It can be difficult to get started with Amazon Web Services (AWS), especially since AWS has nearly one hundred products and each product has so many features. In this post, I’ll call out some resources for learning about AWS products and tools.
AWS Overview Paper
The AWS Overview Paper (PDF) starts with “What is Cloud Computing?” and then goes on to cover all AWS products grouped by categories, e.g. Storage, Databases, Developer Tools, etc. It’s a good overview if you want to get a sense of everything grouped by category.
The AWS Docs site should be your starting point when you need to really understand how a service works. The various Getting Started, User, and Developer Guides are very well written and in-depth.
AWS Online Tech Talks
Quoting from the AWS Tech Talks site:
“The AWS Online Tech Talks is a selection of live online presentations that cover a broad range of topics at varying technical levels. These tech talks feature technical sessions led by AWS solutions architects and engineers, live demonstrations, customer examples and Q&A with AWS experts.”
These talks are a good way to see a new technology in action, in a live demo.
AWS has two YouTube channels: the AWS Webinars channel and the main AWS channel. There are hundreds of hours of video—probably more than you can watch—so it’s a good resource to search for specific technologies you’d like to focus on.
HangOps Slack Team
The HangOps Slack Team is an online community of DevOps engineers. If you are stuck after researching your issue for a bit on your own, you can post your AWS-related questions in the #aws channel and you may get a great answer from a community member who has solved your exact problem. You can also hang out and answer other folks’ questions; it’s a community after all.
The AWS subreddit is a great resource for getting your AWS questions answered. It’s a mix of Q&A and links to interesting AWS-related blog posts.
Meetups are a great way to network with other engineers and solutions architects who are using AWS in real life. It’s an opportunity to see presentations given by people who are using AWS to solve real-world problems. To find a Meetup in your area, search the Meetup site for “aws.”
AWS has an official Twitter account. Follow @awscloud to get updates on new blog posts, how-tos, and announcements.
AWS Quick Starts
Would you like a ready-made automated solution for standing up an AWS VPC, Microsoft SQL Server, Kubernetes, Atlassian JIRA, etc? Take a look at AWS Quick Starts—pre-built, automated CloudFormation templates for common technologies.
From the site: “Quick Starts are built by AWS solutions architects and partners to help you deploy popular solutions on AWS, based on AWS best practices for security and high availability. These reference deployments implement key technologies automatically on the AWS Cloud, often with a single click and in less than an hour. You can build your test or production environment in a few simple steps, and start using it immediately.”
AWS Blog and What’s New
The AWS Blog has in-depth articles on new features and services and how to get started with them, usually offering an example walk-through of the service or new feature.
The AWS What’s New page shows all announcements of new services, new features, new AWS Regions, etc.
At 1Strategy, we subscribe to the AWS Blog and What’s New RSS feeds via the Slack RSS app. New articles are posted automatically to our #aws-announcements channel. It’s a great use of Slack to keep our team updated on new AWS features and services.
1Strategy Blog & Events
Finally, in addition to the numerous resources I’ve already mentioned, we at 1Strategy are available to answer your questions. You can refer to the 1Stratgey Blog page for relevant information on a variety of topics with which we have real-world experience. We also host several training events throughout the year, as well as facilitate an AWS Meetup group in Utah. See our Events page for upcoming 1Strategy events.
In this post, I gave you an overview of a collection of sites to help you learn more about AWS services and how to use them. I covered official AWS docs and tech talks, and Quick Starts, to more interactive resources, like the HangOps Slack team and the AWS subreddit. I also covered AWS Meetups, which are a great way to meet other folks interested in AWS in real life. Finally, I touched on resources to keep up with Amazon’s rapid pace of innovation, the AWS blog, and What’s New page. I hope you will find a few resources above which really take your AWS knowledge to the next level.