Thanks for landing on our first Tech Skills Playbook! This guide is intended to complement our Tech Skills Training Camp and guides you through our platform to maximize your learning experience. If you missed our last Tech Skills Training Camp, you can pre-register to get on the list for our next free event.

If you want to jumpstart your learning and dive right into our playbook, all you need to do is sign up for a 7-day free trial. You’ll get unlimited access to our learning paths, courses, certification prep exams, and our most popular hands-on labs, lab challenges, and lab playgrounds.

In this article, we’ll cover the following seven plays:

  1. Get prepared and stay on track
  2. Find a cloud certification learning path
  3. Get certified to keep cloud infrastructure safe and secure
  4. Learn the top 10 skills to land a job
  5. Get the real-world experience you need
  6. Push your skills to the next level
  7. Take some risks in a live cloud environment

Play 1: Get prepared and stay on track

Welcome to Day 1 of our Tech Skills Training Camp! Today’s play from our Tech Skills Playbook is focused on getting prepared and staying on track. Starting something new is hard, but once you get into a routine, it will be so much easier to stay motivated to hit your end goal. After a few weeks of your new routine, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how it becomes second nature.

Set yourself up for success

  1. Install the mobile app: Our app makes it easy for you to download Cloud Academy courses to learn while you’re offline. You can also use the app to cast your training directly to your TV using both iOS and Android. It’s simple. Just go the app, click the cast icon, and sit back and relax.
  2. Set a goal: You only have free access for 7 days, so we want you to make the most of it. Determine how many hours you can dedicate each day, and then stick to it.
  3. Schedule training reminders: We recently added training reminders into our platform to help keep you accountable. Simply go to your dashboard > click “Add training reminder” and boom — your time is booked.
  4. Find a learning path: Our learning paths are guided learning experiences that provide step-by-step training to build your technical knowledge and hands-on skills.

What are learning paths?

Learning paths are objective-driven and comprised of:

  • Courses: participate in video-based training to build your tech skills on industry-leading technologies
  • Exams and quizzes: take assessments to help you retain what you learned
  • Hands-on labs: learn step-by-step using actual accounts on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform
  • Lab challenges: troubleshoot complex scenarios without guidance using live environments
  • Lab playgrounds: explore and test your own ideas in sandboxed environments — without installing any software

We build the learning framework. Now you just need to log on, watch the courses, practice your skills with our live labs, and watch your tech skills catapult to the next level.

Play 2: Find a cloud certification learning path

Getting certified shows that you have some of the most in-demand (and profitable) skills as validated by one of the most recognizable entities in cloud computing. According to an AWS Salary Survey Report, 47% of those certified experienced a salary increase after earning a certification, and there’s no better time to get certified than right now.

The best preparation for certification exams is practical experience. Our certification training mixes video-based courses with quizzes, certification prep exams, and practical labs, so you’ll gain valuable experience using actual accounts on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

Explore our cloud certification learning paths


  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect
  • AWS Certified Developer
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect
  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer


  • AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
  • AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator (replaces AZ-103)
  • AZ-204: Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate (replaces AZ-203)
  • AZ-500: Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate
  • DP-200: Microsoft Certified Azure Data Engineer Associate 
  • DP-201: Microsoft Certified Azure Data Engineer Associate
  • AI-100: Microsoft Certified Azure AI Engineer Associate
  • AZ-300: Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect – Technologies
  • AZ-301: Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect – Design
  • AZ-400: Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions

Google Cloud Platform

  • Google Certified Associate Cloud Engineer 
  • Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect
  • Google Certified Professional Data Engineer
  • Google Certified Professional Cloud Network Engineer
  • Google Certified Professional Cloud Security Engineer 
  • Google Certified Professional Cloud Developer

Play 3: Get certified to keep cloud infrastructure safe and secure

Now that the cloud is the new “norm,” today’s play is focused on certifications that help keep the cloud infrastructure safe and secure: Security and DevOps.

If you’ve already found a learning path that’s right for you, well done! Feel free to dive right into our dashboard to continue studying. If you’re still searching, then continue along our certification learning path journey. Finding a certification — and career path — that interests you is essential. When you’re interested in the material, you are more likely to stay engaged and maintain your motivation to earn the coveted certification.

Did you know…

The cost of a data breach has risen 12% over the past 5 years and now costs $3.92 million on average, according to a report from IBM Security. This increase is causing highly skilled security professionals to be in high demand. >>Read more.

The perception of DevOps and its role in the IT industry has changed over the last five years. Even though many believe that DevOps teams move too fast to handle security concerns, DevOps practices done right increase system security in the same way that continuous delivery increases stability. >>Read more.

Explore our security and DevOps learning paths

Security Certifications

  • AWS Certified Security
  • Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security
  • Preparation for the (ISC)² CISSP Certification
  • AZ-500: Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate

DevOps Certifications

  • DevOps Engineer – Professional Certification Preparation for AWS
  • AZ-400: Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions
  • Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) Exam Preparation
  • Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) Exam Preparation
  • DevOps Foundations – DevOps Institute Certification Exam Preparation
  • Linux Server Professional

Explore other certifications

Still haven’t found a certification learning path that’s right for you? Feel free to explore all of our certifications or explore our Training Library.

Play 4: Learn the top 10 skills to land a job

Today’s play focuses on the top 10 skills to land a job. This list might surprise you, but according to, programming languages make up 8 of the 10 top technical skills to get hired in 2020 — yes, 8 of the top 10! Here is the top 10 list in order:

  1. SQL
  2. Java
  3. Python
  4. Linux
  5. Javascript
  6. AWS
  7. C++
  8. C
  9. C#
  10. .NET

Want to know what’s great about this list? Cloud Academy offers learning paths, courses, and labs on 9 of 10 top skills — and you still have plenty of time to explore our extensive Training Library!

Explore our programming learning paths


  • Python for Beginners
  • Introduction to Python
  • Pythonic Programming


  • Introduction to Java
  • Advanced Java Programming

SQL, .NET, and Javascript

  • Learn SQL – From Newbie to Ninja
  • Refactoring a Monolithic .Net Application to Use Cloud Services
  • Web Development Fundamentals – Javascript Primer

Other programming languages

  • Application and Service Development with ReactJS
  • Fundamentals of R
  • Learning Git First-Hand

Play 5: Get the real-world experience you need

Today’s play is focused on getting you real hands-on experience by firing up a hands-on lab. Our labs are not “simulated” experiences — they are real cloud environments using actual accounts on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Docker, Kubernetes, and much more. We have three very different types of labs: hands-on labs (guided), lab challenges (non-guided), and lab playgrounds (sandbox). Today we’re focusing on hands-on labs.

What are hands-on labs?

Hands-on labs are guided experiences to learn in live cloud environments with step-by-step guidance to practice your skills without getting stuck.

  • Build hands-on experience using real accounts
  • Solidify practical knowledge in a short amount of time
  • Facilitate knowledge retention and enable experimentation

Explore our hands-on labs

During the Tech Skills Training Camp, we have unlocked complimentary access to 165 hands-on labs. Here’s just a list a handful of the hands-on lab we have available this week:


  • Create Your First Amazon S3 Bucket
  • Build RESTful Microservices with AWS Lambda and API Gateway
  • Implementing GitOps for Kubernetes in AWS
  • Manage AWS Resources with Terraform
  • Using SageMaker Notebooks to Train and Deploy Machine Learning Models
  • Set Up VPC Peering between Amazon Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs)


  • Using Chef Solo on Linux for Azure
  • Understanding Core Azure Storage Products
  • Application Load Balancing with Azure Application Gateways
  • Monitoring Resources with Azure Monitor
  • Using Text Analytics in the Azure Cognitive Services API
  • Secure Your Cloud with Azure Security Center

Google Cloud Platform

  • Run SQL Queries and Analyze the DB with Google Cloud SQL
  • Define and Deploy Resources with Google Cloud Deployment Manager
  • Structure and Analyze Data with Google BigQuery
  • Working with Google Cloud Storage from the Console
  • Deploy a Message Queuing Solution With Google Cloud Pub/Sub
  • Analyze and Retrieve Information from Text Using Google Cloud Natural Language


  • Pythonic Programming
  • Coding with Java Modules
  • Coding with Generics and Lambdas
  • Programming with Python DateTimes
  • Working with JShell


  • Getting Started with Ansible
  • Cracking Passwords in Linux
  • Create Kubernetes Layer-7 Network Policies using Cilium CNI
  • Create a Jenkins CICD Pipeline to Build a Docker Image with Splunk Integration
  • Create and Manage a Kubernetes Cluster from Scratch
  • Mastering Kubernetes Pod Configuration


  • Perform a SQL Injection (SQLi) Attack
  • Execute a Stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Attack
  • Best Practices for Deploying SSL/TLS
  • Security Audit Techniques
  • OWASP Exercises: SQL Injection
  • OWASP Exercises: Command Execution

Play 6: Push your skills to the next level

Today’s play is focused on pushing your skills to the next level in a live environment where full and complete instructions are not included.

Our labs are not “simulated” experiences — they are real cloud environments using actual accounts on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Docker, Kubernetes, and much more. We have three very different types of labs: hands-on labs (guided), lab challenges (non-guided), and lab playgrounds (sandbox). This play we’re focusing on lab challenges.

What are lab challenges?

Lab challenges are non-guided skill validation to demonstrate problem-solving skills — basically, hands-on labs with the gloves off.

  • Validate your technical problem-solving skills in a real environment
  • Troubleshoot complex scenarios to practice what you learned
  • Develop production experience that translates into real-world expertise

Want to know the exciting part?

Like a high-intensity escape room, you will have less than one hour to demonstrate your problem-solving skills. You jump into an auto-provisioned cloud environment and are given a goal to accomplish. But unlike a typical escape room, you don’t have a friendly game master helping you along. There are no instructions, no hints. To pass, you’ll have a limited amount of time to complete the checks that inspect the state of your lab environment.

If you feel a little overwhelmed or stressed out, you might need more practice before taking the actual challenge, so we recommend that you take the guided hands-on labs first and work up to the lab challenges.

Explore our lab challenges

During the Tech Skills Training Camp, we have unlocked complimentary access to 18 lab challenges. Here’s the complete list of the lab challenges we made available this week:


  • AWS Solutions Architect – Associate Certification Challenge
  • AWS Developer Tools Challenge
  • Code Red: Repair an AWS Environment with a Linux Bastion Host


  • Microsoft Azure Administrator AZ-104 Challenge
  • Microsoft Azure Architect Challenge
  • Configure Azure Virtual Networks Challenge

Google Cloud Platform

  • Google Cloud Developer Challenge
  • Google Cloud Networking Challenge


  • Using Python to Cleanse and Rationalize Data Challenge
  • Intro to SQL Challenge
  • Introduction to Java Challenge
  • Python for Beginners Challenge
  • Introduction to Python Challenge
  • Advanced Java Programming Challenge


  • Docker Basics Challenge
  • Introduction to Git Challenge
  • Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) Challenge
  • Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) Challenge

Play 7: Take some risks in a live cloud environment

This play is focused on taking risks and trying unfamiliar tools and commands in a live environment with lab playgrounds.

What are lab playgrounds?

Lab playgrounds provide a safe and secure sandbox environment for you to explore your own ideas, follow along with Cloud Academy courses, or answer your own questions — all without having to install any software on your local machine.

You can feel free to take risks and try unfamiliar tools and commands to learn more about working in a live environment — even if it means running into a dead end and needing to start the lab over.

  • Explore and experiment in live environments without a set of objectives or checks to complete
  • No software installations or account credentials needed — the system automatically launches all the necessary resources
  • Use for an extended duration with an average duration of four hours

Explore our lab playgrounds

During the Tech Skills Training Camp, we have unlocked complimentary access to 10 lab playgrounds. Here’s the complete list of the lab playgrounds we made available this week:


  • Amazon Athena Playground (COVID-19 Data)
  • Amazon Linux 2 Playground
  • Amazon SageMaker Notebook Playground


  • Azure Cloud Shell Playground


  • Java Development Playground
  • Python Development Playground


  • Ubuntu Playground 
  • Docker Playground
  • Docker Windows Containers Playground
  • Introduction to Kubernetes Playground

Posted by Editor