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Enri Peters
Enri Peters

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How I failed to become an AWS Community Builder

But how I succeeded next time and how you could as well.


Are you curious about the journey of someone who failed to become an AWS Community Builder? While it may seem counterintuitive, reading about someone's failure can often provide valuable insights and lessons for achieving success.

On August 17, I received an email from AWS that informed me that I had not been selected for the Community Builder program. While initially disappointing, this experience allowed me to learn and grow in ways that I never would have anticipated.

Through this blog post, I hope to share my story and the valuable lessons I learned along the way. Whether you're applying to become a Community Builder or pursuing any other goal, I believe my experience can provide valuable insight and inspiration for achieving success.

The AWS Community Builders program πŸ› 

The AWS Community Builders program is an exclusive program offered by AWS that provides technical resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities to individuals who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and connecting with the AWS community. The program is designed for AWS enthusiasts and emerging thought leaders who are eager to learn more about AWS and share their knowledge with the community.

The program is open to applicants worldwide and offers a diverse group of passionate and knowledgeable individuals the opportunity to connect with other AWS enthusiasts and thought leaders, as well as gain access to exclusive technical resources and mentorship from AWS experts.

For more information about the program, including eligibility requirements and application process, please visit the AWS Community Builders page. Additionally, it would be beneficial to read the frequently asked questions on the website, as they provide valuable insights into the program and the expectations of the community builders.

Key people πŸ”‘

AWS, being the leading public cloud provider, offers a wealth of opportunities for community engagement through its Community Builders program. This program, which has been in existence since 2020, aims to provide technical resources, mentorship and networking opportunities to passionate AWS enthusiasts and emerging thought leaders who are dedicated to sharing their knowledge and connecting with the AWS community.

To fully utilize the program's knowledge and resources, it is essential to stay informed about the program by following key individuals who are involved. These individuals include:

  • Ross Barich, Head of AWS Community
  • Jason Dunn, AWS Community Builders Program Manager
  • MarΓ­a Encinar, AWS EMEA Senior Community Programs Manager
  • Shafraz Rahim, AWS Developer Community Program Manager for Asia Pacific, Japan
  • Farrah Campbell, AWS Sr. Product Marketing Manager for Containers & Serverless
  • Taylor Katherine Lacy, AWS Developer Community Manager
  • Caroline Kerns, AWS Community Manager
  • Albert Zhao, AWS Developer Community Manager
  • Mark Pergola, AWS Community Content Manager

This list is not exhaustive and if you are aware of other key individuals involved in the AWS Community Builders program, please share in the comments so the list can be updated.

Do you want to become an AWS Community Builder? πŸ€”

If you're someone who is driven to make an impact, wants to be part of something special, and is passionate about helping others in their AWS journey, then the AWS Community Builders program may be the perfect fit for you. The program is designed for individuals who want to build long-term relationships, improve their self-confidence, and be recognized in the AWS community. Most importantly, the program is built on the belief that the success of a group is greater than that of an individual. If you share these values and are passionate about AWS, consider applying to the program to take your community involvement to the next level.

Mic Drop

Dont's ❌

The most important part of this blog post is about taking action on your ideas for creating and sharing content. Don't let fear or perfectionism hold you back from starting. It may seem daunting, but remember that progress is made one step at a time.

For example, instead of putting off creating a YouTube channel because you're worried about the perfect banner or intro, just start recording a video. Don't worry about whether your content will be valuable to others, just share what you know and what you're passionate about.

It's also important to not get too caught up in watching others and trying to emulate their success. While it's great to be inspired by others, remember that everyone's journey is unique and you will learn the most by taking action and creating your own content. Don't put pressure on yourself to create top-notch content right away, just start and you'll get better with time.


Do's βœ…

There are many ways to get started in the AWS community and make an impact. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are great places to start. You can increase visibility by using relevant tags such as #aws, #cloud, #awscommunity, #awscommunitybuilder, and #awscommunitybuilders. Don't forget to also like, comment, and share posts made by others, and consider mentioning companies in your posts using the "@" symbol. Joining AWS groups on social media, such as the AWS Certified Global Community, can also be beneficial.

Another great way to get involved is to join your local AWS User Groups. Meetups are a great opportunity to improve your public speaking skills and you can reach out to the organizers and offer your help with organizing meetups and community days.

Blogging is a great way to improve your writing skills and you can start today by creating an account on or Interacting on platforms such as Twitter's AWS Developers group, AWS re:Post, Reddit, and Stack Overflow can also be beneficial.

If you're interested in contributing to open source projects, consider checking out GitHub - AWS Labs and see if you can add any value by contributing code or by improving documentation.

Connecting with and following AWS Heroes, Ambassadors, User Group Organizers/Leaders/Volunteers and Community Builders can give you insights on what they are working on and how you can contribute. You can also check out AWS Week in Review and What's New with AWS to stay up to date with the latest news and developments in the AWS community.

Finally, consider starting an AWS newsletter, in which you can summarize the latest news and developments and share your thoughts and insights on why certain features are important or amazing. You already got one subscriber (me)!

Optional do's βœ…

Becoming an AWS Community Builder can be a challenging journey, but one way to increase your chances of success is by obtaining AWS certifications. Not only will these certifications help you learn more about AWS and advance your career, but they also demonstrate your knowledge and skills to others in the community.

To help you on your certification journey, here are some resources that can be useful:

  • Cloud Quest is a fun role-playing game that allows you to build solutions in a live AWS environment.
  • AWS Educate is open to any individual, regardless of where they are in their education, technical experience, or career journey.
  • AWS Skill Builder is an AWS learning center that helps you improve your cloud skills.
  • Adrian Cantrill offers some of the best AWS training available, and many of his fundamentals courses can be watched for free on his YouTube channel.
  • Stephane Maarek is a best-selling instructor and Kafka expert who offers AWS certification courses on Udemy.
  • Jon Bonso from Tutorials Dojo offers some of the best practice exams available, with explanations for correct and incorrect answers.
  • Neal Davis from Digital Cloud Training offers top-quality training, cheatsheets, and free resources on his website and on the YouTube channel of freeCodeCamp.
  • Andrew Brown who is an AWS Hero and has created a learning platform called ExamPro which has great resources for becoming AWS certified. He also has created multiple AWS certification courses which are available for free on the YouTube channel of freeCodeCamp.

A Cloud Guru, Cloud Academy, Udemy, Coursera, Whizlabs, MeasureUp and many other platforms also offer AWS certification courses and practice exams.

It's important to note that these are just a few of the many resources available, and it's important to find one that works best for you and your learning style. Additionally, it's also important to note that obtaining certifications is not the only way to become an AWS Community Builder, and it's important to also actively engage in the community by sharing your knowledge, helping others, and contributing to open-source projects. Joining and participating in local AWS user groups, speaking at meetups, and creating content such as blogs, videos, and podcasts are also great ways to build your presence in the community.

Ultimately, becoming an AWS Community Builder is about consistently putting in the effort to learn, share, and engage with others in the community. Whether it's through obtaining certifications, participating in online forums, or speaking at events, it's important to find ways to add value and make a positive impact in the community.

Tell me the benefits! πŸ‘


There are many benefits to becoming an AWS Community Builder, including increased visibility and recognition within the community. As a member of the program, your name will be listed in the Community Builders directory, which can help you gain more visibility and recognition within the community.

You will also gain access to exclusive resources and opportunities, such as invitations to private platforms like the Community Builders Slack workspace where you can connect with other Community Builders and AWS employees, including subject matter experts.

In addition to these opportunities, you will also receive:

  • Access to AWS product teams and information
  • AWS promotional credits to use in your own AWS accounts to build projects
  • Access to training resources such as Cloud Academy
  • One certification voucher for an AWS exam

But perhaps one of the most exciting benefits is the exclusive AWS swag, such as water bottles, stickers, t-shirts, hats, and backpacks.

It's worth noting that AWS is always working to improve the benefits of the program, so you can expect them to evolve over time. Another fun fact is that if you ever attend the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, as a Community Builder you will receive special recognition, such as a Community Builder sticker on your badge and access to shorter lines for keynotes and events. This can give you some extra time to rest and recover from any previous night's activities πŸ˜‰.

I am NOT convinced! Sounds like a lot of work! πŸ“š

It's important to remember that becoming an AWS Community Builder doesn't require you to do everything on this list. The beauty of the community is that we all bring different skills and perspectives to the table. Instead of trying to do everything at once, start small by dedicating 15-30 minutes a day to building your community presence. Incorporating it into your daily work can also be helpful. For example, use the knowledge you gain from working on a project to create a blog post.

Personally, one of the biggest motivators for me is pushing myself out of my comfort zone. By becoming more visible in the community, I've learned to be more confident in my skills and abilities, which has helped me grow as a professional. Additionally, being recognized by others in the community is rewarding and helps me build my confidence. The best part is getting to meet so many amazing people in the process.

But I don't have any time ⏱


I agree it can be challenging to find time to become an AWS Community Builder. However, it is important to remember that you don't have to do everything at once. Instead, start small by setting aside 15 or 30 minutes a day to write blogs or create content. You can also make it part of your daily routine, for example, by writing a blog post about a project you are working on.

It's important to break out of your comfort zone and start taking action instead of just making plans. You can create a account in just a few minutes and start writing right away. You can even save drafts and continue working on them later.

It's also helpful to find someone who can coach and support you in your efforts. Consider having a weekly catch-up with a colleague to discuss your progress and get feedback on your content. Remember, it's never too late to start, and even small steps can make a big difference in the long run.

What has changed for me? 🧐

In the time since I began writing this blog, I have had the opportunity to speak at and lead workshops at various AWS events. I have been sharing my experiences and insights on social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn. In fact, I even received a public thank you from Werner Vogels, the CTO of AWS, for creating a special birthday video for him.


Additionally, I have started my own YouTube channel, where I share tips and tutorials on various AWS-related topics. While it was tempting to spend a lot of time perfecting the channel's banner and intro, I learned that it's actually quite simple to create a professional-looking design using tools like PowerPoint.

One of the most valuable things that has helped me stay motivated and on track with my goals is having regular catch-up sessions with a mentor. These check-ins allow me to receive feedback and guidance, which helps me to stay focused and continue to grow as a community builder.

I am convinced! But how to apply? πŸ€

To kickstart your journey as an AWS Community Builder, you can begin by adding your name to the waitlist for the program (this link only works when applications are closed). By doing so, you'll be notified when the next cycle of applications is open, and receive instructions on how to apply. Additionally, you can take steps to begin building your presence within the AWS community by engaging on social media platforms, joining local user groups, and contributing to community resources such as Github and Stack Overflow. Remember to focus on consistent and steady progress, rather than trying to do everything at once.

Good to know πŸ“š

When applying to the AWS Community Builders program, it's important to choose the categories that align with the content you've created or plan to create. The categories available are Cloud Operations, Containers, Data, Dev Tools, Front-End Web & Mobile, Game Tech, Graviton Arm, Machine Learning, Networking & Content Delivery, Security & Identity, Serverless and Storage. You can choose two categories when applying, but keep in mind that the content you submit should be relevant to these categories.

AWS Community Builders are also grouped by geographic region, including Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, & Africa, Latin America, and USA & Canada. As of October 2022, there are around 2350 AWS Community Builders worldwide.

One way to find other Community Builders in your area is to check out the map created by @jdonboch, which uses AWS Location Services. You can find the map here and read more about it in his blog post here.

Thank you

Thank you for reading my blog post. I hope you found it informative and helpful in your journey to becoming an AWS Community Builder. If you are interested in keeping up with my content, please consider subscribing to my account and YouTube channel Obsessed By AWS. Your support will not only help me reach my goal of 100 subscribers, but also ensure that you stay updated on my latest content and updates.

Top comments (4)

avinashdalvi_ profile image
Avinash Dalvi

Really well drafted. This will help many aspiring builder πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘ŒπŸ»πŸ‘ŒπŸ»

skabba profile image
Enri Peters

Thnx @avinashdalvi_ and thnx for expanding my reach!

farrahc32 profile image

Great post Enri - happy to see you share your experience and hope that you re-apply!

skabba profile image
Enri Peters

Thank you @farrahc32. It's great to know that you have read it :-).