This is my journey of doing one thing for years
In August, I got an . awarded the name AWS Serverless Hero,
When I first got the email, I couldn’t believe it. After the public announcement, I considered it low. Once I started receiving greetings from my friends, family, coworkers, and strangers, none of it felt real. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me.
It made me wonder what I did worth it. Many of us in the AWS community, not just serverless, strive to be AWS Heroes, So what did I do that was special?
To answer that question, we need to take a few steps back to do some basic things in our careers.
i started with Tyler Technologies A month before graduating college in 2012. I often joked that the last month of school was the hardest, not because of the finals, but because I already had a full-time job that didn’t care whether I graduated or not.
I started working as a junior dev, building coarse client .NET applications. Recalling the early days, I definitely felt that I could not have been less prepared for this job. I had never worked in the tech industry before, so everything was new.
I didn’t fully understand source control. I had never done line-by-line debugging, and I didn’t know that a sprint was. That’s why I am busy learning. Unfortunately, and not terribly unusual for the position of most companies, there was little internal documentation on everything I needed to know. Getting up to speed was the act of reading semi-related internet articles and fail fast,
Over the next few years, as I progressed professionally, I was promoted to the rank of principal engineer. I owned several different applications and was responsible for onboarding new developers, among other things.
I would connect with their support organization, where I immediately recognized patterns in their work that could be automated. So I started building tooling to optimize their workflow. These tools took hours of processes down to a single button click.
We started preparing our documents. The onboarding, troubleshooting, best practices and standards were written so new developers didn’t have the same experience as me. At this stage of my career, helping others brought a real sense of satisfaction.
As time passed, that feeling only increased. I started helping other development teams in my division. I began giving presentations internally at developer conferences across the company. I wanted people to be the best they could be.
About seven years into my career at Tyler Technologies, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime. I had the opportunity to lead a team of Rockstar engineers to learn about the cloud. we have some Trial runs on different platforms Started early and decided that AWS Serverless was the right call.
When I started my career in 2012, it only took a month to realize this. There was no material online about building a completely serverless production-ready app. yan kui Been writing blog posts on Serverless for some time, which were incredibly helpful, but that was one of the only sources of information we could find.
So I decided to take up the challenge myself.
We were going to learn about serverless by diving headfirst, and I’ll document it thoroughly.
I started my journey at a convenient time. The 2019 deadline is where AWS Serverless started with its feasibility for production use. Sure, Lambda has been around since 2014 and DynamoDB since 2012, but these services were being scaled carefully towards production use cases, first realized around 2018-2019. Triggers and advanced features started popping up left and right, allowing us to seriously implement serverless in a production scenario.
as we made proof of concept And starting to form opinions on how this paradigm evolved, I started blogging.
People like to follow the journey. I felt like I was adopting a man who would be followed by many in the years to come. documenting key decision points and building reference architecture I can locate breadcrumbs in case I need a reminder along the way.
As I wrote, a few things started to happen. first me got my voice, This improved my writing ability and made me more confident professionally. I started having better conceptual discussions about Serverless with my team, leadership, and outside teams as I learned how to form my own opinions quickly.
Another result of my writing was increased community engagement. It was never of interest to me to expand my network beyond my team at work. I don’t understand how important it is to have a relationship professionally and personally.
As people started engaging with my content, I started making connections. This resulted in a better understanding of serverless as I got insights, tips, and tricks from others who were (or had solved) similar problems.
As of now, we are in 2022. I’ve been blogging for a few years, sharing my journey about serverless and the lessons learned from the important decisions we made. I have made connections in the community from a wide range of backgrounds. Still I wanted to contribute more.
In April, I started publish a newspaper, The goal was to serve customers catered content that was the best of the best from the serverless community. I also wanted to start by highlighting the people who were doing a great job in serverless, who may or may not get the recognition they deserved.
This resulted in even more connections and a greater sense of serverless. I started consuming everything I was writing about Serverless Weekly. I started a private conversation with serverless leaders about their journey and what was important to them.
I stopped asking questions in private and started asking them openly, Chances are, if I have a question, I won’t be the only one who needs an answer. Whatever I started doing, I started working actively to help people I could. If that means asking silly, obvious questions on Twitter, so be it.
Becoming a serverless hero was not something actively on my radar. This is not a program you apply for and for which you are approved or declined. It is a program that highlights community members who consistently help others with high-quality, meaningful advice. This is for those who wish to represent the AWS brand.
Is there anything special worth it? Honestly, I have no idea.
All I know is that I am deliberately trying to spread the good word of serverless through blog posts, newsletters, podcasts and community engagement. I wasn’t trying to be an AWS hero, so you can imagine the surprise when I got the invitation!
I firmly believe that your heart must be in the right place to be an AWS Hero. Many people believe that being a hero is a purposeful act – “If I write 100 blog posts about AWS, I’ll make it into the program.” It’s not like this.
It’s about being passionate. It is about sharing. It is about helping others.
My entire career, I have made it a goal to help others by documenting the road less traveled. At this point, it has become part of my identity. I’m a teacher, and I really care about that.
Regarding the question everyone is asking, “How do you become an AWS Hero,” my answer is simple: Help other people. There is no sure way to become one. Take it upon yourself to learn and grow, then pass it on to help others learn and grow like you did.
It is a true honor to be named AWS Serverless Hero. This is something I am not going to take lightly. I will continue to provide serverless content to the community. I will provide reference architecture, best practices, standards and patterns. I will build relationships with the community. We will go down this road together.
Thanks to everyone who helped me along the way. Thanks to my team who were in the trenches with me. Thanks to the connections I’ve made, new and old, and to everyone who answered my silly questions on Twitter. And thanks to my mentors, Mike Wolverton and Mark O’Neill. I really couldn’t do any of this without you.
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