re:Invent your resume with AWS Certification & get these exclusive benefits

Heading AWS re:Invent-ward? Pre-register for an AWS Certification exam at re:Invent and get your hands on these exclusive benefits:

  • Study up with 25 free Qwiklabs credits. Register for an onsite exam by Nov. 8 (11:59 PM PST) and you will get 25 free Qwiklabs credits (rewarded to your Qwiklabs account Nov. 9). Don’t have a Qwiklabs account yet? No worries, sign up by Nov. 8 and one will be created for you, with 25 credits ready and waiting. Already pre-registered? Your name’s on the list and you will see your reward Nov. 9. Click here for full details.

Use the credits however you want! But may I suggest enrolling in one of the AWS Exam Prep Quests (you can add a Quest badge to your resume too – show off your “flight hours” with the AWS Console!):

Developer-Associate Exam Prep Quest: Practice fundamental and advanced concepts for working with Amazon Simple Storage Service, AWS IAM, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon API Gateway, AWS Lambda, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, AWS Security Token Service, Amazon CloudFront and Auto Scaling.

SysOps Administrator-Associate Exam Prep Quest: Practice fundamental and advanced concepts for working with AWS IAM, Amazon EC2, Amazon EBS, Amazon RDS, Amazon VPC, Auto Scaling, AWS CLI, and AWS CloudFormation.

Solutions Architect-Associate Exam Prep Quest: Practice fundamental and advanced concepts for working with Amazon EC2, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon EBS, AWS IAM, and Amazon VPC.

Solutions Architect-Professional Exam Prep Quest: Go to the next level of hands-on practice with key services addressed in the AWS Certified Solutions Architect –Professional exam blueprint.

AWS Certification Exam Prep Quests

More exclusive benefits at AWS re:Invent 2016:

Raising the banner

Have you noticed anything different about Qwiklabs lately? We made some major changes to help make your lab experience even better. Here’s what’s new:

  • Our Twitter handle is now (finally!) @Qwiklabs. Follow us and keep yourself up to date on the newest additions to the lab catalog.

And of course a new sign in the Boston office! Stay tuned – we are excited to continue improving your lab experience (:

The lab catalog you’ve been waiting for

It’s here: the new, improved, redesigned lab catalog! Click here to check it out.

Select your next Quest with the greatest of ease. Know what you’re looking for? The Quest catalog gives you the number of labs in each Quest, the cost in credits (which you can ignore if you have an Advantage Subscription), and the estimated time needed to complete the Quest and earn your badge. 

Qwiklabs Quest catalog

The lab catalog got a new coat of paint too – you can see ratings, costs, and time estimates right there in the catalog. 

Qwiklabs lab catalog

Know what you’re looking for? Search is your new best friend. 

Qwiklabs search

We would love to hear what you think – and stay tuned for more changes, coming soon!

Can you pass the Turing test?

Pass the Turing test, get your share of a $2.5 million prize. Fine print: your original socialbot, powered by Alexa, is actually what gets tested. 

The Alexa Prize, announced last week, is a $2.5 million competition to advance conversational artificial intelligence. 

Have you heard any of this from your device(s) of choice?

  • “Hmm, I didn’t catch that”
  • “Sorry, I’ll try harder”
  • “Can you please repeat the question”

The people behind the Alexa Prize want to scrub these phrases from the memory banks forever.

Got AWS Enterprise Support? Then you’ve got labs.

qwikLABS is now part of the AWS Enterprise Support perks! Read more here. Wondering what to do with your shiny new qwikLABS credits? Here are a few ways to take advantage of your new benefits:

Prepare for AWS certification with one of the certification exam prep Quests. (Here’s more about what a Quest is.) Did you know that to be part of the AWS Partner Network (APN), you need a certain number of AWS certified staff? 

qwikLABS can help you prepare for the Developer-Associate Exam, the SA Associate Exam, the SA Professional Exam, and the SysOps-Associate Exam. Which badge appeals to you?

qwikLABS badges: AWS Certification Prep

Notice something different about us?

qwikLABS has a new look. Click here to check it out! You’ll notice a few new features that we think you’ll like (whether you do or not, we’d love to hear about it). Most of the changes are small, but we hope they will AWSome-ize your lab experience. 

New AWS lab interface

Do you like my UI?.

Here are some of the changes you should know about: 

qwikLABS Acquires Outlearn

We recently acquired Outlearn, a seed-stage Boston-based startup backed by General Catalyst Partners. Outlearn created a technical learning publishing system designed to make it easy for subject matter experts to publish custom learning paths using existing web content and original content authored in Markdown.

Outlearn was created by an amazing roster of all-star talent that we are very happy to now have on our team. We’re also very happy to welcome General Catalyst Partners as a qwikLABS investor through this transaction.

We plan to use the Outlearn team’s expertise to improve the learning and authoring experience on the qwikLABS product and to accelerate our growth in the years ahead. The Outlearn service has been shut down, but the company’s vision of flexible, modular online learning for software developers and IT professionals lives on.

If you were inspired by Outlearn, we would love to talk to you. Click here to connect.

qwikLABS

AWS re:Invent 2016 – Seeking your pro-tips

Attention! We are seeking your best tips, tricks, and must-not-misses for AWS re:Invent 2016. Been before? Heard from re:Invent veterans? What should you do to get the most of of your re:Invent experience? 

Send us your tips – tagged with #qwikLABS – tweet us @qwikLAB, post on our Facebook wall, our LinkedIn page, or comment on this post (sending an email does not count). Next week, we will pick the 10 best tips and share them with you. 

….And what’s the fun of a contest without a prize? The 10 winners will get 15 qwikLABS credits each, good for any AWS lab (or labs) in the catalog!

The deadline is September 16 if you want to be eligible for the contest.

Some ideas to get the conversation started…

  • What one event is an absolute must?
  • What’s your strategy for getting the best seats?
  • Who has the best swag? 
  • What was the most useful thing you brought home with you? (Maybe a handful of qwikLABS token cards..?)
  • Unforgettable breakfast spots, where you run into the most interesting people?
  • Which event has the best snacks?

Good luck!

AWS re:Invent 2016 – Getting there

Las Vegas Boulevard South

Coming Soon: AWS re:Invent 2016. Photo courtesy of D-Stanley(CC Attribution)

Are you planning to be at AWS re:Invent in November? qwikLABS is going, and we hope to see you there! 

This is the first in a series of posts we’ll write leading up to the event. You will see all kinds of information, from packing lists to treasure maps. Today’s topic? How to get your ticket.

The easiest way, of course, is to register. 

Looking for a challenge? There are a few ways to get to re:Invent for less…

Win a ticket with the Serverless Chat Bot Competition

  • The challenge: Build a chat bot and win a ticket to re:Invent 2016! 8 tickets (plus other goodies) are up for grabs.
  • Deadline: Sept. 29
  • Click here for official details from the AWS team
  • Wondering where to start? Sign up for a free webinar from AWS. The webinar promises in-depth exploration of the skills you’ll need to master to build your own chat bot. 
  • … and finally, qwikLABS can help you learn to build a serverless chat bot! (Handy, eh?) With this Slack Chat Bot lab, you’ll get step-by-step instructions and a template for creating a chat bot. You can customize it to your heart’s content, then use it to enter the competition!

Earn the Alexa Developer Discount

If we find other nifty competitions or promos, we’ll be sure to share them. Good luck! 

3 reasons why Darth Vader is working on his own Alexa skill

1. Voice design is today’s Jedi mind trick. 

2. Vader wants a free t-shirt. It matches the rest of his wardrobe. 

3. So his Echo can answer him when he asks “Alexa, where is the Rebel Alliance base?” Hint: Not Alderaan. (Too soon?)

When Darth Vader asks, he gets what he wants. And what better way for him (and you) to take advantage of the latest lab, Working with Alexa: Build a Decision Tree Skill

This lab features a cleverly designed decision tree template. Take the lab, familiarize yourself with key concepts, then use the lab as a template to build and publish your own skill. It’s that easy to become part of the (growing) Alexa Developer community. Bonus: it’s part of the Alexa Skills Development Quest! These aren’t the labs you’re looking for…..

Alexa Badge

Can you imagine this pinned to Vader's cape?.

Need another reason? Check out how developing an Alexa skill can make your trip to AWS re:Invent 2016 a little easier… (Stay tuned- more on that later this week!)