Last week, I spent a week in Las Vegas, attending AWS re:Invent 2019. I wrote a quick synopsis on how I, a bootstrapped freelancer, managed to make my way to the largest Cloud Conference in the world in a previous post: How I Attended AWS re:Invent 2019: #WePowerTech Grant. There is also a page on this blog that collects all of my AWS re:Invent related posts here!
As an educator of multiple courses and founder of projects like AWS Newbies, career training and making technology accessible for people from all backgrounds is a topic of great interest. And I learned about a few organizations and initiatives that excited me, so I’m here to to share them with you!
If you haven’t yet already, you can check out my online courses at LinkedIn Learning: “Introduction to AWS for Non-Engineers”! It’s a four-part video course series that will take you from “What even IS the Cloud?” to understanding the fundamental principles of Cloud Computing and all of the core AWS Services and features!
You can also get a jump start with “Intro to AWS for Newbies” eBook, which will also start you from absolute ZERO to having your very own Amazon Web Services account, knowing your way around it, and understanding the fundamentals of Cloud Concepts! For those of you exploring, AWS Newbies is my little corner of the web making AWS accessible to all new Cloud technologists!
Some of the programs and organizations I learned about at AWS re:Invent 2019 were AWS Returners’, AWS re/Start, and Generation USA. There are also multiple career training opportunities for Veterans! I also learned about ways to begin working with Alexa Skills utilizing Alexa Skill Blueprints, which allow you to build Alexa Skills with no coding! Let’s take a look!
Table of Contents
☁️ For Career Gaps☁️
AWS Return to Work Program
Amazon Web Services’ Return to Work Program, also known as AWS Returners’ is a permanent full-time program with enhanced on-boarding and support with career gaps of 2 years or more. They are hiring across many functions such as Solutions Architecture, Customer Solutions Management, Business Development, and Technical Account Management.
“Returners” will have a mentor who will coach assimilation challenges, and a hiring manager who will provide training support. While there are not that many roles currently available in the program, I’d imagine they will begin expanding as the program matures!
☁️ For Career Change☁️
AWS re/Start is a training and job placement program that began in the UK few years ago, and has finally made a landing in the US this past fall! The program prepares unemployed and underemployed individuals for Cloud Computing related careers through classroom-based training. This means that participants will be going to physical classrooms (imagine that!) to take part in this full-time, 12 weeks program.
This FREE program also provides resume and interview coaching to prepare for the transition into the workplace, and partners with potential employers interested in hiring junior cloud practitioners.
To qualify, the candidate must have:
- Full-time availability for 12 weeks to attend training
- Ability to start a full-time job after course completion
- Excitement to launch a career in cloud computing
- High school diploma or GED equivalent
The first cohort of 25 students in Atlanta, Dallas, and Miami finished up their course study and went into employment in August, 2019. I can’t wait to see how this program grows!
I’ve been told that currently, the AWS re/Start program sources candidates from a partner non-profit, called Generation USA. Generation USA is a nonprofit that helps prepare underemployed and unemployed young people for the workforce by training them for entry-level jobs.
The program spans many major cities, and some smaller ones, and provides job training for Cloud Support, Construction, Hospitality, Restaurant Service Associate, Machine Operator, Banker, and many more positions.
You can apply for the AWS re/Start program by going to Generation USA’s website, and clicking on the “Cloud Support” program. It seems like currently, it’s available in Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, and New York City, though I have strong hopes that it’ll expand rapidly!
☁️ For Veterans☁️
Amazon Technical Apprenticeship
The Amazon Technical Apprenticeship creates pathways to careers in Cloud Computing for military Veterans, keeping to the promise Amazon made in 2016 to hire and train military veterans and spouses. Their skill gap training and apprenticeship programs help transitioning service members and spouses develop AWS software department, support, or data center operations roles.
AWS Educate for Veterans
AWS Educate provides U.S. Veterans credits and training to help them choose their desired cloud career with personalized career training path that includes content, knowledge checks, and badging. Veterans may also be eligible for certification exam reimbursement! AWS Educate supports 10,000 US Veterans, transitioning military personnel, and their spouses to pursue jobs in Cloud Computing.
☁️ For Learning☁️
Amazon Alexa Skill Blueprints – Build No Code Alexa Skills
It’s not really an overstatement to say that I screamed “WHAT?!” in middle of the Expo Hall when I learned about Amazon Alexa Skills Blueprints. It is a no-code way to create simple Alexa Skills, and begin learning about how to create web apps. While you won’t be coding any skills, you’ll begin to understand how you create programs that respond to you in certain ways.
It’s simple to get started. You pick a “Blueprint,” fill in the blanks, and use, share, or publish your new Alexa Skill! You can even publish it on the Alexa Skills Store for other US-based customers to discover and use! There are new Skill Blueprints built specifically for content creators, bloggers, and organizations to help reach audiences using Alexa.
You, too, can become an “Alexa Skill Developer“… Without writing a single line of code! How cool is that??
AWS Educate provides academic gateway for the next generation of IT and Cloud professionals by providing resources to students and educators around the globe to learn about Cloud Computing. It hosts hundreds of thousands of students from more than 2,400 institutions, and provides resources for institutions, educators, and students. (I mentioned this program previously with its arm specifically curated for Veterans and spouses.)
AWS Educate also has a job board that helps students apply for thousands of cloud jobs and internships from Amazon and other companies around the globe. Students and educators are eligible for FREE AWS Credits, training, curated content, and collaboration tools.
☁️ Any to Add?☁️
Did you learn about any other career training/placement programs and resources while at AWS re:Invent? Or are you aware of any other programs, especially catered towards under-represented or marginalized groups of people? I’d LOVE to know so I can add them to this list! Please let me know in the comments! 😊