Dear DevOps Abby

Can I get some help, please?

Today on “Ask AWS Abby”, I’m going to talk about one of my #1 most frequently asked questions:  “how do I get help for my AWS resources?”  There are a ton of options, and I’m not sure everyone is aware of what’s out there.  Let’s look at all of them!

 


 

If you have an urgent/production impacting issue/you want to report/abuse:

Your best bet here is AWS Support.  This depends on the plan you have, and you can find the breakdown of options here:  https://aws.amazon.com/contact-us/ 

A few tips for AWS Support:

  • Find out what kind of support you have first.  If it’s paid support, you have a few more options.  We’ll get to that in a bit.

If you have basic (free) support:

  • Rule out what you can:  check the AWS Developer Forums first, and try and debug issues with other services dependencies.  For example, if your ECS Service isn’t receiving requests, check the EC2 Security Group to see if the port has been opened (I used to do this ALL. THE. TIME.  Ask Nathan Peck).
  • If you think you’ve found a bug/reporting abuse/need a limit increase, proceed with contacting support.

If you have paid support (developer, business, enterprise)**:

  • Send as many details as possible.  Include logs, screenshots, steps to reproduce.  You can attach this stuff right to the ticket.
  • Check the logs first!  Often, you can find out more specifically what an issue is, and that helps support help you!  For example, you might hit an error because you’ve hit a service limit.  Service limit increase requests go through pretty fast, and can be submitted here.
  • If you keep looking into the issue internally (you should!), definitely keep updating the ticket with your new findings.
  • If you solve the issue on your own, let support know!  If you’re feeling extra nice, let them know what the issue was (we’ll talk more about that in a second).

**If you want paid support, you can see the options here.  You can change your support plan in your account (and see your existing plan) like this:

Click "Support" at the top right-hand corner of the console

Click “Support” at the top right-hand corner of the console

 

See your current plan, or click "change" to choose a new one

See your current plan, or click “change” to choose a new one

Just a note:  if you do change your support plan, you’ll need to be logged in as the root account, not as an IAM user.

 

If you want to report a bug:

Still head to support here, but with some added steps.  If it were me, I’d still include as much information as possible (logs, screenshots, steps to reproduce).  This is extra important for the bug reporting step.  The more information you can send Support, the more they can help get to the right people who can help.

In addition, use your resources!  In the past, when I’ve had an Account Manager assigned to my account,  I’ve CC’d them on a bug reporting ticket so that they could help me track things internally.  If you don’t know whether you have an AM, or you have one and don’t know who your AM is (“well Joe knew but he left 6 months ago and now no one knows”), you can reach out to support and ask!

Once you’ve done that, you can also reach out to other AWS resources and ask if they’re aware/know a workaround/have them report the bug as well. This might include one of the Evangelists, or one of the Developer Advocates for the service that you’re talking about.  For example, Chris Munns for Serverless.

The key here is opening the ticket with support first.  Everyone else will always ask if there is a ticket.

 

If you have a non-urgent issue/you just want an opinion/advice:

  • This blog (because who would I be if I didn’t shamelessly self-promote).
  • Talk to an Evangelist/Developer Advocate
  • Try the AWS Developers Slack Channel: awsdevelopers.slack.com
  • Watch the “This is My Architecture” series on YouTube:  this series features AWS customers talking about how their infrastructure works, and it’s awesome/educational.
  • Watch the AWS Twitch channel:  this includes both event recaps/interviews, like from SF Summit this year, and ongoing shows, like Tara Walker’s TechBytes. The channel has both recordings of previous shows and sessions, and also the schedule for live content!  There are new Twitch streams up every week on twitch.tv/aws.
  • Follow or chat with an AWS Community Hero:  these are super active members of the community, and they know their stuff!  Find the full list here: https://aws.amazon.com/heroes/
  • Your account team! This could be an AWS Account Manager (AM), or a Solutions Architect (SA), or a Technical Account Manager (TAM).  Depending on your support plan, you might have access to any and/or all of these.  For example, everyone using Enterprise Support has access to a TAM. If you’re curious about any of these points of contact, reach out to Support.
This is My Architecture

This is My Architecture

 

If you’re looking for code samples/walkthroughs/how to use a service:

  • If I’m looking to get started with a new service, I usually start with the “What’s new” blog post!  These are written by Jeff Barr and Randall Hunt, and both introduce the new service, and build something with it!  You can see all the posts here, but I usually find them through Twitter when the service is announced.  You do you.
  • Post blog post, you can head to the documentation (which is usually linked).
  • For code samples, you can check out Github.  For official samples, try: https://github.com/awslabs or https://github.com/aws-samples.  You can also find personal examples through some of the Evangelists/Developer Advocates/Service team members. Here are a few to get you started: https://github.com/ranman, https://github.com/brentleyhttps://github.com/nathanpeck
  • In addition to the code samples, there are tons of workshops out there for more a more in-depth experience learning a service.  For example, here is one for ECS by Brent Langston, Containers DA: https://ecsworkshop.com/

 

Finally, your best resource is always the AWS community.  Join a Meetup, or an AWS User Group.  Don’t have one in your area?  Start a new one!  And even more importantly, give back.  If you find a solution to something, or solve a problem, or fix a bug, or write something cool- share it.  Don’t be that person on Stack Overflow that asks a question and then responds back four months later “nvm figured it out”, and doesn’t post the solution.

 

AWS User Groups

AWS User Groups

 

That was a long list!  Have your own favorite workshop/open source tool/community trick?  Let me know on Twitter with the #awsawsabby tag!