Another milestone accomplished: Our AWS learning journey

Learning has been at the core of Udgama since its inception–and for good reason. As a company dealing with technology–one of the most rapidly evolving phenomena, constantly growing our skillset and knowledge is the only way to stay relevant with the times.

In everything we do, we follow the Udgama Way. We constantly learn and adopt the innovations and then apply them to the things we build.

Sometime early last year–we began getting fascinated with serverless technology. The more we explored it, the more we realized that it is a viable option to scale faster, and better without worrying about DevOps hassles. So, we definitely had to adopt this technology. For that, we chose one of the top serverless service providers in the market–Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Clearly, there was a learning gap that had to be filled and we were all up for the challenge. After looking up the best courses on AWS and setting the target of securing our position in the AWS Partner Network (APN), we launched on our AWS Journey.

The Story Today

A year and a half later, conquered the milestone that we set out to accomplish. Udgama has not only joined the AWS Partner Network and every member of our team has worked on one or the other Serverless Service by AWS.

In fact, over 60% of our team members are active AWS practitioners and have worked on some of the more advanced services like AppSync and Aurora. Not just that, the team is eyeing gettings its AWS certifications as an AWS Service Partner next.

However, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Each and every member of the team spent hours and weeks immersing themselves in the technology, completing courses, practice tests, and hands-on training to get here.

Aniket’s Journey

My first tryst with AWS was in March last year. Snehal and I were the first ones to give AWS a shot. Frankly, if you had asked me back then, I didn’t even clearly understand what serverless was, leave alone work on it. It was only after a while that I realized that serverless doesn’t mean working without servers. Rather, it means working on servers that you don’t have to maintain or manage–that’s on a third party.

Everything from databases, APIs, were new terms for me. So, we started where we start most of our journeys–on Coursera. We picked up some courses around developing backends on AWS and went through them. One after the other, we were able to get some idea about servers, AWS, and how we can use them in our development.

Then came the second part of our learning–the hands-on experience. The first learning that we started with was building GraphQL APIs using AppSync, RDS, S3, and IAM. It was only in December that we had our APIs ready and used AppSync. Then we moved on to use other services like, Lambda, DynamoDB, the list goes on.

Parallelly, we also got well-acquainted with Terraform to ace our serverless game and get into infrastructure automation. Presently, I don’t hesitate to use any AWS technology–in fact, I leveraged it a lot in our recent hackathon to develop an app within 15 days.

The experience

Even though I started the journey as a self-learner, soon enough we had the team to learn together with. By September last year, we had all our Saturday learning sessions focussed on serverless and AWS. In fact, we were spending at least 2-3 hours each day on learning. We had discussions where we pondered over better ways to do something and lab sessions to try them out on our own. Initially, Devendra was taking the sessions for us, but soon enough we got into peer-to-peer learning and sharing and helped one another on our AWS journeys.

Now, we’re busy preparing for the official AWS certifications–we’d take the exam soon. Each day, we solve questions together, learn together, share possible solutions and work on different AWS technologies. I am sure, we’ll get there!

Akshata’s Journey

My AWS Journey began sometime in September last year. Everything about AWS and its offerings was totally new to me. Thankfully, that was not the case for some of my other team members–and that was a blessing in disguise.

Every time we start learning a new tool, trying out new technology, or work on a new client–just the thought that there’s someone in the team who’s already accustomed to it is very comforting. That’s because they’re always around to reach out to.

That being said, we all have our individual journeys to complete, individual knowledge to gain. I started with taking different relevant courses related to development on AWS, exploring different services, and trying out different methodologies.

I explored RDS, Aurora, S3, Cognito, API Gateway to name a few. Most courses had a bunch of assignments. I would diligently try to finish them as soon as I could. For the ones which were a little tricky, we had Snehal, Aniket, and the others, ready to help out.

At present, together we’ve not only completed a lot of courses on AWS and Serverless development but have also developed TeamPlus using the same techstack.

The experience

It is only now that we realize how much easier it has made things for us. Previously, for any development, we’d spend days and hours in the management and provisioning of specs. We had to spend a major chunk of our time in writing secondary code than the one related to the core business offering.

Now, while building we are able to spend more time focussing on the frontend–the part that touches the user and could work on enhancing user experience. Not just that, we were able to release a lot into production much faster. In fact, if not for our AWS capabilities, we wouldn’t have been able to develop an app within 15 days for our hackathon.

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Just like Aniket and Akshata, most of the Udgama team is far along in their AWS journey and is all buckled up to give their AWS certification exam soon. Once through that, Udgama would be a certified AWS service delivery partner– a new feather on their AWS consulting cap. Stay tuned to know whether the Udgama team’s learning and effort bear fruits!

After all, they have to soon conquer this milestone and move on to the next. At Udgama, the learning goes on. Today AWS, tomorrow something else...the sky is the limit!

Aniket Kambli

Aniket Kambli

Akshata Waghe

Akshata Waghe