As Head of Content at Cloud Academy I work closely with our customers and my domain leads to prioritize quarterly content plans that will achieve the best outcomes for our customers.
We started 2018 with two content objectives: To show customer teams how to use Cloud Services to solve business problems, and to help customer team members be successful in their respective roles.
We plan role-based learning paths around three content foundation stones: selecting and combining cloud services to create effective business solutions; applying AI and ML services to solve business problems; and driving Best Practices in cloud security, cloud architecture, and development. “Cloud Services” is a vast topic – having focus is a key discipline in the Cloud Academy Content Team.
In Q1 we focused on Machine Learning. We launched the Introduction to Machine Learning on Google Cloud Platform Learning Path, the Introduction to Azure Machine Learning Path and the Introduction to Machine Learning on AWS Learning Paths.
These comprehensive learning paths combine courses, Hands-on Labs and Skill Assessments to get you started building solutions with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning on Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services.
Next – we showed you how to apply ML and AI services to solve business problems. We showed you how to Use Azure AI Services to Build Customer Solutions and How to Apply Machine Learning and AI Services on AWS.
In February, AWS released the Cloud Practitioner Certification and an update to the AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification exam. I love both of these certs for different reasons. The AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification remains our most popular certification, so it was a highlight for me to see our new Solutions Architect-Associate Certification Preparation for AWS – Feb 2018 Learning Path published in line with the new AWS exam.
Our AWS Content Lead Stuart Scott and his team then released new versions of the Certified Developer-Associate Certification Preparation for AWS – June 2018 and SysOps Administrator-Associate Certification Preparation for AWS – 2018 learning paths in the same manner.
We cover all nine of the AWS certifications with regularly updated content that is designed to help you master the skills required to succeed with the certification exam.
I admit to holding a high bar for certification content due in part to my two years working as a Partner Manager at AWS. In that role, helping partners and customers gain AWS certifications was a top priority. I strongly believe the Cloud Academy content and platform that we have today are the most mature and comprehensive solutions for mastering AWS and passing the AWS certifications.
The AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification is designed for non-technical teams – potentially making AWS more accessible to a wider audience, a direction I really welcome. The AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification provides a good baseline for business teams looking to learn the fundamentals of cloud services, and I was excited to see our Cloud Practitioner Certification Preparation for AWS go live in line with the release of the AWS Certification Exam.
The AWS Certified Practitioner helps non-technical teams – but we wanted to do more to help your organizations acquire the skills needed to succeed with cloud projects. So we released two business-focused learning paths based on the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework to help you accelerate enterprise cloud migration.
The first Learning Path – Cloud Adoption Framework – Cloud Skills for Executive Teams provides a simple way for executive teams to gain the knowledge and perspective required to support and drive Cloud Adoption projects in their organization.
The second learning path – Cloud Adoption Framework – Cloud Skills for Business Teams introduces business teams to DevOps principles, AGILE practices and how they can get started evaluating and integrating cloud services in business projects.
The skills gained by individuals in completing either of these Cloud Adoption Framework based learning paths are aggregated under the CAF perspectives in your organization’s Knowledge Graph. This means you have a dashboard view of how you are progressing as an organization by acquiring the cloud skills required to progress forward on the cloud maturity curve. Most important I think – the Cloud Academy Training Plans then enable you to allocate training to teams and individuals so you can drive acquiring the skills needed to move the organization forward in the Cloud Transformation Maturity Model.
The Cloud Academy Cloud Adoption Skill Assessment can be applied to Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform or any of the other Cloud Adoption Frameworks.
For technical teams, we launched three role-based migration learning paths to help you solve real-world challenges and be successful with your migration projects. Two Architecture Focused Best Practice Scenarios Getting Started With Migrating to AWS, and Migrating From an End-of-Life Data Center to AWS We also built a developer focused on learning paths showing you how to refactor a Monolithic .NET Application to Use Microservices.
Helping you and your team master DevOps tools and best practices is a key focus for us in helping you learn how to combine cloud services together to solve business problems. In 2018 Jeremy Cook’s DevOps team released two comprehensive DevOps Playbooks to help your organization move to a DevOps culture and start applying DevOps principles and practices.
The DevOps Playbook – Moving to a DevOps Culture Learning Path provides a guided path for any organization to begin the journey to a DevOps culture and to begin realizing the benefits of DevOps thinking and practices. Content in this learning path is built in collaboration with our partner The DevOps Institute. The DevOps Foundations content provides teams with a common, objective understanding of DevOps principles and practices; this learning path also prepares team members to sit the DevOps Foundations Certification exam.
The second DevOps Playbook – CI/CD Tools and Services – provides practical instruction on how to implement and benefit from DevOps deployment tools and services. This learning path provides an excellent baseline for any organization looking to maintain a common process and best practices in deployment toolchains.
We worked closely with our partners HashiCorp, Terraform, Docker, Ansible, Aviatrix, and SpotInst to grow the depth and breadth of DevOps tools and services. We showed you how to Solve Infrastructure challenges with Terraform, Introduced you to secure environments with HashiCorp Identity and helped you master Kubernetes and prepare for CKA certification with The Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) Exam Preparation Learning Path.
GDPR compliance was a hard requirement in 2018, so we doubled down on ensuring that you knew about GDPR and how cloud services could help you meet the GDPR compliance requirements with the GDPR: Using AWS Compliance Enabling Services learning path. To help you be successful in solving real-world challenges, we ran a series of webinars on achieving GDPR compliance with industry leader Sumo Logic.
Working with partners Catalit and Calculated Systems enabled us to increase the depth of Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning content for you in 2018. We show you how to Build a Solution Using Artificial Intelligence and IoT, and Calalit’s Zero to Deep Learning Bootcamp – Introduction to Data Science and Machine Learning is a comprehensive guide to mastering Deep Learning principles and practices.
We have a breadth of new partner content already in development in 2019 which I think will really help you solve problems and be successful in your roles.
Microsoft kept us busy on the certification front in 2018 with the release of the AZ-100 and AZ-101 exams at Microsoft Ignite – followed by the AZ-203, AZ-300, and AZ-301 exams – to phase out the Azure 70-533, 70-532, and 70-535 exams. Our Azure lead Guy Hummel and his team published the Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment: AZ-100 Exam Preparation Learning Path and have built the majority of the AZ-101, AZ-203, AZ-300, and AZ-301 learning path content, aiming to go live in early 2019.
One of our constant goals is to keep innovating on how we make content more engaging and effective. We released shorter bite-sized content combined with a live lab, and in November our Labs team led by Logan Rakai released an assessment function for our Hands-on Labs.
This innovation automatically assesses whether a step or steps in a hands-on lab have been completed successfully by the student. This function is great as it proves your ability to perform a particular skill.
Our top ten AWS and Azure labs now have an assessment component built in and we are continually rolling out more assessed labs in 2019.
In 2018 we delivered a record 121 courses, 35 labs, and 28 learning paths! We are already well underway with building content for 2019. We’ll be showing you how you can apply the new services released at AWS re:Invent and Microsoft Ignite to create solutions and solve business problems. We’ll be helping you apply design patterns and showing you how to select the right cloud services when building enterprise solutions. We’ll also be helping you save time and effort when deploying and managing code at scale.
Here’s a sneak preview of content already in development for 2019: Python Developer – Master Class, Java Developer – Master Class, Combining DevOps tools at scale – Bamboo Bitbucket JIRA Sonarqube Splunk Zephyr, Create a Jenkins CICD Pipeline to Build a Docker Image with Splunk, Passing the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) certification, Using Alexa to Perform Voice Activated CI/CD Build and Deployments, Implementing Multi-Factor Authentication on Azure, Configuring Serverless Computing on Azure, Designing for Azure Identity Management, Developing Long-Running Tasks on Azure, Creating an App on Azure Service Fabric, Microsoft 365 Certified Enterprise Administrator Expert – MS-100 and MS-101 Exam Preparation.
Please let us know what content you would like to see in 2019!
New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solution Architect Lab Challenge, Azure Hands-on Labs, Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security, and Much More
Now that Thanksgiving is over and the craziness of Black Friday has died down, it's now time for the busiest season of the year. Whether you're a last-minute shopper or you already have your shopping done, the holidays bring so much more excitement than any other time of year. Since our...
Understanding Enterprise Cloud Migration
What is enterprise cloud migration? Cloud migration is about moving your data, applications, and even infrastructure from your on-premises computers or infrastructure to a virtual pool of on-demand, shared resources that offer compute, storage, and network services at scale. Why d...
6 Reasons Why You Should Get an AWS Certification This Year
In the past decade, the rise of cloud computing has been undeniable. Businesses of all sizes are moving their infrastructure and applications to the cloud. This is partly because the cloud allows businesses and their employees to access important information from just about anywhere. ...
AWS Regions and Availability Zones: The Simplest Explanation You Will Ever Find Around
The basics of AWS Regions and Availability Zones We’re going to treat this article as a sort of AWS 101 — it’ll be a quick primer on AWS Regions and Availability Zones that will be useful for understanding the basics of how AWS infrastructure is organized. We’ll define each section,...
Application Load Balancer vs. Classic Load Balancer
What is an Elastic Load Balancer? This post covers basics of what an Elastic Load Balancer is, and two of its examples: Application Load Balancers and Classic Load Balancers. For additional information — including a comparison that explains Network Load Balancers — check out our post o...
Advantages and Disadvantages of Microservices Architecture
What are microservices? Let's start our discussion by setting a foundation of what microservices are. Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). ...
Kubernetes Services: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud
Kubernetes is a popular open-source container orchestration platform that allows us to deploy and manage multi-container applications at scale. Businesses are rapidly adopting this revolutionary technology to modernize their applications. Cloud service providers — such as Amazon Web Ser...
AWS Internet of Things (IoT): The 3 Services You Need to Know
The Internet of Things (IoT) embeds technology into any physical thing to enable never-before-seen levels of connectivity. IoT is revolutionizing industries and creating many new market opportunities. Cloud services play an important role in enabling deployment of IoT solutions that min...
Which Certifications Should I Get?
As we mentioned in an earlier post, the old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and compan...
How to Go Serverless Like a Pro
So, no servers? Yeah, I checked and there are definitely no servers. Well...the cloud service providers do need servers to host and run the code, but we don’t have to worry about it. Which operating system to use, how and when to run the instances, the scalability, and all the arch...
AWS Security: Bastion Hosts, NAT instances and VPC Peering
Effective security requires close control over your data and resources. Bastion hosts, NAT instances, and VPC peering can help you secure your AWS infrastructure. Welcome to part four of my AWS Security overview. In part three, we looked at network security at the subnet level. This ti...
Top 13 Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Best Practices
Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) brings a host of advantages to the table, including static private IP addresses, Elastic Network Interfaces, secure bastion host setup, DHCP options, Advanced Network Access Control, predictable internal IP ranges, VPN connectivity, movement of interna...