My pride and joy! After the company that I worked for had to make cutbacks on personnel, I had to decide what I was going to do for my future. I decided to start studying AWS (Amazon Web Services), thinking this will be helpful for my future.
I started with Cloud Practitioner to see if this was something for me. I enjoyed it, and I learned a lot. I decided to move on with the Solutions Architect Associate, and I wanted to keep on going until I had about six certifications in total. If I would’ve continued, I would have five certifications now. I was aiming for Developer Associate in May, SysOps Associate in June, Security Specialty in July, and Alexa Skill Specialty in August.
I’m glad I stopped with just Architect because after applying and applying, I started to notice that I need the experience to back up my certifications. Even if the job posting was looking for a “Junior Solutions Architect,” you’re still required at least two-plus years of experience.
Thankfully I realized that web development or designing does go hand in hand with Amazon Web Services, I know it seems logical, but when you’re studying for these exams, they don’t tell you that, it’s more background than anything else. It’s sunk into your mind how things in the background work, nothing is shown on how to do things in a job environment. For example, how to set up your SQL database, transfer your domain name from GoDaddy to AWS, or build a serverless contact form for your stunning AWS S3 static website using Lambda, API Gateway, and SES in 2020. Do you see what I did there? I got some SEO points right there.
When I decided to stop my studies and noticed I wasn’t getting any calls from my applications, I googled how I can start my career without experience? I found this blog post from A Cloud Guru, where I studied for my exams, and I learned what it was that I had to do next. There are seven steps, and I’ve been doing my best to implement them, but I believe the most important one is number four, working for free. That will help build your portfolio and get reputable references.
Unfortunately, the non-profit organization page that Ryan recommended wasn’t that helpful. However, when I was applying on Linkedin, I found an organization that would help my future by volunteering. That was a perfect day. I found Catch A Fire. The first three projects I applied for I got rejected and I felt distraught, I can laugh about it now, because with almost every project after that I’ve been selected. It’s all about patience and working hard.
The many people I’ve spoken to from the companies I’ve volunteered for have all been super nice, understanding, and all-around great people. I’m super glad I found this organization that provides volunteer work for people like me and companies willing to help me build my portfolio.
I’ll keep on volunteering at Catch A Fire to build experience and knowledge. Being positive is also an essential factor because sometimes it’s hard to picture yourself working for a company doing what you love and have the most passion for, but I know my day will come and I’ll have a blast doing what I love most.
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