Monthly Archives: March 2018

AWS Cloud Practitioner

In a brief break from focusing on Leadership books, I’ve been brushing up my technical skills and reviewing some training material from AWS.

Amazon’s cloud offerings are many and varied, and they can be daunting for anyone unfamiliar with the basic concepts. The AWS Cloud Practitioner certification provides a grounding in these core concepts, and is suitable for anyone who has to interact with AWS in a professional capacity.

The AWS provided training consists of around 7 hours of content, covering the basic principles of the cloud, outlining some core AWS services and then covers security, design and pricing. It’s broken down into short videos with knowledge checks following each section. It’s easy to consume and easy to understand.

The certification is a single multiple choice exam, consisting of 60 questions with 90 minutes to complete. I also took the practice exam, which was 25 questions long, but I’d advise doing this a few days before your scheduled exam as the the results are not always ready immediately.

Once you’ve passed the exam, you get access to a digital badge┬áthat you can share to display your credentials.

As is often the case with these kinds of certifications, the value is in the initial training, which I would recommend for anyone who wants to learn the difference between EC2 and S3, and why either matters. The exam and certification are an additional extra, nice for hte validation but not fundamentally required.

This is a stepping stone for other more involved certifications, but I’d say it’s not required. An experienced developer could skip this and move straight to the associate level exams without missing much, whereas a product owner, scrum master or other non-technical person may really find benefit at the practitioner level.

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Start With Why

Start With Why is Simon Sinek’s best-selling book about Leadership, Inspiration and why some companies or organisations succeed when others might fail.

It has a very simple core premise. Many organisation know What they do and How they do it, but not a great number really understand and articulate Why they do it.

The lack of Why does not stop a company doing well or making money, but it can lead to a lack of direction and focus, which will harm it the longer this lack goes on.

Organisations that understand their Why, their purpose, will drive great loyalty from the customers and employees. They will naturally succeed in their causes because they have an internal compass that can guide them to success.

However, only those organisations that truly live and breathe their why will reap the benefits. Values printed on posters and stuck on a wall will not achieve this success, it must be felt by all throughout the organisation.

At its heart, it is a strong thesis. The book reads well and is easy to understand. It inspires you to consider your why, to find it if you don’t currently know it and to share it when you do.

If it has one failing, then it’s the repetition in the examples. A handful of companies are used over and over to illustrate the points made. Casting a wider net would have helped strengthen the core message even further.

In all, another good book, thought provoking and definitely worth the time to read.