Ok, you have decided that your future may be “cloudy” and you want to start your journey on learning cloud skills and knowledge to pursue a career in cloud computing. What do you do next? You need to discover your “learning superpower”, start your cloud journey from the right location, and then choose your prompt.
Discover Your Learning Superpower
What’s your learning superpower? My favorite superhero, who happens to be African American, is “Meteor Man”, who is played by Richard Townsend. The movie was very corny, so to speak, but his message was actually outstanding. In the movie, Meteor Man was battling his enemy in a street fight. Meteor Man hadn’t yet discovered all of his superpowers but when pressed in the fight he learned he had a special power. As they were fighting, a pile of books was knocked over and he grabbed one. It was a book on how to do martial arts written by Bruce Lee. He instantaneously knew how to do martial arts and was able to battle his enemy. The superpower he discovered he has was: Any book that he put in his hand, he instantaneously was able to know and apply what was in the book! Your superpower is related, any book (or paper, video, article) that you read and apply, you will have that knowledge! When I received my Ph.D., it was because I used my superpower of reading to learn new concepts, even without having a teacher to teach them. Now, not only can you read about cloud computing, or any subject for that matter, but you have countless free videos and online websites you can refer to. The lack of learning material is not a problem. It’s the lack of you taking the time to read itself is the roadblock you have. But you can overcome that! I’ll show you how in the “Find Your Prompt” section of this blog post! Note: if you can’t understand something the first time you read it, read it at least two more times. I find that often I need to see something that seems complicated at least three times before I can understand it.
Start Your Journey from the Right Location
Have you ever went hiking through a forest or mountain? Neither have I (Well maybe I have). How about, have you ever went shopping for a computer? In the “Before Time”, you used to have to go out to the store and look for a computer. But if you went to “Forever 21” to find a computer, you would never find one there. So if you want to start your Cloudy Future journey, you should start with those who are offering the Cloud as a service to others. Go “shop” for free learning material from Amazon, Microsoft, Google, or IBM. (If any of you companies are reading this and want me to point others to where they should start, please message me on LinkedIn.).
Since I’m most familiar with Amazon Web Service, or AWS, I would say, start here and here. And take a map with you (click here) to see where you are headed and how to get there. Here is the AWS Map for becoming a Cloud Practitioner, Solutions Architect Associate, or Solutions Architect Professional. Completing most of this material in sections 1 or 2 of this “map” will be enough to prepare you for the Cloud Practitioner exam. Hey, I was just reading that tuition at Bowdoin College is now only $70,000 per year. The path I’m pointing you towards can be mostly free and will cost $100 bucks to take the Cloud Practitioner exam virtually and have jobs that will pay in the $100K’s (see my first blog here.)
Find Your Prompt
In “Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything,” BJ Fogg outlines the steps for Behavior Design. Clarify what are your aspirations: do you want a cloud certification? Which one? Solutions Architect Associate? Explore behavior options: You can sit around complaining that you lost your job, watch another 20 hours of a Netflix series, or you can start and finish your Cloudy Future journey towards certification. Start tiny: Read one web page on cloud computing. Find a good prompt: Next time you find yourself getting ready to watch Netflix, or whatever prompt you find that’s good for you, decide to read one webpage or one 3 minute video on cloud computing. Before you know it, you will be developing and extending new behaviors that you designed yourself!
Let’s get it started
Step 1. Do you know your learning superpower? Hint: it’s reading.
Step 3. Have you found your prompt? Hint: Every time you think or see “<your prompt>”, read a webpage or video of cloud computing from Step 2. Now cue up the Will.i.am and the Black Eye Peas song and “Let’s get it started! Ha!”
Andrew B. Williams, Ph.D., M.B.A., is an AWS Certified Cloud Professional that has decided to help others learn skills for the cloud. He teaches computer science, computer engineering, and does research in artificial intelligence and human-robot interaction at the University of Kansas and wants to see technology democratized and accessible to everyone who wants to pursue a career in cloud computing.