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How I became cloudbased from being cloudless, in 2022

This article was originally published on 2023/01/22 on my wix blog.
As I am shutting down the blog, all my articles are being moved here.

If you are considering shifting your career in the direction of AWS, this article may be an inspiration to you.

Having worked as an AWS DevOps engineer since December 2021 I would like to encourage all of you who are still doubtful to make a change.

This is my story of how I got from cloudless to cloudbased.
I am old school networking guy, for my whole career I worked with different kinds of networks and datacenter technologies – routers, switches, loadbalancers, and firewalls. I had built quite a successful career there and a get into the great team of colleagues. One might say it was an ideal job. Well, not quite – I felt that I was missing something. For the past years, I witnessed my customers leaving DC for AWS.

Master Shifu once said:

If you only do things you can do, you can never be more than you are.

Amen to that, bro!

Until 2021 I had no knowledge about AWS...

But how difficult can it be, right?

I said to myself…


I was wrong and I learned it the hard way.

You may ask yourself a question – why should I learn AWS?

Well, let me tell you:

  • AWS is one of the biggest cloud providers.

  • You will have the opportunity to work with the latest technology.

  • There is a high potential for career growth because there is a high demand for AWS professionals.

  • Getting an AWS job requires a set of skills and certifications that will help you a lot as well.

WLNSC is all you need

Have you heard about the WLNSC method? The shame on you if not! (Don't worry, I made it up).

WLNSC is the abbreviation for what I have started with and it worked pretty well.

Let's get step by step with the WLNSC method that has no copyright.

W for Will to make a change
This is the first step you have to make – find a will to start. Learning new technology is never easy. It costs time, stepping out of your comfort zone, and maybe a couple of dollars (you better stop that EC2 after you are done with it).

L for Lab to practice
One can't learn something without practicing. Lucky for us, AWS provides a lot of free resources. You just need to create an AWS account – don’t worry, it’s free. AWS also provides a lot of free resources to your AWS lab.

N for Networking with other professionals
There are a lot of inspiring people who can help you, without even knowing you. Networking with other AWS professionals can be a great way to learn new things and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the platform. Just go and check the profiles of Viktoria Semaan, Linda Haviv, Madhu Kumar, Artur Schneider and many more, whose profiles are full of interesting ideas, good tips, tricks, etc…

You will also get information about AWS meetups, conferences, and other networking events that you can attend to meet even more inspiring professionals.

S for Support from people around
If you are not the lucky one with a photographic memory, there will be some sacrifices, you have to understand that. Learning something new and learning it good needs takes time.
I used to exercise in the morning before work and watch series with my wife in the evening when the kids went to bed. Instead of that for a good amount of time, I was exercising the lab and watching AWS Skill Builder, Coursera, Udemy...

But trust me every minute is worthy.

C for Certification
I found that the best way (for me) to learn AWS is by learning and practicing for AWS certifications.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner for starter

Checking the certification path on the AWS page and as a knower of nothing (sorry Jon Snow), I decided to start with AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner.

Lucky me, I found a great and free essentials training on Coursera, created by AWS - AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials. AWS Instructors Morgan Willis, Blaine Sundrud and Rudy Chetty are explaining the essentials of AWS in a very understandable way – comparing AWS to a coffee shop. If you are completely new to that field, I definitely suggest this course to start with.

AWS also provides tons of free trainings. Login to AWS Skill Builder, Coursera, create a free account and start learning for free. I definitely recommend AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials and AWS Cloud Quest: Cloud Practitioner, but there are more.

I passed this certification in April 2021 with pretty good score, and suddenly there was me thinking how good I am. If you haven’t heard about Dunning–Kruger effect, this is exactly the book example.

I passed this certification in April 2021 with pretty good score, and suddenly there was me thinking how good I am. If you haven’t heard about Dunning–Kruger effect, this is exactly the book example.

AWS Certified Architect Associate for main course
Feeling like Po the Dragon Warrior, I just started to prepare for AWS Certified Architect Associate and that was a real deal. I've spent evenings and evenings labing and watching the content (my wife had almost finished 6 seasons of a TV show).

This time I decided to go not just with AWS Skill Builder, but also with the learning platform Udemy. I purchased Ultimate AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate SAA-C03 from Stéphane Maarek. The topics I found most crucial, like IAM, EC2, S3, VPC, and others I dove deeper into with specific courses on AWS Skill Builder.

Somewhere in the middle of the preparation, I found out that the AWS DevOps team within my company is hiring, I applied and was accepted. With a good attitude and a new role in my pocket, I was able to pass.

Specialties for dessert
If you’re still not full and thinking about some desserts (like lava cake right after 1kg of ribs you think to order just because your teammate ordered it too, even if you are fuller than you have ever been – ain’t that right Lydia Delyova ?), there is nothing better than Specialties.

AWS offers multiple specialties. Working for years with BGP, VPNs, and IP subnets, first logical choice for me was the AWS Advanced Networking Specialty, and I must admit this certification was pretty doable, with all my networking backround. Without that, the exam might be pretty though.

For my passion for security, I also took the AWS Security Specialty, and I can tell you this was the most challenging one for me.

End of story?
Going through all of this, I encourage you to do the same if you are still considering. Getting from classic DC networking, or any other field to the AWS is a huge change, but I can assure you it's worthy.

What will however never change, is you still being that hey, my PC is so slow, can you do something about it? and also hey, can you set up my wireless router kind of guy for the whole your family, friends, neighbors, their friends…

I wish I had a dollar for every router I have set up…

This is not the end and the story continues. Let's see what 2023 will bring.

And what should your next steps be? Make the step and start the unexpected journey to the clouds.

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