I ran across a round table on the future of the data center. While plenty of my clients have data centers, lots are also looking to cloud vendors for hosting services. Often this is for new services, but plenty of them are migrating their workloads to cloud systems. I've also been surprised by how often I've seen this happening the last couple of years.
For much of the last 15 years of my career, I didn't touch a physical server in any way. I'm not sure I even saw any of them. I didn't touch a keyboard or view a monitor directly connected to a machine, and I haven't had to build or replace hardware in a server class machine in any system since I started working for Redgate. Even before that, most of my work with any sort of server was for SQL Server Central only.
Today, I wonder if any of you think you might have to build, upgrade, or even work directly, on a server class machine in your career. Certainly the smaller the organization, the more likely it is that you need to do so, but in many small companies, the agility and flexibility of the cloud might lead you to those services.
I doubt that I would need to work on a production machine, but I do think I could end up dealing with test and dev servers if I were to change jobs. I'm not looking to do so, but I also think that for many of the customers I deal with, they are better off using local resources for test and development, even outside of the individual laptops and workstations.
I'd be happy to never need to touch a physical server again. While I have gotten used to rebuilding my own desktops, that's more a side challenge, and since I can work on a laptop for a few days, I'm only inconveniencing myself. Having others depend on my hardware skills is not something I want to experience.