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👋 Hey! My name is Wojciech Gawroński, but others call me AWS Maniac.

My goal is to safely guide you through the cloudy and foggy space of the AWS portfolio.

👉 Start here!

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has an ever-growing list of services (175 in 2020). They release a massive number of updates annually (more than 500 in 2020). I am sure that you are aware of how insanely potent and powerful platform it is. However, leveraging its full potential requires time and knowledge to rapidly gain hands-on experience. It sounds like madness in such an environment, isn’t it?

Indeed it is! That’s why you need an AWS maniac.

I know that AWS from the outside looks like an overcomplicated mess. Those numbers provided above are overwhelming. When you read these words, there is a non-zero probability that they have released another service or at least updated an existing one in the portfolio.

Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services

Yet, according to many sources and independent auditors (like Gartner presented above) Amazon Web Services is the unquestionable leader. The best, the most reliable, and most mature platform available on the market.

Helpful maniacs

You are in the right place if you are:

  • overwhelmed with such an extensive portfolio of services available on AWS platform,
  • thinking how to tame an avalanche of announcements and updates coming from the cloud provider,
  • looking for battle-tested solutions for leveraging the full power of Amazon Web Services,
  • in need of help and eyes of an experienced cloud architect that may save your project,
  • wondering what to avoid when working with the AWS portfolio,
  • interested in building real and practical knowledge about particular services available there.

Imagine that you have answers for those and many other important questions that are on your mind. You what to use, what to avoid, how to approach that, when to use what, how to grow and maintain your digital product and systems.

You do not have to drink the kool-aid from the AWS firehose alone!

This firehose is ready to water you down with an update on the AWS platform

Relieved? That’s why you should rely on maniacs like me.

Why this term? The word maniac comes from the Greek phrase mania, which means:

μᾰνῐ́ᾱ • (maníā) f (genitive μᾰνῐ́ᾱς); first declension

  1. madness, frenzy, enthusiasm
  2. mad desire, compulsion

That’s why I like it so much and why I chose this as a nickname. First: it’s much easier to remember than my name (I get it, it’s Polish 🇵🇱 - I am proud of that, but hey - it is unspeakable for most people 😉). Second: it represents my attitude towards the topic.

Do not get me wrong: I am not blind. Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure are great platforms too, but AWS is my specialization, not by accident. Amazon Web Services platform is not only a leader, but they represent pragmatism and innovation at the same time.

Why pragmatism? Because they focus on builders. Their motto and video series Now Go build describe it very well. Why is it essential for me? If I had to choose one reason why I am in IT, it is because of the possibility of creating unimaginable structures from literally nothing. And there is nothing more potent than seeing those structures in action. It is incredibly grateful for being able to observe your creation, a working software doing its job. It looks like a well designed, oiled machine, humming through a queue of business problems, and it does the job in a way that nobody else thought about.

Speaking about innovation at AWS: you do not believe me, right? So, let’s go back to 2014 when AWS Lambda was announced. In November that year, they have invented serverless and provided it to the world. And that is not the only example: EC2, SQS, DynamoDB, S3, Redshift, Aurora, and others are the representation of the unsurpassed standards for our industry. And when they were announced (some in 2006), those services have paved the way in their categories.

Now, when I have explained why AWS (probably some of you do not have to be persuaded), allow me to tell you how it can help you.

How I and AWS can help you?

Delivering software as an industry is classified as a part of science (it is a branch computer science). However, plenty of people identify with a snarky comment that it is not at all about computers, neither about science. I am not such a person.

I always say that a sufficiently hard-working, patient, eager to learn, a diligently read person can be a programmer, administrator, you name it. I strongly believe in “deliberate practice”. It is an exercise that focuses on your boundaries’ systematic push and learning what you can do. Its essence is focused on a PDCA loop (Plan, Do, Check, Act) - everything based is on the feedback you will get and conclusions that you will draw from it for the next iterations.

My goal is to experiment, practice, and document everything I learn about cloud computing and Amazon Web Services. And I will do my best, that it will be done in a way that provides the most significant value to you.

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A few words about me

I am a very fortunate person. I had found my itch when I was 3 or 4 years old. How? My dad is a programmer. There is a funny story that, as a 4-year-old kid, I have learned letters in a visual way - because of the keyboard, so I could use DOS and play games on my own.

It may sound like a cliche, but I love what I am doing and never worked a single day in my life so far.

4 years old happy Wojtek is playing *Winter Challenge* on a *386SX IBM PC* (circa 1991-1992)

So it was natural for me to graduate and work in IT. As a typical computer nerd I wrote several 3D games (sigh, okay - mostly engines… 😅), played with less user-friendly Linux distributions (Gentoo, Arch) and window managers (XMonad), I dived into obscure computer science corners like distributed systems theory. In other words: I live and breathe everything that is IT related.

It did not change after starting my commercial career. After 12 years, and I am not bored at all, still passionate about it as in day 1. During my career, I have participated in excellent and bad projects. I have worked in very different environments: giant corporations, product houses, software houses, start-ups.

I have worked with Delphi, C, C++, C#, ASP.NET, JavaScript (mostly vanilla, but also AngularJS, Backbone.js, a butt load of Node.js, React.js, and TypeScript), Erlang and Elixir, Python, Java, Scala, Kotlin and many others (e.g., Clojure, Rust, R, Lua or Julia anyone?). And of course, I have my favorite languages (❤️ functional programming ❤️). However, I think that the programming language and library is just a tool for achieving the goal. And IT should be a servant to the business.

I have worked with legacy systems older than I am, and I was an architect and team member that built a complete greenfield. The best projects I remember have one thing in common: they were either running or delivered to the production, and I could have worked with them for a longer time. That included support, monitoring, and maintenance. That’s how I have started to look further into DevOps, operations and cloud computing.

This landscape provided me the thing that I have subconsciously desired in IT projects. Deliverability is the ultimate goal of an IT project. That’s the only way you can provide value, verify your work’s quality, and test your real skills in anger. When my career progressed, it became more comfortable and easier to deliver, thanks to the cloud providers - that’s how my journey with AWS started.

As usual, it started from IaaS of course. EC2 machines (no Amazon VPC back then) were just the tip of an iceberg, and I have sunk like a Titanic. 🚢 The more I have learned about the platform, the more I was sure that I have found an ultimate tool to express and deliver my and my client’s ideas to the audience.

Effect of my AWS fascination - 9x AWS Certified Expert

I have earned the certificates presented above (you can verify them on my Credly account), but I treat this more like a side-effect of the hands-on experience and deliberate practice. After a few years of such, when I have observed a certain number of patterns and needs, together with my colleagues, we have created an IT consultancy company called Pattern Match, which is focused on advising and building digital products with the help of AWS.

Outside of working hours, I am still enthusiastic about IT. I share my joy with others by organizing meetups (Functional Miners), building communities like AWS Community Builders or ŚwiatChmury.pl, giving talks, workshops, recording videos, podcasts, blogging, writing books and doing many other activities. All the above is related to cloud computing and Amazon Web Services.

That was a mouthful introduction, but now you know what kind of maniac you are dealing with. 😁

😅 off-topic
AWS Community Builders is a program that offers technical resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities to AWS enthusiasts and emerging thought leaders who are passionate about sharing knowledge and connecting with the technical community.

If you have any questions, drop me an email at wgawronski [at] white-rook.pl or @afronski / @afronsky on social media.


P.S. I am practicing inbox zero, so it means that I review all my emails. Do not you believe me? I dare you to send me one.

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👋 Hey! My name is Wojciech Gawroński, but some people call me AWS Maniac. I am your trusted guide through the AWS Madness. If you want to learn more about me, you can start here.

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