I recently updated my Linkedin profile to reflect a new role as an Amazon Web Service (AWS) Community Builder. I received a lot of well-wishes and questions. A few of my colleagues and well-wishers wondered if I had joined AWS full-time. Others were interested in learning more about the AWS Community Builder program and why I joined. This post will cover all those topics.
Before we go any further, I'd like to state that I am not on Amazon's payroll for this role. Think of it as a volunteer position affiliated with AWS.
If you had asked me about the AWS community builder program a few months ago, I would have replied, "What is the AWS Community Builder?" I happened to come across the program on Linkedin by accident. Before that, I didn't know about this program or whether it even existed.
During my research, I discovered that anyone interested in participating in the program may still apply. When it comes to AWS services, I don't have much experience as opposed to others. However, I have unique skills, expertise, and community involvement that I believed would benefit the AWS community. As a result, I applied for the role. And to my surprise, I got selected.
The application process involves answering a few questions about your experience and what you would add to the community. Although it is not required, submitting your past work will help your application. Past work includes but not limited to blog postings, presentations, conference speaking, podcasts, social media, and open-source activities. As to what is the selection criteria, your guess is as good as mine. You'll also need to choose a topic category. Topics are sub-categories that cover different areas of technology. "Data & Analytics" was my selection. It's a subject on which I'm well-versed and frequently work.
In contrast to the AWS Hero program, which requires nominations, anybody can apply to become an AWS community builder.
The program provides technical resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities to AWS enthusiasts and emerging thought leaders. Who are also passionate about sharing knowledge and interacting with the technical community.
Throughout the program, subject matter experts will mentor and share insights, including information about the latest services, best practices for developing technical content, boosting reach, and sharing AWS knowledge across online and in-person communities.
The program runs in 12-month increments for each member, but if you feel you need to learn new skills, say in a different subject, you can reapply to stay in the program. Re-application is a slightly different process than applying for the first time as an AWS community builder.
After a few months into the program, I've come to think of it as the AWS community-led program for the community (both AWS and non-AWS). However, with the assistance, mentorship, and support from AWS.
Each community builder has their motivations for joining the program. Here are some of mine:
- Share my expertise and experience with others outside of the performance engineering community. This program gives me the opportunity and exposure to reach out to a larger audience. People from various backgrounds, countries, industries and technical experience that make up the community. Moving forward, you can expect to see me publishing more at Dev, addressing questions on the AWS community channels, and working on a handful of side projects to promote AWS community.
- Immediate access to the AWS support team and over 1000 AWS professionals from across the world. Experts who deal directly or indirectly with AWS services daily. Having this many SMEs in one place for 12 months is an accomplishment in itself for the AWS community builder program. Only in reinvent, you possibly see and meet these many professionals over five days.
- I could learn a lot from the community and also make new connections. Everyone has a unique tale and experience to share.
- Challenge me and acquire new skills. Throughout the year, AWS will deliver several webinars on various topics. The topics aren't just limited to AWS services. For example, I had access to a webinar on "Best practices for writing awesome technical blog posts" by Jeff Barr, the AWS Chief Evangelist. "Upping Your Video Conferencing Game for All Budgets" was another webinar I attended.
- Opportunities to learn from AWS partners too. Some of whom provide access to third-party tool trials, sandboxes, and training.
- There are numerous other reasons that I have not mentioned in this post. However, the five reasons listed above were the primary motivators.
There you have it. That concludes the post about the AWS community builder program and the reasons why I decided to participate.
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