– We interviewed Vignesh Sivapragasam, Cloud Support Engineer, API Talent for his perspective on AWS training. He is based in Wellington, NZ and has completed the Systems Operations on AWS and the Architecting on AWS courses.

About Vignesh: A 6+ year IT pro, Vignesh has achieved all three Associate level AWS certifications and two Professional level AWS certifications.

What is it about instructor-led AWS Training courses that you found most surprising?

Some participants seem to think that once you have done one of these three-day courses, you’ve got it covered. That a three-day boot camp could be the go-to for learning everything you need to know about architecting or sys ops on the AWS platform. My advice is that if you have the budget – especially if you have training funding from your workplace – then AWS training courses are a must do.

But, after you attend the course you have to keep learning. Just keep learning.

It’s not like some other vendor training, where the solution doesn’t change much over a year or even every five years. AWS is growing all the time.

How do you keep up with all the trends and the new solutions? They send updates out on a daily basis. As an AWS consultant, you need to keep picking up new stuff every day to stay current.

What do you value about instructor-led AWS training courses? What’s in it for you?

I value the opportunity to keep learning.

  • When I went on my first course I already had 3-4 months of doing production workloads on AWS. There were a lot of things I understood in my own way but from the course I learned what AWS wants its professional consultants to know and be able to provide to clients. I learned what AWS expects of professional AWS consultants.
  • We’re always googling for information and others’ experiences when we’re trying to solve a problem or trying to learn something new, but focused, directed learning through three-day courses is a great way to prepare for AWS certification. I recommend it if you have the opportunity.
  • Plus you pick up good ideas and processes during these training courses.

What is the value of AWS certification? Associate vs Pro?

AWS is the current benchmark in terms of cloud services and infrastructure. At this stage of market maturation, if you want to be working in the cloud you should be looking at an Associate level of understand to get a foot in the door.

The Associate level gives you a high level view on services, but the Professional level deep dives, preparing you to consult with a deeper level of understanding of AWS services.

Depending on the depth of work that you do, you can consider the Professional level. All the work I do is on the AWS platform and that has been the case for three years now. I’m doing AWS day in and day out, so the Professional level was the right next step for me.