Exploring AWS Cloud Technologies with Cloud Quest: A Hands-On Experience

The growing demand for individuals skilled on cloud technologies continues to grow as more and more solutions are built upon the services offered by the top cloud service providers such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform for example. In order to meet the demands of their customers and ramp up the skills of IT professionals new to the cloud the different providers have been making training available to reach a wider range of audiences and most of the time making some of the foundational level training available for free.

Over this past year I have been getting more acquainted with Microsoft Azure technologies to build my cloud technical acumen, but keeping in mind Microsoft only is one of the top cloud providers, I’ve had Amazon’s AWS solutions in my radar for some time now.

Watching earlier this month the League of Legends World Championship final on Twitch I came across and ad for AWS Cloud Quest, and got intrigued about it.

Upon a closer review Amazons Training and Certification team have created a learning oriented role-playing game for several of the key roles in the enterprise and labeled each of these specialized tracks as a Quest with a Credly Badge as a reward.

From the different quests available Amazon made the Cloud Practitioner Quest free for everyone! and well who doesn’t like some free IT training content?

Signing-up for the Cloud Practitioner Quest was pretty straight forward and quick it used my existing Amazon credentials and within 5 minutes or so I was already up and running going thru the course.

The different lessons within the course are baked into the role playing world experience, where you are a cloud expert helping the citizens of Cloud Isle with the different challenges that running a city powered by the cloud has.

Launching the different lessons is done by walking up to one of the island resident NPCs (non playable characters) and starting a conversation where they will bring up a situation they are facing and where they need your help. From there you are launched into a learning exercise where you have videos and interactive diagrams that explain the concept associated with the scenario and afterwards you are given the opportunity to complete a learning exercise that features a real live instance of AWS that gets spun up as a lab for the lesson.

Each of the practice labs offers you a window of about 2 hours to complete and comes with a very robust and easy to follow lab guide to complete it, once you complete the lab you are issued a DIY (do-it yourself) challenge based on the concepts you just learned and to successfully mark the lesson as complete you must complete it, these assignments get graded automatically by the training software, you just need to supply a few of your configured values for the exercise such as the name of your virtual machine instance for example or an IP address and the software runs some validations to ensure those are configured correctly.

The content covered in the different lessons is a very broad in one lesson your are creating an S3 bucket and then in the next one you are configuring EC2 instances and scaling them up as well as having them distributed among different availability zones, to then deploying files systems for virtual PC’s in another one and configuring networking as well as databases for your Island residents in a few other lessons.

For the Cloud Practitioner Quest I invested about 8 hours of learning spread over 4 days and completed each of the assigned DIY labs and can say I definitely enjoyed the time spent and would certainly return for more in the future. Regarding pricing and the quality of the course materials and included labs I wouldn’t mind paying their $29 USD a month subscription pricing to further develop my cloud skills.

Note: The Credly badge will not be awarded if you do not complete all of the DIY labs correctly.


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