3 ways to save the world with AWS & Serverless Architecture

The Serverless Design with AWS Lambda quest badge would look great on your cape… so what are you waiting for? Learn what you can do with serverless design and AWS Lambda with the latest quest from qwikLABS. 

1. Use AWS Lambda to create your own Alexa skill – yep, voice design! 

You can build your own Alexa skill – and feel free to use the skill in the lab as a template to make your own! While the Amazon Echo might not pass the Turing test (yet), there is an incredible amount of potential in the device (and a free t-shirt). 

Meet the new Amazon Redshift Quest

Got data? If you have lots of it, Amazon Redshift can help. And qwikLABS can help too, with the newest quest: Advanced Operations Using Amazon Redshift!

Click here to see all the labs in this Quest.

Your Quest, should you choose to accept it, delves deep into the world of Amazon Redshift. You will learn to optimize for storage efficiency and query performance, use your data to create prediction models, and more. After all, what’s the point of all that data if you can’t use it?

Here are some of the things you’ll do in the Quest: 

We’re phoning a friend…

Thanks to all who shared their ideas for the #nextqwikLAB!
You sent us 125 brilliant ideas. We were able to get the list down to 10, but now we are asking for help – phoning you – to select the final 3.
Vote below for your favorite idea for the next qwikLAB. 
The 3 with the most votes will be turned into qwikLABS. And if you happened to suggest that idea, you will win 100 qwikLAB credits. Voting for yourself is allowed 🙂

Continue reading “We’re phoning a friend…”

100 Labs, 100 Credits Up for Grabs

Today is a big day for qwikLABS. We reached the 100 -Lab Milestone. And we’re just getting started. 

So what’s next? Thought you’d never ask!

9 Steps to reach AWS lab #101, and win 100 credits along the way

  1. We’re looking ahead to the next 100 AWS labs, and we want your ideas. Tweet us (we’re @qwiklab) with the hashtag #nextqwikLAB and share your ideas (or like us on Facebook or LinkedIn and do the same thing). The three best ideas will win 100 credits.
  2. We just published the 100th AWS lab. You have a grand total of 100 AWS labs (10×10, 50+50, 99+1!) available to you today! 
  3. Do you think you can take all 100 in a month? Are you a qwikLABS Advantage subscriber? 
  4. While this is a big milestone, we are looking ahead to the next 100 AWS labs. And we want your help. 

    How many coffee beans went into the making of 100 qwikLABS…

  5. Tell us what you want the next AWS lab to be, and why. 
  6. Tweet us (we’re @qwiklab) with the hashtag #nextqwikLAB and share your ideas. Or like us on Facebook or LinkedIn and do the same thing (hint: you get more characters on Facebook to express your brilliant lab idea).
  7. On 6/9 midnight Eastern, the contest ends (that’s Thursday). We’ll pick our top 3 favorite lab ideas. Then we’ll create those labs. Yup, that’s right. You could decide what’s in the next AWS lab!
  8. But wait, there’s more. If your idea is one of the 3 winners, you will receive 100 credits, good for any AWS lab on qwikLABS.com. To the victors go the spoils! 
  9. Stay tuned, we might ask for your help deciding the 3 winners when we get down to the last few favorites…. Yes, you can even vote for yourself!

What do you think? See any labs you would like?

PS: Oops, we’re already at 103…

Meet the new Quest: Serverless Design with AWS Lambda

The newest AWS Quest is here! Serverless Design with AWS Lambda takes you deep into the hot new trend in Cloud computing. 

Click here to check out the new Quest!

Let’s go behind the scenes with the newest AWS Quest, for some Q&A.

I want to use Lambda for event driven programming. Is it more efficient than what I’m using now? How does it work?

This Quest can give you a bunch of insights into how Lambda can help you improve your efficiency (and reliability, and your monthly bottom line too). Test drive event driven programming with Serverless Architectures with Amazon DynamoDB and Amazon Kinesis Streams with AWS Lambda. Build a real-world application using AWS Triggers, which combines DynamoDB Streams and Lambda. 

AWS Summit Tokyo 2016:ラボのお時間を確保ください!

AWS Summit Tokyoにご参加の予定はありますか? (http://www.awssummit.tokyo/)  今年のSummitは、過去最大規模で開催されます。3日間に渡り、100以上の最新のAWSクラウドのトレンドが紹介され、役員から開発者まで全員を対象としたものとなります。

1つ、2つ、3つ、または4つ、それ以上のラボを通じて、新たなAWSスキルを習得しよう。

新たなAWSのスキルを身に着ける最善の方法は、ハンズオンで経験することです。qwikLABSラボを利用すれば、新たなスキルを演習で試し、実際の AWSコンソールを使用できます。AWS Summit Tokyoにご参加される方は、ラボセッションにご参加いただくことが可能です。スケジュールはこちら (http://www.awssummit.tokyo/training.html) でご確認ください。ラボセッションには3つのトピックが選ばれています。またセッションは AWSテクニカルトレーナーによって提供されます。AWSテクニカルトレーナーは10分間ほど説明を行い、その後、皆さんがラボを完了するご支援を致します。

Continue reading “AWS Summit Tokyo 2016:ラボのお時間を確保ください!”

Learning Deep Learning

Our phones can take us on 600 mile road trips with turn-by-turn instructions. Don’t feel like driving? Use that same phone to summon someone who is happy to chauffeur you. 

Need an image for the perfect meme when your buddy tells you about a crazy dream he had last night? Here you go –>

Cats don't care

You’re welcome. Photo courtesy of Trish Hamme(CC Attribution)

Of course it’s not all about cat videos. One of the fastest growing technologies today is found in the realm of Deep Learning. 

Deep learning uses networks to learn levels of representation and abstraction (think of this as classifying or categorizing things by many different characteristics). Deep Learning uses those levels to make sense of data like images and sound. Advances in Big Data mean that Deep Learning is able to learn better, faster, and more efficiently.

So what’s it good for? Medical technology, Artificial Intelligence (like self-driving cars), and voice recognition. (Have you spoken to Alexa, Siri, or Cortona lately? Is it just me or are they getting smarter?)

I’m not trying to say that you should know more about Deep Learning…. but you really should. Not only does it permeate daily life, but it’s cool! How does one learn about Deep Learning, you ask? Not to worry – there’s a lab for that! 

The Introduction to Deep Learning lab is perfect for beginners, but still fun for more advanced users. Not only does this lab do interesting programmatic work, it is also totally free of charge. 

You will complete 3 Deep Learning projects:

  1. Teach your program to recognize things in a photo (psst this is my favorite one!). Upload a photo (baby picture? your dog? selfie from your last vacation?) and challenge a program to identify what it is. No hints! It’s eerily accurate. Next you will teach a program to recognize objects in photos it has never seen before.
  2. Computer cat

    Curiosity kills? NBD, I have 9 lives. Photo courtesy of angela n.(CC Attribution)

    Teach a program learn to read handwriting. Spoiler alert, the program learns to read (messy) handwriting with 98% accuracy.
  3. Give a monkey a typewriter and you may or may not get Shakespeare, but give this program the Shakespeare command and you get fully formed, properly punctuated Shakespeare-esque poetry! Sort of. You be the judge. “His life impossession craves thee.”

It is the first lab in the qwikLABS NVIDIA Deep Learning Quest. It’s a free intro lab, so I encourage you to check it out!

Badges in the phone system, or Got flair?

"Because if they take my stapler"

Photo courtesy of JD Hancock(CC Attribution)

We need to talk about your flair. No, not terrible buttons you pin to your shirt for your shift at Chotchkies. I’m talking about your qwikLABS flair!

Earn badges that show off your skills and expertise (like Solutions Architect-Professional Exam Prep, or Corporate Apps on AWS for Windows). Don’t pin these badges to your shirt – instead, you might post them on LinkedIn or Twitter. By completing a Quest and earning a badge, you gain experience, skills, and confidence in that particular area of AWS. (Read more about Quests and earning badges here.)

A better way to flair at work

Does your team use qwikLABS for training at work? (Check out this post on using share groups to get teams up to speed on AWS.) The Amazon team uses qwikLABS as a professional development tool. When someone at Amazon finishes a Quest, he or she gets to add the badge they earned to their profile in the company phone directory, recognizing their efforts and accomplishments. Does your company do something similar?

AWS badges

Do these come in buttons…

This type of recognition, in the company directory, can be a water cooler conversation that you actually want to have.

  • See what Quests you and your team members have in common.

  • Ask your coworker about the new SysOps Associate Exam Prep Quest badge that you might have your eye on.

  • Know who might be able to help you out with a new project with a service you’ve never used – like someone with the Deployment and Management Quest badge – and the best part is they’re only a phone call away!

How does your team recognize accomplishments? 

You need to take this

Hello, AWS labs?

Hello? We have new AWS labs! We made them for you. Photo courtesy of Delwin Steven Campbell(CC Attribution)

We have new AWS labs, and they are calling to you. Even better, two of them are free, just the way we like them! Let’s dive in.

But wait, there’s more…