A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a network of globally placed proxy servers and their data centers that ensures faster delivery of static content (sometimes dynamic) like video, image, and HTML over the internet by bringing the content closer to end-users. CDNs are significant for improving a website's performance and availability by limiting latency, thus speeding up page loading through caching content and making it available to access via web browsers or compatible devices from your closest server.
A survey run by BuiltWith states that today, more than 41% of the top 10,000 websites worldwide depend on CDNs to improve their user experience and ensure faster loading.
With the exponential increase in CDN use, there is a higher demand for CDN specialists in companies like Google, AT&T, Akamai, etc. Let's look over the responsibilities and top 5 skills in demand for content delivery jobs.
Responsibilities of a CDN Specialist
A CDN specialist, network engineer, or system administrator is responsible for:
- Collaborating with DevOps team to facilitate design, testing, and deployment of new products and optimise the company's multi-CDN enabled architecture for better resilience, performance, etc.
- Contribute to boosting operational efficiency and facilitating service rollout automation.
- Deploying, configuring, and maintaining network components including DNS, servers, WAN accelerators, etc.
- Maintain the delivery of OTT services to the end-users and offer them top-notch technical and business assistance.
- Performing root-cause analysis, and thorough investigation of production incidents, and extracting data-based insights using AI and ML algorithms in data processing and analysis workflows.
- Preparing and executing end-to-end project schemes to ensure on-time delivery of on-net and off-net CND.
- Work on CDN system configuration, capacity and traffic management, performance tracking, etc., and raise any delivery issue.
Skills in Demand for CDN Jobs
Let's look over the top 5 skills that most leading CDN companies and employers take into account and frequently sought out while recruiting CDN specialists:
Onboarding programmers and software experts are crucial for CDN companies to ensure delivering top-notch services designed and optimised based on customer demands and producing functional specifications to capture the system design.
Now, as a software developer, you have so many online coding tests and assessment platforms like Geektastic to hone your programming skill. With comprehensive solutions to the peer-reviewed programming challenges, Geektastic enables programmers to test their coding skills on the move with any device.
Understanding of IP Networking Fundamentals
IP networking, standing for "Internet Protocol," is the rules and regulations that govern the data format sent via the public internet or local network. An IP address is a unique location and device identifier that enables two devices to share information over a network. As a CDN expert, you must have thorough knowledge about DNS (Domain Name System), TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), NTP (Network Time Protocol), and more specifically about protocols like MPEG-DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP), RTMP, and HLS (Apple HTTP Live Streaming), as users are more interested in live streaming and on-demand video rather than linear content today.
Knowledge in Industry Best Practices in Network Operation
Having expertise in industry-leading practices required to operate a network optimally is a must to get a content delivery job. Knowledge about how different types of DDOS attacks (UDP flood attacks, TCP flood attacks, HTTP flood attacks) on network layers (layer3/4) or application layers (layer7) can breach your bandwidth, or application is a plus. Besides, you should have a grasp on traffic engineering and understand how to make a CDN service highly available, and redundant ensuring backups to avoid service failure.
Expertise in Database Management and Big Data Analytics
To offer top-notch service to CDN users, ensuring visibility over content and system infrastructure is crucial. Big data models ensure clients get a highly available network by facilitating unstructured and semi-structured data consolidation from multiple CDN sources and offering real-time analytics on content, server and traffic consumptions, content ranking, and more.
Expertise in SQL domain-specific language, different NoSQL databases, including CouchDB, Redis, Cassandra, Neo4J, MongoDB, CouchBase, HBase, and Riak, and in-memory databases that facilitate storing, processing, and analysing big data plays a vital role in getting hired for a CDN engineer QA engineer position.
Excellent Communication and Client Interfacing Skill
The strength to communicate well and interact with clients excellently is a highly-demandable skill to get hired by on-net CDN providers (Cloudflare, StackPath, Sucuri, etc.) that sell their CDN services to customers. Also, as an on-net CDN specialist, you should know how to offer technical support to clients most understandably.
These 5 are the highly demanded skills that can pave your way to get a content delivery job. However, with the advancements in technology and intensifying competition in the job market, the specifications will surely change. So sharpening skills through constant practice and learning is the key to success.