize Azure resources to rectify them.
  • Team Collaboration: Companies that hire dedicated Azure developers for their IT teams often employ several of them; alternatively, they may hire one or two in addition to an assortment of software engineers. A team of heads is better than one, especially when working on large development projects. Thus, an Azure developer’s job includes collaborating with a team to execute company projects.

What skills should an Azure developer have?

As a CTO or company leader, finding the best talent is crucial to ensuring your company stays competitive. If the board has resolved to hire Azure developers, it will fall on you to identify the best prospective employees for the job. When screening Azure developers for hire, you need to know the skills to keep an eye out for. Let’s make your job easier by overviewing some of those.

  • Experience and Skill with Microsoft Azure: An Azure developer primarily needs to have experience with Microsoft Azure, its features, and its development environment. They must be able to use its services effectively and efficiently. Make that cloud services in general, as it's also advantageous to be familiar with others aside from Azure.
  • Experience with Cloud Migrations: As we pointed out before, migrating an organization's operations to a cloud service is not a process that just anyone can manage. Companies hire dedicated Azure developers to manage migrations because they can determine the essential considerations and implement the appropriate migration strategies. Your candidates must show that they have sufficient experience undertaking such migrations.
  • Working Knowledge of Other Microsoft Products: Easy integration with Microsoft products like Office 360 is one of the main reasons it's more economical to outsource to Azure. If this advantage will mean anything in practice, your company needs Azure developers for hire who understand these other Microsoft products enough to use and integrate them properly with Azure.
  • Knowledge of Scripting Languages and Environments: When looking to hire dedicated Azure developers, it's imperative to confirm that they understand scripting languages and frameworks like .NET, Java, Python, and C#. They will need these and potentially others when developing applications within Azure's framework.
  • Experience with Running Virtual Machines in Cloud Environments: Running virtual machines in a cloud environment like Azure is an important skill to facilitate more extensive control over the processing and resources.
  • Skill with Managing Storage Solutions: The limitless storage Azure offers will be of little use if you don't hire an Azure developer who can manage it effectively and efficiently. So, your developer must have critical resource management skills, including the creativity to develop new ways of assigning resources for maximum efficiency.

For more FAQs on hiring Azure developers, visit our FAQs page

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