AWS — how to get started
If you are thinking about starting with AWS it might be tough at the beginning when you open AWS home page because you might get overloaded with many new information, terms and technologies. There is really a lot of different services, areas, use cases, tutorials, white papers, etc. One can be confused where to start and how. At least I was confused when I started experimenting with AWS 15 months ago. Today I am much further in knowledge of AWS and what it offers. I decided to prepare basic overview how to go through their web page, how to get oriented in study materials which they offer and how to proceed in getting the AWS knowledge.
I am data developer so below you will find many links and information which are related to data use cases (data ingestion, building data lakes, big data, analytics, etc.). But still the basic information are valid for all no matter if you are web/mobile developer or work in any other role.
Where to start?
As a first step I would recommend to go through the free digital course called AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials which is one day (6 hours) course where you will gain an overall understanding of AWS Cloud. It describes basic concepts of AWS architecture like regions, availability zones. It covers key services and common use cases, explaining billing, security, etc.
It is really good starting point which can help you with overall understanding of AWS principles.
How to get oriented on AWS web portal?
AWS web page is divided into many smaller parts and good starting point is getting started resource center where are placed tutorials, trainings, white papers, etc. Resources could be filtered per many categories like type of the content (video, hands-on) or by use case — Databases, Big data and Analytics , Serverless, etc.
It might be better to go directly to page which is related to Getting started with an AWS product like Amazon EC2 or any other.
There you have in one place all related information about particular product. Links to tutorials, user guides, trainings etc. Products are grouped per use case (Compute, Database, etc.)
For getting basic overview about particular service are good short tutorials which explaining the basic concepts of that service. For example how to Launch a Linux Virtual Machine (EC2). Please find here all available 10 minutes tutorials.
Getting started projects
Getting started resource center also offers real projects where you will build some complete solution with step by step guidance. By this way you can get an overview what kind of workload is needed to run something on AWS.
Lot of new terms, shortcuts — how to get the meaning?
You might have feeling that there is a lot of new terms like EC2, EMR, IAM and many others, but what does it mean? AWS has Glossary where each term/shortcut is explained and it offers also link to page with more details.
How to try the AWS for free
AWS offers “Free Tier” where you have a possibility to try some services for free. Something is free for all time, something is free for 12 months since account creation and something has trial period. More details could be found on AWS Free Tier page.
Don’t invent the wheel again, get inspired by AWS Quick starts
AWS offers packages called quick start which are built by AWS solutions architects to help you deploy popular technologies on AWS. You can try to search the catalog if there is something what suits your needs. Each quick start contain AWS CloudFormation template which could be modified to better serve your needs. More details on AWS Quick Starts page.
For data related use case there is a quick start for deploying Data Lake Foundation on AWS.
AWS offers different types of trainings. A lot of them are free and offers valuable information about certain topic. Trainings could in-class or on-line. Divided by domain, roles, skill levels, language, etc. There is different content like basic e-learning, videos or standalone courses for couple of days.
Please go to training portal for more details.
AWS offers different types of certifications and “learning paths”. As a base level of certification there is certification called Cloud Practitioner which is saying you are familiar with basic AWS concepts, understand the architecture, billing, security, etc.
On top of this basic level there are different learning paths and certifications based on your role (architect, operations, developer). Certifications are in two levels
* Associate — one year of experience
* Professional — 2 and more years of experience
Besides this learning paths are speciality. For example big data or machine learning. There you can get certified in that specialty. AWS has nice diagram making it more understandable.
Data related content
As I mentioned on the beginning I am data developer so I am looking for content which is related to data. Below you can find more links related to data use cases and things which has seemed to be interesting for me.
Getting started project where you will deploy Hadoop cluster and run Hive script to process log data.
In this project you will create Amazon Redshift Cluster, configure it, secure it, load sample data and analyze them.
Online free course describing Big Data basic architecture and use cases. It covers technologies like Apache Hadoop, Amazon EMR, Apache Hive, etc.
Series of trainings/whitepapers related to Big Data on AWS. How to start, services overview, technology fundamentals, etc.
And much more …
Definitely this is not fully comprehensive list of all valuable information which AWS offers for studying purposes. But I hope it can help you get oriented in AWS world and get some basic knowledge about AWS concepts, key technologies. Then it should be much easier for you to find exactly that course/training which you need.
If you know any other not mentioned interesting learning material especially for data related use cases on AWS please feel free to add it!