In this blog, we will explore the roles and responsibilities of an AWS developer as well as the skills required by them. Then, we will discuss the certifications that can help one to become an AWS developer associate.
An AWS developer is responsible for the setup, maintenance, and evolution of the cloud infrastructure of web applications. So, how can one become a successful AWS developer associate?
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AWS Developer Skills
The ubiquity of AWS means that most cloud-related job descriptions have AWS mentioned underneath the desired skills for developer roles. A firm understanding of AWS development will distinguish anyone trying to pursue a career in this field from other candidates and be considered a professional with a highly valuable set of skills.
With over 200 products, services, and functionality in AWS, it can get quite overwhelming. However, in this blog, we will highlight some of the more essential skills that an AWS Developer should understand and possess.
- Deployment: Deploying web applications to AWS is one of the most fundamental skills to know as an AWS developer. There are several methods for AWS deployment and new ones are introduced even more quickly. Because of the constant evolution of the different ways of deployment, it is essential to stay updated with newer methods. The following are some of the ways that aid during the deployment of web applications:
- First and foremost, one should have proficiency in the manual deployment of a web application to an AWS EC2 instance. This will help to build web applications on AWS and potentially develop one’s own automated deployment scripts.
- One should also have a good understanding of CloudFormation and how to use it. This will not only help the deployment of an application but also enable the scaling up of the application infrastructure. Understanding AWS Elastic Beanstalk and its functionality are also essential.
- Containers are also a popular choice nowadays for the purpose of deployment. Learning how to use the Elastic Container Service (ECS) for Docker or Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) for Kubernetes is essential as well.
- Security: AWS can be a double-edged sword. So, it is always important to be self-reliant and understand the ins and outs of the AWS security model and IAM. Oftentimes, developers misunderstand AWS IAM and as a result, bugs and issues arise. Understanding how roles and policies work will enhance the AWS work process.
AWS Secrets Manager is another tricky service that needs better understanding. AWS launched it to make managing and retrieving secrets, such as API keys, passwords, etc., in web applications less complex.
- AWS SDK: Being familiar with the AWS software development kit (SDK) is another essential skill as it makes working with AWS easy. AWS SDK enables an application to interact with AWS in the code. The API layer is enormous in SDK so much so that even experts keep finding new things that can be accomplished with it.
- AWS Database: While there are numerous uses of databases in web applications and AWS facilitates that, it does require figuring out which AWS database service is suitable for a particular application. So, if one is not familiar with all the options and their pros and cons, there is a high possibility that one might pick the wrong option and hinder the growth of the application.
Amazon RDS has options such as Amazon Aurora which has seen continuous improvement and added new layers of compatibility with MySQL and PostgreSQL. AWS DynamoDB, as well, has been a popular choice for quick and simple NoSQL database requirements. REST-based API has done away with the requirement for a long-running database connection. DocumentDB is new to the AWS database scene. It offers MongoDB compatibility.
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- Debugging: Unfortunately, debugging does not have a definite roadmap. So, the only way to learn it is by gaining experience with AWS. Most times, one will encounter issues due to IAM permissions or VPC bases access rules, e.g., security groups. However, getting into the platform and developing it beats all other methods as one will have to get themselves out of problems that they encounter.
- Serverless services: AWS Lambda and AWS API Gateway are proving to be great solutions for developers these days. Understanding the usage of these serverless services is an essential skill for every AWS developer. Gaining experience in this aspect can help one distinguish themselves from others as it is new and not understood by many experienced professionals.
The open-source serverless framework makes building applications on serverless architecture very easy by making use of CloudFormation and AWS SDK. Open-source serverless framework enables one to apply simple configuration files to develop powerful serverless technologies.
- AWS developer tools: The tools help to securely store, develop, test, and deploy software. It is a set of services that enable developers and IT operations professionals to rapidly and safely deliver software. For example, AWS Cloud Development Kit, AWS Cloud9, AWS CloudShell, AWS CLI, etc., are some of the available AWS developer tools.
Roles and Responsibilities of AWS Developers
An AWS Developer is expected to be proficient in all the core AWS services. However, the nature of the infrastructure is subject to variation depending on where you are applying for a job. Below are a few of the requirements typically listed for AWS developer jobs:
- Experienced in core AWS services
- Suggest improvements to current application infrastructure
- Set and document best practices and strategies on the deployment of applications and maintenance of infrastructure
- Migrate infrastructure to a highly available and scalable one with no downtime
- Put together a monitoring stack
- Come up with strategies for service capacity planning
- Using the AWS CI/CD stack, implement the CI/CD pipeline of an application
- With the help of CloudFormation or Terraform, write infrastructure as a code (IaC)
- Good understanding of Linux/Unix administration
- Experienced in Docker and Kubernetes
- Knowledge of at least one programming language
- Understanding best security practices like using IAM roles, KMS, etc.
- Familiarity with monitoring solutions like Prometheus, CloudWatch, and ELK stack
- Exposure to large-scale systems design
- Skills in troubleshooting distributed systems
- Ability to build or maintain cloud-native applications
- Experienced in serverless approaches using AWS Lambda
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AWS Developer Jobs
As reported by LinkedIn, there are currently 31,000+ job openings for AWS developers in the United States and over 7,000 job openings in India. There are 5,000+ job openings in the United Kingdom for AWS developers. 7,900+ job openings are listed on Jora for Australia, while over 1,000 AWS developer job openings are available in Canada as per LinkedIn. As you can see clearly, the demand for cloud professionals is high.
AWS Developer Salary
Listed below are some of the annual average salaries of AWS developers across different countries according to PayScale:
AWS developers in India earn an average salary of ₹962,015 p.a. In the USA, AWS developers have an average annual income of US$101,645. AWS developers in Canada can expect an average salary of CA$89,811 per year. AWS developers in Australia have an average income of AU$102,885 per year.
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AWS Developer Certification
AWS certifications evaluate a candidate’s skills with rigor and thoroughness, with a focus on hands-on experience and best practices. Preparing for certifications can help give your knowledge of AWS a boost by clarifying the key concepts.
If one is new to AWS, certification courses can provide the foundational knowledge and skills that are required to work with AWS services and solutions. AWS certifications validate a candidate’s familiarity and knowledge of the cloud architecture, management, and security.
Out of the 12 AWS certifications offered, the AWS Certified Developer Associate exam will help you to become an AWS developer associate. This exam is intended for professionals in the development role who have at least one year of hands-on experience in the development and maintenance of AWS-based applications.
Some of the skills validated by this AWS certification are:
- Knowledge of basic AWS architecture best practices, core AWS services, and uses
- Proficiency in building, deploying, and debugging cloud-based applications with AWS
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How to Prepare for the AWS Certified Developer Associate Exam?
Preparing for the AWS certification exam requires sincere effort. If you do things half heartedly, chances are that you will not perform well as you expect. The preparation strategy that suits one best may not suit others. Nevertheless, here are a couple of guidelines and tips that may help you to come up with your own study plan.
- Set daily study goals
- Self-study daily
- Join an AWS community
- Set short-term and long-term goals to monitor progress
- Build a project
The internet is, of course, filled with many study resources and materials. It can get quite overwhelming to choose a couple out of them; so, we have narrowed down the options for you. Here are some of the best ones that you can go through:
- AWS blogs
- AWS official documentation
- AWS tutorial
- AWS official whitepapers
- Instructor-led AWS training; paid
Here is a generic but helpful guideline to help you prepare better for the AWS certification exam:
- Make sure to be well-versed in the fundamentals of Cloud Computing
- Check out YouTube tutorials on AWS for beginners
- Go through AWS documentation
- Enroll in an online instructor-led AWS course to experience hands-on learning through industry-based AWS projects and assignments
You can also find a list of resources on the certification preparation page on the AWS official website.
Check out our experts-prepared list of AWS interview questions to get through your AWS interview!
AWS Developer Career Path
Because the AWS certification is vendor-specific, the holders of this certification can expect employment with AWS, at an organization that uses the platform or as a consultant. With the expectation of AWS not faltering in its popularity for many years to come, a career in this technology is extremely promising and will provide stability. Besides, there are 11 other AWS certifications that you can prepare for if you are looking to master this technology and improve your chances of getting ahead in this field.
In this blog, we have talked about how to prepare to become an AWS developer, the tools you will need, the job market, etc. AWS occupies 32 percent of the cloud market, thus making it a major vendor and an opportunity for cloud professionals to master this technology. Do not overthink about the cost of the certification exam as it is a lifelong investment that would help you get a lucrative job in AWS.
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