Margaret Walker – My journey into AWS

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My journey into AWS started through the Ten10 Academy. The core training provided me with a good foundation of background information such as programming, writing HTML and the basics of how computers and the internet work. Whilst the core training did not reference AWS directly, many of the skills taught lend themselves to understanding the fundamental principles of cloud computing. In retrospect, this foundation of knowledge gave me a foot up as I explored AWS for the first time.

After the core training, I embarked on the DevOps specialised training pathway. This covered topics including network troubleshooting, using Linux from the command line, writing configuration as code, writing infrastructure as code, and how to use some of the different AWS services. I gained experience using core AWS services, primarily EC2, with a few different hands-on projects. One of these projects involved setting up a VPC with a public and a private subnet. For this, we used Ansible to install Apache on the private EC2 instance to set up a simple webpage and install and configure Nginx as a reverse proxy on the public instance to see the webpage from the public internet.

Following training, I joined the DevOps, Cloud and Platform Engineering Consulting team at Ten10. I immediately began learning more about AWS to work towards taking the AWS Developer Associate exam and getting certified.

As part of my development, I have done a few projects independently with some help from the rest of the DOCP team. One of these projects was to set up Grafana on an EC2 instance. Although Amazon does offer a service for Grafana, I decided to set it up the hard way and added a few extra steps so I would have more chances to learn. I used AWS CDK to set up the infrastructure; this let me write the infrastructure as code in TypeScript, and, with a few commands, CDK generated and deployed the synthesised CloudFormation template. I also used Route53 to give the Grafana dashboard a custom URL. Something useful with EC2 via the CDK was that I could reuse constructs to quickly spin up multiple instances in a repeatable and immutable manner. I see the benefits of using this, with a Load Balancer and AutoScaling Group, to build a highly available and scalable application.

I primarily used the A Cloud Guru course for the AWS Developer Associate exam. This course has different topics broken down into many short videos with labs, quizzes and practice exams to check your understanding. The way AWS allows for the provisioning of sandbox accounts and how A Cloud Guru has leveraged this for the labs is exciting and quite functional for learning. AWS also has fantastic documentation on all the services I have explored. Compared with other services I have used, the official AWS documentation is unparalleled.

My journey into AWS is still in the early stages, but I enjoy working with the various services. I recently gained the AWS Developer Associate certification and hope to eventually get the DevOps Professional certification. This should help me deliver value to our clients across various pillars, including cost optimisation, high availability, and security.

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