For the better part of my 12 year developer career I worked as a front-end dev. I did a few APIs in my time, but my focus was on UI development and UX. Last year I got into mobile development with the help of React-Native and it showed me that learning new things can be much fun and also finacially rewarding.
So my plan for this year was to go full-stack.
After looking into a few technologies, I decided that the new Serverless movement of the Cloud providers is probably the right point to start. As I said, I have written a few APIs, but by no means I'm a skilled administrator, so managing as few parts of a stack as possible is probably the fastest way to get things going on a level that matters.
Since most of the serverless tech is build on the base of one of these cloud providers I had to choose one to start with.
There are a few Cloud providers out there, but it seems that AWS is by far the biggest and going with the tech that has the highest market share has been a good decision in the past.
First I got a few books to get started with. Designing Data-Intensive Applications, High Performance Browser Networking and Serverless Architecture on AWS. These were a good start on theory, principles and practical examples.
While the first one were kinda timeless, Serverless Architecture on AWS was kinda outdated, so I stopped with books at this point.
But the gist of them was basically: latency is the devil, just if you want to know, haha.
Anyway, the next step was to search for online courses or something. For front-end stuff I did egghead.io stuff which was pretty eye opening, even on the topics I worked on for years now.
So why not use this to get into backend/cloud/serverless?
I found acloud.guru and besides the topic courses on stuff lile serverless or specific AWS technologies (DynamoDB, etc.) they offered training for AWS certifications.
I was a bit baffled, coming from the front-end certifications weren't much of a thing in my career. After reading about the different certifications AWS offers and looking into the courses acloud.guru has, it seemed that these were the right point to get started with.
While the certification training courses focus on getting the exams right they featung rather much hands on stuff, think creating a wordpress site on EC2, with AWS managed MySQL and load ballancing etc.
At the moment I'm learning for the three associate certificates: Solutions Architect Associate, Developer Associate and SysOps Administrator Associate. Which pretty much covers the theory and operation of the core AWS services as how to develop software for them.
They have about 40-60% overlap, so it saves time to do them at once. Also the next PSI test-centers are a few hundered kilometers away from me, so I don't want to travel a few hours just to do a 20min exam, haha.
First I just wanted to look into this stuff via the Certified Cloud Practicioner, the easiest of all AWS certs, but well, I won't travel for this.
But if you have a PSI test center in your city and want to try, the free 7 trial period of acloud.guru should be more than enough to get this certificate done. But beware: AWS charges $100 for this exam and you can't take it online.
Video courses are a good and cheap way to become a better developer. They are the perfect starting point for new topics and even if you know the topic, you can learn another thing.
If there are certifications for the skills you aquired, they're a good way to show potential employers or customers that you know your stuff. If a company wants to become an AWS partner, they even have to have employees with these certs.