Atos AWS Coaching Hub Purpose — going beyond certification

Atos AWS Coaching Hub kicks off 2022 series with a AWS General Immersion Day

I’m a Lead Cloud Architect within Atos’ Cloud Enterprise Solutions practice, spending most of my time working with customers on large cloud projects — migrations, build outs of Landing Zones, new deployments of applications. In addition to my day job I’m passionate about supporting people to help them improve their skills, be it people who are fresh out of education, those part way through their careers looking to reskill or people already working in the cloud who want to further their knowledge. To that end in my ‘spare’ time I’ve set-up an AWS focussed community interested in training, certification and working with AWS technologies with our customers, our Atos AWS Coaching Hub.

I’m keen this community doesn’t use certification as the end of the journey, it’s merely the beginning. Within a GSI / MSP organisation it can be difficult for staff to feel confident having only completed some courses and taken certifications to start working on customer projects. So as well as providing support to each other on assignments I’ve used the AWS Coaching Hub to arrange hands on training where people can get in-depth on AWS services.

Immersion Days are available across a range of topics and at a range of difficulty / experience levels, and these can be delivered by either AWS or AWS Partner Network Partners. Atos are one such partner who can help deliver these with AWS for customers, but equally being a broad community of 100,000+ employees we also have people within our own organisation who benefit from participating in them.

In the past we’ve run a few ad-hoc immersion days as well as gamedays, for 2022 I wanted to curate a more role focussed agenda of events to help encourage people to group around sessions that would support their job role (Architect, Administrator, Developer, Migration Engineer) and prioritise the training time they have available. Each one started with the General Immersion Day we’ve ran this week to get less experience people confident with the foundations and then breaks off into more role specific Immersion Days, completing the self-study on platforms like ACloudGuru and certifications that the individuals are undertaking.

AWS Coaching Hub 2022 Immersion Day Sessions — Developer Track

Here’s a summary of our day…

Our agenda for the General Immersion Day
Overview of AWS differentiators

We went on to cover the global footprint, regions, availability zones, data centres, direct connect locations, CloudFront (content delivery network) and the private, secure, low latency networking that connects them together.

Direct Connect points of presence for private network connectivity

An overview of compute covered EC2, the AWS container services (ECS, EKS, Fargate) and Lambda, including a technical overview as well as overview of purchasing options to reduce cost.

EC2 Summary
EC2 purchasing options

A nice summary slide of EC2 instance types was included

Summary of EC2 Instance Types

Networking topics were covered. For example an overview of VPCs and other networking services. Deep dive into Direct Connect and DNS.

AWS Direct Connect
AWS Direct Connect and Transit Gateway
Route53 for DNS

We had a session on security, covering the foundations of IAM, KMS and CloudTrail.

IAM Principals
IAM hierarchy
KMS Overview
CloudTrail Overview

We wrapped up with an observability session going through all of the services supporting monitoring, tracing and such like.

CloudWatch Overview
CloudWatch Automatic Dashboards
X-Ray — create tool for looking at end to end application tracing, latency etc.

Interspersed throughout the day were a number of labs which can be viewed here — https://catalog.us-east-1.prod.workshops.aws/workshops/f3a3e2bd-e1d5-49de-b8e6-dac361842e76/en-US/

We completed the ‘EC2 Linux Hands on Lab’, ‘VPC Hands on Lab’, ‘IAM Hands on Lab’ and for optional extra homework ‘Amazon CloudWatch Hands on Lab’. Should anyone have issues following the labs and want to compare my deployment for the first three labs (didn’t have a chance to do the homework!) then I’ve created a GitHub repo that will deploy the resources via Terraform — https://github.com/markjamesross/aws-general-immersion-day. Given the idea of the Immersion Day concept is to learn I wouldn’t recommend simply deploying it and saying ‘I’m done’, it’s more there as an aid if you have issues you can compare against a known working version.

GitHub Repo for Hands on Labs

Summary

The AWS General Immersion Day was a good initial taster for staff nearer the beginning of their journey with little / no hands on experience, rather than for more experienced practitioners. It fills a gap between theoretical training and getting started on being hands-on, although it did cover more of the what than the why so definitely commentary to certification courses on platforms like ACloudGuru than a replacement. If you’re interested in holding an event of this type yourself reach our to your AWS representatives or an APN Partner like Atos.

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Mark Ross

Mark Ross

Lead Cloud Architect @ Atos, specialising in AWS