Boost your AWS proficiency with Solution-Focused Immersion Days
Learning how various AWS services work can be a daunting task, especially for those who are new to the cloud. There are two dimensions of learning AWS: 1/ understanding what each AWS service does, and 2/ how to use each AWS service.
Understanding how each AWS service works can generally be done by reading educational materials, such as AWS Whitepapers or enrolling in a fundamental course on AWS Skill Builder. However, learning how to use an AWS service is a different challenge altogether. To understand how to use AWS, you need to get hands-on keyboard practice within an AWS account. However, if you choose to practice in your own AWS account, you may incur unexpected costs or forget to set up certain security guardrails. Particularly for those who are new to building on AWS, this presents a high barrier to entry to get started.
In today’s blog post, we will focus on how Solutions-Focused Immersion Days can help you on your AWS learning journey by providing an interactive learning environment and technical content taught directly by AWS Solutions Architects and specialists.
What is a Solutions-Focused Immersion Day?
AWS Solutions-Focused Immersion Days (SFIDs) are live, free virtual events designed to help individuals learn how to use AWS products and services or want to improve upon their existing AWS skills. Each SFID is between three to six hours in length and focuses on one or more related AWS services (see below for SFID options). SFIDs leverage a modular content format which feature both technical presentations and hands-on labs to help learners understand how to build, deploy, and operate infrastructure and applications in the cloud. There are a wide variety of topics that are covered at different expertise levels, allowing a broad audience from all different businesses and industries to benefit. These events are designed for the technical audience including Infrastructure Administrators, Database Administrators, Developers, and Architects. However, anyone is welcome to attend and learn new skills. SFID participants join the event through an online meeting platform and can engage with the AWS Solutions Architects and subject matter experts live. For each SFID there are AWS moderators who actively answer questions and address concerns.
Why are SFIDs useful?
SFIDs present curated and updated information about AWS services, to keep your skills current as AWS services are continually updated. Additionally, each SFIDs’ content and labs follow the AWS Well Architected Framework, ensuring you are learning not only how to use each AWS service, but how to use it in accordance with best practices. Regardless of whether you are new to AWS or an experienced user, there is always something new you can learn from an SFID.
Each SFID includes hands-on labs so you can experience building with AWS. These labs are done using AWS accounts provided to you at no charge for the duration of the SFID event. Additionally, these AWS accounts come pre-provisioned with security guardrails and limitations. During each lab session, an AWS Solutions Architect or subject matter expert will share their screen and guide you step-by-step through the process. You may either follow along in your provisioned AWS account or just observe the session and do the lab on your own time. These labs present an excellent opportunity to get hands-on experience with AWS services without fear of incurring unexpected costs or security risks.
SFID topics and where to start
Each SFID is built around a specific AWS technical topic. Every month, there is a series of SFIDs that cover different solutions, and based on feedback from the customer surveys, the most well-received and popular topics are brought back for future immersion days. If you have no prior experience with AWS, we recommend starting with the introductory SFID session called Introduction to AWS. This is a two-day technical workshop that gives high-level hands-on training for core AWS concepts and services, including compute, monitoring, security, networking, and storage.
Once you have some foundational knowledge of AWS and the cloud, there are a variety of more advanced SFIDs to choose from, which you can take in any order you wish. For reference, this is a list of SFIDs that have been conducted in the past and will likely return:
- Getting Started with Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
- Data Protection of application resources using AWS Backup
- Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) Replication and Resiliency Workshop
- Hybrid Cloud Storage with Storage Gateway
- Getting Started with Amazon Storage – Simple Storage Service and Elastic File System
- Disaster Recover Strategies on AWS
- Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP Storage Workshop
- RDS SQL Server Deep Dive Immersion Day
- Securing your applications at the edge with Web Application Firewall (WAF)
- Introduction to AWS Identify Access and Management (IAM)
- Getting Started with Monitoring and Cost
- Building a Data Lake on AWS
- Getting started with DynamoDB
- Getting Started with Amazon Compute Cloud (EC2) and Autoscaling
- Getting Started with Serverless
- Simplify your data integration with AWS Glue
Earn digital badges as you complete SFIDs
Once you start attending AWS technology learning events, including SFIDs, you can start participating in the AWS Builder’s Quest. AWS Builder’s Quest provides recognition for those who attend and learn from SFIDs. As you complete SFIDs, you can earn digital badges. There are two types of digital badges earned for AWS Builder’s Quest: Learning Participant badges and Level badges.
An AWS Builder’s Quest Learning Participant badge shows that you have successfully completed a formal technology learning event. After finishing each SFID and completing the event survey, you’ll earn a Learning Participation badge.
As you accumulate Learning Participant badges, you will be rewarded a Level badge. There are 5 Level badges: Bronze for when you earn three Learning badges; silver for five; gold for 10; platinum for 15; and diamond for completing 20. Builders can visually represent their achievements using these digital badges and showcase their learning journey on professional networks such as LinkedIn.
How to sign up
Signing up for a Solutions-Focused Immersion Day is easy. Go to the website, find an event that interests you, and register through the event page. We hope to see you soon at an SFID, and look forward to cheering you on your AWS Cloud journey.