We’ve talked a bit about different AWS things to think about when getting started with AWS, and quite a bit about Amazon EC2 instances and reserved instances.  If the time has come, and you’re ready to get out your credit card and begin to play around with AWS, I want to teach you about AWS’ best resources.

The good news, besides the fact they are free, of course, is you will see AWS’ best resources as soon as you log in.  Let’s start by taking a look at the first thing you will see.

Build a Solution

The fist thing you will see is a pane titled Build a Solution.

AWS' best resources build a solution

As you can see, AWS is ready to get you up and running, with a couple of ideas, as well as time estimates.  They claim you can get started with launching a virtual machine in one minute, and guess, what, they are right.  If you click Launch a virtual machine you will be brought to the Quick Launch an EC2 instance page.  From here, you only need four pieces of information, the Name of your virtual machine, the Operating System, the Instance Type, and the Private Ley.  Enter those four pieces of information, and you will have a virtual machine quickly up and running to use.  What better way to get acquainted with AWS?

Host a static website is also quick and easy to get started with.  You can start with an example website, or upload a website you already have code for.  All you need to do is name your website, and you are ready to get up and running.  AWS is also nice enough to let you know that most of their hosting costs less than one dollar a month, and will also let you associate your own domain with it, which they are also more than happy to let you register with them, as you can see from the Build a solution pane.

These were two quick and easy examples on how to start getting practical hands on experience with AWS, and it is easy to see how this can be one of AWS’ best resources.  Now, let’s move on to something a bit more advanced.

Learn to Build

If you scroll past the build a solution pane, you can see the Learn to build pane immediately following it.  Here is where you can find more information on getting started with AWS.  For the full experience, I recommend clicking see all in the right hand corner of the pane.

AWS' best resources learn to build

Now, you can see the full menu.  You can see selections on getting started building things like mobile apps, databases, and even websites.  Let’s continue with our website example.
AWS' best resources learn to build full options

As you can see, we have 3 tutorials, 3 labs, 3 videos, and 6 project guides just to help us get started building a website on AWS.  If we click Learn More under Websites, we will see the available options for all of AWS’ best resources.  I recommend the tutorials self paced labs if you are trying to understand more about AWS before diving right in.  If you are more adventurous, I recommend building with the project guides.

One such guide was Build a WordPress Website.  Once you click this project, you can also see AWS is nice enough to let you know what your skill level should be before starting it.  It recommends prior experience with WordPress, as well as intermediate familiarity with AWS and its services.  The tutorials and self paced labs are a great way to start building this experience.

As you can see, all you need is an AWS account to start to leverage some of AWS’ best resources.  Starting with the numerous tutorials, self paced labs, and easy to implement projects is a great way for any learner to get some hands on experience with AWS.  Don’t forget to take a good look at the AWS cost estimates provided with each project, because the actual AWS resources like compute and storage are not free.