Free Resources to get you started in Cloud Computing



Everything is moving to the cloud, so the average modern company needs some aspects of the cloud to function. As businesses increase their demand for cloud computing skills, there's never been a better time to gain new expertise in this space.

Skills in Cloud Computing are becoming one of the most sought-after skills in the tech industry. Most modern businesses are moving their solutions to the cloud and are wise for it because the cloud makes running a tech company cheaper, scalable and reliable. So what is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centres and servers, you can access technology services, such as computing power, storage, and databases, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure (Microsoft) and Google Cloud Platform (Google).

Now that we have explored the why and the what, let’s take a more exciting turn and talk about how you can level up your skills by learning and certifying yourself with one of these Cloud providers.

1. Free Resources to Learn AWS

I like to start from the foundations when learning anything. It helps to solidify my knowledge.

The AWS Fundamentals course helps you to learn the core concepts of AWS Cloud. In addition, it teaches you the best practice in the design, delivery and maintenance of AWS environments. This is fundamental knowledge I recommend everyone should know.

The course goes over concepts like:

  1. Operational Excellence
  2. Security
  3. Reliability
  4. Performance Efficiency
  5. Cost Optimisation

As a warm-up to your first AWS certification, you can also take the  AWS Foundation: Getting Started with the AWS Cloud Essentials – This is an hour long and an excellent precursor to the next course, which is also offered for free by AWS.

Some of the topics covered in this foundation course include:

  • Overview of the Global infrastructure of the cloud
  • The Shared Responsibility model
  • AWS pricing
  • Compute, Storage, Database, Networking and Security categories

The AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials goes way deeper on understanding the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud overall. This six-hour online course will get you ready to take your first exam to get certified.

To Practice for your Exam – I recommend following this guide.

2. Free Resources to Learn Azure

Microsoft Azure Certification is high in-demand certification in the technological world and is considered a ticket to an excellent job in a reputed company. Azure or Microsoft Azure or Windows Azure is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft and released on 1st February 2010. Microsoft Azure supports building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and benefits of various kinds using the Microsoft-managed data centres.

Microsoft Azure groups their certifications under roles. And these roles are further grouped into areas of interest:

  • Azure applications and infrastructure
  • Azure data and AI

When you choose the area of interest you are likely to be interested in, you can start with a foundation certification followed by a role-based certification. For a visual representation, this diagram also divides the certifications under expertise.

cloud computing

As a beginner –  interpreting this diagram first, I will consider what role I am interested in. Then I will achieve the AZ-900 and maybe AZ-103 (optional) before I get into the AZ-203 certification.

A great resource to start with on your certification journey is the Microsoft Education website. On the website, these are the steps they also recommend following to pass your certification.

3. Free Resources to Learn GCP

Finally, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), although the least popular of the three, acquiring certification for GCP is still a valuable skill. Companies like Paypal, Etsy, Twitter, etc., use GCP to deliver software.

GCP divides their certifications into three levels. Foundational, Associate and Professional certification. The Foundational certificates do not require technical experience, while the associate requires at least six months of experience building on the cloud (professional/non-professional expertise). And finally, the expert level requires you to have been working professionally for three years in the IT sector.

As a beginner,  I will start with the Cloud Digital Leader certification and then take either the Cloud Engineer Learning Path or the  Cloud Architect Learning Path. After completion, I will take the course Preparing For The Associate Cloud Engineer Exam – account required. These steps should be sufficient to prepare you to pass your first certification exam with GCP.

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