Getting Started with AWS with David Tucker

Episode #7 Published Wednesday, August 5, 2020

This week, I talk with David Tucker about getting started with Amazon Web Services, or AWS. We discuss the various options in AWS for running applications, storing data, AI, analytics and more. And we also talk about resources to get started with AWS.

David is a Webby Award winning cloud development consultant that focuses on cloud native custom development strategy. For over fifteen years as a consultant David has led custom software development on emerging platforms for companies such as FedEx, AT&T, Sony Music, Intel, Comcast, Herman Miller, Principal Financial, and Adobe (as well as many others). David regularly writes and speaks on the digital landscape with published works for Pluralsight, O’Reilly, and Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning). He has written for Mashable, Smashing Magazine, and VentureBeat, and he has spoken at events like AdTech, Interop, and Adobe Max.

Show resources:

Full transcript:

Barry Luijbregts  0:20  

Welcome to another episode of developer weekly. This week, I'm talking with David Ducker about getting started with Amazon Web Services or AWS. David is a cloud development consultant and author at Pluralsight, O'Reilly LinkedIn learning and much more. Thanks for being on the show. David's. How are you doing? 

David Tucker

I'm doing excellent. Thank you for having me on.

 

Barry Luijbregts  0:46  

Yeah, I know. It's a very interesting topic. I usually get into as your topics as I I love as you and I have been playing with it since its conception. So I don't know much about AWS and I would love to Learn from you, because AWS is actually a lot older than Azure, right?

 

David Tucker  1:05  

Yeah, that's correct. And so AWS really began began this entire space. And one of the interesting things is, you know, when we look at it, they have kind of evolved the entire concept of what it means to even be a cloud provider. And so AWS, in a lot of ways has led the way in this area. But obviously, we've seen providers like Azure, come up and provide very similar services in a lot of areas. But yet, it's still confusing when you're dealing with any platform that has so many different options and services included in it.

 

Barry Luijbregts  1:36  

Yeah, absolutely. That's also what I usually try to do in Azure as in tell people which services they can use for which scenarios because that is very confusing. There are hundreds of services. For your scenario, which one do you pick, and there's lots of overlap as well. So how did you even get into the topic of AWS?

 

David Tucker  1:56  

Well, I could I could go back to almost the beginning of my career. I'll Just give a super, super quick highlight. I remember when I was working at a university here in the States, and I was helping to consult on research projects with the university. And I remember the first time I could actually fire up virtual servers, like multiple virtual servers on my own machine. And I just remember the excitement of being like I can make anything I want to make with this. And so when the cloud came out, I started to understand more about the public cloud, it really was helping with a lot of the challenges that I was seeing with my development projects, just figuring out how to handle storage, for example, and how to spin up web servers because I really my initial development was in just being a web developer. I wanted to figure out how I could go beyond what I could do just with a co located server, which was how I was doing a lot of my work. And so with that the cloud became a really a big interest for me because it enabled me to do so much more than I could do with what I had.

 

Barry Luijbregts  2:55  

Right? Yeah, the cloud is, is an amazing place. So let's just let's just start right there, as in cloud in general, why is that even interesting over, let's say, a server that's under your desk?

 

David Tucker  3:09  

Yeah, I think for I think, especially when we think about today's climate in terms of development and technology in general, the exciting thing here is, we've made it accessible to pretty much everyone. I remember when I first started as a developer, you had to have so much money to be able to set up something that could scale to even meet thousands of users. And the exciting thing here is now if you're a developer, and you have an idea, you can bring it to millions of people, and really only pay for what you're actually using. Back. When we think about traditional data centers with the ability to scale you had to predict the amount of loads we're going to have, you had to get more servers than what you needed. You had to have access to a data center. And it's just we've almost democratized getting technology in the hands of people and that to me, is what's most exciting about it?

 

Barry Luijbregts  4:02  

Yeah, that is very exciting to me as well. Because, you know, basically now if you have an idea, you can just bring it to market. It doesn't really matter if you have no budget or anything, you can just put it all in the cloud on serverless services. And it just works. It's amazing. Absolutely. Yeah, it still excites me to this day as well, because cloud services evolve quickly, as well, as in back in the day, I used to work with web applications a lot. And they also needed to be scalable, even if they would run on virtual machines on premises or wherever. So then we would build web farms, and those web farms within their be connected to each other and scale, which was a very, very difficult thing to do with sharing session state and things like that. And nowadays, it's just a slider. You just slide to scale up and down and it's just crazy how much time I have invested into learning that and actually getting things to run on that. And now it's just a slider. It kind of makes me sad, but also very excited.

 

David Tucker  5:08  

I totally agree. And I think only people like us who have lived in both of these worlds really understand the brilliance of what we have currently. And one of the interesting things is, is that it means that in some ways, we're doing less. And I think for some people, that reaction is almost, it's a little, it's almost a little troubling for them because they feel like, Well, I know how to do all this complex things. Like for example, like you're talking about setting up some type of store for doing session state and keeping that across an entire cluster of servers. But what we've learned is we get to now focus in not on all of these things required to do something but we can really focus in on the application we're building and not any of these other things.

 

Barry Luijbregts  5:50  

Exactly. The cloud takes care of the plumbing for us and we just focus on creating value for the customers.

So AWS What can you do for us? Let's say I'm a dotnet developer, which I am and I create, let's say, an ASP. NET Core web application, which is just a web application that can run anywhere. Really? Where would I run that in AWS? How would that work?

 

David Tucker  6:14  

Well, that's a great question. And one of the things that I've seen because several of my clients are primarily dotnet shops as well. However, for some of them, whether it's for financial reasons, or existing relationships, they have, they've chosen to go the AWS route. And again, for most developers, that decision is going to be made, you know, by their company yet at a high level. So you could be a dotnet developer, and maybe again, you really love Azure, you use it for all of your side projects, but all of a sudden, you find yourself trying to figure out how do I work in this AWS space. And when we look at the problem, like you mentioned, trying to figure out where to run something like this A dotnet core application, that's a web application. One of the great things is just like on Azure, you have a lot of different choices depending on what you needed to do. So when we started off with eight have us, you know, there really was a couple of ways to do this. But we've seen new services expand. And so, you know, if you're looking for the serverless type approach, where you're really trying to minimize the amount of maintenance, you're going to have to have looking at a service like AWS lambda, which really, when lambda launched, it really kicked off this serverless concept across most all of the cloud platforms. And they now have some equivalent, it gives you the ability to do something closer to what we would call Functions as a Service f as within the cloud, but you still have the ability if you need to, to either spin up a container with the container service, it's available on AWS, which we call ECS. Or just spin up your virtual servers, if that's what you're more comfortable with using EC two, which is a service that's been around really since about the beginning of AWS.

 

Barry Luijbregts  7:45  

Right. So you could use lambda, which is the serverless service to run an complete website in it.

 

David Tucker  7:54  

Yeah, that's correct. And in most cases, we'll see this actually paired if you're doing a serverless approach. So if you're Looking to do, let's say maybe a single page application type approach. And so you're going to build and react or Angular or view. And you're going to host that in s3, which is the object storage service that we have within AWS. And then you're going to do all of your API calls through lambda. So if you're looking to do more of that type of web application, then you'll just see all of that logic handled within lambda, but the hosting in s3. But if you're doing more of a traditional web application, then you can look at using ECS, it's still possible to do it in lambda, but it's a little bit more complicated in that approach. So that's when you generally see people moving over to more of a containerized approach.

 

Barry Luijbregts  8:38  

And why would you use containers, really, in this case? Sure. 

 

David Tucker  8:43  

So in this case, when we're thinking about, you know, building out a traditional application where, you know, you're not adopting a front end, you know, web framework that's going to handle all the rendering for you and you're doing more page based, when you're looking at running something that's going to run over an extended period of time. One of the limitations that you have in working with a solution like lambda is it even though you get the benefits of it being more of a serverless type approach, you you have specific limits for how it can run and for how much memory it can have. And so in some cases, you could build an entire an entire traditional web application to run within those constructs. However, it probably would end up feeling a little bit limiting when you, when you're running something on a container, you obviously you lose those limits, you have the ability to give it as much time as it needs to run and because it's always going to be up and running. Or you could even set it to just run based on traffic. But you also lose that memory limit as well. You have the ability to configure it to have as much memory as you needed to have. So again, it would depend on what your limits are. But you gain the ability and using a specific service within ECS called fargate. You lose the the kind of the burden of having to manage your underlying cluster that your containers are running on. So you can do it in a much more efficient way than what we use To have to do when we were managing those clusters ourselves.

 

Barry Luijbregts  10:02  

And that is fargate. Is that then a container orchestrator?

 

David Tucker  10:07  

Yes. So it pairs with the AWS service called ECS. So there's really two different approaches, you can take on AWS, if you're interested in running a container. So you have ECS, which is Amazon's native service for running containers in the cloud. They also have Eks, for people that are interested in doing the full Kubernetes workflow. But with ECS, you have the option to use this sub service called fargate. And it totally manages the underlying layer for you. And this was one of the challenges that those of us that that when we were starting off, and we were trying to use ECS over Kubernetes. The challenge was the effective way to manage that underlying layer, because initially Kubernetes just did that better. But with fargate AWS has totally built up a native service for this and managing that underlying layer. So you don't even have to think about it. As a developer, you can simply say, I want to have this container running. I want to have this menu. instance is up and running. And I want it to be able to, you know, meet this demand and the rest of it will be handled for it. Right. So if you would compare fargate to Kubernetes service, then fargate is even more platform as a service as in you don't have to do as much then Kubernetes. Absolutely. And and so you, you gain, you have a little bit less control, but you haven't been fully managed, as opposed to, you know, with Kubernetes, as you mentioned, you'd have, you'd have a lot more things you'd have to control and a lot more things that could go wrong. In some situations, that's exactly what you need. But for most cases, especially with the clients that I work with, that they actually need less control, because the platform is going to manage it efficiently for them.

 

Barry Luijbregts  11:39  

Yeah. Okay. Oh, that's a great option, actually. Because I like containers. And I like the concept of containers, and that you can just take it and run it locally. And it's the exact same thing that you run into Cloud, but I always, I'm not sure you know, because it's so Infrastructure as a Service, especially when you use Kubernetes. Because then stuff You have to manage that whole infrastructure. And that's just not what I want to do. I want to just focus on creating stuff

 

David Tucker  12:06  

Exactly. And this brings up what I think is the number one mistake that new developers make when moving into the cloud. And that's because especially if they're more senior developers, they immediately shift to the more complex option, instead of what's the option that's going to allow me to maximize the time I spend maintaining whatever I build. And I think you see that with even organizations, they'll, they'll say, Well, of course, we need Kubernetes. We need all of those controls. And yet they don't ever factor in the maintenance time to the solutions that they build. I've worked with clients that really do need those controls. But again, I would say a vast majority of them, do not. And so with the cloud, one of the things I encourage new developers with is is choose the minimum approach that will allow you to get the objectives that you need. You can always add new things in later you can always adjust your approach. But in the beginning build something for The minimum amount of maintenance that you need long term that still meets the needs of the users that are going to be using it.

 

Barry Luijbregts  13:05  

Right. Because Is it easy to migrate from service to service?

 

David Tucker  13:09  

Yeah, one of the great things about a lot of the services is you do have that ability to migrate aspects of it. So if you're using a container, so especially if let's take a look at the container services, ECS, fargate, and Eks. Within that approach, you're still using a Docker container no matter which direction you choose. So if you wanted to start off by using fargate, and then you know what we really need the controls that Kubernetes provides for us, absolutely, you can make that switch, there will be some work in switching. But it's not going to be it's a little easier to to go from a simpler solution to a more complex one than it is to work backwards and go from the more complex one to the simple one.

 

Barry Luijbregts  13:47  

All right. So that's great. That's a couple of options. And those are actually a lot less options to run your application and then as your has, which is a great thing, I think because there's so much overlap always and it's difficult to choose things from. So what about storing data? What would you use for that?

 

David Tucker  14:04  

Yeah, and this this, there are a couple of options here with this as well. And I think this is one of the things that's important to remember to those of us that have been in the cloud for a while is that chances are when we started in the cloud, there were a lot less options. And now that there's so many options, it's a little bit more overwhelming for new developers that are getting into the platform. But for most things, in terms of storage on AWS, you're going to be looking at s3, which is just one of the most important services on the entire platform. Now, if you're talking about things like where you're actually attaching volumes to virtual servers, there's there's other services that you're going to be leveraging. But when you're simply talking about storage, whether that's storing things like user generated content, from your web application or your mobile application, or whether you're talking about storing a log data or whether you're talking about you know, really storing any type of just general data In those cases, s3 is going to be the solution for you. And one of the things that I think developers can sometimes be fooled by is it's very simple to get into s3 and to go in and upload files into s3. And you might think well, that's that's all this is, right? This just stores files. But you can begin to know some of the capabilities that are provided with s3 that really do differentiate it being you know, one is there's lifecycle configuration. So you've got the ability to move your data between, you know, warm storage to cold storage to a true complete cold, cold archive storage, you've got the ability to use it for a data lake. So you've got the ability to even go in and run queries against unstructured data that's stored within your s3 buckets. There's, I mean, really, there's so much that s3 does, and it all ties in very nicely with AWS is authorization tool, which is I am so you can control who has access to it and even set up some very specific policies for things like controlling who can access it from, from a user perspective, from an IP perspective, there's there's a lot of different options. So s3 is really the powerhouse storage service that we have on AWS. And then you use that to store unstructured data.

 

Barry Luijbregts  16:09  

So normal relational data, right? 

 

David Tucker  16:10  

Correct. So we can see, I know a lot of organizations that will dump For example, let's say large amounts of log data into s3 directly. And as mentioned, you can use a service called Athena to go in and actually run queries against that data. Again, you can also use it just as easily to store you know, photos that people upload as a part of your web application. And again, use that to potentially use the lifecycle rules to move that back and forth between warm storage and cold storage, for example. And one of the great things about s3 as well is built into that by default, depending on how you configure it, but you have the ability to also have URLs to every object that you store within s3. So if you want to use it as storage for your web assets, you have the ability to do that if you want to be able to just make something available to the public and throw it out there so you can have a download link. You can Do that. And then you also compare this in with another service, which is called Amazon CloudFront, which is Amazon's global content delivery network. So you can utilize pair s3 with CloudFront. And now you've distributed your content out to all of their edge locations. And you see a lot of people using this with their web applications for storing their static assets. And doing it this way, you're really optimizing the download speed. For anyone that's using your web application, we can see great increases over just using s3 by pairing it with CloudFront.

 

Barry Luijbregts  17:30  

Right. So just for the listeners, if you didn't catch that, then CloudFront is a content delivery network, which makes sure that stuff that you put in there, like static files, like JavaScript files, or images, get to be populated to edges that are very close to the user's little data centers that are always close to the user so that the data is always close to you. And therefore you have less latency and things are more performance.

 

David Tucker  17:57  

Absolutely. And so that's cool in AWS has many, many edge locations. I forget the exact number now, but I'm pretty sure we're north of 200 edge locations around the world. So you can really see your content spread out. And this is another one of the things that just gets me excited when we think about kind of how things used to be versus how they are now, the fact that virtually anyone can take and distribute their content and send it out to servers, you know, from, from Europe, to Asia, to North America, South America, you can just send it out through just really with one click of the mouse, within five to 10 minutes, you're gonna have that content all around the world. That's something that's still really excites me.

 

Barry Luijbregts  18:32  

Yeah. It's it's just a massive scale, isn't it? It's the extreme, massive scale that is so easy to use with the cloud. It's just still amazing to me. Absolutely. So what about relational data, like a SQL database? For instance, can I put that somewhere in AWS?

 

David Tucker  18:48  

 Absolutely. And so there's several different approaches that you can take, but the core service for relational databases on AWS is called RDS or relational database service. And the great thing here is we're not just talking about, you know, using an AWS specific database, you have access here to SQL Server, you have access to MySQL, you have, you know, access to Postgres and Maria dB, there's several choices. But in addition to that, you also do have access to something that's AWS specific. And that's called Aurora. And that's a database engine that really was built for the cloud. So they built that themselves, but they really targeted it at being both MySQL and Postgres compatible. So you actually can pick when you create an overall database, hey, do I want it to be MySQL compatible, or Postgres compatible, and you can use all of the same libraries. So one of the great benefits is, if you're used to using either of those databases, then you simply can create a database in RDS that's Aurora, and you don't have to change any of your code to get it to work with Aurora. It just works out of the box. And one of the really exciting things that they also have developed with this is there's a concept called Aurora serverless. So if you have a database, maybe you have a side project and You're just you want to have access to a database, but you don't want to pay for one to be up all the time with serverless, you gain the ability to basically have this database spin up and spin down as needed, and even scale as needed without you having to worry about managing those underlying database instances. So we're certainly seeing a lot more in this area, there's still a few negative aspects of using the serverless approach. They're still kind of maturing that product over time. But it's really exciting to see those kind of concepts factor in now two databases as well as you know, compute resources that we have with lambda.

 

Barry Luijbregts  20:29  

Yeah, that's very exciting. What a cool name. By the way, I'll roll rock. There are cool names in AWS.

 

David Tucker  20:36  

I will give you one comment on the names. One thing you do have to be careful with when you're learning about AWS as a developer is a lot of the services have similar names. And so one of the things that I always hear back from learners when they're getting ready for certification tests is there's so many services to memorize. And we have things like cloud search versus cloud formation versus, you know, cloud trail all of these sounded the same, how do I you know, so so that's just where Other things to let developers know if you're struggling with that you're not the only one. There's, you know, 212 services right now on AWS. And sometimes it can be hard to remember all of the different names and what they mean.

 

Barry Luijbregts  21:10  

Yeah, absolutely. And they might change as well, like Microsoft Azure, they sometimes change because the marketing team just decides that another name just sounds better, or is better for the markets. Yes, definitely. So what about big data and data analytics, because you talked about that a little bit already, that you can use, it was s3, I think, also to run to store your big, non relational data and then do a bit of data analytics over that other services as well.

 

David Tucker  21:39  

Yeah, there are and there's there's actually a growing number of services in this area. This is an area that I think AWS has really placed a lot of emphasis on in the last few years. We've even seen them develop what we call specialty certifications for both big data which is now called analytics and also within machine learning. And these areas really do intersect. So if you're looking for more of a traditional data warehousing approach, this is where we have a service called redshift. And so this is what's going to give you, you know, again, column based storage for structured data, where you can store it at a petabyte scale. So large, large amounts of data. So that's where we see a lot of organizations shift. They're looking for more of that data warehouse approach. Now, if you're looking for more of that data lake approach, this is where we see organizations looking to use s3 for that type of data storage. And AWS has even tried to make this easier with a service called Lake formation, which any of their services that that end in formation are really there to help you build out an initial capability in this area to launch infrastructure. So Lake formation tries to go in and set up data lake constructs go in and actually set up some aspects of governance and they even have services you can integrate with it that will help to go through and identify using Machine Learning identify sensitive data and make sure that that's being handled properly as well. So this is an exciting area, there's so many services. You know, if you're an organization that's used to using traditional if you're if you're used to using Apache Spark, for example, you know, we have the service EMR, which is elastic MapReduce, which will allow you to have access to all of those same tools within AWS, but in a way where they're managing that for you, it's really more of a platform as a service approach when you're doing that, but there also are, you know, cloud native tools that you can interact with as well. And then we have the entire suite, with Sage maker, for example, that will enable us to go in and take all the data that we have stored in and begin to create machine learning solutions on top of what's there. Ah, very cool.

 

Barry Luijbregts  23:43  

And what about visualizing that data?

 

David Tucker  23:47  

So we have some different tools. And here's, here's where I'm going to be really honest with you, because I know that you know, some people that work in a platform like AWS, just always believe AWS is the best solution. But here you know if we have people that are used to working within power Bi and Tableau, for example. You know, AWS has a service called Quick side. And it's a really good service, it doesn't have the capabilities that you would see in a Power BI or a tableau solution. But for some organizations, the solutions there are adequate for what they need. I've moved several of my clients on to quick site, because they have some very, pretty basic needs in terms of data visualization. And with quick site, you can go in just as you can with those other services and create customized dashboards that are tied into your data. And you can do that, you know, you can marry together your structured and unstructured data into a single into a single view. And, you know, for a lot of organizations, that type of data insight is just something that you know, something that they use on a daily basis. But I will say again, if you're looking for some really advanced visualization use cases, solutions, like Power BI and Tableau are they're going to be a little bit a step ahead of what we have within quick sight.

 

Barry Luijbregts  24:50  

Okay, well, you should choose a tool that's best for you and appreciate a tool that's in your preferred platform.

 

Barry Luijbregts  24:58  

All right. So we're building quite intricate Already, we can run our websites, we can store our data, we can use containers, if we want to, we can do data analytics, if we want to. What about if I want to do something with IoT?

 

David Tucker  25:11  

Like I have a little device or I have many devices? And that sends many, many millions of messages to the cloud? Is there something for that? Absolutely. And what we see here within a service called AWS IoT is that one of the great benefits of it is that it does integrate seamlessly into a lot of the other services that we've already mentioned. And This to me is while I totally agree with what you mentioned previously, we need to use the service that's best for whatever solution we need. One of the things I will say too, is when we do pick services that are in the platform that we're in, we do usually get some advantages with that. And I think here One of the advantages in using AWS IoT is we can see this integrated in a great way with services like lambda, for example and with with some of the messaging services that We have within AWS. So it becomes very easy for us to go in and configure even if we have millions of messages coming in from our IoT devices, we can see them, you know, come in, we can analyze them, we can get analytics on them using some tools with what we call Amazon kinesis, which is the stream processing solution we have on AWS, we can then based on certain conditions, fire off a compute instance with lambda to actually perform some action on the data that's coming in. And we can store that data, even if it's unstructured in s3 and get that data lake capability that we talked about previously. So I really think the IoT example is really a strong use case for pairing some of these services together, because of all the tight integration that can happen when you're working within a platform like AWS.

 

Barry Luijbregts  26:44  

Yeah. And then from there, you have lots of data that you can then do machine learning on and use artificial intelligence to discover what's in the data or to use it for different purposes. I'll bet you guys probably have a lot of Artificial intelligence services as well like as your cognitive services that is artificial intelligence as a service, which is really a software as a service offering. What is what is there in AWS for that?

 

David Tucker  27:11  

Absolutely. So the equivalent services to the cognitive services in Azure is that on AWS, we have what they call their AI services. And they're very similar in nature. And this is one of the things I love really about both Azure and AWS, you know, for some organizations, especially if we look, you know, three, four years in the past, it was really difficult for them to get up to speed with using any aspect of machine learning or AI because it required them to have a very specific skill set, they had to have people that were really at the time kind of on the cutting edge, they had to have a lot of expensive hardware to do some GPU based processing. And and what we see here is we've really lowered the barrier for what it takes for organizations to get in and use these kind of services. So on AWS, we have a whole suite of them and it can be you know, ones like for example, AWS recognition. This is the Computer Vision service. And so with this, you can go in and get keywords back from an image. For example, if we want to just understand what is detected within that image, we can get those back. We also can go in and store faces within recognition and then detect those faces in other images, we can even go through and try to determine the emotion of someone within a particular image. And that's just that's just really the tip of the iceberg of what's possible. We also have the ability to go in and get take text and convert audio of text into into actual text that we can work with. We can take text that we submit and have it be converted into a voice actually speaking that so we have so many different things that cover you know, visual use cases from computer vision to natural language processing. To regression, we have a service called AWS forecasts that is able to actually just based on the data that you input, create a regression model and be able to predict future values. So we really see a wide range of services. that people can simply use, you know, in a SaaS based approach to fully take advantage of machine learning, but without having to build their own models and go through all the complexities that come with that.

 

Barry Luijbregts  29:09  

Yeah, I think that's a very good approach to get people into AI as well, because it's very complex to to show. And when you use these, you can just get started. And if you want to customize, you can always do that later.

 

Barry Luijbregts  29:23  

So I would like to use Visual Studio and Visual Studio code to create my applications. Are there any extensions for AWS in Visual Studio Visual Studio code so that I can easily deploy stuff or maybe talk to API's within AWS?

 

David Tucker  29:42  

Sure, that's, that's a great question. And in first, let me just, I'll throw out the irony here that, you know, for a long time, I was a developer, not in the Microsoft world. And I you know, I was on a Mac and I was, you know, I was doing iOS development for a long period of time. And it's funny if you would have ever told me that so much of what I'm doing would would shift over to the Microsoft stack, I probably wouldn't have believed you. But even me on a daily basis, I'm using Visual Studio code as my primary editor in working with AWS and in working with Azure with some of my clients. And so one of the great things we have here is there are multiple extensions that are available for AWS in terms of working with within Visual Studio code. This actually is the primary editor I see them creating extensions for so you have depending on what you're doing within within AWS, there's going to be several different extensions that you can take advantage of including just, you know, some basic extensions that that cover, you know, wide use cases and then some very specific extensions for working with specific things like for example, the the cDk, which is AWS, one of AWS tools for doing infrastructures code. So there are there are several different options that are available to you. And if you're using Visual Studio code, especially, I think you'll you'll probably feel right at home working within AWS.

 

Barry Luijbregts  30:54  

I expected as much. There probably are lots of extensions just like they offer as your Course. Yes. As in Visual Studio code in Visual Studio as well. So So Amazon just tell it's it seems like a very complete platform, of course, because it's very mature. And it has all these offerings for basically everything that you can think of. How do you best get started with it? As in? Are there guides or websites that you can go to? What's the best way to get started?

 

David Tucker  31:25  

Yeah, absolutely. I think for for most developers, there are some great resources that AWS does provide to kind of help you take those first steps. One of the things that I probably would selfishly say this is I've actually spent a lot of time thinking about how to get developers started on AWS. And a lot of this went into a path that I have on Pluralsight. And I worked very closely with Pluralsight. we'd spent about a month kind of rethinking, you know, how do we put out a path that really helps people get started in this area, and what we ended up with is a path that covers something called the cloud practitioner certification. So AWS has this an entry level certification. And this is pretty unique here. This is designed not just for developers, but really anybody who's going to be working in or around the cloud. And this is the initial certification that just shows that somebody has a good understanding of the platform, and of the different capabilities. It doesn't cover everything. It's it's a very wide, but kind of very shallow certification. It's designed to help just demonstrate that you have this wide knowledge. And one of the things I've seen is, you know, we've seen so many people take this on, especially in this current time when people aren't sure about their job status, they're trying to get new skills. They're trying to make themselves marketable within, you know, within this pandemic, to potentially new opportunities. And this certification has proved to be a great way for new developers to get into AWS. So that would be one of the things I would reference there. There's three different courses, there's even a project where you can begin to put some of those concepts in place, and while AWS has some free resources that also are very, very good. I think this would really help you get from, you know, kind of your starting point of not knowing much about the platform at all, to truly understanding the benefits of the cloud, what AWS provides. And also one of the great things about it is if you go down this path and you stick with it, you actually will end up with a certification that you can actually go out and have that on your resume be something that helps open up doors for you within your career. All right, well, that is absolutely great.

 

Barry Luijbregts  33:25  

I will put a link to this Pluralsight path in the show notes, and also to other links of yours, including https://www.davidtucker.net/. Well, thank you very much for being on the show. And we will see you next week. Thank you for listening to another episode of developer weekly. Please help me to spread the word by reviewing the show on iTunes or your favorite podcast player. Also visit https://developerweeklypodcast.com/ for shownotes and the full transcript. And if you'd like to support me in making the show, please visit my Pluralsight courses to learn something new.