AWS Guides and Tips of 2019

It's only 2 weeks away from re:Invent 2019 and that means 2 things for me as a user group leader: a huge uptick in interest in AWS, and everything about AWS will change.

The "everything about AWS will change" part first. Amazon has already started announcements with their Storage Day and pre-re:Invent news bits. I hesitate to start something new about now since once announcement from AWS could change plans for how to build, bill, or time something.

On the other side, re:Invent grows every year and draws more attention to the massive cloud platform. Re:Invent is massive - shameless plug for my guide to re:Invent for Introverts - but it is exciting. Two years ago I remember sitting in front of two guys who talked excitedly about their plans for AWS projects the 4+ hour entire flight home.

AWS for absolute beginners

If you want to start from the ground up, I recommend you read a few blogs on the history and basic services AWS offers:

Learn by doing

The best documentation on AWS is ... by AWS. Amazon iterates so quickly and releases so many new services and updates that no other site or organization can keep up! See for the full lists and

The advise may sound dismissive, but start learning about AWS by doing and pick something that interests you. I started by building websites for the user group. But what guides and what services?

  • Again AWS is the go-to for getting started guides and Tutorials. NOTE:
  • Open Guides from AWS users and builders. NOTE: the guides haven't been updated in a year+ but the README is still a very useful read, and core AWS services aren't going anywhere.
  • AWS Samples on GitHub

If you encounter something that tells you "spin up an EC2 instance" it can be overwhelming quickly! Hellen Anderson is here again with a great article: What EC2 is right for you? But, see my warning about everything changing post-re:Invent! I suspect we'll get even more EC2 instance types.

Security in AWS - More hands-on

Tutorials and game days are a great way to dive deeper into AWS. Plus, security is "job zero" especially when you are getting started in AWS and using your own account to experiment.

Stay up to day with Re:Invent news 

If you're in Chicago, join me and the AWS Chicago user group for Day 1 keynote watch party at the AWS offices. Space is limited, register early!

Keep track of the announcements:

Happy building!