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Diving into the Cloud: Your Easy Start-Up Guide

Diving into the Cloud: Your Easy Start-Up Guide

Today I want to tell you how I started my cloud journey 3 years ago, and my tips to help you start yours. In this article, I will try to respond to the main question: Is getting an AWS Certification worth it?

Published Jan 12, 2024
Last Modified Jan 13, 2024
I started thinking about cloud when I was in my 16th year in  the software development industry, I’ve been a developer, tech lead, Technical Analyst and some other tech roles for so long that the last thing that I really want to do was to go back to the books and study as hard as I did on the university. I have a husband and 2 kids and going back to those long nights studying wasn’t for me.. I spent 2 years figuring things out. I started and then stopped, started again and stopped again. I wasn’t sure and like everybody else life crosses in the middle so I always dropped. Then something great happened to me, I got fired from my job. So I started to apply to several positions and it was really hard for me to get a new job. It took me 2 years and in the middle I created my own software entrepreneur. But it was hard because even though I had the experience in software and the basic knowledge from Cloud I didn’t have a certification to validate that knowledge. And I promise to myself that the situation will not repeat again.
That was my start point. Your cloud Journey doesn’t start when you read something about the cloud, it starts the moment you decide to jump into it. 
At the beginning, I asked myself several times: Where to start ? So I developed what I call my own Cloud Journey Map.
stages

This is the approach that I followed. Let’s reviewed together:
  1. Decide with which Cloud provider you will start. There are several cloud providers that you can choose, google about it and analyze the impact in the market in your zone (this may seem not important but believe me it is, if you want to grow in the field faster this is really important).
  2. Do some Research: You got your cloud provider selected, now  go for it. Collect all the links and resources to start learning, If you choose AWS as I did you can review my selection of contents below. 
  3. Certifying: Review all the certifications available, do not feel overwhelmed  about the amount of certifications out there, identify your area and start from there. If you don’t know what your area is, don't worry, start studying for the foundational cert. This will help you to explore a little bit for you to choose which area you feel more comfortable.
  4. Hands On Labs: after you pass your first certification, and yes you will pass,  you will feel like the king of the world and your are, trust me you are, but the reality is that even with the certification under your name if you don’t have hands on experience it will be hard to get in to the market, so what can you do? Hands on labs, create personal projects even if they are small or are a step by step from some course, do it, the knowledge you will get building it will be worth it. And that knowledge is the one that will open doors for you in an interview. And put it online, add all the labs you run in a public repo, share it on your social media, challenge yourself and create challenges on your own. Have fun, what is life without a little of fun.
  5. Personal brand and Networking: While you are playing around with your personal projects, join a community, attend the meetups, make some friends, they will help you grow and you will help them back. The networking you make in these spaces is crucial for your groth. Become an active member trust me you will not regret this, your friends will be the one who will help you grow and help you resolve questions while you are building. Create your personal brand along the way, make yourself visible in LinkedIn and in other platforms this will help to get the right opportunity for you. 
  6. Get a Cloud Position: Now it’s time to get a job in the cloud, this is why all the steps before are worth it, this is why you are working so hard but when you land here build, build wonderful projects and create wonderful things. Share all that you know and start learning again… the cloud world is big and changing all the time, every day new services come up, new features, new challenges will appear and you’ll see that this learning map will circle back 🙂 . 

Until January 2024, after re:invent AWS offers the next certifications:

You can go here to get more details about it:
https://aws.amazon.com/es/certification/?nc1=h_ls
What career paths offers you the Cloud? you can check here some of it: https://d1.awsstatic.com/training-and-certification/docs/AWS_certification_paths.pdf

What resources did I use to get ready take the exam:
  1. I used the courses of Adrian Cantrill: https://learn.cantrill.io/courses/ I took the courses AWS Solutions Architect - Associate and AWS Developer - Associate and both were wonderfully explained, got a lot of labs and the examples with cats was the catch for me 😂.
  2. Skill Builder Platform I got some of the free batch from here, this helps me to summarize in a deeper level some of the topics. https://explore.skillbuilder.aws/learn
  3. Cloud Academy - I also used some of the courses here, not the whole course but I did use it for the topic that I feel I need to learn more. https://cloudacademy.com/
  1. Tutorial Dojo: https://tutorialsdojo.com/ these tests are hard. Every time I felt ready I took one of these exams and failed 😅, and this helped me to identify my weak points. Each time that happened I got back to re study these topics. Until I got 80% on these tests, then I took the actual test and guess what. I always pass. So it works!
  2. Skill builder exam test. Every time I took the small exam test from this platform. Even when it only has 20 questions this question has been the most like it that I get in the real tests. So it won't take you too much time and it is good for you to feel comfortable in the actual exam.

What I have learned so far from your cloud journey is that it is yours. I just shared mine with you, but yours will be different, and that's okay because it will be different for everybody. The important part is that you enjoy the ride and have fun. There will be days when you feel tired, overwhelmed, or lost, and that is okay too. It's part of the ride, so rest, encourage yourself, and keep working. Don’t give up; you are not the only one on this journey, and it is fun to learn together.And the question: Is getting an AWS Certification worth it? Absolutely, I wouldn't be in the position that I am now without it. It's not everything, but it's important, and definitely, it will help you land a cloud job faster. Besides, you will have fun in the process and will meet wonderful people to learn together, as it happened to me. So, go for it and let's enjoy the ride together! See you in the cloud 😉 ☁️