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Fon Nkwenti
Fon Nkwenti

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Why you must join the Douala AWS User Group

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." - African Proverb.

Introduction

AWS is the largest public cloud provider with over 31% market share, followed by Microsoft Azure with 20% and Google Cloud Platform with 5%. Ever since AWS officially launched in 2006, they have been at the forefront of innovation, creating new paradigm shifts in how IT resources are being developed and used by enterprises worldwide. As enterprises continue to migrate some or all of their workloads to the public cloud, AWS is suitably positioned as the partner of choice. They have the most migration experience, the most comprehensive and mature migration tools, and more cloud services than the other players. AWS is just a platform with services and tools, but it requires developers, startups, and enterprises to take advantage and build with it. Communities of users have organically sprung up around the world, synergizing and pushing the limits of what individuals can achieve independently.

Why do user groups matter?

First and foremost, a user group is a community, and a community offers a place for like-minded people to learn, share, and discuss opportunities and solutions. Some problems are difficult to solve individually, but a community can offer support and direction. For example, it is almost impossible for a single individual to keep up with AWS's innovation pace. They started this year with 175 services, but more are being announced at the AWS re:Invent 2020 online event, which is still ongoing at the time of this post. A supportive community with members who have diverse skillsets is extremely vital.

With the continuous adoption of AWS in other parts of the world like Africa who saw its first AWS region go live in April 2020, the adoption rate will only increase. User groups are springing up around the continent, so another group closer to where you live or work is inevitable.

Why are we doing this?

I personally started my journey into cloud computing about 4 years ago after reading a couple of interesting news headlines. Cisco announced they were abandoning a 1 billion dollar investment in data center technologies, and VMWare subsequently announced VMware Cloud on AWS. So I learned a bit of everything and familiarized myself with most of the common AWS services.

Last year, I began to pay close attention and eventually took several AWS certification exams. As I got deeper into architectural discussions and projects, I had many issues and resorted to online communities. I also joined user groups in South Africa, Accra, and France. A particular thorn in my side was AWS Lamba. I reached out to Rosius, and he was able to sort out my misconfigurations. I was also of great help to Rosius, coming from an infrastructure background that he lacked as a developer.

Organizing this user group is also a way for us to contribute to the local community by sharing our collective experience and knowledge. Everyone has got a story to tell, so we are equally open to learning from the community.

What's in it for you?

AWS Douala user group is a peer-to-peer user group. You would meet other highly skilled and motivated developers like you who might have the answer to whatever problem you are stuck with. We intend for you to:

  • meet talented people
  • learn something new
  • give back to the community
  • get recognition for your participation

We believe anyone working in the ICT sector and living in Douala should join the Douala AWS User Group.

I'm a noob and don't know anything about the cloud

You don't need to be an expert to join. All you need is the will, the time, and the curiosity to learn. Then you can contribute to the community and other open-source projects with your unique experience. But you must have a computer and an internet connection.😉

Our Activities

We will have physical and online meetups at a regular cadence to bring all members together under a central theme, task, or goal. Before and after our meetups, we will have a few minutes for networking.
The main activities will be;

  • 30mins - 40mins presentations by highly motivated and experienced individuals who may or may not be members of the group
  • hackathons
  • Q&A
  • lucky draws and prices
  • free food and drink whenever we get sponsors

How to join

Firstly, you need a registered account so go to www.meetup.com if you don't already have one.
Secondly, you can find us on our meetup page Douala AWS User Group. Click on the Join this group button, and you are in.
We will send you information about our meetups and other events so you won't be alone.

One last thing

Please take the time to answer our polls and our survey . This would provide us with valuable feedback on making the community a better place for you. See below the links to the polls and survey, respectively;

https://www.meetup.com/awsugdouala/polls/
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Zt7eA4tNjLvOuGYErJTD7WfAwXxMfSu72Dg8--0_zRY/edit

Wrap Up

We would love to give you the opportunity and platform to grow and become a better version of yourself. If you are new, then you are in a better position to upskill yourself. We would be releasing the agenda for our first meetup very soon. So once again, sign up and be notified about future events.

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