People often ask me, Pravin!
How long would it take to learn AWS Cloud?
Will I need expert coding skills?
Can I switch my career from non-IT to AWS?
Well, it’s easier than you think. Let’s discuss these concerns one by one.
Learning AWS is relatively easy for anyone and everyone without any prior skillset. The IT industry has always been a dynamic industry with ever evolving concepts.
So, even an IT experience can become less relevant while learning AWS. AWS Cloud offers colossal services with frequent new service releases. A learner must take on a new approach to use AWS against the traditional IT approaches employed a few years ago.
The second question asked is,
Is coding in AWS difficult?.
Well, when we start with AWS, we can easily perform a few tasks without needing to code.
You can launch an EC2 instance via the AWS management console, set up security groups, attach database instances, and launch static websites without any programming code knowledge.
Given the mammoth size of AWS services, it is confusing to decide the starting point in AWS. Right?
I suggest you start with one of the four foundational services: compute, storage, networking and database.
Gradually narrow down to certain speciality services and become a master of them.
Let me brief you about the ‘4 Actionable steps that you can take up to build a career in AWS cloud’.
1. Build the foundation
The IT industry has always been dynamic in nature as mentioned above. With every passing minute, this industry is coming up with an advanced version of the previous technology. However, the fundamentals of IT remain the same most of the time. So, it’s great to start with understanding the basics of cloud computing, infrastructure and networking. Read through the case studies posted on the AWS website to understand the real time application of cloud technology.
2. Follow the right learning path
AWS Cloud has an array of services and specialty segments to choose from. A major part of AWS revolves around four fundamental services namely compute, storage, networking, and database. Start with AWS EC2 compute and get hands-on experience through various learning sources. Once you learn the ropes, it will be easy to build a step-by-step learning plan for the rest of the AWS services.
The most important approach to learning anything is by doing it. I suggest exploring the AWS free tier account. You can check out my YouTube channel where I have created more than 30+ videos on AWS Hands-on. You can practise AWS hands-on by watching those videos. You will also find many tutorials on AWS official documentation.
4. STOP preparing for AWS Certification: I don’t advocate AT ALL
I don’t suggest anyone pay 150 dollars for AWS Certification. It neither helps you to get a job nor clear your concepts. Once you start your certification race, your destination will be certification, NOT learning.
I know most online training platforms don’t agree with me as they are selling their course under the name of the certification course.
I will strongly recommend spending that amount on getting a good book, finding a mentor, and doing an internship to get valuable work experience.
Every 6th question out of 10 people ask me is…
Is it possible to learn Cloud Computing without a computer science background?
Gone are the days when one had to have a degree in IT to become an IT professional. We are living in an era where all you need is a zeal to learn, and you are sorted to get into the profession you want.
Are you someone who has no technical background, but wants to start a career in Cloud Computing?
Well, don’t worry! Keep reading and you will know how to make a career in cloud computing irrespective of your background.
According to Precedence Research, this industry is going to cross around USD 1614.10 billion by 2030. So, this is the best time to learn cloud computing and make a career even if you are from a non-IT background.
The cloud computing sector is rewarding and lucrative, rapidly growing that you first need to find your orientation and a clear path to start with. After deciding on the job role you have to learn the fundamental concepts and understand the practical use cases of cloud implementation.
We will discuss the various cloud computing job roles in further blogs. Now let’s discuss the steps to start a career in cloud computing with a non-IT background. Following are the skills you will start your learning with.
- Basic understanding of Operating Systems (OS)
- Knowledge of Computer Network
- What is Virtualization and why do we need it?
- Explore in-demand skills and choose one.
- Get a project based internship/work experience
Let’s discuss one by one.
1. Basic understanding of Operating Systems (OS)
An operating system (OS) is a collection of software that manages hardware and software resources on a computer. Operating system manages the communication between the CPU, memory and hardware. There are three most popular operating systems namely Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS and Linux. As a cloud professional it is very important to have moderate knowledge of following skills for each OS type.
- Installation procedure of each operating system.
- Basic operating system scripting commands
- Troubleshooting methods
You can gradually start learning one operating system (OS) and master the others too. Among all three OS, linux is widely used in web servers. Getting good knowledge over Linux OS shall be more beneficial.
2. Computer Networking
Computer networking is a must skill to learn for understanding the cloud computing concepts. Computer networking means linking computers to one another using multiple routes for receiving and delivering data. Networking is the communication between two or more systems, it could be computers or mobile phones and for DevOps – networking is the communication between servers on the cloud.
Some of the must know concepts in networking for cloud professionals are as below.
- Open Systems Interconnection model (OSI model)
- Domain Name Server (DNS)
3. What is Virtualization and why do we need it?
Virtual machine (VM) is a virtual environment that runs within a physical computer and comprises of the following components;
- Virtual Central Processing Unit (CPU)
- Network interface
- Disk storage space
Through a virtual machine, we can control and manage thousands of virtual computers from a single physical device. VM’s enable improved IT efficiencies, faster workload deployments, highly available server, reduced operating costs and increased application performance. Thus, understanding the concept of virtualization will ease the learning of cloud computing concepts.
4. Explore in-demand skills and choose one.
It is also very important to be aware of the current in-demand skills trending in cloud computing. This awareness gives an idea to streamline our learning process. Presently the popular skills in cloud computing are cloud deployment and migration, database and programming skills, devops, cloud security and machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Also, it is always an advantage to have knowledge of multiple cloud platforms. The most popular cloud platforms are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Along-with technical skills it is very essential to have improved soft skills. Suppose you have some innovative ideas and need to communicate it to your peers but fail to do so, it could become a barrier for your growth. Lack of soft skills can limit your growth and could be a downfall of your career. You need to be well versed with good presentation skills, networking abilities, problem-solving attitude, conflict resolution, customer service and time management.
5. Get a project based internship/work experience
Having hands-on experience is more relevant than just learning and training. You become a subject matter expert only after facing real time challenges and solving case studies. Join a paid or unpaid internship for a minimum of 6 months to get the real world experience of solving cloud problem statements. Such internships could be the best kick starter for your journey of becoming a cloud computing professional!
Do follow the above suggested steps and you will be right there in your dream workplace.
This is how you can streamline your learning process.
I want to reiterate my earlier mentioned thought again here.
Having EXPERIENCE is more important than certifications.
Certification is only worth it if you have relevant experience.
Wait.. Let’s look at AWS certification guideline:
I hope this speaks for itself.
Put yourself in the employer’s shoes and think about what they’re looking for when hiring. By understanding this, you can decide what you need to do to secure a role in the cloud. What do employers look for?
- A candidate with relevant skills
- A person with experience and a quick start-up ability
- An individual who is good at working in a team
Does AWS certification help in any way?
Not at all…..
Ensure your skills closely match the job description when applying for jobs.
Make sure your resume emphasises the skills employers are looking out for each position you apply.
Skills and experience requirements differ depending on whether you’re applying for an AWS Cloud Architect role or an AWS Engineer role.
Without relevant experience, it’s very difficult to find a job. As a beginner, this can be challenging – you may not have any industry experience, or you may be transitioning from another area of IT. Here are a few tips you can follow if you find yourself in this position:
- Take a training course that includes a lot of practice exercises. During a technical interview, you may be asked questions that test your practical experience.
- Obtain hands-on experience in a sandbox / lab environment.
- You can further expand your knowledge with sample projects and code on AWS, and Github.
- Build something you can show an employer and show them what you’re capable of.
- Get some on-the-job experience by doing an internship at a startup
Let me be clear that I deeply believe in the value of AWS experience.
It takes a lot more than an AWS certification to land your dream job, and you must be committed and persistent to succeed.
So let me summarise the whole process in simple and easy to understand bullet points for your quick reference.
- Familiarise yourself with the basics of cloud computing and what sets AWS apart from other cloud providers. You can do this by reading AWS’s documentation and watching introductory videos on the AWS website.
- Sign up for an AWS account. This will give you access to the AWS Management Console, which you can use to explore the different services offered by AWS.
- Start experimenting with different AWS services by following tutorials and guides. Some popular services to start with are Amazon S3 (simple storage service), Amazon EC2 (elastic compute cloud), and Amazon RDS (relational database service).
- Practice creating and managing your own resources on the AWS platform. For example, you can create a virtual machine or launch a web application.
- Learn how to use the AWS command line interface (CLI) and SDKs (Software Development Kits) to manage your resources programmatically.
- Understand the concepts of IAM (Identity and Access Management) and VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) in AWS, which are fundamental components of any AWS solution.
- Learn about the different deployment options available on AWS, such as Elastic Beanstalk and AWS Lambda.
- Keep yourself updated with the latest service, features and best practices by regularly visiting AWS documentation and blog.
- Practice and hands-on experience is the key to become proficient with AWS, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different services and configurations.
I am listing down a few questions that might be asked during an interview for an AWS role.
- List the differences between Amazon S3 and Amazon EBS?
- How can you make an Amazon RDS database highly available?
- How can you secure your data in Amazon S3?
- How would you deploy an application on AWS Elastic Beanstalk?
- What are the key components of Amazon VPC?
- How would you go about setting up an Auto-Scaling group?
- Can you explain the difference between an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) and an instance?
- How would you monitor the performance of an Amazon EC2 instance?
- What is the role of Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) in AWS?
- How does Amazon CloudFront work, and what are its use cases?
Scenario based logical questions
- What is your experience with AWS? Can you give some examples of projects you have worked on in the past?
- How do you handle security and compliance in AWS?
- What is the most complex AWS infrastructure you have worked on and how did you manage it?
- What is the role of Amazon S3 and how would you use it in a project?
- How would you set up and maintain a highly available and scalable environment on AWS?
- Can you explain the difference between Amazon EBS and Amazon EFS?
- How would you use Amazon CloudWatch to monitor the performance of your AWS resources?
- How would you implement a disaster recovery strategy in AWS?
- Have you ever encountered an issue while working with AWS and how did you resolve it?
- How would you set up a VPC and control access to resources within it?
I would like you to attempt these questions and share the answers with me. I would love to guide you through your AWS learning journey.
Hope you got the gist of how the AWS cloud learning journey is to be planned. Do reach out to me sharing your experience.
Stay tuned for more such interesting blogs.
Check out this post to learn What is AWS? Current and Future trends.