Get started with AWS

Everyone who’s interested in or occupied with Cloud computing, has most likely heard of AWS. AWS is the preferred Cloud platform for many Cloud engineers. But why is that, exactly? What is AWS? What are the advantages of using AWS? And most of all: once you decide to go with AWS, how do you get started?

In this article, we list everything you need to know when you want to get started with AWS. From an introduction to the platform’s advantages to learning resources to kickstart your journey into the AWS Cloud — we’ve got you covered.

Let’s start off!

What is AWS exactly? An introduction to AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud provider, which is a company that offers on-demand IT resources over the internet. Instead of maintaining your own physical data centers, cloud providers allow you to access computing power, storage, and databases.

AWS offers over 100 (!) Cloud services such as compute power, database storage, content delivery and other functionalities to help businesses scale and grow. One of the advantages of AWS is that you can get all cloud services on a pay-as-you-go basis. This means that you pay only for the services you use and for the amount you use, in function of your business’ demands.

What is AWS used for?

The beauty of AWS is that it’s separated into different services. Each service can be configured in different ways, based on the user’s needs.

This means that organisations of every type, size, and industry can start using the AWS cloud for a wide variety of reasons, such as data backup, disaster recovery, email, virtual desktops, software development and testing and customer-facing web applications. Businesses can also buy storage space to hold a huge database, bandwidth to host a website, or processing power to run complex software remotely, for example.

Going into the Cloud has many advantages: it can enhance security, efficiency and enable faster innovation. The Cloud can also make it easier for teams to work according to the principles of agile, supporting organisational change.

What are the advantages of AWS?


AWS is easy to use

AWS is designed to allow you to quickly and securely host your applications, whether it’s an existing application or a new SaaS-based application. When you log in, you will see the so-called AWS Management Console, a web-based interface to help you get started quickly. This interface provides access to a wide number of applications and services. Find the AWS Management Console here and consult AWS’s documentation to get started.

AWS is flexible

AWS’ flexibility lies in the fact that it is separated into different services. AWS has an enormous catalog with around 175 products and services to choose from. You can select the specific solutions you want to use, and configure these solutions to fit your needs. AWS’ services include cloud storage, compute power, app deployment, user account management, data management, development tools, and just about anything a business needs. Next to that, AWS enables you to select the operating system, web application platform, database and programming language. This prevents your employees from having to learn new programming languages or tools.

AWS is cost-effective

As stated earlier in this article, AWS allows you to get all Cloud services on a pay-as-you-go basis. This means you pay only for the compute power, storage, and other resources you use, with no long-term contracts or commitments. This allows you to expand and grow as you wish, without worrying about service disruption.

AWS is secure

AWS utilizes an end-to-end approach to secure and harden its infrastructure, including physical, operational, and software measures. AWS has data centers in 24 regions, and will undoubtedly build more in the future. The data centers are monitored 24/7 to help ensure the confidentiality and availability of your data. All data flowing across the AWS global network that interconnects the datacenters is automatically encrypted at the physical layer before it leaves AWS’ facilities.

AWS has benefits on an individual level as well!

All these advantages are nice, but maybe not too relevant when you’re not running your own business. But the Cloud can be a real game changer for anyone, no matter if you’re a business leader looking to implement cloud services into your business, or an individual looking to learn new skills.

How could learning the AWS Cloud benefit you on an individual level? Read about it in our blog post where we list 10 reasons why you should learn the AWS Cloud.

Is AWS easy to learn?

This is quite a difficult question to answer, because it completely depends on your prior knowledge and background.

AWS might be a bit complicated for a non-technical person at first. To make things a bit easier, we recommend learning about the basics of Cloud Computing before you start learning about the AWS Cloud. AWS made a short video in which the basics of Cloud Computing are explained. You can find more information about Cloud Computing on their website as well.

If you want to have a solid base of Cloud computing knowledge, we recommend taking AWS’ free Cloud Practitioner Essentials course. This digital training focuses on foundational Cloud concepts which you need to understand before being able to start your journey into the AWS Cloud. After you gained a good understanding of Cloud computing, you can start off with learning the basic AWS concepts.

Some people with a more technical background find it fairly easy to learn AWS, while others still find AWS to be a bit overwhelming. One of the best ways to learn AWS is by experimenting and using your hands, but a more structured learning approach can help you understand some details about AWS better and quicker. We list a number of resources below which can help you pick the right way for you to get started with AWS.

What are the best resources for learning AWS?

There are many ways to get started with learning AWS. We list different resources to get started with the AWS Cloud below.

AWS resource center

AWS has an elaborate resource center that contains the necessary materials to grasp the fundamentals of AWS. The resource center contains different learning paths (Full-Stack Developer, AI App Developer and DevOps Engineer, for example) that contain tutorials which will show you how to get started with AWS for your selected path.

Next to tutorials based on learning paths, AWS also offers a number of free digital training courses. If you’re not sure which training will help you reach your career goals, you can always check AWS’ website, where you can find the different roles and AWS solutions. For every role or solution, you will find a ramp-up guide which provides you with an overview of different learning resources. These resources include both free digital training courses and paid classroom training courses, but also include links to relevant web pages and whitepapers.

External learning resources

Next to AWS’ resources, you can find lots of other information about AWS on the internet. We list some of our favourite non-AWS resources below.

  • If you’re completely new to AWS, AWS Newbies is a great place to start your learning journey. The owner created the website in 2018 while studying for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam, and it has since then helped lots of people learn about AWS.
  • 100DaysOfCloud is an open community which aims to help people grow their Cloud computing skills. You can join their channel on Discord to get help with certain questions you have, or just connect with other people who are making or have made the same Cloud journey. You can also find 100DaysOfCloud on GitHub, where participation is encouraged.
  • FreeCodeCamp offers free resources and training courses related to IT, including AWS. They developed a video course for the AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials, for example. They offer blog posts and how-to guides on other AWS-related topics as well.
  • Last but not least, AWS Stash provides an easy to use interface to search for recordings of AWS re:Invent sessions. There are many sessions available, so chances are high you’ll find something that can help you when you need more information about a certain topic.

AWS training and certification

Next to the free digital training AWS offers, you can also attend a paid classroom or online training organised by an official AWS Training Partner. What’s the difference? During a training by an official AWS Training Partner, whether in-classroom or online, you will receive trainer support from an AAI (Authorised AWS Instructor), which is not the case with AWS’ digital training courses. The instructors have real-life experience in the field, and love to share their expertise and practical tips and tricks with their trainees.

When you feel like you’re stuck, or you just feel like you need some extra guidance while learning new AWS skills, booking a course with an official training partner might be a good idea. The Campus is an official AWS Training Partner as well. You can check out our AWS training offer here.

Get started with AWS programme

The Campus developed a free ‘Get Started with AWS Programme’, which will show you how to become an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner in just 11 days. Our programme consists of a number of consecutive emails (don’t worry, we won’t spam you!), that contain the necessary information and links to AWS resources you’ll need to become an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. We will start off with the basics of Cloud Computing, and introduce AWS afterwards. You can enroll for the free programme here.

AWS Discovery Days

If you’re looking for a free course that gives you an introduction to AWS and is led by an AAI (Authorised AWS Instructor), an AWS Discovery Day might be exactly what you need! The AWS Discovery Day is a free event that is designed to introduce AWS cloud computing concepts and foundational infrastructure services. The event is particularly relevant for customers who have recently signed up with AWS, or for those who simply want to grasp the basics of the AWS cloud platform. We organize AWS Discovery Days (live or online) occasionally as well. 

AWSome Days

The AWSome Days are free, one-day training events that provide a step-by-step introduction to core AWS services. Technical experts will explain key features and use cases, share best practices and walk through technical demos. During the AWSome Days, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of AWS core and application services, making it an ideal place to learn how to get started with the AWS Cloud.

AWS Certifications

Getting certified will most likely be the last step of your journey into the AWS Cloud. When you obtain an AWS Certification, it shows that you have valid cloud expertise, and it demonstrates your proven knowledge of cloud computing. The certification exams aren’t easy, so having one means that you have good knowledge of the subject.

We strongly believe that obtaining an AWS Certification is worth the effort. We also wrote an article about the most frequently asked questions when it comes to AWS certifications, which can help you on your way if you’re not sure where to start.

We hope this article provided you with all the information you need to kickstart your journey into the AWS Cloud. Good luck and happy learning!


Still have questions? We’re happy to help! You can contact us via our contact form or by sending an email to hello@thecampus.be.

The Campus, Charlotte Van Rompaey 3 March, 2021
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