Is An AWS Certification Enough To Get You A Job? (Spoiler Alert: No)

If you’re in the space of learning AWS, it takes (roughly 😉) 0.3 seconds before someone recommends you get a certificate, right? But is that AWS certification alone enough to land you a job? And if not, what should you do as well?

If this is what you’ve been pondering recently, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll go through and answer whether or not an AWS certification is in fact enough to land you a job (spoiler: it’s not) and go through the 4 steps you should be taking to ensure you land a job with your AWS certification.

Is an AWS Certification enough to get you a job? No. On its own, an AWS certification is not a guarantee of a job. Job hunters in the cloud industry will need to have demonstratable hard-skills e.g. programming as well as relevant experience and soft-skills such as communication and teamwork.

Can You Learn AWS (And Get Certified) With No Experience? e.g. No IT Background Or Degree

So you’re thinking about learning AWS and maybe even taking an AWS exam, but you’re worried about your job prospects because you don’t have a lot of experience in IT, or maybe you don’t have a degree. Sound about right?

AWS is daunting, I know—there are hundreds of AWS services and a lot to learn. I know that feeling of overwhelm you’re probably feeling right now! But I’m excited, because today, we’ll break down this big AWS topic, and you should leave today with a better sense of what to focus on.

Can you learn AWS without experience? Yes. It’s possible to learn AWS and get certified without an IT background or degree, provided the necessary training hours are completed. The most approachable AWS exams are the “cloud practitioner” or the “associate” exams. Landing an entry-level job using AWS with minimal experience can be challenging, but is possible.

Learn AWS Without Degree?

As we might not have met, let me introduce myself: I’m Lou, a professional software engineer who has worked with the cloud and AWS for nearly a decade. It’s my ambition to make the cloud easier to understand and break into.

I’ve written a lot on the topic of AWS careers and certifications, everything from How Much Do AWS Certifications Cost? Including All The Extras to Best Resources For AWS Certifications: An Extensive & Opinionated Guide (So You Pass The First Time!). An article I wrote last year: Where (And How) to Start Learning AWS as a Beginner was read by nearly 30,000 people so far.

But, that’s enough about me, let’s get back to the topic at hand, and let me answer your question about whether you can learn AWS without experience!

Learning AWS: How We’ll Break It Down

Todays TODO list

Since there’s a lot to cover today I think it’s best if I give you an overview of exactly how we’ll approach todays topic before get lost in the details.

Firstly, I’m guessing you want to learn AWS to land a job, right? If that’s the case, we’ll need to start by reviewing the different job roles that exist for people with AWS skills, and discuss which of those roles makes sense for someone without experience. We’ll get into this in just a moment.

After we’ve discussed about job roles and which might make sense for you, we’ll then turn our attention to AWS certifications, and how relevant certifications are to the job hunt, especially for a beginner. By the end of the article, you should have a clear idea of your direction for learning AWS.

If that sounds good, since there is a lot to cover, let’s get right into it.

How Long Will It Take To Learn AWS? And How To Speed The Process Up!

So, you’re thinking of learning AWS, but of course, you’ll need to know at least roughly how long it’s going to take you, right? AWS is huge, so finding an answer to how long it might take can be tricky. I remember logging into AWS for the first time (around 10 years ago now!) and being completely overwhelmed, so I understand how you may be feeling right about now.

How long will it take to learn the basics of AWS? You can start to understand AWS core services in a few days, gain practical knowledge with those core services in a few weeks, and in a month or two, you could expect to be undertaking professional work in AWS.

There’s two big questions I often get asked on the topic of how long to learn AWS, firstly that’s: what’s the relevancy of an IT background? And secondly: will I need to learn to code? Let’s discuss these topics first, then I’ll share some more general tips on structuring and speeding up your AWS learning.

There’s quite a lot to cover, so let’s get into it.

Best Resources For AWS Certifications: An Extensive & Opinionated Guide (So You Pass The First Time!)

When it comes to passing your AWS certification, it’s one of those “1000 open chrome tab” type situations, right? There’s just so many different options available that it can make your head hurt: from books to Udemy courses.

I’ve been writing about cloud for years, and after taking and passing the exams myself—which also included searching the internet for hours!—I’ve compiled a complete yet opinionated list of resources to help you pass your AWS exam.

But, I’m not just going to throw links at you, I’ll take you through the different options, show you why they’re important, and at the end, I’ll make a recommendation on what I’d suggest you do for your next steps.

Sound good? Let’s get started.

Best Resources AWS Exam

How To Test AWS Lambda: Everything You Need To Get Started.

If you’re just starting out working with AWS Lambda there are a LOT of things for you to understand. And of course, one of those areas is going to be: testing.

How to test AWS Lambda? AWS Lambda can be tested manually using the AWS console with test events. In addition to manual testing, AWS Lambda can also be tested through local replication with tools like as docker-lambda. Or finally, testing AWS Lambda can be done using an automated (CI) pipeline for running unit, component and integration tests. 

There’s a few different ways you can go about testing AWS Lambda, today we’ll run through these different options, and I’ll let you know what has worked best in my experience and where I’d suggest you spend your energy on.

How To Debug AWS Lambda: A Detailed Overview

Ah, so you’ve reached that point: you’ve been through the euphoria and the buzz of setting up a Lambda function, and the eureka moment when everything is running… but then everything comes crashing down when you realise how painful debugging AWS Lambda is! I know, because I’ve been there too.

How to debug AWS Lambda? Debugging AWS Lambda is achieved through a range of different methods: using local debugging tools e.g. docker-lambda and serverless offline, through monitoring tools e.g. CloudWatch and through the implementation of a test harness. 

The topic of debugging an AWS Lambda function can get complicated quickly, as there’s lots of different options and approaches. Today I’ll walk you through all the different options that you have at your disposal for debugging AWS Lambda. Today we’ll cover everything from Docker Lambda to CloudWatch. 

Lambda Extensions: What Are They, And Should You Care?

This month AWS announced a new feature called Lambda Extensions (Source). AWS release so many features it is hard to keep up. With each new feature we often need to ask ourselves, is this something we should pay attention to or not?

What is Lambda Extensions, and who should pay attention to it? Lambda Extensions are an addition to the Lambda Runtime API, allowing additional control, setup and tooling. Lambda Extensions are mainly aimed at third-party vendors, particularly monitoring but also configuration and security. Lambda Extensions will also be interesting to heavy users of AWS Lambda functions who need standardisation or greater control on their setups. 

Now let’s get into more detail on what Lambda Extensions actually are to help you understand whether or not they might be useful in your situation. Let’s start by looking at a core difficulty that Lambda Extensions help solve.

Can You Stop An AWS Lambda Execution?

There are a few reasons why you may want to stop a Lambda. Either the Lambda is buggy or performing incorrectly, your Lambda is reading an event source like kinesis and you need to pause it, or your Lambda is being constantly retried.

Can you stop an AWS Lambda Function? There is no way to stop a currently executing AWS Lambda function. But you can stop future invocations by setting concurrency to zero or disabling integrations. 

So, there’s a few different aspects to the topic of stopping a Lambda. Let me take you through some different options for stopping your AWS Lambda function so that you can decide which one makes most sense for your situation.

Can You Learn AWS On Your Own? How To Ensure Success.

There are many ways to learn AWS. But the thought of learning anything new on your own definitely seems daunting, right? So you might be wondering if AWS is one of those topics where it possible to teach yourself. Today, I’ll answer that.

Can you learn AWS on your own? Yes. Learning AWS can be done through self-study and that’s the same way that many learn AWS. There are also many online courses and communities to help you learn AWS on your own. 

So, there you have it! AWS can be learned on your own. But of course, there’s more to it than that. I do have a bunch of hints and tips that can make learning AWS on your own that little bit easier, if you’re curious, read on…

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What Are The Pre-Requisites To Learning AWS? 5 Topics You Probably Should Look Into First.

So, I’m guessing you’re new to AWS? If you are—you might be wondering what different things you should understand before deep diving into your learning. Well, you’re in the right place, since that’s exactly what we’ll discuss today.

What are the prerequisites to learning AWS? There are no mandatory pre-requisites to learning AWS. However knowledge of topics such as: the internet, command line interfaces, programming and “infrastructure as code” can be beneficial and might speed up the learning process. 

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But of course, it’s not very useful to just list these topics, let’s go through and discuss why and how these areas can help as pre-requisites to learning AWS.