7. How to start with your Cloud Journey?

I was getting the question – “From where to start learning cloud?”

You are new to tech and wanted to learn the cloud.

You are an experienced front-end developer and now want to learn a new skill – cloud

You are a backend developer and now want to learn a new skill – cloud

You are a non-tech person and want to learn the cloud.

If you can relate to any of the above statements then this blog is for you.

Just a few years back I was also exploring for answers to – “Where to start learning cloud?”.

I was from the front-end domain and cloud always pealed to me like more of backend skills. It made my search more challenging as I was looking for content from a front-end perspective.

In this blog I will try to answer this question based on my experience:

Step 1: Decision – Which Cloud platform?

There are a lot of cloud vendors available. The top 3 are Azure (from Microsoft), AWS (from Amazon), and GCP (from Google). You need to pick any one of them to start learning cloud.

There is no difference between all 3 apart from the service names, companies backing them, customers, and market proportion they have. AWS is on the rank 1.

I started my journey with Azure. The reason was it was getting used in my company. I thought that I will get help within my company. However, it didn’t help me.

Later I moved to AWS. It is important to pick which platform you need to pick. There are jobs across all vendors. It is just your personal preference.

How to select?

My advice, go to their documentation and try to evaluate which documentation is appealing to you

Step 2: Resources to start with (FREE)

I started with the official documentation. Remember these vendors want us to learn and use their platform. They want us to win. Hence, there is no best place than Offical documentation.

I would say before spending money on any paid training or course, spend some time with official documentation and their training. You will get an idea you are stepping in.

Remember, a lot of keywords and concepts would be new to you. Hence, it is important to invest time on free but from official documentation to understand what is the scope of the cloud.

AWS Offical documentation

AWS Whitepapers

AWS Skill Builder

AWS Learning Library

Step 3: What to Learn

As you start diving into the resources you will soon realise that there are a lot of concepts you would be hearing the first time. Eg: Instances, VMs, Subnets, serverless, etc.

As a front-end developer definitely you will feel overwhelmed. So, it is important to think as a front-end developer to try to fit the cloud in your front-end domain.

Why? To get comfortable with the cloud rather than getting overwhelmed.

As a front-end developer, I started with the goal to learn :

  1. Hosting static React apps
  2. Configure my custom domains
  3. Host NodeJS apps
  4. Building full-stack apps
  5. CDN
  6. Images, videos storing

These were my starting goals. As I started learning AWS, a lot of topics keep adding in:

  1. Monitoring
  2. Logging
  3. Certificate
  4. Load balancers
  5. ASG (Auto Scaling Group)
  6. Making Static websites Highly available

Step 4: Certificates or learning paths

After spending a month on official documentation, I decided to go ahead with the certificate. I wanted to have a goal and test my knowledge. Hence, certification for me was kind of a ‘roadmap’.

I started with cloud practitioner( Foundation) and I would say it is a MUST. It will cover the foundation concepts of the cloud and give you a 10,000 feet view of the cloud and its services.

Step 5: Your Goal after fundamentals

There are 2 paths for you as a cloud learner: developer or an architect.

I strongly feel that in both cases these are the common:

  1. Fundamentals
  2. Development via cloud

you can pick your next learning path – developer or architect. As a developer you will be doing loads of hands-on technical, as an architect, you will be doing a lot of tech discussions.

Step 6: Learning resources

You should be comfortable with the EC2, Storage, Database, Load balancers, auto-scaling, Monitoring and logging, cost optimization, high availability, robust, and different service

  1. Hands-on topics – Official documentation and webinars
  2. Udemy courses – Cloud Guru, and Stéphane Maarek
  3. Build a few projects – IMPORTANT
  4. AWS Whitepapers
  5. YouTube videos – Stéphane Maarek for revision

Bonus: Cloud is a very vast domain. You might feel it is never ending but always remember WHY you started learning it.

All the best!!

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