4 Min Read • June 7, 2021

SkillStorm Accelerator Graduate Testimonial: Max Werner


In today’s tech industry, it’s important to be well-versed in multiple technologies and skillsets. That’s why Army Veteran, Max Werner, chose to enroll in SkillStorm’s AWS Cloud Practitioner and Solutions Architect Certification Training Courses.

We recently sat down with him to learn more about his experience and how gaining these certifications and skills will help make him a well-rounded project manager and advance his career.

Q: How did you find out about SkillStorm and our AWS Certification Training Courses?  

I just transitioned out of active-duty Army in February. I started the Onward Opportunity Program to get my PMP and during that, one of SkillStorm’s military recruiters gave a presentation during orientation week and explained more about it. I was tangentially interested in anything programming or IT at the time, and was like, “Oh that’s cool,” but I didn’t really think anything of it.

Then, I got a job where basically everything we do is cloud computing. We have a platform as a service and a lot of software as service products and I had no idea what any of that meant. I was doing more engineering and project managing, which is what my degree is in, but whenever we had technical meetings, I had no idea what was going on and I just nodded my head blankly.

Q: What was you experience with the AWS Cloud Practitioner Course?

I thought it was really good. I didn’t have any IT experience before this, so I needed something that started with the very basic building blocks and this was it.

Overall, I liked that it was self-paced and was able to knock it out on my own. There was a recommended pace that you can do it yourself, but there was no real deadline, so I didn’t have any issues with it. I was able to go right through.

Q: How does understanding cloud computing help someone with very little experience or someone not in a “tech role?”

It is really helpful for me to be able to have a deeper grasp on everything that we do. Now that I know a little bit more about it, I think that for someone with my background. It is important to understand because it is definitely the way of the future. The Cloud Practitioner [course] gives you the bare bone basics of everything and you can understand how to have a conversation about the cloud to be intelligent on the wave top level.

Now that I know more, especially on the AWS side, and have a basic concept of the different companies who do it like Microsoft, Azure and Google. There is limitless potential in it and everything that I see is trending towards using the cloud.

Q: Do you feel these courses will help you advance your career?

Definitely. The reason I took the AWS bundle specifically was because the Cloud Practitioner is sort of the project manager’s version of cloud computing. It gives you the basics and what you need to know in a meeting to understand those who do all the architecting and have good discourse with them.

I then wanted to go deeper and do the Solutions Architect course. I wanted to be able to understand more of the capabilities and how to actually run things, even though that is not what my position will focus on. I thought it was important in having a much deeper grasp on it because I can help my boss in recommending decisions to him for the future of the company.

Q: Do you have feedback on the online learning aspect and structure of this course?

One thing that was challenging for me at the beginning was the navigating the platform for the AWS Cloud Practitioner course. But Mark explained it to all the students in the class and that definitely helped.

I also learned more through one-on-one questions talking with Mark in our meetings. Overall, Mark does a great job, he is very accessible. Any question I have he is more than happy to point me in the right direction. Also, I can tell he’s excited about teaching because anytime you do some more in-depth research on your own and then come to either the office hours or weekly meetings a little more prepared with more questions and more detailed insights of your own, you can see he gets more excited and will be more than happy to dive deeper into it.

I don’t have any complaints about the structure of the course, I think its nicely paced. Even if it is too much for you, if you have a busy week at work or more time commitments on your hands that week, it’s all self-paced. You can do as much or little as you can handle.

Is this a class you would refer to others and if so, why do you think it would benefit them?

Yeah, absolutely! If cloud computing was a route that you wanted to seek for employment, this would be a great option and I would recommend SkillStorm for sure. I was reading through the different course options offered and they are really cool.  

For me personally, this is not what I want to do full time, I just wanted to have information to help me along in my career path.

The extent to which you guys take care of veterans is definitely also a plus to me. I just transitioned out of active-duty army and the 20 percent discount was awesome.

Do you think anyone could take SkillStorm’s AWS courses?

I think that AWS is a great place to start.  It was kind of the non-coders way of coding, where you can just drag and drop things and click buttons that are already established and there is very little writing code. I think writing APIs is one of the last units inside the Solutions Architect course. It’s a little bit of writing some code and even then, it’s the basic version.

Everything is meant to be super user friendly and easy to drag and drop but you still get the ability to say that you actually do IT stuff which is neat.

Overall, I think SkillStorm is a really great program and company. You guys are helping me better myself and other companies.

If you’re interested in learning more about SkillStorm’s Accelerator Program, email our Advisors at ITCert@skillstorm.comWe’re here to help you find the best fit for you and your tech career.

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