How I Got Comfortable Building with Serverless
A few months back, I blogged about my experience arriving at Stackery after code school. Months later, each day is still interesting and challenging and I’m so glad to have decided to pursue serverless as my concentration. I credit my AWS certifications for narrowing my focus enough to lead me to this point. The serverless community puts so much emphasis on exploration and getting started on your work or experiments today that, getting some exposure to AWS, you can get started right away. Here’s a breakdown of how I went from serverless novice to software engineer at Stackery:
I was interested in cloud computing, but I had very little knowledge of AWS, so I opted for what felt like the next best thing: certifications.
After graduating from code bootcamp, I was eager to dive into the job search and get placed somewhere awesome right away. What I discovered was that many of the listings required some level of AWS experience. I was interested in cloud computing, but I had very little knowledge of AWS, so I opted for what felt like the next best thing: certifications. I wasn’t sure which to choose, so I decided to start with three associate-level certs offered by AWS: Solution Architect, Developer, and SysOps. Each covered different roles, which forced me to adopt a distinct mindset for each, deepening my understanding of cloud services and their use cases. Taking the exams gave me enough confidence to begin building cloud-based applications and showcasing them to potential employers. The ability to discuss different cloud infrastructures and build my own serverless web apps helped me earn a spot on the Stackery engineering team, and I was excited to start gaining more real-world experience.
In my current role at Stackery I get to work with AWS resources every day, but discovering what problems other serverless developers are working on has influenced me a lot. There are developers out there that have had different experiences with the tools I use, and it’s important for me to be aware of them so that I’m not limited to my own way of thinking.
The online forums and webinars about serverless development provide me with tons of useful content, but a find a lot of value in the use-cases and questions I get from others. For example, attending any of the live 3-400 level online webinars from AWS provides a deep dive into various serverless topics, along with a pointed Q&A session to address common concerns in the community. So, even if your day-to-day work doesn’t consist of serverless or AWS, you can still engage in these topics by being open to the real-world experiences of other developers.
The following resources can help keep you in the know about new advancements for serverless and AWS:
- AWS Online Tech Talks (300 & 400 Level)
- AWS What’s New
- Stackery’s blog and documentation site (I might be a little biased, but trust me.)
Learn by Building
Before I was introduced to Stackery, serverless development was definitely a challenge. Building my own serverless applications helped solidify what I’d learned from my certifications, but I’d get frustrated with the amount of configuration and guesswork required to write out my own CloudFormation templates.
With Stackery, it doesn’t take long for me to quickly define cloud resources and integrate them with other services; I’m able to build a stack that confirms my understanding of a specific serverless workflow rapidly. Using Stackery has helped me build serverless applications and thus learn more about serverless development.
If any part of you is compelled to learn more about serverless right out of school, I can’t recommend the above strategies highly enough. It really just comes down to curiosity, research, experimentation and, if you want a boost in confidence, perhaps a certification or two.