The end of summer was very hot and happy for me. One day in the morning I opened my email inbox and saw the welcome letter from AWS Community Builders. Wow, I started using AWS only a bit more than 1 year ago. How did I do it? Read on to know my personal tips and this AWSome program benefits!
Who is an AWS Community Builder?
First of all, we need to figure out who is a Community Builder and the difference between Builder, Hero, etc.
So, a Community Builder is AWS technical enthusiast staying between the community and AWS, who is eager to share useful content. Everyone can apply and become a Community Builder. There are approximately 2300 CB in the world, and the program covers 12 categories, so the community is very diverse and technically skilled.
AWS Heroes is a more strict category, I would say that they are tireless and outstanding knowledge-sharing people. There are only a few dozens of Heroes, so it’s really hard to become one — you need to contribute continuously for at least one year. You can read more about AWS Heroes here.
AWS User Group Leader is a person who organizes and runs a local AWS User Group. You can read more about User Groups here.
There is another category you might have seen — AWS Partner and AWS Ambassador. Basically, an AWS Partner is an employee of one of the AWS Partners organizations that actively collaborated with AWS. AWS Ambassador is a one step forward — it is an AWS Partner with proven technical expertise and in-depth AWS knowledge. You can find more information here.
The illustration below summarises the main difference between all mentioned categories.
What should I do as a Community Builder?
Now we know the difference between a Community Builder and other roles. Let’s then deep dive into a CB’s activities. As I’ve already said, the main focus is to share content. You can write blog posts and articles, record videos, hold webinars, give a talk during events — just be active, passionate, and willing to share your knowledge with others.
Although you will have your category, this doesn’t mean that you can’t write about something else. For example, if your category is machine learning, you still can write or talk about databases or AWS Lambda, if your content helps AWS builders then it is fine!
As for now, the AWS Comunity Builders program covers such categories:
If you like to write articles, you can consider writing for the DEV Community 👩💻👨💻. But this is totally obligatory, it’s up to you to choose the publication platform. It’s also up to you what language to use — you can communicate to your community in any language, not only English.
However, it is worth noting that social media posts are not considered contributions — you can use them as promotion for your community content.
The program lasts 12 months and after this period there is a renewal process. If you want to stay in the program further, you can apply for a renewal. This procedure is much easier than the first application process. Acceptance into the next year is based on your contributions — you will need to provide at least 2 links to your content.
What are the benefits?
In exchange for your dedication, you will get much more. First of all, you will be connected to a huge, friendly, and diverse community of people whose passion is to build using AWS. We are using Slack for day-to-day communication, useful information, connecting, etc.
Also, this program helps you to grow your skills! There are regular webinars and sessions covering different topics (not only technical ones, for example, how to do a talk or how to work with content). You will have 500$ credits for using AWS, one free exam voucher, one-year subscription to Cloud Academy.
You will also have access to the AWS product team (beta tools, new services, and features), private events at AWS conferences and credits support for your events. You will receive some cool swag as a welcome kit, and you will have an opportunity to win more prizes (via achievements or activities). You will also receive some help with promoting your content.
How to apply?
An application form opens twice a year. The closest call will be in early 2023. As for now, you can put your name on a waitlist and you will be notified when the application opens.
To apply for the program, you need to be 18 y.o. or older and have a desire to build on AWS. The application form consists of several questions. You will need to provide your social media links, any AWS certifications (having one or more is a plus), and answer questions about why and how you want to be a community builder. I described my interest in AWS, the path to certification, how AWS-building skills helped me in my career, and, most importantly, my willingness to share knowledge with others. Also, I had the advantage of being a woman, which is considered an underrepresented group.
The final step of the application form is to provide 2 links to your AWS-related content. It could be articles, videos, blog posts, or talks (but not social media posts). So if you really want to apply, think about this step in advance and create some cool stuff! I submitted links to my medium articles: AWS Machine Learning Specialty: you can do it! and AWS SageMaker: How not Spend all Your Money.
And that’s it! The application process is not difficult, and the benefits are great, so you should definitely try it!
I hope that this article helped you to know who are community builders, what they do, and how to become one. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to put them in the comments below, I will answer them!