After listening to a Screaming in the Cloud podcast episode, two thoughts have stuck with me.

Some context from the episode: Hiro Nishimura (an AWS trainer) tells Corey the host how she was studying for an AWS certification in 2018 and not getting it. She started writing about her learning and was surprised to find that People on The Internet also found what she was writing to be useful, and then LinkedIn Learning offered her a job writing material about AWS. Last year she went full-time with this career and it seems like it is working out for her so far.

So my two thoughts:

1) Everything is new to someone: I was playing with an EC2 instance for the first time somewhere around 2009-2010. The thought of someone who was only learning about AWS in 2018 becoming a full time course designer/instructor is mind-boggling to a part of me. There’s a sort of imposter syndrome here because even with (apparently) 10 years of AWS experience I wouldn’t even dream of trying to teach people about AWS. What could I possibly offer that isn’t in every book already?

I would have said the same thing in 2018, and yet someone who was just starting out then found people who were in need of what she had to say.

There’s a part of me that is tempted towards resentment because “fabulous trainer” is a career-path I’d like to try one day, but I’m ok for the moment soaking up experience from the smart people I work with. How dare someone come along without similarly soaking in experience for an appropriate number of years, and just start teaching?

I’m laughing at myself at this point, because there are trade-offs in everything and I can be ok with my direction and also ok that someone else took a different path.

2) Not all experience is equal: Hiro probably does know a lot more about AWS than I do, even with my headstart. I know exactly what I need to know in order to do the things I wanted to do in AWS - which were very limited - and no more. I work with people who can help me with much more impressive things on AWS, so I haven’t had to specialise in it at all. On the other hand Hiro had to do a deep dive in order to pass a certification, and then had to develop training material on it. She’s had better experience for the last 3 years in that area.

It’s a useful reminder of how it is possible to be much better at something when you intentionally go deep, as opposed to just making it work with the minimum of context. And maybe will inspire me to develop something useful sooner rather than later.

Big up to Hiro. That is all.