Keeping up with Amazon Web Services

Even for someone who works with Amazon Web Services (AWS) on a daily basis, the pace and scale of new announcements coming from AWS can be daunting. For example, in 2016, AWS made 640 announcements covering a range of topics from price drops, new services, and even new features to existing services. We are only three-quarters of the way through 2017 and AWS has already exceeded that number and still going strong with re:Invent (Amazon’s annual conference for all things AWS, with features keynote announcements, training and certification opportunities) still six weeks away. But why so many announcements? Werner Vogels, Amazon’s CTO has stated on many occasions that Amazon has a philosophy of launching with a minimal feature set and then quickly iterating while prioritizing based on customer feedback.

So how can you be sure that someone you are hiring is truly an AWS expert? Make sure the resource you are hiring holds at least one AWS certification, preferably at the Professional level. To become AWS certified, you not only have to know how to implement and use AWS, but you also have to know how to do so in a secure, efficient, and cost-effective manner. Additionally, someone who works with AWS on a daily basis will have run across some very nuanced issues that casual users are just not exposed to. Additionally, AWS certifications are only good for two (2) years. After that, one must sit for a recertification exam, or test into the Professional level if they hold an Associate level certification. This ensures that those who hold current certifications are up-to-date with all the latest and relevant feature sets and best practices. There is even a small group of AWS practitioners who hold all five core certifications, in fact, one of Stratus10’s co-founders is a member of this elite group.

When we started working with AWS in 2007, there was only Simple Storage Service, commonly referred to as S3 and Elastic Compute Cloud, also known as EC2. Fast forward a decade later and there are over 120 different services offered by AWS ranging to traditional infrastructure services, cloud management tools, and even DevOps tools to rival the Atlassian suite of tools. But no matter how much effort Amazon puts into making AWS easy to use, there is still a steep learning curve. Having a partner, such as Stratus10, to help guide you will help speed up your company’s cloud adoption while also ensuring that you do so in a secure, efficient and cost-effective manner.

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