About AWS Jam
AWS Jams events are designed to help individuals people like us to learn new skills of AWS and test our AWS knowledge. However knowledge about AWS is not much needed. There are easy, medium, and hard challenges that you can potentially split up across more and less advanced members, or you could choose to work on each one as a team or solo team, i will recommend to try solo.
You can choose your team members beforehand so that you can work with friends and colleagues, or you can select your skill level and be assigned to a team with others. When the challenge begins, you’ll be taken to the Jam dashboard that shows all the available challenges to complete, as well as a leaderboard with the top teams. You earn points depending on how fast you solve challenges and how many hints (clues) you use.
I recommend to sign up solo so you could see how far you get just looking at the AWS documentation and figuring out the challenges. If you’re curious as to how I placed, I’ve attached a screenshot of my score.
Also, you don’t need to pay for any of the AWS resources you use during the Jam session- just sign up and you’ll get put into some test environments to complete the challenges.
1. [Hands-on experience] (especially when it’s free) is crucial for any kind of learning
It’s a different kind of learning when you finish a project by following to the letter a tutorial’s steps and when you have to create something using tools you might be familiar with but in an unfamiliar setting. For AWS, this might mean using services you aren’t familiar with or using services you’ve worked with before in a different way.
In the Jam session I joined, each challenge put me in an AWS environment where some services were already set up and I was tasked to reconfigure some of the services or add new components. The challenge instructions gave the end goal, but it didn’t tell you exactly what to do. This is why it felt different from following a tutorial. While it’s true that all the answers were in the AWS documentation, I still had to explore multiple options and fiddle with the AWS console and cry when things broke and Google what to do after things break and only after all that would I be able to sigh in relief as I completed the challenge.
After I finished the session, it struck me that completing the different challenges forced me to learn new things. But going through four hours of focusing on AWS gave me a clearer picture of how to move forward with my AWS studying. I used maybe a dozen services and walked through implementing different configurations for DevOps and modernization related tasks.
2. [intensive searchexperience]Solving problems when you don’t know anything is hard, but that’s why Google (and documentation) exists
Sometimes I get stuck just looking at problems without actually looking for answers. Thankfully, unlike many high-school/university exams, when you’re solving problems in real life you’re allowed to use the internet! This is not to say that you shouldn’t spend any time familiarizing yourself with the basics. most people go through some process of Googling and looking up documentation when things don’t work.
3. [Time Management Experiance ]Competition is a great motivator
I was trying jam for first time. As I was working on the challenges, I’d occasionally check the scoreboard to see how I was doing. In the beginning, I was happy to see myself at 43rd, but after completing two more challenges I had dropped to 55th.
I blew through another challenge and saw that I was back under 50 However, with only half an hour left I felt like there was more than enough time for another team to overtake me, so I pushed through the mental fatigue and began another challenge. I finished the first three parts and I couldn’t figure out the final component as the last minutes ticked away.
Take a break
If you are stuck in a problem for long time you should take a break and come back after having snacks or listening to music. this helped me a lot. when i come back after the break with a fresh mind , then again i read that question then i realised i have missed a step.
Best of luck!