Welcome to the next issue of the Tidy Cloud AWS newsletter! In this issue, I talk about the value of AWS certifications, based on a blog post from AWS. We have video recommendations about agile, meetings, and continuous delivery. There is also an alternative project template for AWS CDK in Python.
The value of AWS certifications
I read a blog post from a new AWS solutions architect who accomplished all six specialty AWS certifications on their first try. This kind of post strengthens my belief that there is not that much value in the AWS certifications if you already have a good amount of real world experience.
It is useful as a replacement for real experience when you are starting out. Not to diminish the accomplishment of the author of the post - it certainly takes some skill and dedication to pass all these certifications. But that it is possible at all diminishes the value of these certifications for experienced people in these areas, I think.
There are four reasons to pursue AWS certifications:
- To get (better) jobs in cloud computing when you lack real world experience for that job
- Fulfil AWS Partner requirements to uphold a certain status
- To do a Pokemon thing of it - got to catch them all
- Give yourself a personal goal motivator to learn AWS stuff beyond what you do daily if you need something extra for it.
For number 2, it does not help much to get many certifications nowadays, since AWS counts one certification per individual in the company.
Personally, I have no interest in number 3 and I do not need number 4 for motivation to learn.
Do you agree with my reasons here, and what do you think of the AWS certifications?
AWS CDK project template for Python
Recently I wrote a bit about an initial version of an AWS CDK project template for Python. The reason for making this GitHub repository template is a slight frustration with the existing templates provided by AWS CDK.
I usually rewrite the AWS CDK generated templates for my projects, or instead copy files from an old project. I noticed I was rewriting the same things every time. That’s why I made this template. It’s opinionated, but it is also made to be easily configurable and extensible.
This project template is just for Python and includes some features and handling that AWS CDK itself does not help with. If that is of interest, read the blog post and check out the template on GitHub. It is a work in progress. Let me know what you think!
How to make the most of meetings
Aino Corry, who is a contributor to the @Continuous Delivery YouTube channel, has a great video about how to make meetings better and more productive, titled You’re WASTING Everybody’s TIME In Meetings!. She makes some very good points and offers suggestions on how to improve meetings and meeting culture. There are several points about good meetings that many of us know should be part of a meeting, but we do not do it, anyway. Aino makes some good points on dividing up the things that we can do to make meetings better, if we need the meeting at all.
Watch it, and watch it multiple times if you are not taking notes the first time.
How to actually work agile
There is also a great video by Aino Corry about working in an agile manner, titled You’re Probably Getting Agile Wrong - How To Fix It. I think this is an absolutely brilliant video!
She presents the 12 agile principles, and continues with that there are too much for people to read, so they do not read them. The Agile Manifesto simplifies this into 4 areas:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
She continues with how these 4 areas get misunderstood in people may skip the right-hand side, which is not the point. Each area is covered and how to go about working in a good way with these.
Aino also points out that agile is not equal to Scrum or any other “agile process framework” - doing Scrum does not make you agile necessarily. You can also be agile while not doing Scrum.
Aino points out that “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools“ is probably the one that may be hardest to get right, which I agree with.
I definitely recommend watching this video!
Checklist for continuous delivery / DevOps
The third video on my video recommendation list is the 14 step checklist to achieve continuous delivery / DevOps by Dave Farley. It is a long list, but also has many important steps to consider. Each step is a valuable piece to consider, and it is great to have these summarised like these.
What the video itself does not cover is how to get there, as it is more of a summary on many of the topics that Dave covers in his YouTube channel.
Dave created course and book material on this topic, and the Minimum CD website is a great source for understanding the minimum viable continuous delivery process, broken down.. Some of these pieces are further broken down into pieces as well.
There are many good recommendations there to get an idea on how to achieve continuous delivery and deliver great quality software. You may still struggle to get this in place, but at least you will have some recommendations and material that can help you on the way.
You can find older newsletters and more at Tidy Cloud AWS. You will also find other useful articles around AWS automation and infrastructure-as-software.
Until next time,