Choosing the Right Programming Language to Boost Your Cloud Computing Career

Although programming skills aren't a requirement for most cloud computing jobs, there are advantages to possessing them. Here are the best programming languages to learn to advance your cloud career.

Christopher Tozzi, Technology analyst

May 21, 2024

5 Min Read
programming languages coming out of a drawer in a cloud

So you want to advance your cloud computing career by learning a programming language. Now, you need to decide which of the many programming languages in existence today will best serve your goals.

To help you make your choice, this article explains the role that programming languages play in cloud computing and discusses some of the best languages to learn if you specialize in the cloud.

The Role of Programming Languages in the Cloud

Let's start by making one thing clear: Knowing how to program is not a strict prerequisite for most cloud computing jobs. In general, the skills associated with cloud roles center on abilities like understanding cloud architectures and knowing how to work with the various web-based or command-line tools used to manage cloud resources. Unless you are developing applications that run in the cloud, you probably don't need to be a programmer to have a successful cloud computing career.

That said, programming chops are a nice add-on to core cloud computing skills. Knowing a programming language can help you handle such cloud computing responsibilities as the following:

  • Configuring infrastructure-as-code (IaC) templates to provision cloud resources.

  • Writing scripts to automate tasks such as software updates and application deployments.

  • Collaborating with developers to optimize the performance of cloud-based applications.

So, if you're looking for a way to perform cloud administration work more efficiently and/or to stand out from the crowd when it comes to cloud computing jobs, learning a programming language (or two or three) may be a smart move.

The Best Programming Languages for the Cloud

Which languages are best or most relevant for cloud computing?

That's not a simple question to answer because most cloud platforms and services can support applications written in any language. It's not as if you need to use a certain language to run a certain type of application in the cloud.

However, some languages are likely to be particularly useful for managing cloud environments. Here's a look at the top contenders.


The ability to code in Python can be valuable when working in the cloud for a couple of reasons. One is that Python is a pretty easy language to learn, making it a good language to start with for someone who has experience with cloud computing but not programming. 

Python is also very flexible and adaptable. It can be used for a wide array of tasks — from infrastructure management using IaC platforms (like Pulumi) that support Python, to scripting cloud administration routines, to deploying applications and beyond.


JavaScript is another easy-to-learn language that is widely used in the cloud. You can use cloud providers' JavaScript software development kits (SDKs) to support tasks such as cloud administration using JavaScript code. (In this context, an SDK is a resource that makes it easy to connect to specific cloud services or APIs using a particular programming language.) You can also use JavaScript to write front-end applications, which may be useful if you want to make the jump at some point from cloud administration to software development.


Go is primarily used for application development, but it has come to be associated with cloud computing largely because it's frequently used to build cloud-native, microservices-based applications. Go also happens to be the language used to develop platforms like Kubernetes.

Most cloud administrators won't be developing microservices apps or contributing to Kubernetes, of course. Still, learning Go is a good way to cultivate an image as someone who understands the ins and outs of cloud-native computing (which is different from cloud computing in general but is nonetheless the focus of many conversations involving the cloud today).


Like Go, Java is a programming language used primarily for application development. But it's also a relatively easy language to learn, and you can use it for cloud administration and management with help from cloud providers' Java SDKs. 

Non-programming Languages for the Cloud

In addition to the programming languages described above, there are other types of languages that tend to be useful for cloud computing, such as:

  • YAML, a language used for configuring and managing certain types of cloud workloads, such as Kubernetes-based application deployments.

  • JSON, which is also used for configuring various cloud resources.

  • Terraform, the language used to manage resources using the popular Terraform IaC platform.

These aren't programming languages because you can't develop applications with them. But they are languages that can help in managing cloud resources.

Conclusion: Advancing Your Cloud Career by Learning to Program

There is plenty of work to be done in the cloud that doesn't require any knowledge of programming. But if you want to level-up your cloud career, learning a programming language like Python, JavaScript, Go, or Java may be worth your while. Familiarizing yourself with other types of languages that are common in the modern cloud, such as YAML and JSON, won't hurt, either.

About the Author(s)

Christopher Tozzi

Technology analyst, Fixate.IO

Christopher Tozzi is a technology analyst with subject matter expertise in cloud computing, application development, open source software, virtualization, containers and more. He also lectures at a major university in the Albany, New York, area. His book, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” was published by MIT Press.

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