AWS-Siklab-2019-logo
Image Credits: Amazon Web Services Philippines

The Siklab Pilipinas event was a success, and I am glad to have been a part of it.

Ever since I gave birth to my son in 2016, I stopped attending tech events. Eventually, the adjustment to motherhood became a bit of a crutch. I got cold feet whenever I saw tech events pop up on my Facebook news feed and email subscriptions. I could not get myself out of the house due to some form of permanent exhaustion. For a while, I was just a nerdy bookworm consuming dozens of Kindle books while hiding under the body of a breastmilk dispenser.

As a mom, it’s truly hard to carve out time for evening tech talks. When I was still single, it was much easier to head off to a startup meeting venue after office hours. These days, most of these coding and pizza nights go against my son’s bedtime rituals. I also live 3 hours away from where most of these events are held so it takes a whole production number (e.g. babysitting logistics, travel time, etc.) before I get to attend a single event.

This month is probably the only time I am starting to get out of my shell or suburban cave to attend events like this again. There is a significant difference between my casual dabbling with tech during my single days to my deeper dive in tech now as a career shifter. Five years ago, I was attending events left and right like a boat without a rudder, completely undecided if I should leave my original industry (geospatial) for IT and web development work. I was swayed by shiny objects without taking time to consolidate or really specialize in something. Now that the dust has settled, I mustered the courage to formally switch gears albeit belatedly.

I decided to attend selected events that are aligned with my interests at work and in the academe. Fortunately, my boss RJ sent me to attend the Amazon Web Services Philippines Siklab event for work. I almost backed out by force of habit. But in the end, I decided to go. I am glad he got me out of my shell for this.

As a result, I had the privilege of working with geniuses in the office for this 2-day learning and hacking session. True to its name, Siklab sparked inspiration for me to continue in this path and do what’s necessary to scale up my learning curve.

It mattered little that 90% of the people in the hall were almost half my age. It’s also highly likely that I am the only mother in the group since a majority of the participants were students.

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Image Credits: Veena B. of Cascadeo

Siklab is on its 2nd year here in the Philippines. The localized event is very useful for familiarizing with what AWS does and preparing for cloud certifications like the AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam. It does not assume that you have background information on cloud services offered by Amazon Web Services; it orients you and helps you get started with a cloud career through a combination of lectures, hands-on exercises, and a fun gaming afternoon.

The Technical Essentials lecture session with Emily was very useful for preparing for cloud certification. The first day was dedicated to that and we had a run through of S3, EC2, and VPCs, among many other things.

Day 2 was even more exciting. A couple of AWS PH solutions architects facilitated the workshop in the morning. One of the interesting setups I learned was hands-on for Serverless Architecture. They made the step by step instructions available on Github. I was really fascinated at how quickly they deployed the Node JS web application using AWS Lambda. Years ago, it would have taken days or weeks to set something up similarly.

AWS is not the only cloud solutions provider with certifications. There’s Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft, too, and I hope to explore them as well. But in the interest of focusing on execution of learnings, I plan to stick to one for now.

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