Welcome Nancy Gessler to the AWIP and AWS Coursera Q&A. I'd love to just learn a little bit more about you, and what it is that you do for Amazon. >> Sure, so I worked in the Training and Certification Organization within AWS. I am focused on training offerings or training products for our customers, that need learn and apply knowledge on AWS services in their own environments. I have a team that actually focuses on most of the AWS product line, the services lines. Each product manager owns a domain, they develop their own expertise in each of those areas. And our role is to really suss out what's going to be really required for each of the roles that we do training for, because our goal is to make our customers effective with our products. Our products of course, not just our training products. >> That's awesome Nancy. And can you share with our audience here how you ended up in product management, and you're clearly a successful product leader. >> You're manager of Product Management at Amazon. >> Yeah, so, I started out in training and development, and I had been in training and development for a lot of years. I actually started out as a technical trainer, moved into curriculum development, was an instructional designer and then I segued into management. So I've been focused on technical training for a lot of years like 18 or 19 years, maybe. >> Wow. >> Maybe longer than that, but a lot of years. >> Yeah. >> And I worked in a tech company, we had a big portfolio of products, including both private and hybrid cloud offerings, and my team's job was to get the field ready for those products. So we were new product introduction, we were aligned to the engineering team, and we just focused on these holistic strategies for these different product lines. But the emphasis was more on training offering design and execution, and continuous improvement, but there wasn't as much focus on the business and like business value. And then as you're traveling through your life, I started to see and hear things that I never would have associated to product, like mortgages, or savings accounts, or furniture. And I started to think, wow, there's like a science behind product, and it kind of intrigued me. And so then I started to look into, how can I make myself or my team more effective by looking into product management as a discipline? So that was kind of like my entrée into it, and I just started taking advantage of online resources, and I started to have aha moments, and these full circle thoughts about anything that really goes through consumption development release. And a feedback cycle, it's a product. And so it kind of changed my perspective about a lot of things, I mean not just my professional life, but even my personal life, and like what resonated with me in my real life as a product. And so as new management came into our organization, they had determined that they wanted to establish a formalized product management function and I said, you know what, I'm interested, I'm in. I haven't done it before, but I think I have a good enough background, and I'm adaptable enough that I want to learn this as a discipline and kind of jumped in. I dug in and started building out a team, and so that's kind of how I got into it, but I mean it was a long circuitous evolution over a period of time. I definitely had domain expertise in the area that I moved into product management for. >> Absolutely, and it's really quite fascinating to think about the role of product management within a training and certifications team, right? So as head of the product team for a broader AWS, T&C obviously, Amazon Web Services certifications are a pretty big deal, right? A lot of people post about them online, a lot of people take as many of them as they can to see how many certifications they can add on their LinkedIn profile. And so, for our students who might be new or sort of coming into the product management discipline. Can you maybe help them understand, under what circumstances do you believe certifications are most useful in one's career? >> Yeah, sure. So again, I will emphasize big important part of our business both training and certification. It's definitely a key offering for our customers. We look at certification as a way to build credibility and confidence, not only from an individual perspective, but from a hiring manager's perspective, for example. So we look to our certs to validate our Cloud expertise, and it's definitely a desire in the industry recognized credential. In terms of how our portfolio for certification is organized, we have four levels of certification, we have a foundational, an associate, a professional, and then we have a specialty set of offerings. So Cloud Practitioner is our foundational certification, and that's a really great starting point. It's targeted at a very broad audience. It's not really technical per se, although there are technical elements to it, but it really provides that really great bootstrap into the AWS Cloud. That's its focuses, whether you're align a business leader, worker in finance, in really any area you could possibly imagine, it's applicable. Then you can segue into associate search of which we have three, we have a solutions architect, the developer, and a sysops or systems operators certification. And those are more aligned to roles or functions, where Cloud practitioner is a little broader. These certifications are actually very focused on these three roles that I just mentioned. And the stuff that you would do in those roles. So activities that you would do in any one of those three job functions, and like if you look for jobs today you're definitely going to see a solutions architect, or developer, a systems administrator and operator, kind of common roles, right? Variations on those roles, but they're still pretty common buckets. Then we have professional which are follow on certs to that associate level. So we have two in that bucket, we have a professional solutions architect, and then a DevOps engineer which is also at that professional level. But then we have six certs that are really more domain aligned, and so they're not as discretely role focused, but they're really covering like really hot areas, big areas of interest and importance. So, security, advanced networking, machine learning, database, data analytics, and then we have also assisted sought on Alexa Skill Builder. So there's a pretty good variety of stuff, again, the majority of them are technical. But in terms of benefit and value, achieving Cloud practitioner is pretty much a no regret activity. It's pretty straightforward to learn, and prepare the material, and take the exam, and that to me would benefit any product manager, particularly somebody that's interested in learning more about AWS. And then the other certs, I would recommend based on either aspiration, or current job focus. But you would want to have a plan to go into those areas, because they do take time. The certs that we provide aren't like rubber stamped paper certs. We really expect people to be able to, quote, answer questions around doing things and adding value, building in their environment in a customer's environment. So we want them to have demonstrable skills, and we want the skills to be important to a potential employer. There's so much information, I'm just going to say that if you're really interested aws.training is our TNC training site. And there's a ton more information including exam guides, and sample questions, and all other kind of supporting material that would help anybody if they're interested in achieving certification. I could talk hours on training and certification, the portfolio that we have. So I'll redirect them or you guys to aws.training. >> For sure, and actually I wish we had the time to really go through that portfolio, and all the awesome new skills right, and students can pick up.