I started to work with AWS in 2018 and I'm creating content on all kinds of levels since this year. What I struggled with myself, hearing from colleagues and on all other channels like Twitter:
How do I get started? This feels overwhelming!
The good news: this is a completely natural reaction, looking at the inconceivable scope of services that are offered by AWS.
The important part is to pick great learning resources, focus on the core services and advance step by step.
And that's exactly what this article points at - directing you to those resources to get yourself comfortable and achieve the first goals.
Let's jump right into it.
AWS Fundamentals - Newsletter & Ebook
First of all a shameless plug to our newsletter. At AWS Fundamentals - AWS for the Real World we send bi-weekly newsletters to all fundamentals of AWS. We always add real-world examples and use cases for each service. We think this is one of the best resources out there to learn AWS.
AWS Training & Certification
AWS official training site, which offers uncountable free resources for all levels of expertise. You'll find fundamentals for all parts of AWS, but also deep knowledge that goes way beyond the default use cases for most applications. It's a good place to begin.
One of the most famous training sites that cover every area you can think of. As expected, there's also a dedicated area for Amazon Web Services. Like at AWS.training, you'll find content on different levels.
There's the option to retrieve certificates for a small fee, but it's not a requirement for attending courses.
AWS' Hands-On Tutorials
It's great to read articles and documentation, as well as watch courses and tutorials. But as with any other skill that you can learn: it requires hands-on to manifest.
And that's exactly what AWS offers in its own Hands-On Tutorials.
You need to have your own AWS account for this, but you can take advantage of AWS Free Tier (see the Free Tier at the top right of the course).
AWS Free Tier
Strictly speaking, this is not a resource but it's worth mentioning as often as possible: AWS has a generous free offering for many services, enabling you to play around and learn without paying much or even anything.
Some offerings are free for the first 12 months, and others are not limited and granted every month regardless of your account creation date.
The Well-Architected Framework Paper
As mentioned in the beginning, it's difficult to grasp the whole picture due to AWS' huge ecosystem. While learning, things will explain themselves sometimes. But while continuing your journey, you'll use more and more services, glue them together and build different types of architectures - often with major disadvantages as you can't know it better at that time.
That's why best practices are important and you should know about them. The Well-Architected Framework paper is a collection of those principles and guidelines, enabling you to easily rely on field-tested design patterns.
While AWS's own hands-on tutorials are great, there's one major scary side for beginners: you're working with your own AWS account for which you're solely responsible. Generally, if you're careful there is nothing to worry about, but on the other side, it's clear that there's no spending limit you could enforce - you'll pay for what you use at any time, in a basically limitless environment.
Qwiklabs is a great alternative, as it's offering you hands-on labs with sandboxed AWS accounts with temporary credentials so you can enjoy learning without worrying about costs.
A lot of those labs are paid, but fundamental ones are mostly free.
AWS' YouTube Channel
Covering all kinds of news for AWS, conference talks, tutorials, and learning opportunities for all knowledge levels, AWS' YouTube channel is another great source for advancing.
The official podcast by AWS looks at the latest news & trends in all IT areas. Enjoy deep dives into services, user interviews, and much more.
Available on all podcast platforms, you can listen everywhere and anytime.
Likely, you've heard this a lot: documentation is your best friend. It's also true for AWS, as you can find an answer to almost any question you'll ever have, including detailed explanations that really cover in-depth knowledge.
Let it be your major source and one of your most-used websites.
(My favorite bookmark 🔖: all actions, resources, and condition keys you can use with IAM)
Naming just a few of them, which I really enjoy:
Danny Steenman - Cloud Consultant, Technical Writer, AWS Certification Guru helping cloud starters at all places.
Simon Holdorf - Multi-Cloud Expert, Fullstack Engineer, and Technical Writer posting learnings about AWS, Azure, and GCP.
Tobias Schmidt - Finally me 😊
Bonus Material: Short AWS 1x1s
In the past months, I collected the fundamentals for all my favorite AWS core services in small threads on Twitter 🧵
There's no previous knowledge required, so you can scroll through all of them in any order.
The internet does not lack great free resources to kickstart your AWS journey and it was never easier than today to get started.
I've you've enjoyed this article or you have feedback of any kind, send me a message on Twitter! 📨
Thank you for reading!