Podcast 408: A chat with the folks who lead training and certification at AWS
From teachers to tutorials to peer groups, and now, video games, there are lots of ways to acquire skills on the AWS platform.
On this episode we chat with Maureen Lonergan, VP of AWS Certification and Training, and Scott Barneson, Director of Learning Products at AWS. They share some fascinating stats about the global expansion of AWS education and the new models they are building for diverse learners, including those who prefer to learn through video games.
You can find Maureen here.
You can find Scott here.
There is a wealth of free courses available through the AWS training website, including Operations, Advanced Networking, Machine Learning, and Data Science.aws, certifications, technical training, the stack overflow podcast
I’m Melaku from Ethiopia, and I want to practice AWS Hosting services to get remote jobs, but I don’t have MasterCard or CreditCard, and there is no option to get those here. I need help in this area to have access to free AWS hosting for learning purposes.
I have been doing I.T. certifications since 1998. I was an MCSE at the age of 20 (1999). I dropped out of the University of Michigan College of Engineering in 1997, but I had a desktop support work study job (where I got real world experience).
When I did not have any degree, people would hold that against me. I could get lower roles (desktop support) on a contingent / contract basis, but rarely a full time job. I wanted to be a systems administrator. It wasn’t happening. There was always an excuse, no matter how many certifications I did: Microsoft, Novell, Cisco, CompTIA, and the Unix Certificate Program at Penn State Great Valley.
I may have been a little bit ahead of my time, but even after doing satellite communications in the 101st Airborne Division, and getting even more certifications in security and Linux, and earning at least an associates degree, no admin jobs. VMware was all the rage, and AWS was up in coming.
To hear on your pod casts about how “non-traditional” backgrounds can break in to I.T. ….. there is truth there. However, like Usher said “If I’m gonna tell it, then I’m gonna tell it all.”
Being black in the United States and having all those great certifications and trainings means less than if you are almost any other race or ethnicity. It was not alright for me to be without a college degree, but my white peers without a degree (in my 20s) were getting admin jobs without it. Times and technology have changed some for the better.
Finally, I just enlisted in the U.S. Army to do something so hard to achieve that my abilities could not be doubted. You won’t find many SatCom certified people on top of all the certifications I have done. I am in the middle of a sabbatical now to do more certifications.
All in all, I say things have improved, but I cringe when I hear “non-traditional” can get in. I fear that it won’t work the same way for everyone (women, minorities). If you are someone that almost never has to go outside your race and/or gender in the U.S. to get a job, the non-traditional angle probably works well (overall). I cannot say that would be the case for others with equivalent backgrounds.
Networking helps though, and LinkedIn and Stackoverflow have been a tremendous help to me.
However, let’s not get too, too bogged down in the ills of society and employment. Human nature is not perfect, so you have to adapt. Tech is much more ubiquitous today. The cognitive archetype of “what kind of person is a techie” has grown and matured in the United States.
Eventually, I managed to have some success. However, I lost tons in experience and capital trying to prove I was a good bet. The interest on money alone is an astounding figure over at least 10-15 years.
So, yes, do certifications and learn. However, all things being equal, you can still face the “university bias” when trying to get hired (among other things).
Anthony E. Rutledge
When my first AWS interview came around in 2020, I was there in the video conference, but the manager (who had education, but no degree at all), ghosted me.
Full circle. 🙂