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AWS: AWS Developer: Building on AWS

AWS experts show how to leverage your developer skills to build and run applications in the AWS Cloud.
AWS Developer: Building on AWS
6 weeks
3–4 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
This course is archived
Future dates to be announced

About this course

Skip About this course
In this course, part of the AWS Developer Series, you will develop and deploy applications on the AWS platform. Throughout the course, working in Python on Linux, you will develop a web application building upon your developer skills and using AWS services and tools.

Your AWS instructors will guide you through getting started with AWS, creating an account, and installing SDKs. Throughout the course, we will use hands-on exercises to build out a web application.

You will use both the Amazon EC2 and AWS Lambda compute services, as well as learn about object stores by saving and accessing images and video in Amazon S3. You will use Amazon Rekognition to analyze images and video. Collected data will be managed using the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). You will refactor your application along the way, increase availability using load balancing, and improve performance and durability using messaging and queuing with the AWS SNS messaging service and Amazon SQS queuing service. 

Throughout the class, your instructors will introduce you to general AWS concepts such as Regions, Availability Zones, Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs), and Security Groups. You will use the AWS service APIs programmatically via AWS SDKs, the AWS CLI, and the AWS Cloud9 Integrated Development Environment (IDE). 

Class discussions will provide an opportunity for you to interact with fellow students as well as AWS training staff. When you have completed this class, you will be ready to continue on into the second course in this series, which will focus on deploying applications in the cloud.

At a glance

  • Institution: AWS
  • Subject: Computer Science
  • Level: Advanced
  • Prerequisites:
    1-3 years of software development experience

    *You will need a credit card to create an AWS account.
  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills: Application Deployment, Amazon Web Services, AWS Lambda, Relational Databases, Linux, Virtual Private Cloud, Load Balancing, Integrated Development Environments, Amazon Simple Queue Services, Application Programming Interface (API), Amazon S3, Python (Programming Language), Cloud9 (Software), AWS CLI (Command Line Interface), Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), Amazon Rekognition

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • How to create and manage an AWS account
  • AWS fundamental concepts including Regions, Availability Zones, and Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs)
  • How to install and use the AWS SDKs
  • How to use AWS compute services, both via the AWS Console and programmatically
  • How to use AWS managed services such as Amazon RDS
  • How to use Amazon AI image and text-to-speech applications
  • How to make your applications more durable, distributed, and highly available
Week 1
Welcome to the Course
  • Welcome to Building on AWS
  • Meet the instructors
  • Discussion:Introduce yourself
  • What are we building this course? Project Intro
  • Intro to Week 1
Getting Started on AWS
  • Why should I (developer) build on the AWS cloud?
  • AWS Free Tier
  • Quiz
  • Exercise 1: Creating an AWS Account
  • Service Oriented Architectures and APIs in AWS
  • Exercise 2: Hello Amazon EC2
  • Quiz
Cloud Infrastructure and Responsibility
  • Understanding AWS Infrastructure
  • Networking: Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
  • AWS vs Developer responsibility in the cloud
  • Quiz
  • EC2 Metadata
  • Exercise 3 - Logs, SSH, instance metadata
  • Quiz
Week 1 Discussion
Weekly Readings/Resources

Week 2
Invoking AWS APIs/ AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Create an AWS IAM user/access key video
  • Exercise 4: AWS IAM user, CLI, Boto, access keys
    AWS APIs
Amazon S3
  • Intro to Amazon S3
  • Amazon S3 Access Control
Working with our Development Environment
  • Developing on AWS Cloud
  • Exercise 5: AWS Cloud 9
  • Quiz
Amazon Rekognition
  • Introduction to Amazon Rekognition
  • Exercise 6: Amazon Rekognition
Week 2 Discussion
Weekly Readings/Resources

Week 3
Storing Structured Data using AWS Managed Databases
  • AWS IAM Roles
  • Amazon Relational Database Service
  • Exercise 7: Amazon RDS
  • Quiz
Availability and Application Failure
  • Availability
  • What could go wrong?
  • Elastic Load Balancer
  • Exercise 8: Deploy an instance add ALB
  • Quiz
Week 3 Discussion
Weekly Readings/Resources

Week 4
Adding Support for Users and Private Data to the Application
  • Amazon Cognito
  • Authorization Flows in Our Application
  • Securing the Connection to the Server with TLS
  • End-to-End and At Rest
  • Using SSH Tunnel to Connect to C9
  • Exercise 9: Adding Amazon Cognito
  • Quiz
Week 4 Discussion
Weekly Readings/Resources
Exercise - Challenge — Adding Polly to your application

Week 5
Debugging and Profiling a Distributed System
  • AWS XRay
  • Exercise 10: Adding X-Ray
  • Quiz
Taking a Task Off the Server Asynchronously
  • Intro to AWS Lambda
  • Exercise 11: AWS Lambda
  • Quiz
Week 5 Discussion
Weekly Readings/Resources

Week 6
Making our System More Distributed
  • Event Driven Architectures
  • How do AWS services do Async?
Queueing and On-Premises Hardware
  • Amazon Simple Queuing Service
  • Exercise 12 - Amazon SQS
Course Wrap up
  • Couse Wrap up and Preview of Next course
  • End of Course Assessment
Weekly Readings/Resources
Week 6 Discussion

Frequently Asked Questions

Skip Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I am a Java, C++, etc. developer.  Will this class be of value to me?
A. We have chosen to use Python for this class but the concepts learned here should easily transfer to other languages

Q. Are there any costs associated with this course?
A. Learners can register for the course in an Audit track or Verified Certificate track. The Audit track is free, but limits the duration of access to 6 weeks from registration. The Verified Certificate track costs $149 and provides full access to course content for the duration. Please visit for more information.

In addition to course registration costs, this course provides optional hands-on exercises which may have an associated charge in your AWS account. Please familiarize yourself with the AWS Free Tier at

Please note that the AWS Free Tier also has a limit on the amount of resources that you can consume before you begin accruing charges. If you perform these hands-on exercises, there is a chance you may incur charges on your AWS account.  Please visit the AWS Free Tier page for more information.  

Q. Do I need a credit card to create an AWS Account?
A. Yes, you will need a credit card to activate your AWS account.

Q. How much time will this course require?
A. If following the weekly schedule, learners should plan to spend 2-4 hours per week on this course.  However, learners may complete the course at their own pace.

Q. Will I receive a certificate for this course?
A. Learners enrolled in the Verified Certificate path will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.

Q. What is the grading policy for this course?
A. All learners may take weekly quizzes, which are not graded and allow unlimited retries.

Learners in the Verified Certificate track are able to take the final course assessment in the course. Passing the final assessment is required to obtain the Verified Certificate.

Learners in the Audit track will not have access to the final assessment, and will not be able to earn a certificate.

Q. How are discussions used in this course?
A. This course has discussion groups aligned to each week of the course. We encourage learners to ask questions or offer suggestions and feedback.  AWS Instructors will monitor the discussion groups to answer questions specific to the exercises and topics covered in the course.

Q. Will this course help me prepare for an AWS Certification?
A. Earning an AWS Certification typically requires both knowledge and experience. While this course, if taken in isolation, will provide you with relevant information and skills, it likely will not equip you to earn an AWS Certification. For more information about AWS Certifications, including recommended training and experience requirements, visit

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