Back in 2006, Amazon launched arguably the greatest side hustle ever. They called it Amazon Web Services (AWS for short).
We’ll get onto why you should learn AWS in a minute. But the back story is pretty wild.
Amazon launched AWS with very little razzle-dazzle, because let’s be honest here, they didn’t need the money.
By the mid-2000s, the online retail giant was already raking in well over $10 Billion a year in revenue through its eCommerce store.
But in the early 2000s, Amazon had a problem. It was going through “teenage growing pains”, which threatened to cripple the entire company.
So Amazon’s top technical people jumped on the case and built a cloud infrastructure to alleviate these pains.
And that was that – or so they thought...
Top tip: If you have a pain point or problem and you can build a solution for that issue, other people will often pay for that same solution. That’s what happened here.
Fast forward to today, and AWS not only supports Amazon’s entire interal IT operations, it's become a multi-billion-dollar revenue generating division "side hustle" turned "core business unit".
AWS supports over 3,000,000 companies including other tech titans like Netflix, Dropbox, and Reddit.
Even government agencies are using AWS (over 7,500 of them, in fact).
What’s more, Amazon owns more than 30% of the cloud infrastructure market. That’s more than its three closest rivals — Microsoft, IBM, and Google — combined.
All of this means AWS engineers are in HUGE demand.
Even better, employers pay big bucks to recruit engineering talent. According to Glassdoor, the estimated AWS Cloud practitioner salary is $125,114 per year in the United States.
Still not convinced to learn AWS?
You're a tough cookie aren't you?!
Let's dig deeper into this technology, explain what it is, and also give you my top five reasons you should learn AWS cloud computing.
So fasten your seatbelt, brace yourself, and get ready for a trip to the cloud 😉!
Here’s the boring, PR-friendly answer: AWS is a cloud computing platform offering over 200 services in global data centres worldwide.
But what does this actually mean?
Let’s imagine you’re building a simple web application. You need computing power (a server), a database, somewhere to store images, a network, and some basic security.
In the “good ol’ days”, you’d put these items in your office – maybe under your desk. Sometimes, they might stay in an “on-premises” data centre that you own or rent.
But with AWS, you’re basically just moving everything from your own on-premises or rented location to AWS’s data centres instead.
“Hmm… ok but that sounds almost the exact same situation, so why bother moving?”
I’m glad you asked!
Using AWS’s data centres is beneficial for many reasons.
Firstly, rather than buying servers, setting them up, maintaining them, and keeping them running, you pay a small fee to use Amazon’s servers instead.
Piggybacking off Amazon’s servers ends up being way cheaper for pretty much any company.
Secondly, AWS has locations all around the world. This kind of reach means that AWS has got you covered no matter what technology you need and where your customers are.
This can often lead to faster load times and local saved backups. There’s even more good stuff though.
If you go with AWS you also get:
Not bad right?
Hopefully, you have a better understanding of what AWS is and its benefits. But why should you learn AWS?
Let me give you five reasons.
If you're picking a new technology to learn, wouldn't you want to go with a leader in the space?
Well, that's AWS!
In their yearly Magic Quadrant report, Gartner consistently names AWS as a leader in Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services. They say Amazon has a completeness of vision and the ability to execute.
By market share, they also have a commanding lead over the next closest competitor, Microsoft Azure. This lead means more job opportunities will open if you learn AWS cloud computing.
And 68% of organizations plan to rely more heavily on AWS, so AWS is here to stay!
A quick search on indeed.com for “cloud” brings back nearly 130,000 results.
And of those, more than half require AWS skills.
So there’s no shortage of jobs out there, and AWS skills will be in strong demand for the foreseeable future.
What’s even better? The money! Again, according to indeed.com, the average salary for AWS jobs in the U.S. is over $134,000!
Have you ever tried to learn a new or niche technology?
If so, you’ll appreciate how hard it is to find good documentation and training. Answers to anything but the most basic questions can be a struggle to find, but this isn’t a problem with AWS!
Because AWS is so popular and has been around for so long (since 2006), there’s extensive documentation, training, and a large community of support for it.
If you run into problems or need help with a particular scenario, you can find an answer online for precisely what you need to do.
AWS also provides a lot of documentation and help directly on the platform, so you don’t have to look too far.
If you want to test some code without employing a server using AWS’s Lambda console, there’s a tutorial for this:
So you’ll hopefully never be stuck trying to figure out how to do something.
Unlike some other platforms, AWS offers a “Free Tier”. This makes it a great way to learn and practice without breaking the bank.
Many core services are free for 12 months (up to a limit), some are free for a trial period, and some are free forever.
You can’t beat that!
So if you want to build your website to highlight your experience, you could easily spin up an EC2 instance (a virtual server), store images in an S3 bucket, and hook up a database – all for free.
They’re all powered by AWS!
Because of its scale, global reach, and the sheer amount of resources behind it (money, people, and tech), AWS can power some pretty impressive things.
And this means Amazon is on the cutting edge of innovation, whether it’s AI and machine learning, the Internet of Things, or space exploration.
The tech giant is constantly releasing and updating services that let you push the boundaries of what you thought you could do with tech.
To wrap up, AWS is a buzzword in the industry, but with good reason. As a market leader, it's no surprise that AWS skills are in demand, and having them on your resume will open doors – and earn you a lot of money!
And because of the large community, extensive documentation, and available training, learning AWS cloud computing is easy. It's also free to get started.
With AWS, you can be on the leading edge of innovation, working on cool projects in various industries.
So whether you're an experienced cloud professional coming from another platform or you're just starting in the cloud, what are you waiting for?
Join the AWS party at Zero to Mastery and get your AWSomeness on!