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How to Learn AWS for Free

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

Darya Petrashka, a female Data Scientist and AWS Community Builder, reveals how you can easily learn AWS for free.

In today’s technology-driven world, cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate and scale their infrastructure.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), a leading cloud services provider, offers a vast array of powerful tools and services for organizations of all sizes. Gaining proficiency in AWS can open doors to exciting career perspectives.

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Learning AWS doesn’t have to be expensive. Explore cost-effective strategies tailored for women in tech to master Amazon Web Services (AWS) and pave the way for exciting career prospects in today’s dynamic digital landscape. So, let’s dive in and discover AWS’s free learning opportunities.

FREE OFFICIAL AWS RESOURCES AND DOCUMENTATION

A great place to start is AWS’s official resources. Here you can find a perfect landing page of how to get started: https://aws.amazon.com/getting-started/

Another good way to learn is to follow end-to-end tutorials. Each tutorial has a difficulty level, estimated time to complete, estimated cost, and list of services being used. You can filter tutorials and how-to guides by category and choose what is more relevant for your role.

For those who really like going into details, the full comprehensive documentation is available here: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/

AWS FREE TIER FOR HANDS-ON PRACTICE AND EXPERIMENTATION

When learning cloud computing, it is essential to go hands-on: hours of video tutorials and tons of educative courses will be useless if you don’t have experience in building projects. AWS offers the AWS Free Tier that is available to all types of customers. AWS Free Tier provides the ability to explore and try out AWS services free of charge up to specified limits for each service. 

There are three different types of offerings: a 12-month Free Tier, an Always Free offer, and short-term trials. Services with a 12-month Free Tier allow customers to use the product for free up to specified limits for one year from the date the account was activated. Services with an Always Free offer allow customers to use the product for free up to specified limits as long as they are AWS customers. Services with a short-term trial are free to use for a specified period of time or up to a one-time limit depending on the service selected. 

You can find details on the limits and services provided for free on the Free Tier page. If you exceed free limits, you pay standard, pay-as-you-go service rates.

When using an AWS account, you are billed monthly. You can set up an alarm if your services exceed a Free Tier usage (or exceed a certain monthly cost, for example, $5). To learn more about how to control your AWS costs, check out the Control your AWS Costs 10-minute tutorial.

FREE ONLINE COURSES AND PROGRAMS

Speaking about online courses, a perfect place to learn is AWS Skill Builder. Most of the features are available under the paid subscription, but there is also free educational high-quality content: more than 600 on-demand courses and learning plans, standard exam preparation courses, AWS certification official question sets, and AWS cloud quest for the cloud practitioner exam.

Another great place to learn is AWS Educate. It offers hundreds of hours of self-paced training and resources, including hands-on labs in the AWS Management Console. Its benefits include simple, barrier-free access, content designed for beginners, connection to employment, and digital badges to show off your achievements.

If you want to launch a career in cloud computing, AWS re/Start might be interesting for you. It is a cohort-based workforce development training program that prepares individuals for careers in the cloud and connects them to potential employers. A technology background is not required to apply. The program is free to the learner. It includes coursework, and hands-on labs based on real-world scenarios. AWS re/Start also provides learners with professional skills training like resume and interview coaching to prepare them for the job searching process.

AWS USER COMMUNITIES AND OFFLINE EVENTS

When building projects on AWS, it is crucial to receive support from the community, network, and share ideas. AWS User Groups are designed exactly for this purpose. You can meet these like-minded people, get inspired by invited talks, eat pizza, and have fun. Participation is free, you can use location or category filters to find what fits you best.

There are also bigger events like AWS Community Days which are community-led conferences. You can expect to have there technical discussions, workshops, and hands-on labs led by expert AWS users and industry leaders from around the world. Attendance is free, however, don’t forget to register in advance, such events usually attract a lot of people!

Way more fundamental events are AWS Summits. These free in-person events bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. When you attend an AWS Summit, you hear from AWS leaders, experts, partners, and customers. 

You can learn by attending technical breakout sessions, demonstrations, interactive workshops, labs, and team challenges. It is also a perfect opportunity to network with AWS partners in the partner expo. Just like with the Community Days, don’t forget to register in advance.

FREE AWS WEBINARS, CONFERENCES, AND WORKSHOPS

If you like to consume video content, then AWS Innovate Online Conference might be your choice. It is designed to inspire and educate IT professionals about AWS and includes technical demos, coding, and customer project stories. You can watch it on-demand, it is completely free.

You can choose a wide variety of AWS Training and Certification Events available for different categories and seniority levels. AWS Workshops is the place where you can find more than 100 hands-on workshops designed to teach or introduce practical skills, techniques, or concepts which you can use to solve business problems.

Talking about Data Science learning, an amazing place to improve your skills is Machine Learning University. There all developers can learn how to use machine learning with the learn-at-your-own-pace MLU Accelerator learning series. Topics include natural language processing, tabular data, computer vision, decision trees, ensemble methods, and responsible AI. This knowledge will help you while building ML projects on AWS.

Learning AWS doesn’t have to be expensive. With the wealth of free resources and opportunities provided by AWS, you can acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the world of cloud computing without spending a dime. Dive in, explore available resources, and become proficient in AWS. The power of the cloud is within your reach.


Darya Petrashka, data scientist


Darya Petrashka

AWS Community Builder, works as a Data Scientist at SLB. She is passionate about data and its usage for problem-solving. The area of interest includes classical ML and NLP, as well as working with AWS services. An eternal student, she likes taking part in online schools, courses, and workshops. She shares insights on her Linkedin page and medium blog.

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