Cloud computing is blowing up! But don’t take my word for it, read this recent NY Times piece: Tech companies clamor to entice cloud computing experts.
Join 32,000 others and follow Sean Hull on twitter @hullsean.
Still don’t believe me? Get on the phone with a recruiter or two. They’ll convince you because they’ve got companies banging down the door looking for talent that is plainly in SHORT SUPPLY. And that’s the supply *you* want to be.
1. Become a book reviewer
You’ve already got a technical background, and want to hone those skills. Take a look at technical book reviewing.
Manning is putting out some excellent technical books these days. Apply here to be a reviewer.
In either case you can expect to spend time reading a book chapter by chapter, as it’s written, offer strategic or layout advice, feedback on presentation, comprehension, and edits.
2. Join an Open Source project
There are millions. Flip through github to some that you’re interested in. Contribute a bug fix or comment, reach out to the project leaders.
Afraid to dive in? Join one of the forums or google discussion groups, and lurk for a while. Ask questions, offer a helping hand!
Related: Is Amazon too big to fail?
3. Self-paced labs
Online education is blowing up, and for good reason. They get the job done & for the right price!
One of my favorites for AWS Certification is the A Cloud Guru courses. These offer lecture style introduction to all levels of AWS from Sysops Administration, Developer & Solutions Architect to Devops, Lambda & CodeDeploy.
The courses are priced right, and geared directly towards Amazon’s certifications. That helps you focus on the right things.
Amazon also partners with qwiklabs to offer courses geared towards getting certified. There are specific ones for the associate & professional certification, and many others besides.
You’ll need to signup for AWS Activate first, before you can use these qwiklabs. They offer you 80 credits right out of the gate.
— Amazon Web Services (@awscloud) March 14, 2016
For the next two weeks many of the courses are free! One thing I really like is they include a free temporary aws login for the students. That way there’s no risk of deploying infrastructure, and accidentally getting a big bill at the end of the month.
The labs though are more like reading documentation versus a nice video course lecture. So you the student have to do a lot more to get through it.
4. Coursera, Khanacademy & Udemy
There’s a free class on Coursera called Startup Engineering by Balaji Srinivasan & Vijay Pande. Some pretty amazon material & lectures in here, and if you’re determined, it’s 12 weeks that will get you going on the right foot!
There is also udemy, which offers some great material on cloud computing. Notice that the certification courses are the same ones from A-Cloud Guru!
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5. Interview tests
Apply to jobs. Even if you’re unsure if that is your dream job. Why? Because they often include a test to find out about your technical chops. Diving into these tests is a great way to push your own edge. You may do well, you may not. Learn where your weaknesses are.
I especially like the ones where you’re asked to login to a server, configure some things, write some code, and solve a real problem. Nothing beats a real-world example!