Building AWS Experts: The Skills that Matter Most

By Flux7 Labs
March 1, 2017

Struggling to find and keep skilled resources? Or, interested in helping your team become AWS experts? Our very own Aater Suleman was recently interviewed by SearchAWS on the topic of getting the AWS skills you need this year. As Flux7’s primary goal is to help its customers fill an internal skills gap by educating them as we shepherd them through their DevOps and IT modernization projects, we were honored to weigh in on this important topic. While there were two primary recommendations made in the article, we have several others we’d like to add for a deeper look at this topic.

Get your feet wet
“Learning by example is something we recommend to anyone trying to move into the AWS space. Creating a pet project and executing on it in AWS can teach more than any demo or blog can,” noted Mr. Suleman in the article. And, indeed, there is no substitute for rolling up your sleeves and learning through trial and error. While you want your exercise to have an eventual outcome, you also don’t want to choose an exercise that bears the weight of a short deadline and high business visibility.

Create a Certification Path
While certifications aren’t mandatory, they can be very helpful as they are an easy way for potential employers to confirm your aptitude and interest in AWS. Mr. Suleman recommends that people start by pursuing an AWS Associate-level certification and then follow up with professional-level certifications. This is an ideal path for individuals looking to make a career for themselves working with AWS. Indeed, according to research by Foote Partners, the average market value for a total of 368 IT certifications being tracked has increased for eight consecutive quarters.

Go Broad & Stay Informed
Cloud computing requires a broad skill set and knowledge base. With more than 50 products and services–and new features being introduced at a rapid pace–it’s important for those wanting to work with AWS to understand these different products, and how they work to support specific technology and process goals. Moreover, with rapid updates, we recommend that AWS specialists subscribe to receive regular news updates from AWS, as well as an independent voice of analysis, such as this blog. (If you don’t already subscribe, you can do so below.)

Train for Retention
According to research by talent management firm TEKsystems, only about one-third of IT leaders believe their organization has the skills in-house to address their needs. Just as importantly, they also find that 81 percent of IT leaders say it’s difficult to find quality candidates, and almost half don’t expect to fill an IT position within the anticipated time frame. As a result, Mr. Suleman recommends training existing staff for the AWS skills the team needs. Training not only serves to increase retention, but avoids lengthy hiring cycles — especially as the company seeks AWS skills that are in high demand.

At Flux7, our approach is to help enterprises adopt AWS technologies by creating the foundation, adopting one pilot use case, and transferring the knowledge to a center of excellence. In this way, we help companies simultaneously assess, design, and build the technology solutions they need while teaching the important skills needed to manage and expand on the technology moving forward. Think you’ve got the skills and dedication for a career in AWS? Check out our job postings and get in touch with your resume.

If your organization would like to learn more about closing the skills gap while creating a foundation for the next step in your evolution, our IT transformation resource page is a good place to start. To stay on top of AWS news, tips, tricks, and best practices, click the button below to sign up to receive our blog in your mailbox.

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