Your Guide to 7 Awesome Free Cloud Computing Resources

Hello friend! With the rapid pace of digital transformation, cloud computing skills are absolutely vital for IT success nowadays. Major research groups all forecast the cloud market growing by 15-20% annually over the next 5+ years.

That massive industry expansion means lucrative job opportunities. According to Burning Glass, cloud computing roles boast a $125,000 average salary – 33% higher than non-cloud IT jobs!

However, specialized cloud training can be extremely costly and time-consuming. The good news? Plentiful free learning resources exist online allowing anyone to gain cloud skills.

In this guide, I‘ll provide a detailed overview of 7 awesome free resources to master cloud computing fundamentals.

These include:

  1. Structured Online Courses: Learn in-demand cloud skills from top subject matter experts.
  2. Video Tutorial Libraries: Immerse yourself in cloud computing core concepts explained clearly.
  3. Interactive Sandboxes: Get hands-on practice leveraging real cloud platforms and tooling.
  4. Industry Cloud Documentation: Draw from vendors themselves providing cloud development best practices.
  5. Cloud Computing Certifications: Validate your skills by prepping for entry-level cloud certs.
  6. Engaged Online Communities: Connect with fellow cloud practitioners to discuss learnings.
  7. Supplementary Resources: Complement with relevant cloud computing books, podcasts and blogs.

I‘ll share exactly how you can tap into each one to accelerate your cloud upskilling journey. Whether you‘re a busy professional wanting to reskill or a student looking to futureproof your career, these resources enable building high-demand cloud abilities without breaking the bank!

Let‘s get started!

The Importance of Cloud Computing Skills

Before diving into the resources, let me provide some stats showcasing why cloud skills truly are a competitive differentiator:

  • Cloud computing spending is growing at 6x the rate of overall IT spends based on IDC research.
  • 97% of organizations today leverage cloud in some capacity according to Statista
  • Enterprise cloud adoption rose from 19% to 59% between 2016 and 2022 says Forbes.
  • Cloud roles command over $120,000 average salary per Burning Glass – 33% above non-cloud IT roles.
  • There will be an estimated 11+ million new cloud computing jobs by 2026 predicts Salesforce.

Developing cloud skills directly opens the door to new career opportunities and higher pay. Now let‘s explore awesome free resources to do exactly that:

1. Structured Online Courses

Online cloud training courses allow you to learn all about cloud computing fundamentals from industry thought leaders. Structured curriculums guide you through key concepts clearly and concisely.

Many leading e-learning platforms like edX, Coursera and Udemy offer free cloud courses covering:

  • Core cloud principles
  • Top cloud providers – Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud
  • Cloud services like SaaS, IaaS, PaaS
  • Virtualization, containers, serverless and beyond!

Some specific free standouts I‘d recommend include:

AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials: This Amazon course lays the cloud and AWS foundation. Gain exposure first-hand from the #1 public cloud provider.

Introduction to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies: An outstanding conceptual overview of core cloud computing approaches for maximum context.

Cloud Computing 101: Master Microsoft Azure through this carefully paced 3 week introductory course.

Beyond fundamentals, many paid specialty cloud courses are offered keeping your learning adventures thriving!

The structured nature of online courses provides efficient skill-building. You gain theoretical and hands-on practice through crisp video lessons and assessments.

2. Video Tutorial Libraries

Prefer learning through video? Extensive cloud computing video lesson libraries exist across platforms like YouTube allowing control over your learning journey:

  • Simplilearn Cloud Tutorial – One amazing 7+ hour YouTube tutorial providing immersive training on everything cloud – concepts, platforms, architecture and career guidance!
  • FreeCodeCamp – Bite-sized cloud coding tutorials teaching concepts clearly for putting theories into practice with actual code!
  • Udemy – Udemy offers specialized cloud video courses beyond the basics – IoT in the Cloud, Cloud DevOps, Cloud Migration and more!

Video tutorials involve similar concepts to online courses but with more flexibility in consumption. Learn by watching crisp demonstrations on your own schedule!

With cloud advancing so rapidly, video libraries enable staying on pulse with latest developments through constant content creation.

3. Interactive Sandboxes

While structured lessons build cloud foundations, interactive sandboxes allow getting hands-on by actually leveraging real technologies!

All major cloud providers offer free tiers with sandbox environments containing tools, services and credits for experimentation.

AWS – Access 70+ products like S3 object storage, CloudFormation and Lambda through the AWS free tier without worrying about costs!

Microsoft Azure – $200 in Azure credits means building virtual machine networks, App Services, and testing storage options.

Google Cloud – The Always Free tier grants using services like Compute Engine, Kubernetes and APIs without charges.

Spinning up mini projects across infrastructure, databases, automation and monitoring tools accelerates practical learning. You figure out which aspects resonate for guiding specialty. even offers a full cloud-hosted web app development challenge using free tiers!

4. Cloud Computing Docs

Beyond platforms, vendors themselves publish extensive technical documentation detailing building on their cloud offering with best practices.

AWS Whitepapers – 70+ free whitepapers from security/compliance guides to cloud migration patterns and cost management all downloadable!

Microsoft Azure Documentation – Comprehensive docs clearly detailing developing apps leveraging Azure‘s open/hybrid offerings.

Google Cloud Documentation – Well-written developer guides around GCP‘s infrastructure, data/AI, operations suites and industry solutions.

Reviewing direct vendor collateral supplements videos and sandboxes nicely reinforcing capabilities. Official documentation also shares newest product announcement not yet reflected in courses.

Tip: Leverage documentation when stuck implementing advanced cloud architectures!

5. Cloud Computing Certifications

Validating your skills through certification is extremely valued by employers. Luckily introductory cloud certifications involve free preparation through vendors:

AWS Cloud Practitioner (CPP) – Foundational overview of AWS and cloud ideal for individuals in non-technical business roles.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals – Proves core cloud knowledge around Azure services, pricing and SLA basics.

Google Cloud Digital Leader – Demonstrates ability to provide business and organizational transformation guidance leveraging Google Cloud.

Even starting with fundamental certifications signals baseline competency committing to cloud excellence!

Using the resources above, you can prepare fully without expensive bootcamps. Then standout showcasing credibility.

6. Engaged Online Communities

Connecting with fellow cloud practitioners fosters growth through sharing challenges/insights and exploring new innovations together!

Reddit – Forums like /r/cloudcomputing and /r/aws feature constant idea exchange and news analysis from peers.

Stack Overflow – Level cloud skills further by exercising troubleshooting abilities answering community questions.

AWS Forums – Discuss Amazon-specific features from networking to Kubernetes clusters with engaged users.

Actively participating builds connections for elevating each others‘ capabilities and establishing industry reputations!

7. Supplementary Resources

While the six resources above focus specifically on building cloud knowledge, many supplementary resources nicely complement learnings:

Relevant Blogs – Leading examples include InfoWorld, GeekFlare, Weaveworks and ParkMyCloud keeping updated on latest cloud advancements.

Must-Listen Podcasts – Including CloudSkills, AWS Podcast and Cloud Unfiltered for digesting cloud learnings during commutes or downtime.

Key Books – Classics like Cloud Native DevOps, Azure in Action and Learning AWS all provide supplementary guidance.

Explore various mediums and stay well-rounded! Now equipped with an awesome cloud learning toolkit.

The 7 free resources above enable you to go from cloud novice to maestro leveraging leading education from top cloud vendors themselves:

  1. Structured Online Courses provide step-by-step cloud knowledge building – sign up and skill up!
  2. Video Tutorial Libraries allow learning core concepts interactively through visual demos – great for visual learners!
  3. Cloud Sandboxes offer hands-on practice using real infrastructure, resources and tooling across AWS, Azure and GCP.
  4. Official Cloud Documentation serves as complete references for building on specific platforms drawing from vendor collateral and norms.
  5. Entry-level Certifications formally validate cloud competency through affordable credible credentials like AWS Cloud Practitioner.
  6. Engaged Online Forums enable exchanging ideas/insights and networking with fellow cloud practitioners daily.
  7. And don‘t forget supplementary resources like cloud computing blogs, podcasts and books!

Phew, that was quite an information download!

The amazing part? Simply by leveraging the free materials above you can land that coveted lucrative cloud computing job and/or augment your existing skill set in-demand.

I‘m telling you from firsthand experience having used these same assets when upskilling myself earlier in my career! Dedicating just one hour daily across a few months will have you tremendously well-equipped.

So friend, what resonated most with your learning preferences? Sign up for one that excites and kickstart your cloud journey today! I‘m excited for you and will help any way I can so don‘t hesitate to connect.

Chat soon!