Do you have 100 tabs open, reading about Linux, DevOps, CISCO, AWS, Azure, and wondering what it all means and where to start?
I spend a lot of time talking to people getting into the cloud industry, so I know how overwhelming it can be. This very article started life as a LinkedIn question, which became a discussion on Twitter, and now it’s this post!
Looking to get into cloud ☁️ and have no idea where to start? 🤔 🤔 🤔 After spending the last months (years!) immersing myself in the get-into-cloud space, here’s a summary of where to start… 👇 pic.twitter.com/tcdJ7uWc5N
What’s the antidote to the feeling stuck like a “rabbit in the headlights”? Roll up your sleeves and get started. That’s what we’ll focus on today.
Where to start with cloud computing? Learn a cloud provider (e.g. AWS), infrastructure as code tool (e.g. Terraform), continuous integration (e.g. Github Actions), and a programming language (e.g. Python). Do a hands-on project, e.g. the Cloud Resume Challenge. Take a certificate, e.g. AWS Cloud Practitioner, and join online cloud communities.
If you’re in the space of learning AWS, it takes (roughly 😉) 0.3 seconds before someone recommends you get a certificate, right? But is that AWS certification alone enough to land you a job? And if not, what should you do as well?
If this is what you’ve been pondering recently, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll go through and answer whether or not an AWS certification is in fact enough to land you a job (spoiler: it’s not) and go through the 4 steps you should be taking to ensure you land a job with your AWS certification.
Is an AWS Certification enough to get you a job? No. On its own, an AWS certification is not a guarantee of a job. Job hunters in the cloud industry will need to have demonstratable hard-skills e.g. programming as well as relevant experience and soft-skills such as communication and teamwork.
So you’re thinking about learning AWS and maybe even taking an AWS exam, but you’re worried about your job prospects because you don’t have a lot of experience in IT, or maybe you don’t have a degree. Sound about right?
AWS is daunting, I know—there are hundreds of AWS services and a lot to learn. I know that feeling of overwhelm you’re probably feeling right now! But I’m excited, because today, we’ll break down this big AWS topic, and you should leave today with a better sense of what to focus on.
Can you learn AWS without experience? Yes. It’s possible to learn AWS and get certified without an IT background or degree, provided the necessary training hours are completed. The most approachable AWS exams are the “cloud practitioner” or the “associate” exams. Landing an entry-level job using AWS with minimal experience can be challenging, but is possible.
As we might not have met, let me introduce myself: I’m Lou, a professional software engineer who has worked with the cloud and AWS for nearly a decade. It’s my ambition to make the cloud easier to understand and break into.
But, that’s enough about me, let’s get back to the topic at hand, and let me answer your question about whether you can learn AWS without experience!
Learning AWS: How We’ll Break It Down
Since there’s a lot to cover today I think it’s best if I give you an overview of exactly how we’ll approach todays topic before get lost in the details.
Firstly, I’m guessing you want to learn AWS to land a job, right? If that’s the case, we’ll need to start by reviewing the different job roles that exist for people with AWS skills, and discuss which of those roles makes sense for someone without experience. We’ll get into this in just a moment.
After we’ve discussed about job roles and which might make sense for you, we’ll then turn our attention to AWS certifications, and how relevant certifications are to the job hunt, especially for a beginner. By the end of the article, you should have a clear idea of your direction for learning AWS.
If that sounds good, since there is a lot to cover, let’s get right into it.
So, you’re thinking of learning AWS, but of course, you’ll need to know at least roughly how long it’s going to take you, right? AWS is huge, so finding an answer to how long it might take can be tricky. I remember logging into AWS for the first time (around 10 years ago now!) and being completely overwhelmed, so I understand how you may be feeling right about now.
How long will it take to learn the basics of AWS? You can start to understand AWS core services in a few days, gain practical knowledge with those core services in a few weeks, and in a month or two, you could expect to be undertaking professional work in AWS.
There’s two big questions I often get asked on the topic of how long to learn AWS, firstly that’s: what’s the relevancy of an IT background? And secondly: will I need to learn to code? Let’s discuss these topics first, then I’ll share some more general tips on structuring and speeding up your AWS learning.
There’s quite a lot to cover, so let’s get into it.
When it comes to passing your AWS certification, it’s one of those “1000 open chrome tab” type situations, right? There’s just so many different options available that it can make your head hurt: from books to Udemy courses.
I’ve been writing about cloud for years, and after taking and passing the exams myself—which also included searching the internet for hours!—I’ve compiled a complete yet opinionated list of resources to help you pass your AWS exam.
But, I’m not just going to throw links at you, I’ll take you through the different options, show you why they’re important, and at the end, I’ll make a recommendation on what I’d suggest you do for your next steps.
At which point I realised that I hadn’t yet published a list of great communities (that I’m also a member of) for keeping up to date, asking questions and generally being involved in the industry, today we’re going to fix that!
Yesterday, as I read an article on DEV, titled: “forget web development, become a cloud developer instead!” I punched the air: yes! The author, Moneer, put into words something I’d been talking about for some time, but never wrote down.
Getting a job in web development isn’t getting easier. The bootcamp factories churn out graduates and the entry-level market is saturated. Add to this that the web development world hasn’t moved much recently, so there’s no hot tech to leverage. But that’s where cloud tech presents an amazing opportunity.
By the end of this article you’ll understand why learning cloud skills is the unique opportunity which will separate you from other graduates and ultimately land you a job.
In reader questions I share real reader questions / answers. In this question we discuss with AWS and where to start with AWS certificates. Also, if you have a question of your own, feel free to submit it.
Hey Lou, I’ve been following you since I registered in Dev.to.
Your posts and blog are some of the reasons I got interested in Cloud, but I kept delaying it because I didn’t want to rush into it, now that I’ve learned Docker, Swarm, Kubernetes, Jenkins, Ansible, Linux administration and a bit of cloud with Digital Ocean droplets (mind you I’m a junior so I have very little experience), I feel ready to begin AWS, I’m so excited you have no idea. I bought a course on AWS Architect Associate, but I haven’t started it yet, I have one question.
I’m aware AWS has four levels: foundational, associate, professional and specialty. I’m also aware associate has three paths: architect, developer, sysops.
I read that it could take a couple years to move from associate to professional, should I put all my time into one path? or should I learn all three associate paths before focusing on one?
Also, if you have any general advice for me and/or any useful posts from your blog before I begin AWS I’d seriously appreciate it.
DevOps. Platform Engineer. Cloud Engineer. So many terms and roles! But they all seem to mean the same thing. So when it comes to this new term Cloud Engineer. What do Cloud Engineers do all day? And do cloud engineers code?
The short answer to whether Cloud Engineers code is: yes. But, Cloud Engineers don’t write any old code, they write very specific types of code.
By the end of this article you’ll know what a Cloud Engineer is and whether they code (spoiler alert: they do).
And what it means for a Software Engineers Career.
Knowing just the basics of Software Engineering isn’t enough to thrive in today’s market. Many Software Engineers need to have drastically more knowledge of cloud platforms than they currently do.
Why? That’s today’s question. We’re going to be discussing what a Cloud Native Software Engineer is, why they exist, what their skills are and ultimately what that means for you as a Software Engineer.
By the end of this article you should know exactly what a Cloud Native Software Engineer is and why that matters for your career in Software Engineering.