AWS Training and Certification Blog

Level Up Your Cloud Game with AWS Educate Builder Labs

Beginning your learning journey often starts with a single step: the decision to enhance your skills in a structured, measurable way. For me, that decision was driven by recognizing the increasing importance of cloud technology in our life – both at work and at home – and my desire to excel in this rapidly evolving field.

I’m Deepti, a Technology Associate at Strategio, and I’m passionate about leveraging cloud technologies to innovate and solve real-world problems. In my role, I help provide early-career, diverse technologists with accessible tech education. I love exploring new technologies and sharing my insights to empower the next generation of technologists.

Author Deepti Trivedi

I chose AWS Educate to start learning because it provides free, well-structured courses that blend descriptive slides with hands-on sandbox labs – a format I had come to appreciate for its effectiveness in other AWS Education Programs like AWS re/Start. These sandboxes are essentially temporary AWS environments that offer access to a wide range of AWS resources without the risk of incurring unexpected costs or impacting live environments. Of course, the appeal of earning a digital badge to display on my LinkedIn profile was undeniable, and it motivated me to grow my cloud experience and expertise.

Among the many badge-eligible courses in AWS Educate, the Builder Labs course in the Core Concepts section offered me the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with AWS services through the lens of building a real-world application. It’s great for new-to-cloud learners building on the basics of cloud. If you haven’t already, I recommend taking the Intro to Cloud 101 course before the Builder Labs course to make sure you have a basic understanding before diving into these labs!

Here’s a glimpse into my journey and why I believe these labs are a game-changer for cloud newbies.

The Essence of the AWS Educate Builder Labs course

In the AWS Educate Builder Labs course, you’ll develop a web application designed to aid learners in identifying bird species. The curriculum is sectioned into eight modules, each focusing on fundamental concepts ranging from security basics to microservices and serverless basics, along with three hands-on labs that apply these concepts in real-world scenarios.

Lab 1: Securing Applications with Amazon Cognito

Security is paramount in any application, and Lab 1 offers a deep dive into utilizing Amazon Cognito for managing user authentication and authorization. The lab walks through creating Cognito user and identity pools and integrating these with an existing web application to manage user access effectively. This lab showcases how AWS services could be harnessed to secure applications in a powerful manner.

Lab 2: Amazon DynamoDB— Bringing Data to Life

Transitioning to data management, Lab 2 introduces Amazon DynamoDB, and guides learners through creating a DynamoDB table and integrating it with a JavaScript application. This lab emphasizes the ease with which dynamic data can be incorporated into applications. By inserting records into the DynamoDB table and updating the web application to interact with this data, the lab illustrates how to manage and utilize data effectively.

Lab 3: Orchestrating Processes with AWS Step Functions

The final piece of the puzzle, Lab 3, explores the orchestration of multi-step processes using AWS Step Functions. This lab demonstrates how to automate workflows, how to coordinate actions necessary to generate and deliver a report, and displays the flexibility and power of AWS in automating and streamlining tasks.

Deep Dive into Lab 1

Now that I’ve laid out the basics of these three labs, let’s dive a bit deeper into the specifics of the first lab. Securing Applications by Using Amazon Cognito serves as an essential foundation for understanding the intricacies of managing user authentication and authorization in a cloud environment. This lab is particularly crucial as it tackles one of the most critical aspects of application development: security.

The lab is set against the backdrop of developing a “Birds” web application, which is intended to help learners study and report bird sightings. The application comprises a homepage, an educational page about birds, and two protected pages for viewing and reporting sightings. The challenge presented in the lab is to add authentication and authorization to ensure that only authenticated users can access certain parts of the application.

For me, this scenario is a brilliant choice because it mirrors real-world use cases where applications require secure access to sensitive information or functionalities. I was able to visualize the entire end-to-end security process and understand how to design apps that are efficient, secure, and compliant with data protection regulations.

For developers or architects involved in building secure cloud applications, understanding Amazon Cognito’s role is undeniably essential. Security is a top priority in all tech sectors and knowing how to implement robust authentication and authorization services is a valuable skill.

Builder labs architecture

Hands-on Experience with Amazon Cognito

Through a series of guided steps, learners implement security mechanisms using Amazon Cognito. This hands-on approach deconstructs the process of securing web applications and offers learners a clear understanding of how Amazon Cognito operates within the AWS ecosystem.

Getting hands-on with Amazon Cognito helped me learn how to set up and manage user and identity pools, as well as how to set up sign-in and sign-up options – all of which are crucial for apps that handle user data.

To ensure data and user privacy are protected, the ability to secure user data and manage access is invaluable. After practicing in a hands-on learning environment, I feel confident I can build apps that build trust with users and safeguard their data and privacy.


What sets the AWS Educate Builder Labs course apart is not just the technical knowledge I gained, but the context in which it is delivered. The labs are designed as integral components of a larger project, offering a comprehensive view of how various AWS services come together to build and secure an application. This approach enhances understanding and simulates real-world scenarios, preparing learners for the challenges and opportunities of working with AWS in professional settings.

The labs are well-structured, guiding learners through each step with clarity and purpose. The inclusion of real-world scenarios, like securing the Birds application or generating a teacher’s report, adds a layer of relatability and practical application that textbooks or lectures often miss. Additionally, the use of AWS sandboxes for these labs provides learners with a safe, controlled environment to experiment, learn, and build skills using real AWS services.

I highly recommend these labs to both beginners and seasoned tech professionals looking to refine their cloud security skills. Get started by taking the AWS Educate Builder Labs course at