AWS Bites Podcast

17. How do you keep up with AWS in 2022?

Published 2021-12-30 - Listen on your favourite podcast player

In this episode of AWS Bites podcast, Luciano and Eoin talk about some ideas to stay update with the evergreen world of AWS. This is a much less structured episode than usual and we informally discuss some of our favourite resources including blogs, articles, YouTube channels, other podcasts and Twitter profiles.

In this episode we mentioned the following resources:

Let's talk!

Do you agree with our opinions? Do you have interesting AWS questions you'd like us to chat about? Leave a comment on YouTube or connect with us on Twitter: @eoins, @loige.

Help us to make this transcription better! If you find an error, please submit a PR with your corrections.

Luciano: Hello and welcome to AWS Bites, the weekly show where we answer your questions about AWS. I am Luciano and today I'm joined by Eoin. And before we get started, please let me remind you to please follow and subscribe this channel so you can be up to date every time we publish new episodes. And today's question is actually somewhat relevant to this because we want to try and answer the question, how do you keep up with AWS in 2022? The new year is just around the corner. So what are the best resources out there for you to know about all the news about AWS every time there is something worth knowing about? Eoin, do you want to try to start to give an answer to this question?

Eoin: Yeah, I guess we have to start off saying that everybody should keep listening to AWS and keep subscribing and listen to all the episodes because everything that we think is relevant and interesting to talk about will be having at least weekly episodes throughout 2022. There's so many resources out there. The question is how do you filter out and pick something? And I guess my habits change quite regularly and I dip in and out of various different pieces of content and it depends on my mood and what I'm doing and how much time I have. And sometimes I don't keep up to date for periods of time. And I guess that's the same for everybody. There are some people who are going to be obsessively keeping up to date and following RSS streams, RSS feeds of news announcements. That's not really how I like to do it. I suppose my strategy is kind of best effort, but also trying to keep a passive awareness of what's happening in the world of AWS in the background. And there's a couple of fairly fundamental AWS update resources I use just to kind of keep that passive awareness going. And one is the AWS official podcast. And sometimes I just listen to that when I'm traveling or have headphones in and I have a bit of time and they basically just read out all the announcements on that podcast. And so it's not particularly thrilling or opinionated, but it covers absolutely everything. So if you want to know what easy to instance types there are, or what new languages are available for Lex, then it will tell you everything in great detail. And it's kind of something that doesn't sink in too deep, but it's there in the back of your mind. So if you encounter it in the future, you might think about it. And another thing that's really useful for that is there's a Twitter feed. It's Twitter bot, not official, but it's called What's New on AWS. And I think it basically just tweets out all the announcements that come on the AWS official blogs. And you end up getting a few notifications per day. If you tick the bell on Twitter, then you get a few notifications every day and most of them will be pretty irrelevant to you and you can just ignore them instantly, but others are interesting and then you can dig deeper and read about them. So I find that really efficient way of keeping up to date. So those are pretty boring ones, but very useful. Yeah.

Luciano: I suppose on the last one, if you are more of a feed reader type of person, you can just subscribe to the feed reader from the official AWS announcement blog and you'll get the same type of content from the Twitter post. So yeah, it's interesting that we have these days a huge variety of medias where you can consume information from. I don't know, another option could be YouTube channels. There is no shortage of YouTube channels related to AWS and definitely a few shout outs to Marcia Villalba, FUBAR. It's a really good one. And I know that Marcia is also doing content in Spanish, so that could be also interesting. Could be another way to access this information if you prefer content in another language. There is again, no shortage of material out there. So that's another one that is definitely recommended. I'm always flipping between, I suppose, more YouTube videos and classic, more traditional blog posts or written articles. And I want to give another shout out to Borislav Atziv. I hope I am pronouncing it right. I ended up reading a lot of his CDK blog posts. They are very good, very in detail, and generally you find very complete examples. So that was a very specific quest for me at the beginning of last year to start learning more and more about CDK. So I ended up in this blog post and then started to read the next one and the next one and the next one and there is a lot of good material out there. It's very niche. I think it's mostly CDK, but if that's something you want to learn more about, definitely I recommend that particular blog. And by the way, you'll find all the links in the description of this episode. And yeah, let's see. Another one that I really like in terms of blog, and it's a little bit different, I guess, from most blogs is Werner Vogel's own blog post, because there is a huge effort in publishing regularly, I would say, but there are some blog posts that are actually very deep and you get a lot of principles and ideas about how to architect distributed systems, which is not always strictly related to AWS, but of course, it's some knowledge that you need to have and you need to keep building if you want to use AWS efficiently. And with that, of course, there are mixed blog posts where the focus is more maybe on a new service of AWS. So you can definitely also find that kind of, okay, what's new on AWS type of material. So I think it's an interesting combination of strictly related AWS topics, but also things that you might need to know in terms of how to architect good distributed systems. Yeah. Anything else on your radar? Yeah.

Eoin: There's a couple, I suppose, the first few things we mentioned that were about just keeping up to date with news announcements. We're getting into more like, how do you keep up to date with community and best practices and how to's and there's so much there. There's one set of resources I've been using quite a lot, which is the CloudAnnot blog and YouTube channel. And this is from Andreas and Michael Wittig, who are brothers who have an AWS consultancy. And the one thing that stands out about this content to me is that if you're looking for knowledge, as opposed to just discussion and opinions, these videos and blog posts are just really well crafted and very well thought out and informative. So they're always, I think, done in such a way that you have the video and the accompanying blog posts. So you've got both formats and they're just really well done. So if you're looking for how to set up SSO, for example, for the first time, or basic stuff around IAM or how to do code pipeline and code build, they've quite a lot of blogs that are just really informative and really well thought out. And I think they stand out as being different because they're just really knowledge rich and well structured and they're not so opinion based.

Luciano: They look like tutorials, right?

Eoin: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And they're just really well written and you always leave with a sense that you have a much more complete understanding than you started with.

Luciano: Yeah. And I also like that they have this kind of double format video and text so you can pick your favorite or even consume both as a second way of digesting the same type of information. Yeah, that's good. That's good. Yeah. And you were talking about Werner Fokkel's content.

Eoin: That's quite, I suppose, like you say, deeper. The builders library in AWS is kind of similar to that, isn't it? In that it's deeper architectural practices and organizational practices that are, I suppose, require a little bit more study. Yeah. Yeah.

Luciano: There are a couple actually of interesting articles that were even mentioned by Werner Vogels at his latest re-invent keynote. And one is about the importance of constant work. Another one is about how to design idempotent IPIs. And I think those two articles are actually very good in giving you information that maybe you have been exposed to, but probably you kind of underestimated. And it's good that they remark why these kind of concepts are so important to build very good distributed systems. But also they are kind of representative of the type of content you can find in this particular section of the AWS website. So all the content is pretty much that in-depth focus on one specific architectural topic. So if you are trying to become an architect or if you are already an architect and you want to explore more in-depth topics, I think that that's really a good resource. Yeah. Okay. That sounds good.

Eoin: I mean, when I'm in kind of busy periods, I guess it gets very difficult trying to watch videos or read blog posts and getting the time to actually sit down and focus. But podcasts can be pretty useful sometimes because you can have them on in the background and you mightn't hear everything and you might be able to focus on everything, but sometimes some of it just does stick and that could be useful and serve you in the future. So do you have any go-to podcasts?

Luciano: I actually want to mention two of them. One is probably the newest I've seen in this space is Adam Elmore's AWS FM. And I really liked that one because it feels a little bit lighter than at least many of the other types of content we have been mentioning because it's more a conversation between people that are prominent in the AWS ecosystem. And it's more about, I don't know, their life story, what they built, how did they get to the place where they are today. And of course, you get to learn a lot of interesting information about AWS, but it's more about the personal journey of the guests. So I think this is the kind of podcast you can listen without necessarily being too focused on the content, but still you can get a pretty good value for the time you spend listening to the podcast. So I really liked that particular format. But there is another one that is a little bit more technical, it's from Yan Cui, which is Real-World Serverless. And that one is a lot more, well, first of all, it's focused on serverless, but it's more the story of people that have built successful systems using serverless and what they learned. So there is a lot more like serverless from the trenches or you get to hear, okay, this did work, this did work. So that's a lot more practical and focused. So if you are interested in serverless, that's really a great resource. Yeah.

Eoin: And Yan Cui also has a bunch of really good blog posts on serverless that are, I suppose, indispensable for anybody in the space. I really like those two podcasts too. I mean, and there's the serverless chats one as well. I guess they all have different styles and approaches and it depends on the kind of mood I'm in, which one I listen to. But I do really like that real world serverless approach where you get people talking about the use cases and stuff they're really building and ultimately what doesn't work, which is sometimes missing from a lot of other content. Like what are the gotchas and the failure modes?

Luciano: Yeah, I think in a similar vein- Is there anybody? Exactly. Yeah, because Twitter is another way to consume pretty much like random content, right? But if you follow people then in a specific niche, then you get more focused on that particular type of content. And there are in particular three profiles that I really like. Emily Shea is probably one of the new profiles that I started to follow recently and she has been producing a lot of amazing content, especially targeting people that are starting with AWS. So if you are in that particular part of the journey, definitely follow Emily. You'll get a lot of value for that. And then other two are evangelists in AWS, Danilo Poce and 8OrLess. I think we mentioned them already in a previous episode. They are always producing a huge amount of material and even just giving you information about new services or things that you can now do in AWS that maybe you couldn't do before or it was more complicated. So it's good also to get few bits of information by just following their profiles. So definitely recommend it. Do you have any other profile you would recommend?

Eoin: I guess, yeah, I just wanted to call out, since you mentioned Emily Shea, I think we both managed to catch Emily's talk at Reinvent, which was a really, really excellent talk on serverless. And I think a lot of people who are using AWS, but thinking about getting into serverless might be looking at that in the new year and how do you discover more about serverless? And I think Emily's talk is a really good place to start. But another one I wanted to mention, and I think we mentioned serverless chats and Jeremy Daily as well.

Jeremy's off by none newsletter is a really, really good resource. So it's a weekly newsletter and because there's so much content out there, I think Jeremy puts a lot of time into distilling it down into like, here's some articles that I'd like to highlight for you. And it just makes it really efficient to keep up to date without having to do all the work. He's kind of done all the effort for you. So I just wanted to shout that out. And he's on Twitter as well. So we'll add his Twitter handle into the feed as well. But I think that's covered everything I had anyway. I think there's plenty there for people. But I'd be interested if what are we missing? Maybe people have some good suggestions out there.

Luciano: Yeah, it would be great if you can just leave us a comment or a tweet saying, okay, I would recommend this particular resource for whatever reason you like it. I think that will help us to give even more ideas and content to people following us. And also for us, maybe we can discover resources that we didn't know about. So that would be amazing.

Eoin: Yeah, maybe a good new year's resolution is to switch the people you follow and change the content you're consuming just to get out of the filter bubble and get some new perspectives on everything AWS. Absolutely. Okay.

Luciano: I think that's all we have for today. Thanks again for being with us and listening to this episode. Again, make sure to follow and subscribe us. And yeah, again, if you have comments or opinions, please share them. We'd love to hear. And if you have any question you would like us to answer, definitely send it our way and we'll try our best in one of the next episodes. And that's all. See you in the next episode.