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AWS Game Day - Recon, what about Professional Development and Cross Training

Amazon AWS

by Mountain Computers Inc., Publication Date: Saturday, April 10, 2021

View Count: 4005, Keywords: AWS, Game Day, Cross Training, Professional Development, Hashtags: #AWS #GameDay #CrossTraining #ProfessionalDevelopment

At the introduction of AWS Game Day 1 Recon, this is my first impression. I am a huge systems analyst across the range of all products, services, teams, and time, organizations, and methodologies. We have to have a robust team to approach big and small issues at scale.
For me, in a really small team, everyone better be bringing their A game, and that certification better be good enough. For me, 30+ years of technical hands on engineering and management, and well, you know. For me, this type of figure out who is really doing the work is called round robin call response management assignment, review and monitoring. I have done this before, and not everyone is going to be equal yet the minimum set of qualifications should be easily observable.
Here are some of my rules for those new to production environments - Number one, don't play around in a production environment. Two, rotate responsibilities regularly. Three, document, verify, document, verify.  Four, everyone has to update the so called support procedures aka now called Run Books, and management, hands on experienced management better know the procedures and be able to demonstrate them too. Five, don't change anything in a quality control process or chain without written permission and proper change control. If in a fire situation, yes, we can deviate to avert a disaster yet keep security to the highest and compromise to lowest. more on that later in another blog.
So back to Game Day, I said to myself, I better check it out. What I found was a good approach to learning the AWS architecture if you need to be walked through the entire architecture. The Value Proposition, like I would call it, is something we did with Microsoft training for new hires, 2-3 months of training before you could do product support, and then onto train the trainer to be a mentor tier 2/3 to new tier 1 hires in product support of all products. Good stuff. Very historical.
So, this dates back to just 2017, actually 2018 and for me, I looked like the speaker, Scott Ward @scottbwardXV and felt like @davidpotes, who were both very good to lead the 6 part video and Game Day overview.
I recall a Microsoft project called Project Genesis where we learned Lean Manufacturing from consultants and it was a 2 day event for teams and management to figure out problems and resolve abstract situations that was to help understand methods and concepts. I enjoyed that as a worldwide technical manager even though some of our staff could not go because we were responsible for $1m in product per hour, so any downtime was a game changer. We could not get all our staff to that. Yes, they missed out, yet then again, they did not.
Also, NASA SpaceApps Challenge was also fun for those with spare time and not responsible for mission critical production environments. What I did like is the fun component of GameDay like NASA SpaceApps. I was in NASA SpaceApps a few times and that was fun yet I had to lose one week of work and direct pay to do it.
I guess my most important value in Game Day would have been like new hires where they have no experience of any data or computing or hosted environment and needs to know how to troubleshoot what I would call the so called knowing everything in your architecture and knowing where there could be a possible kill chain vector.
Here are my basic thoughts to my review of the all the videos dating back to 2017. 
1. Its looks fun and can be useful if you are in a production environment where you have down time
2. Yes, it works to help with improving team dynamics
3. It's great to meet new people and cross share stories - caveat: without revealing confidential experiences
4. They offered Run Books, more or less what we called Cube Notes and unattended self guided procedures. for some of us ISO 9002 and SAS 70 Type/Level II, SOX, GmLB, Safe Harbor, PII, HIPAA and more, and other compliance like industries will require some degree of process controls, change controls, audit trails, and verified quality circles and values to meet mission. Publicly traded, financial, medical, etc.
1. Does not replace real cross training, direct person to person, the critical stuff, you know
2. Professional Development is for laddering up and maturity honing
3. Does not give you your team's skill set and asset inventory for gap analysis
4. Does not concentrate of project management skills that are essential to the production environment
REF: https://aws.amazon.com/gameday/
enjoy the videos!!
more to come...

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