AWS Dev Hour focuses on cloud-native app building

Amazon is set to launch a new training program on its Twitch service called AWS Dev Hour: Building Modern Applications. The series targets developers building cloud-native apps.

Amazon will launch a new training series to teach developers how to build cloud-native applications in a bid to draw more coders to its platform.

The series, AWS Dev Hour: Building Modern Applications, which will kick off on January 28, is a free, eight-week show on AWS Twitch. Twitch, a subsidiary of Amazon, is a popular video livestreaming service.

The AWS Dev Hour: Building Modern Applications series is designed for developers who want to learn to build cloud-native applications, including those who have previously developed on-premises applications or have developed software using other cloud environments, said Scott Barneson, director of learning products, AWS training and certification, in an interview.

Not for beginners

Although Amazon is hoping to reach developers of all different skill levels with its programs, this series is not particularly geared for beginners.

Rather, it's best suited for "people who have basic development experience and understand the fundamentals of application development," Barneson said. The course will guide learners step-by-step through the application development process, allowing them to build as they learn with a continuous hands-on project that they'll complete as they follow along in the series.

In fact, one of the key aspects about Twitch that AWS likes most is the interactivity and engagement the platform fosters, he said. The AWS training and certification chat moderators are all AWS authorized instructors who will answer participants' questions throughout each AWS Dev Hour show. Individuals can also subscribe to a weekly email with additional resources to help them out, such as white papers, documentation and even the code used by the hosts.

The series is built by developers for developers and will run through an end-to-end build of a serverless application in the AWS Cloud using the AWS Free Tier, said Deborah Strickland, a senior product marketing manager at AWS, in a blog post. The course will use several Amazon products and services including AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon API Gateway, the React library, authentication, Amazon Simple Storage Service, Amazon Simple Queue Service and AWS CodePipeline, she said.

The Amazon free training programs are designed to meet a variety of learner needs.

"We expect that the majority of people who take our skills training courses are those who have some background in tech already, but our goal is to make these training tools widely available and continue expanding programs for people across all skill levels -- including those with little or no cloud knowledge," Barneson said.

More training, more developers?

At its re:Invent 2020 conference, Amazon committed to provide free technical skills training to 29 million people globally by 2025.

Low-code/no-code tools and an abundance of free training could help to change the developer landscape in the near term, as far as building more basic applications.

The only cautionary note I'd add is that software development is only one area of need. Cybersecurity in particular also has a desperate shortage of people.
Jason BloombergAnalyst, Intellyx

However, introductory training and "low-code tools can accelerate and streamline the work of professional developers, but rarely if ever actually enable organizations to reduce their developer headcount," said Jason Bloomberg, an analyst with Intellyx in Suffolk, Va. "The shortage of qualified developers will continue to be a problem in the years to come, and increased training opportunities can only help."

Meanwhile, companies offering this type of training also have an opportunity to encourage women and people of color to participate. Not only will these efforts help these constituencies, but the increased diversity and inclusion could lead to better software.

"The only cautionary note I'd add is that software development is only one area of need," Bloomberg said. "Cybersecurity in particular also has a desperate shortage of people. I'd encourage any company offering developer training to add cybersecurity training to the mix."

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