“Cloud architect” isn’t exactly a new role within most companies, but that hasn’t slackened employer interest in hiring for the position. According to Dice’s data, the number of job postings for cloud architects has more than doubled over the past two years. While it hasn’t been a steady climb—in mid-2014 and early 2015, the number of postings dipped before regaining momentum—the overall trend is clear. It’s easy to see why there’s so much employer interest in hiring cloud architects. The past few years have seen more and more companies shifting from on-premises datacenters and servers to cloud-based services, generating a need for tech pros who can effectively deploy and maintain next-generation architecture. Firms that have embraced a hybrid approach—combining on-premises servers and datacenters with the cloud—can face incredible complexity in ensuring that everything runs smoothly, which is where the cloud architect comes in. Tech pros who want to get into cloud architecting need to not only know the latest cloud (and hybridized) platforms, but also the software that will make their jobs easier. For example, usage of configuration-management tools such as Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and SaltStack are on the rise, as pros look for ways to automate system configuration and software deployment. Cloud architects also need good soft skills in order to talk and negotiate with stakeholders throughout an organization. Because cloud deployments touch so many points within your average company, an architect ends up interacting with quite a few people. There’s also a proactive element here: By working with others to tailor a company’s internal processes and culture to the cloud, the architect’s job becomes much more streamlined (although not necessarily easier, given the complexities involved in the role).