Nearly two decades have passed since the launch of AWS. Today, the platform continues to remain one of the most popular managed cloud services platforms.
Technology giants like Google and Microsoft have their own powerful cloud platforms. These platforms have considerable cloud services too, however, Amazon Web Services continues to dominate the cloud services market.
You can clearly see the reasons for this. Not only is the AWS cloud cost-effective, but it offers a great range of services, capabilities, tools, and solutions. AWS makes the on-demand provisioning of cloud computing resources very easy. AWS has had numerous success stories.
Whether you are undertaking a web development or mobile development project, AWS has top-notch solutions for you. You can use AWS Elastics Beanstalk, i.e., the PaaS offering from AWS for your web application development. On the other hand, you can use AWS Amplify, i.e., the MBaaS (Mobile-Backend-as-a-Service) offering from AWS for developing a mobile application.
If you only want scalable computing capacity but not a PaaS or MBaaS platform, AWS has all the cloud services that you need. You can use Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to get scalable computing capacity on the AWS cloud. This eliminates much in the way of infrastructure demands.
AWS demonstrates impressive breadth in terms of the services it offers. If you want an object storage service on the cloud, Amazon S3 has you covered. Planning to set up, operate, and scale a relational database on the cloud? Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service) can help you.
The growing popularity of AWS has resulted in many developers using it. You might think that finding a software developer with AWS skills will be easy, however, it’s not so.
We suggest that you look for the following skills:
You need AWS developers that have the following skills:
- Knowledge and experience with the core AWS services, including the specific services that you plan to use in your project;
- Skills in Linux or Unix administration;
- AWS database migration skills;
- Experience with Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS);
- Knowledge of Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS);
- For a web development project, the developer needs the extensive experience of working on Java, Node.js or your choice of the programming language;
- For developing a mobile app, the programmer needs to have native Android/iOS development skills or React Native skills;
- Python skills for AI/ML development;
- Deep knowledge of application security in the cloud computing environment;
- In-depth knowledge of AWS information security services like Amazon Identity & Access Management (IAM), AWS Single Sign-On (SSO), Amazon Cognito, Amazon GuardDuty, AWS Shield, AWS Key Management Service (KMS), AWS CloudHSM, etc.;
- Experience with AWS cloud monitoring solutions like Amazon CloudWatch;
- Deep knowledge of designing application systems and architecture patterns;
- Proven capability to troubleshoot distributed systems;
- In-depth knowledge of “Infrastructure as Code” (IaC) and experience with AWS IaC solutions like AWS CloudFormation;
- Prior experience of designing, developing, deploying, and maintaining cloud-native apps;
- Deep knowledge of Amazon RDS;
- Familiarity with AWS platforms like AWS Elastic Beanstalk, AWS Amplify, etc.;
- Experience with DevOps practices;
- Knowledge of AWS CI/CD tools like AWS CodePipeline, AWS CodeBuild, AWS CodeDeploy, AWS CodeStar, etc.;
- Familiarity with AWS Lambda, the Serverless computing platform provided by AWS.
Note that this isn’t an exhaustive list of skills. Your specific project requirements will determine the other skills you need. For example, if your project requires, then you might need skills with AWS services for IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, etc.
To be effective, AWS developers need some more skills. These are as follows:
Application security is crucial, and we can’t overstate its importance. You need developers that know how to code secure applications. They should know the following:
- How to identify and mitigate key application security vulnerabilities like injection, broken authentication, etc.;
- Utilizing modern tools/techniques/solutions like multi-factor authentication (MFA), encryption, next-generation firewalls, etc.;
- How to secure APIs;
- The importance of proactively including compliance and security testing in the CI/CD pipeline instead of leaving them as the last set of tasks.
In all likelihood, you will develop 1st party RESTful APIs as part of your application development. APIs allow the front-end of your app to access the back-end using a consistent framework. Thanks to APIs, you can also scale your software development processes.
You need developers that know the following:
- How to use modern API development and documentation tools;
- Using the AWS cloud platform to host APIs;
- How to use Amazon RDS and/or other NoSQL databases to build the back-end;
- Designing API endpoint URLs smartly;
- How to secure 1st party APIs with the help of tools and techniques like authentication tokens, encryption, digital signature, quotas, throttling, and secure gateways;
- How to create effective rules for API requests and responses.
C. The knowledge and experience gained by delivering great software development projects
Succeeding in a software development project requires much more than good technical skills in programming languages and tools. Developers learn a lot by working in complex projects, and AWS developers aren’t exceptions to this rule.
You need developers that know the following:
- How to meaningfully contribute to the software architecture design;
- How to code in line with the architectural decisions taken in the project;
- Coding in alignment with the user interface design principles used in the project;
- How to collaborate with testers and DevOps engineers.
We can’t overstate the importance of code review here. Code reviews can identify defects early in the life cycle. It also unearths defects that testing can’t detect.
Application security vulnerabilities are prime examples of this. You will find it hard to detect these vulnerabilities during testing, however, code reviews can detect them. You need developers with experience in code review.
Now you know the skills you should look for. You now need to start the hiring process. Take the following steps:
1. Choose a hiring platform you will use between freelancer platforms and software development companies
When you undertake a crucial software development project, you need the right people. Hiring decisions make a significant impact since they determine what kind of people you get.
The first option is to use a general-purpose freelance site. These have the main advantages of having large networks of freelancers and the ability to negotiate a favorable hourly rate.
However, freelancers often work on multiple projects simultaneously, therefore, they will work on your project only on a part-time basis. Time zone differences can make it hard, e.g., managing freelancers in an eastern European country can be hard if you are in the western United States, for example.
Platforms often deduct up to 20% of the freelancers’ income, which acts as a demotivating factor. They also don’t provide any management support.
The second option is to use a freelance platform that focuses primarily on software development. You can get high-quality developers from these platforms thanks to their stringent screening process.
While that’s an advantage, they don’t provide any management support. You need to mitigate the risks of working with freelancers.
The best option is to use a reputed software development company like DevTeam.Space. We offer dedicated AWS developers that work full-time for our company on your project should you require it.
We provide comprehensive project management support and replace any developer should they fall sick, etc. We also take the security of your sensitive data seriously. We implement physical, technical, and procedural safeguards to secure your sensitive data.
2. Interview the shortlisted candidates
Assuming you have chosen a hiring platform, you now need to interview the candidates. You can interview them if you are an AWS expert. If you aren’t, then you can ask a knowledgeable associate to interview the candidates. The other option is to find interview questions on the Internet.
Cover all the technical skills we have mentioned. Review the portfolios of the candidates carefully and identify the complex projects that they have worked on. Ask them how they have dealt with the complexities.
Explain your project requirements and ask them how they would approach your project. You should expect them to provide detailed and specific responses. Watch out for generic responses since they could indicate a lack of hands-on knowledge. Candidates with years of experience on AWS will know how to provide a specific solution to most business requirements.
An AWS developer will need sufficient information to successfully deliver your project. This is true even for an AWS professional with years of experience. You now need to provide all relevant information about this project.
Start with the business requirements of your project. Provide the business and technical requirement documents to the AWS developer. The developer needs to know the software architectural decisions in your project, therefore, provide relevant documentation.
You need to provide relevant documentation that explains your information security requirements. The AWS developer you choose needs to know about your test plans. Your database management requirements are the other important documentation that you need to provide.
Introduce the AWS developer to your larger team. Explain the team structure. Take sufficient time to explain the roles and responsibilities of the developer. Provide access to the technical environment of your project. Establish a communication process.
As the next step, explain your project plan and schedule. You will probably have multiple iterations in your project, therefore, you need to explain them to the developer.
Establish accountability measures. Describe the milestone review process in your project. Explain how you will pay, including the payment terms and conditions.
Keep the following interview tips in mind when hiring AWS developers:
We strongly recommend that you decide early on the AWS technologies and AWS resources that you need. You can find better AWS developers then since you can focus on the important skills.
Leading cloud computing platforms like AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure provide a lot of cloud infrastructure and other services. That includes storage, database, cloud migration, and much more.
You don’t really need every one of them in your app development project! Even the top AWS developers and experienced AWS consultants don’t know about all of the AWS services.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the breadth of cloud computing services offered by AWS. Analyze the skills that you really need for your project and business processes. Put these well-thought-out requirements on AWS job boards.
You need software developers that understand what works best for you. There’s talk among many developers and architects about why microservices architecture is great. The microservices architecture pattern might indeed be very useful in many cases. However, don’t just jump onto the “microservices bandwagon”.
Assess whether this architecture pattern works for you. Don’t think that some candidates are highly skilled AWS developers just because they advocate microservices.
Many software developers might want to use Amazon DynamoDB, the popular NoSQL Key-Value database. It’s easy to use on an AWS project too. However, keep in mind that NoSQL databases like MongoDB and Apache Cassandra are very popular too.
Best AWS developers know how to use the right NoSQL database for your project. Look for developers that have used a variety of NoSQL databases on AWS.
Ask questions that help you to judge practical knowledge. Check out the following examples:
Answer: You can use Amazon CloudWatch. It offers relevant metrics to track the performance of application systems. You can use Amazon CloudWatch to implement monitoring of resources like Amazon EC2 instances. You can see reports and set up alarms.
Answer: AWS allows you to modify such security group rules. It implements the changes immediately, and you don’t need to restart the instances.
Answer: Lifecycle hooks carry out custom actions when an auto-scaling group launches or terminates an instance. The pause instances. You can install software products of your choice or check the readiness of the instance when it’s paused.
Read our AWS interview questions for more examples.
That’s it! You are now ready to set your new developer working.
Why don’t you take a few minutes and fill this DevTeam.Space product specification form? A dedicated account manager from DevTeam.Space will contact you and explain the value that our experienced AWS developers can offer.