May 29, 2020

What Does an AWS Developer Do?

Few fields in the world of IT are more exciting or offer more promise for the future than cloud computing.

Cloud computing is one of the biggest transformative trends in the tech industry. Over the past decade or so, everything from office software, to image processing, to project management, to database software, to games has been transitioning to the cloud.

Few things have accelerated the transition to the cloud as much as the coronavirus pandemic. With an unprecedented number of employees working from home during the pandemic, cloud computing became a critical component to companies’ ability to keep functioning.

With companies continuing their transition to the cloud, cloud developers are in high demand, with bright career prospects.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

When looking at the tech industry at large, it’s easy to see why cloud computing has become so popular.

First and foremost, one of the biggest advantages of cloud computing is cost savings. With a traditional enterprise model, a company must invest in the hardware and software needed to run their organization. If the company anticipates rapidly growing and scaling, that could require spending millions of dollars on software and equipment that may or may not be fully used. With cloud computing, a company can pay only for what they need, when they need it.

A second, closely related, the advantage is scalability. Rather than needing to ramp up, deploy, test and troubleshoot new hardware and software, cloud computing gives companies the ability to scale almost immediately.

Mobility is another significant advantage of cloud computing. Whereas legacy software often supports one or two operating systems, cloud computing relies on web-based applications. As a result, virtually every major platform is supported. In an era when bringing your own device (BYOD), phone and tablet-based work has become more common, cloud computing provides a way to support employees and help them be most productive.

Security is a feature that is often overlooked, largely because of misconceptions about cloud computing. Many individuals erroneously believe cloud-based computing is less secure than legacy, on-premise systems. Study after study has shown, however, that cloud computing often provides a higher degree of security.

Automatic updates and disaster recovery are two more closely related benefits. Because cloud-based applications automatically update, there is no need to worry about expensive and time-consuming upgrade cycles. In addition, because everything is backed up to the cloud, cloud computing makes it far easier to recover from a disaster, compared to companies that are still housing everything locally.

Amazon Web Services: The Current Industry Leader

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the current market leader in the US cloud industry, with some 32.4% of the market. Companies of all sizes really on AWS, including some of the biggest names in tech, such as Netflix, The Weather Channel, Reddit, HTC, Twitch, ESPN, Facebook, BBC, LinkedIn, Twitter, Adobe and more.

The US government also relies heavily on AWS, with the company being the first ever to achieve the Pentagon’s coveted Impact Level 6 security clearance. The clearance gives AWS the authority to store sensitive government information in the cloud, rather than on air-gapped computers, as was previously required.

Although Amazon continues to face increasing competition, especially from Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Oracle, there’s little reason to believe the company will be unseated from the top spot anytime soon.

What Is Involved in AWS Development?

As the above illustrates, AWS developers enjoy a wide and varied workload. In fact, in many ways, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what an AWS developer does thanks to the wide variety of companies who rely on AWS.

One of the biggest factors for an AWS developer is clearly understanding exactly what the organization is trying to achieve, why it is using the cloud and how it plans to continue using it to meet its goals.

While it is possible to use AWS without knowing how to program, having a solid basis in a major programming language will make life much easier and give the developer far more options. Java, .Net, Python, Ruby, Node.js and PHP are some of the most common. Developers who are proficient in at least one, will be far better equipped to handle complex tasks.

An AWS developer must fully understand and grasp what AWS offers and the services included in its ecosystem. Like any complex environment, AWS has different tools for different tasks, and it’s up to the AWS developer to know which one is the best option in any given circumstance.

AWS Development: A Career Choice With a Guaranteed Future

In an era when companies large and small are turning to the cloud, there’s never been a better time to pursue a career as an AWS developer. Individuals who choose this career path would do well to learn at least one language commonly used, and become intimately familiar with the entire AWS ecosystem.

Tags AWS Cloud Computing
Matt Milano
Technical Writer
Matt is a tech journalist and writer with a background in web and software development.

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