Learning AWS Against a Deadline – Tips From a Veteran Instructor

It was on a snowy December Tuesday.  I was just preparing to start a virtual Architecting on AWS class. I was glad it was virtual, so were my students. Not needing to leave the house on a gloomy, snowy day like this and having to brave the commute was a relief to everyone. Before the start I usually have a chat with the students and I ask them questions like: “Why are you in the class?” “What are your expectations?”

The first answer comes from a young and eager solutions architect working for one of Vancouver’s biggest insurance companies. His answer is: “I want to get started with AWS quickly. We’re migrating to AWS next week.”  I ask: “Do you have any experience with AWS or any other cloud solution already?” The firm “No.” answer is surprising. This is going to be tough. But we brave through it. We spend a bit of extra time after the class ends each day to talk about their use case, how AWS can help and what to look out for.

A week after the class I get an email thanking me for all my help. The student also leaves me one of the nicest reviews I have ever gotten in almost a decade of training deliveries. That was a great experience and the student was really happy that it worked out well for them. But it might not have. I am fairly confident there out of several thousand students that I have taught, there possibly were a few for whom such tight deadlines did not work out.

So what is the best way to approach learning about AWS? Here are a few recommendations:

Start early. Cloud adoption is in full swing right now. Even if you can’t foresee cloud being adopted, don’t let yourself get surprised by a migration “next week”.

Make a plan. Understand the training resources available and choose the ones that fit your needs. For example, there are plenty of self-study, certification-prep and other types of books on AWS. Pick up a book and see if that fits your needs.

Determine the goal. Is it getting certified? Is it being able to independently architect a solution? A goal will help you better decide on what will be the best training track for you.

Get some hands on experience. Open an AWS account. You can use quite a lot of resources for free for 12 months. For example you get 750 hours of a small compute instance for free!

Use the free training resources available from AWS. There are quite a few resources available for free on https://aws.training – everything from 10 minute intro videos to complete free courses.

Once you have a broad idea of what AWS is, you should consider classroom or virtual training. The Architecting on AWS training can be an invaluable resource for gaining knowledge, but you have to know how to make the best use of it.

To get the most out of a training session make sure you already understand the basics. This will help you better grasp the concepts discussed in the training. There will be a lot of content covered in the three days and the easier it is for you to follow the more valuable it will be. Also, having some previous hands-on experience and a basic level of knowledge will help you ask the right questions. The trainers have a great depth of knowledge and can expand on the basics quite a lot, but you need to ask the right questions. Following these recommendations should help you achieve your goal in a much more efficient manner.

Overview of AWS Bootcamp Program

Receiving an AWS certification demonstrates the expertise and commitment necessary to advance your career in the world of web services. This industry-recognized credential is a valuable asset to have, giving you the ability to design, deploy and operate AWS applications and services for all your organization’s needs. While there are tons of training available to you, AWS Bootcamp programs are extensive courses offering immersive exercises and hands-on practices for a comprehensive understanding of the infrastructure.

These Bootcamps are popular at the AWS Summits across the country, but Web Age offers two notable AWS Bootcamp courses for the Administrator Associate and Professional levels.  Here’s everything you need to know about both:

AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Certification Bootcamp Training

This SysOps Administrator Associate training is designed for Systems Administrators and Software Developers who already know the AWS technical essentials and how to maintain operating systems at the command line. You should also have basic knowledge of networking protocols, such as TCP/IP and HTTP.

Over the course of three days and 13 different chapters, you’ll develop a comprehensive understanding of the standard AWS infrastructure features, including Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Elastic Load Balancing and AWS Scaling from the command line. By exploring the best practices for configuring and deploying, you’ll learn to create automatable and repeatable networks and systems deployments on the AWS platform.

By the end of the course, you’ll also know how to:

  • Build virtual private networks with Amazon VPC
  • Deploy Amazon EC2 instances through command line calls, while troubleshooting common issues
  • Manage AWS permissions, identity and security in the AWS Cloud
  • Determine the best strategy to create reusable Amazon EC2 instances
  • Troubleshoot a basic AWS CloudFormation stack definition
  • Monitor the health of Amazon EC2 instances
  • Use tags, Amazon CloudWatch and AWS Trusted Advisor to manage resource consumption

AWS DevOps Certification Bootcamp – Professional Level

The Professional Level AWS Bootcamp gives you the opportunity to examine and address a number of scenarios which commonly occur in startups, small-to-medium sized businesses and enterprise development settings. By learning the core principles of DevOps methodology, you’ll explore the most valuable patterns for development, deployment, and maintenance of the AWS applications.

Systems Administrators and Software Developers taking the course should already have an understanding of Systems Operations or Developing on AWS, be proficient in at least one high-level programming languages, such as Java, PHP, or Ruby), and be able to administer Linux or Windows systems at the command line level.

With those experiences, this 3-day, 17-chapter course will give you the tools you need to not only implement the primary practices and concepts of DevOps methodology, but also:

  • Deploy the infrastructure required to create development, test, and production environments using AWS CloudFormation and AWS OpsWorks
  • Leverage automated testing in different stages of a CI/CD pipeline
  • Implement several continuous deployment (CD) use cases using AWS technologies, such as blue/green deployment and A/B testing
  • Deploy the infrastructure required to create development, test, and production environments for software development projects using AWS CloudFormation and AWS OpsWorks
  • Use Amazon EC2 Systems Manager for patch management
  • Manage all software development activities in one place using AWS CodeStar
  • Differentiate between all application deployment technologies on AWS, such as AWS CodeDeploy, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon Elastic and more

With our AWS Bootcamp online training, you’ll be able to learn all about the AWS services and solutions at the Administrative Associate and Professional levels on your on time to help you advance your career as an expert in today’s fastest growing technology.  To learn more about our other AWS courses available, contact us to discuss your training goals.

What Jobs are Available if I’m Trained on AWS?

The road to an AWS certification starts with the right training and can lead to some of the highest-paying, most up and coming jobs in the IT field. If you’re considering getting certified in AWS, you’ll not only avoid the risk of up-down careers, but enjoy a number of unique opportunities to choose from. To dive a little into what this means, here are some of the jobs you’d be qualified for if you’re trained in AWS.

Operation Support Engineer

In this role, you’d be responsible for monitoring and resolving of any operational issues in a company’s tooling, including environment upgrades when they are launched. Overall, your goal will be to reduce the duration, frequency and impact of issues in the AWS infrastructure and enhance management tools.

Average Salary: $59,000-92,000


AWS System Integrator – Cloud

The demand for AWS System Integrators continues to increase as more and more businesses and companies around the world rely on AWS for essential storage, infrastructure, messaging and more.  Having a solid knowledge base of the AWS platform, applications, services and information systems is enough to make you eligible for this job, but a certification will certainly help prove your skills to potential employers.

Average Salary: $81,000


AWS Solutions Architect
As an AWS Solutions Architect, you’ll be spending your time architecting, building and maintaining cost-effective and scalable AWS cloud environment. While working directly with engineers and clients, a Solutions Architect navigates lead implementation efforts and technical structures to make sure new technologies are constantly being integrated and executed. With knowledge of cloud computing, in addition to your certification, you’ll be qualified for this role.

Average Salary: $98,000-150,000


Cloud Developer
An AWS Developer Associate certification will certainly take your career to the next level, but even with just experience in software development and some knowledge of the AWS platform, you can open a number of doors for professional advancement as a Cloud Developer. In this role, you’ll be responsible for developing software applications and solutions for business enterprises.

Average Salary: $80,000- 130,000


AWS SysOps Administrator
If you want to be responsible for deploying, operating and managing various systems in the AWS platform, then SysOps Administrator is the job for you. You’ll also be expected to monitor and identify performance issues and implement cost-effective remedies. An AWS SysOps administrator certification will certainly help validate your expertise and ensure a better salary.

Average Salary: $108,000


AWS Networking Specialist

With an AWS certification, you’ll be in high demand for your cloud networking capabilities. AWS Networking Specialists will use their skills to design, develop and implement advanced AWS and hybrid networking projects. You’ll also help leverage tools to automate various AWS networking tasks and maintain network architecture.

Average Salary: $111,000


Senior AWS Cloud Architect

As a Senior AWS Cloud Architect, you’ll work directly with customers and engineers as you provide both technical support and leadership. By providing technical architectures and lead implementation efforts, you’ll ensure new technologies are integrated into customer environments.

Average Salary: $165,000

As the field of cloud computing continues to grow and Amazon Web Services leads the way in cloud services providers, even more opportunities are on the horizon for individuals certified in AWS. Contact us to learn more the benefits of an AWS certification and which training is right for your desired career path.