Want to upskill on AWS? Here’s what you need to know
AWS continues to lead the cloud computing space with its breadth of services and innovations. As migration to public cloud accelerates, AWS skills are becoming more and more sought-after. Upskilling on AWS requires a significant investment of time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it.
Upskilling on AWS involves not only studying but also hands-on experience with various AWS services. Practical experience helps you understand the nuances of various AWS services and their application to various use cases.
How to kick-start your AWS journey
AWS has more than 100 services at the moment. New services are launched very regularly, and new features are launched every single day. The sheer number and breadth of these services can be overwhelming – so to upskill, you will need to push yourself.
Start by learning foundational services including EC2, VPC, S3 and EBS, and building simple solutions using those services. Gradually, learn to integrate these foundation services with more advanced AWS services to build more complex solutions. Don’t just read up! experiment and build applications using these services to understand the nuances.
There are no short cuts; upskilling in AWS is a journey where you can learn a lot and appreciate all the services and tools the platform has built. AWS cloud is ever-evolving so the learning never stops.
What’s really involved in gaining certification?
An associate-level certification typically takes a couple of months of preparation; a professional-level certification would take longer. Those who are already experienced in AWS services and use the platform daily may complete these certifications more quickly.
The preparation typically involves reading up on various AWS services and white papers, training courses and hands-on experimentation. It does require study out of your work time; be prepared to spend some weekends on preparation and taking multiple practice exams.
A foundation built on groundwork
AWS associate-level certifications are a good way to start building your foundation along with the practical experience building applications in AWS Cloud.
There are three main streams – Developer, SysOPs and Solution Architect. You can choose a stream and start building your foundation with an associate-level certification and work towards a professional-level certification in your chosen stream. There are three specialty certifications – Big Data, Advanced Networking, and Security – for those wishing to acquire expert level skills in the specialty area of their choosing.
The most important functionalities to master
AWS has built a rich set of services to build applications in AWS Cloud. Some of the most important ones are:
AWS VPC, EC2, EBS, RDS & S3 are some of the foundational services of Applications running in AWS Cloud.
AWS CloudFormation enables Infrastructure as code wherein you describe and provision all the infrastructure resources through code.
AWS Cloud Front expands your global reach by moving your applications and content closure to where your user base is.
AWS Lambda takes computing to the next level where you don’t have to worry about running and managing servers. You only have to pay for the number of function executions and time of execution of your code.
AWS Auto Scaling helps you achieve scalability in the cloud by allowing you to expand and contract your infrastructure based on the needs of your application. My final advice would be to be inquisitive; don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty if you want to upskill on AWS.