Open Up The Cloud Newsletter #26 (July Recap 2021)

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Hey cloud friends!

It’s been quiet on the announcements and new features front this last month— it must be summer! And, of course, for AWS, they’re busy stacking up their releases for this year’s Re:Invent. One great thing I’m seeing these last few months is a real increase in cloud content. So much more in-depth content, beginner content, etc which is great news (but of course means more work for me!).

Let’ get into it…

This Month’s Top Cloud Pick(s) ⏫

If you only read one or two things this month, let it be this.

Cloud, Code, Life — I cannot speak highly enough of Gwyneth Pena-Siguenza, and her commitment to helping out the cloud community, so when this podcast was announced, collaborating with Rishab, who is very active in the cloud community, and Antonio, I knew it was going to be good. If you’ve not had a chance to listen in, you should!

Feature Releases & Announcements 📚

New stuff in the cloud, that you probably should know about.

Building SaaS on AWS (Gunnar Grosch, DEV.TO) — Gunnar Grosch, Developer Advocate at AWS is running a new show, streamed on Twitch, that dives into different architectures and design choices behind businesses building SaaS products on AWS. This adds to an already pretty packed schedule on the AWS Twitch channel.

Serverless stack raises $1M (Tech Crunch) — If you’ve not had a chance to play with Serverless Stack, maybe this is the sign you need to go check it out. Serverless stack closes the gap between local and cloud development by giving you tools like live development (think hot-reloading) and debugging via breakpoints. And I’m sure we’ll start to see even more tools stepping into this space, too.

How-To’s & Educational Pieces 🤓

Articles on how to do various cool things with the cloud.

The What, Why and When of Mono-Lambda vs Single Function APIs (AJ Stuyvenberg, DEV.TO) — Mono vs single-purpose functions are a topic that will come up as soon as you start your journey into working with AWS Lambda and Serverless. As always with these discussions, the answer sits on a spectrum. AJ does a great job here of walking you through the pros and cons of each approach. But ultimately you’re going to have the decision that makes most sense for you, and your situation. The topic of monolithic vs single-purposed AWS Lambdas is one that also came up during my Cloud Resume Challenge series if you want to check that one out, too!

How to pass the AWS DevOps Engineer Professional Exam (Danny Steenman, Dannys Cloud) — Danny is the king of exam preparation articles! Danny is like those war veterans you see with so many medals that they run out of jacket because they’re hanging off the side. Jokes aside, this is again just another great write up. Make sure to bookmark his blog if you’re looking to take any of the cloud exam. Danny is also really active on Twitter, so you should really go give him a follow.

What Is The Biggest Trade-Off Of Going Serverless? (Brian LeRoux, Twitter) — Serverless certainly isn’t a silver bullet. There are some great answers on this thread covering the downsides of Serverless, everything from local development pains to operational difficulties.

Is It Recommended To First Be A System Admin In A User Support Role Before Becoming A Cloud Engineer In GCP/AWS? (Andrew Brown,— I was pumped to see an article with this kind of title, as these roles/career questions come up a lot, but they’re hard to answer. The industry is in a real jumble, and there’s so much “it depends”. However, Andrew does a good job of dissecting the different roles and providing an overview. I’m also really happy to see Andrew talking on the intersection between cloud and career, so be sure to give blog a bookmark.

How I Became A Cloud Engineer With No Computer Science Degree (Rishab, YouTube) — Hearing peoples cloud journies is always good fun, and it was great to hear Rishab’s story. Now it’s got me thinking that I should do a similar video myself! I like the subject, too, as it’s a common question to ask about how relevant degrees are when breaking into the industry (I’ve written about it before, in can you learn AWS and get certified with no experience?)

The 4 Tools Cloud Beginners Should Focus On (Open Up The Cloud, YouTube) — Overwhelmed by the many different tools that you could learn in the cloud space? In this video, I go through the 4 different categories of tools that you should focus on as a beginner, and give you examples of the tools I recommend. I’ve discussed this tech-stack approach on Instagram, and Twitter before. If you’re looking for a default technology stack, this should be your go-to, and in this video, I explain why.

The 3 Cloud Architecture Approaches Tech Companies Use (Open Up The Cloud, YouTube) — In this video, I cover the three different architectural approaches that I’ve seen that companies use for cloud. Why? Because companies are unlikely to use multiple approaches, so by choosing to double-down on one are, you can hone your skills and have more success when applying for jobs.

Is It Possible To Go From Zero To Cloud Architect? Should Cloud Beginners Target Solutions Architect Positions? (Lou Bichard, Twitter) — This is one of my own Twitter threads/conversations, but it’s a question that many have asked, about whether the path to Solutions Architect is possible / a good route. Previously, I wouldn’t have suggested the Cloud Architect role to a beginner, however, some stories were shared of how people landed their first job as a Solutions Architect.

Opinion Pieces / Miscellaneous 💭

Cloud commentary, spicy takes, memes, and just-for-fun stuff!

AWS Tech U Program —I discovered the Tech U program only recently, and I know it will be relevant/useful to a lot of you. Tech U is an accelerated learning program within AWS. All the roles are a mixture of technical and people skills so should be good for those with only a minimal background/ education—definitely worth looking into.

Build your summer Spotify playlist with Terraform — Just for fun… because there’s almost no reason anyone would actually do this! But, the announcement does showcase one of my favourite features of Terraform, which is the ability to wrap just about anything in TF syntax, to be managed as code.

Personal Updates 🙍🏼‍♂️

So I’ve been taking it quite steady over the last few weeks, enjoying my summer (note to self: schedule a summer break next year). I’ll be kicking things back up a gear soon when the weather closes in over winter. I’m also still experimenting with YouTube video types and formats to see which ones I enjoy, and the ones that get the best response.

I’ve also been chatting to lots of people in the cloud industry recently, if you wanna chat, all you have to do is reply directly to this email. I also have Calendly set up if you wanted to talk about anything careers, cloud or in between.

See You Next Month 👋

That’s all for this month’s newsletter, thanks again for joining!

If you’ve got feedback on the newsletter, e.g. if there’s something you would like to see more or less of reply to the email and let me know. I’m always looking for ways to make the newsletter more relevant and useful for you 🙏.

Speak soon Cloud Engineering friends!

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Lou Bichard