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Tech Skills Day cloud track 2022: Learns and loves

Melissa Muehlbauer
Melissa Muehlbauer

Another successful community event done and dusted. We’re here to give you a recap of Tech Skills Day cloud track of 2022, and some key takeaways we pulled from those stellar presentations. We’ll give you a run down of what we heard, what we loved, and what steps you can take to dive deeper into these great cloud and technology talks. Let’s get into it!


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Mentorship, Sponsorship, and Storytelling with Scott Hanselman

What was the talk about?

Tech Skills Day launched into an opening keynote delivered by Scott Hanselman, Partner PM at Microsoft and manager of the Developer Division Community. Scott’s keynote addressed all kinds of things around mentorship, sponsorship, and storytelling, like what’s the difference between mentorship and sponsorship? What’s the role of the senior engineer as a colleague to an early-in-career engineer? What must we do to welcome the next generation of creators, and what are your responsibilities? He also shares the story of meeting up with an actor to record a podcast episode, arriving home to find all his audio recordings missing, and how he pushed aside his dread and learned to become a forensic technician that day. YEAAAHHHHH!

Key takeaways we loved hearing

  • Learning and exploration should be welcomed.
  • We should normalize not knowing the answer.
  • The knowledge of how a typewriter affected the way code was written – we’re seeing carriage return codes everywhere we look now!

Keen to dive deeper?

Pop on over to the A Cloud Guru YouTube to watch Scott’s session where you’ll get to see him retell his stories first hand, like the curious case of his missing WAV files and his 13-hour mission to debug a segmentation fault in net core on Raspberry Pi. 

If Raspberry Pi projects pique your interest, a different Scott of the Pletcher variety can show you how to build a DIY Mars Probe using AWS Greengrass IoT v2 and a Raspberry Pi. Or if Microsoft Development is your jam, you might want to guide your learning to get the core hands-on knowledge and skills with our Microsoft Azure Development Learning Path.


Beyond the Cert: How to Build Projects That Get You Hired in Cloud with Forrest Brazeal

What was the talk about?

You’ve got the cloud certification, but now the hiring manager is saying you need more “experience”?! How are you supposed to get experience without, you know, a job? Forrest Brazeal – Cloud bard at Google, author, cartoonist, and Pwnie Award-winning songwriter – brought us the second keynote presentation of Tech Skills Day that was all about closing the gap between cloud certification and cloud job. He shared stories and strategies from the Cloud Resume Challenge community to show that whatever your background, you bring valuable skills to the cloud table.


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Key takeaways we loved hearing

  • The story about how plumber Daniel was able to apply his plumbing knowledge to aspects of his cloud learning. Did you know there’s a striking similarity between cloud architecture diagrams and engineer prints?
  • The best way to get plugged in is to get out there! Get active on Twitter, join cloud provider communities, and learn in public – write up what you’re learning and share it!

Keen to dive deeper?

You can read more about our previous #CloudGuruChallenge – Event-Driven Python on AWS blog, or check out Forrest’s Cloud Resume Challenge.


Launch Your Startup Using AWS Amplify with Kesha Williams

What was the talk about?

Speed to market is crucial when you have a winning app idea. It was great to have Kesha Williams joining us as the first Tech Skills Day cloud speaker, to show how she used AWS Amplify to launch an MVP on AWS by accelerating full-stack web development. The AWS Hero, HackerRank All Star, and Senior Principal at Slalom in the AWS Cloud Residency walked us through how she developed the MVP for Salary Overflow, a salary transparency tool, in only two weeks. She explored the cloud architecture that powers Salary Overflow, challenges she faced along the way, and how AWS Amplify helped to deliver rapid results.

Key takeaways we loved hearing

  • Prepare for your side projects to grow. They may start out as an opportunity to learn, but if it sounds like a good idea to you, it could sound like a good idea to another company who wants to buy the IP!
  • Shoutout to AWS Activate – a program for startup founders – offering AWS credit grants that could help you realize your startup idea. All the tools to be successful are out there for you.

Keen to dive deeper into this Tech Skills Day cloud talk?

Want to spend more time with Kesha? Who wouldn’t! She has an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner course on A Cloud Guru and delved deeper into machine learning and DeepComposer in her limited series, DeepComposer: Train it again, maestro.


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10 Questions on Hybrid Computing with Orin Thomas

What was the talk about?

Orin Thomas, Principal Hybrid Cloud Advocate at Microsoft, sat down for a lively conversation with our very own Lars Klint, to discuss all things hybrid computing. The pair covered what hybrid computing is, what typical hybrid computing architecture looks like, and the technical roles that work with hybrid cloud setups. They also chatted through what big challenges face hybrid cloud, how edge computing relates to hybrid, and where to learn more about hybrid cloud, if you’ve ever been curious about it!

Key takeaways we loved hearing

  • Orin has a very impressive collection of science fiction figurines on the shelf above his desk.
  • The difference between a data center and a cloud, or the difference between public cloud and private cloud, mostly comes down to who has the responsibility of looking after it.
  • When getting started with learning, you need to find the method that works best for you. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach – video might be your jam, or reading might help the information sink in more. Find what suits you best and roll with it!

Keen to dive deeper into this Tech Skills Day cloud talk?

Orin and Lars spoke about the Microsoft Certified: Windows Server Hybrid Administrator exam that Orin was involved in spinning up, but if you’re just starting out on your Azure journey and you’re not sure which first steps to take, our Azure Certification Guide, in video form and in blog form, might be just what you’re looking for.


Building Data Collection Solutions in the Cloud with Banjo Obayomi

What was the talk about?

Building data collection solutions involves many parts. From managing compute, storage, and analytical tasks, building these solutions can often feel overwhelming. Luckily, we can leverage the cloud. In his talk, Senior Developer Advocate at AWS Cloud, Banjo Obayomi, helps us understand how to build solutions with a pleasant developer experience to fit many data collection use cases. Banjo spoke through his approach to building data collection solutions in the cloud, and highlighted real examples of solutions he actually built.


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Key takeaways we loved hearing

  • We shouldn’t be using cloud for the sake of cloud, but leveraging it correctly to help with automation, scalability, and processing power. If it’s not optimal to run on your laptop, perhaps you should be looking at doing it in the cloud.
  • Use actionable alerts! Don’t just leave things to happen in the background without proper observability.
  • Automation isn’t always the answer. Assess your situation and consider if you need a human in the loop.

Keen to dive deeper into this Tech Skills Day cloud talk?

Banjo is no stranger to the ACG blog, so you should check out more of his posts, if you haven’t got them bookmarked already! If you’re ready to throw into the ring with data, you might want to check out our AWS Data learning path.


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Curious about the developer experience? Take a peak behind the curtain in this free, on-demand webinar as our devs discuss cloud career development and the tech stack that keeps the wheels spinning at ACG.


Cybersecurity Is For Everyone with Gita Sharma

What was the talk about?

Digital job growth is projected to increase by 149 million net new jobs between 2020 and 2025, and 6 million of these new jobs will be in cybersecurity. In this conversation between Lars and Microsoft’s Sr Business Strategy Manager, Gita Sharma, they discuss the security skills gap and explore what those specialist security roles look like, from SecOps roles, to identity and access administrator, information protection administrator, and cybersecurity architect. They review what certification paths are available and the fundamental security skills everyone working in the cloud today should know.

Key takeaways we loved hearing

  • This is an easy one – the fundamental security skills everyone working in the cloud today should know! You’re better off watching the full talk for the downlow on this one though.
  • Cybersecurity is not optional. It’s not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have!
  • Every role in an organization should have a basic awareness of security. You don’t have to go deep with your knowledge (that is what you would go to your specific role expert for), but it really is down to everyone in the organization to be aware of what’s happening, and when something’s amiss.

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Keen to dive deeper into this Tech Skills Day cloud talk?

Gita mentions the Basic Concepts of Cybersecurity pre-fundamentals course which is a great starting point for everyone in an organization, regardless of role. If you’re interested in bolstering your knowledge further, you can dive into the Microsoft Azure Security Essentials course on A Cloud Guru for more.


A wrap-up of Tech Skills Day for 2022

Wow, what a day! We had some amazing speakers delivering excellent talks, and a great time engaging with our fantastic community. There were kickons in our Discord for the networking event afterwards, and the invitation still stands if you’d like to join us there and talk with fellow cloud learners and technologists.

If you want to watch any of those talks again, you can watch through the full Tech Skills Day Cloud track on the A Cloud Guru YouTube. Or check out the developer-focussed Skills track, which is also now available on the Pluralsight YouTube channel.

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