【Report】How to Get from Zero to Hundreds of AWS-Certified Engineers #reinvent #ENT210



Post by : Aimi Shioya, Lead Operations Engineer, Classmethod CANADA

This blog article is an English version of this.


This report is about re:Invent 2017 breakout session, ENT210 - How to Get from Zero to Hundreds of AWS-Certified Engineers.



For many organizations, a perceived lack of cloud skills in their staff can limit their move to the cloud. Proper training of your engineers and developers can speed the pace of adoption, cloud migration, and delivery of business benefits by effectively operating the AWS Cloud. In this session, we discuss field-proven, prescriptive steps for reskilling and scaling your technical teams so that you can use the AWS Cloud securely, efficiently, and effectively.

Session document


This session is about non technical information which has migrated from On-premise to Cloud, by engineers. If one would like to migrate their system to Cloud, who would be in charge? There are 2 choices.

  1. New Hire
  2. Train existing

New hire is a good way, but it needs time for that. Hiring someone and training them takes a long time for them to become fully qualified. So training the existing member is a better way than hiring someone new. It's more efficient to upgrade their engineering skills which they have been involved in that system, and it's quicker and cost effective than hiring someone new.

The following reports focuses on "Train exsisting". This is about the experience of the speaker and I have summarized it and put together my opinion.

12 steps that worked really well to scale the holistic approach

Step1 Acceptance


Even though do it! Let's go into Cloud from On-premise! It's not going to be easy.

When there is something new to get started, some people are positive and are on board with it. However some people are negative to start new thigns. The people who are negative should get motivated from the positive team member without feeling flustration and lose motivation.
I empathise negative people because I can also have negatevie feelings. As for me, when I start something new, I never lose my motivation but I feel frustration. The reason why I feel frastration is because the information is new for me to understand and the technology is also new for me. I don't allow my negativity to take over my feelings gradually I instead I keep doing it and I"m getting new knowledge and experience. So It becomes fun. In addtion I can share my knowledge with other teamates.

Step2 Training


If you want to know more about AWS taking their traing course is a good way. You can choose from a 1 day course or more.

Step3 Safe hands-on Time


Hands-on is important. Preparing a sandbox environment for the team members in which they can learn, test adn for the get great experience. Also, it's important to decide an apporopriate budget in preparing this environment.

Step4 Two-pizza team


This topic is about how to scale the team members for it to be effective. The number of people in the team can be compare to sharing two pizzas. If there is a large group of team members, they should be devided into two groups in which the size of these groups is the same as the mount of people been able to share pizza. In other words, having 8 to 10 people in group is easier to communicate same as having 8 to 10 people sharing 2 pizzas.

・Product Manager/Engineering Manager
Need 2 leaders. A leader in charge of technical, and other leaders in charge of EQ.
・Infrastructure engineers ×2
・Security engineers ×2
・Operation engineers ×2
・Application Engineers ×2

Step5 Bring in experts


There are thousands of fantastic partners all over the world and let the experts work with you!

What the speaker actually did is,
・Bring one engineer from partner company join his team.
・Pair program with partner company and create CloudFormation.
・If team members have questions and/or something unknown, it's can be directed to partner company.

Step6 Make it real


Let's assume, you are shipping a product.
・It is something important in your bisiness, but not critical.
・It is not critical and the deadline hasn't decided.

The client hasn't decided deadline, although the deadline has been decided by the team to ship the product. If you expect to ship the product within 12 weeks and a problem happens shich communicate and you can not finished to meet that time restriction, consult with the leader to eliminate this problems right away.

Step7 Scale the learning by splitting teams


Splitting the teams. All the members don't need to be expert, you just need to an expert to join the team.

Step8 Certification


Getting AWS cerfitications is very important. It will help engineers.

The training is below.
・AWS training course
・Cloud guru
・Other training online site

Step9 Scaling certification and associated leadership


It is key to reach member's cerfifications acquisition rate to 10%.

Why 10%?
Rensselaer Polytechnic Insutitute in New York found that just 10% of the population holds an unshakable belief their belief will always be adopted the majority.

Step10 Recognize and reward experties--loudly!


Your team members get certification or upgrade skills, need to evaluate and reward them. You've got this accumulatin mass of expertise in your team.

Step11 Take the challenge yourself


It's important to challange. If everyone is challenged, you also get challenged!
For scaling a team, it is effective that different learning methods and ideas are used between members.

Step12 Create unifying job family portfolio


What the organization looks like?

Create portfolio!


This breakout session is about how to compensate the lack of skills to migrate to the cloud, however the key point to make a good team for anyfield. I think it's difficult to adopt all off the steps above, although those are really important points. I would like to implement them. I hope this blog article would will be helpful.