AWS is still the most popular Infrastructure as a Service Provider with a market share of over 31%. If you consider building a future in cloud computing, AWS would be the right place to start from. As more and more businesses are transitioning from on-premise to cloud infrastructure, the demand for cloud computing skills will continue to grow in the next couple of years.
If you are new to AWS and cloud computing in general, getting started can be intimidating because many assume cloud computing to be a very complex technology to learn. To make this journey easier for you, we have compiled a list of 10 tips that anyone can use to build a future in the AWS cloud. Even if you don’t have any prior experience in IT, these tips will help you.
Let’s get started!
- Start with the basics
The mistake that most people make while learning a new technology like cloud computing is diving straight into the complex stuff even before they master the basics. If you want to have a good AWS foundation, you first need to understand the basics of cloud computing in general. Some of the basic questions you need to get answers for before getting into AWS include the following;
- What is cloud computing?
- What are cloud computing delivery models?
- What are the basic types of the cloud?
- What are the Pros and Cons of cloud computing?
- What is the difference between public and private cloud?
Check out more of these questions from these two sources: guru99 40 questions and answers and dezyre 50 questions and answers. You need to get answers to all these fundamental questions and make sure you understand them in the easiest possible way. After going through the general basics, you should then start learning the basics of AWS.
Start by briefly looking at the popular services they offer and the solutions they bring to the computing industry. At this level, there is no need to go into the details of launching any of these services.
2. Learn one service at a time
After going through AWS and cloud computing basics, you should then choose the most popular services and start learning more details about each of them. A good place to start from is with the AWS EC2 computing and AWS S3 storage. These are among the oldest and most popular AWS services that will give you an excellent introduction to the platform.
There are plenty of YouTube videos and courses on e-learning platforms that cover the basics of these services. However, before you subscribe or pay for any tutorial or course, it is always best to look through the reviews by the previous viewers or buyers of the course. After mastering how the common AWS services work, you will find it easier to understand the rest of AWS’s services.
3. Enroll for an AWS cloud computing online course
If you want to build a firm foundation in cloud computing, enrolling for an AWS cloud course is one of the most secure ways you can achieve that. There are plenty of AWS courses that you can enroll in on platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and Skillshare. These courses are usually tutored by experts that have plenty of knowledge and experience in the industry.
Most of the courses you will find are usually below $10, so they are very affordable considering the knowledge you will get. To avoid being disappointed after paying, we recommend reading the course descriptions before making payment. As we earlier shared, you can also look through the reviews for the course to see the feedback from previous buyers of the course.
4. Get your hands dirty
Practicing is the only tested method that you can use to master a new skill. If you want to master the skill of configuring the different AWS platforms, you need to practice every day. Most AWS beginners make the mistake of only taking the courses but not putting their knowledge into actual practice.
The good thing AWS has some free packages in each of their services that you can use to do your practice. You can also search on Google for the most common AWS problems and try to find solutions for them. By finding solutions to these problems, you expand your knowledge and gain more skills regarding how this platform works.
5. Consider getting AWS certifications
One of the ways you can prove that you understand the AWS platform is by getting certified by Amazon. Amazon has over 12 certifications that they give to individuals who demonstrate the skills and expertise in managing and configuring the different AWS services. The most popular certifications you should consider getting include;
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
- AWS Certified Developer – Associate
- AWS Certified Security – Specialty
- AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
Getting any of these certifications will require you to sit an exam with a minimum pass mark. The very first certification that you need to get is the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. Having this certification is proof that you have a good understanding of AWS fundamentals. You can later apply for the other certifications based on which one you find vital.
Which certificate is right for you?
As we have earlier shared, if you have learned the fundamentals of AWS, you should start by getting the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification. If you have been practicing for at least one year, you can then consider getting associate-level certifications such as AWS Certified Solutions Architect, AWS SysOps Administrator, or AWS Cloud Developer.
After getting the associate-level certifications, you will have to practice for at least two years in order to qualify for the professional-level certifications such as Solutions Architect and DevOps Engineer. If you want to specialize further, you can then consider doing the specialty certifications that include Big Data, Security, Alexa Skill Building, Advanced Networking, and Machine Learning.
If you already have prior IT-related skills like web development or cybersecurity, it makes more sense to choose a certification that is in line with the skills you already have. For instance, an AWS Cloud Developer associate-level certification would be the ideal choice for someone without prior experience in web development. Of course, you will need to have the practitioner’s certification before qualifying for any of the associate-level certifications.
6. Start looking for clients
Another way you can put your skills to the test is by handling actual projects by clients. Getting clients without any recommendations is one of the hardest bits of offering digital skills on the internet. One of the easiest ways to get started is joining a freelance website like Fiverr, UpWork, or People Per Hour.
There are plenty of people that need cloud-related services on these platforms. However, getting your first clients will require you to demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skills to do their projects. To overcome this, you can either show them your previous projects or underprice your services for the start.
Once you get the first clients, offer them the best possible solutions to their problems because if they are satisfied, they will write a good review or recommend their colleagues to use your services.
7. Join cloud computing and AWS forums
One of the easiest ways to stay updated about what is going in the cloud computing space is being around people that are into cloud computing. Platforms like Reddit and Quora have these forums where members share information about AWS and cloud computing in general.
These platforms are also mainly for asking and answering questions. So, if you find any challenges while using any of the AWS packages, you can always share the question in these forums seeking help. You will be surprised by how much knowledge some of the people on these platforms have. So, always take advantage of this free knowledge.
8. Create a cloud services website
After accumulating a good amount of Knowledge about how AWS cloud services work and configuring them, you can now build your website and start offering these services. The beauty of having your website is that you set the rules regarding the pricing and how you would wish to offer your services.
The main challenge you will face in the early days is getting traffic and clients to trust your brand. To overcome this, you can first of all request the clients that you have already worked with to write positive reviews about your website on the various review platforms. These reviews will give your potential customers more confidence to trust your brand.
You can also add a blog section to your website that you can use as a platform to disseminate knowledge about AWS and cloud computing in general. Having a blog is also good for SEO, so it will likely generate a lot of traffic for your website. Regularly publishing content is the key to getting the best results from your blogging efforts.
You can also consider doing guest posts on authority websites in order to direct traffic back to your website. Answering questions on platforms like Quora and Reddit and sharing a link to your website at the end is also another marketing strategy that you can use to generate more traffic on your website.
9. Search for employment opportunities
If you don’t wish to build a business, you can look for a cloud-related job that requires implementing your AWS skills. To get started, you can first of all list all the potential companies you would like to work for and then start contacting them one by one via their websites or career portals.
If you are invited for an interview, do more research about the company and also prepare for some technical questions related to AWS, cloud computing, and technology in general. While applying for jobs, it is best to focus on small businesses and startups that use AWS to deploy apps and store data. Such companies are always searching for individuals that have AWS and general cloud computing Knowledge and skills.
The good news is that the cloud industry is growing at a high rate, so if you have the skills, you will likely be hired within a short period. After getting the job, your focus should be on expanding your knowledge about AWS and solving all cloud-related problems your employer is facing.
10. Attend AWS-related events and conferences
One of the ways you can further expand your knowledge with AWS is listening and being around people that have been in this field longer than you do. Attending AWS-related events is a great way you will be able to meet experts and professionals in this field. If you are not able to participate in the physical conferences, there are also online ones that you can live stream and learn as well.
Amazon also holds a number of AWS-related events throughout the year where they launch new services. They also have Webinars about cloud computing topics where specific AWS team members disseminate knowledge to all those registered for the event. For more details about the upcoming events, check out the official AWS events page.
Building a future in the AWS cloud requires taking steps, putting in the hard work, and being patient. The tips we have shared above may not be conclusive, but if you follow all of them to the dot, becoming an expert in the AWS cloud will be guaranteed in a couple of years. We also recommend choosing a section in the AWS cloud that you love the most and give it all your focus.
Acquiring a new skill, especially in technology, is always intimidating at first. That is why it is always best to kick-start your AWS cloud journey with the basics and then advance to the more complex stuff when you are familiar with the fundamentals of the platform. Since AWS is always expanding and adding new services, it is also necessary to always be updated by being part of AWS forums and attending AWS webinars and events.