From its humble beginnings in 2002, Amazon Web Services has grown to be one of the world’s most popular and powerful cloud computing solutions. It has, almost single-handedly, revolutionised the way businesses use technology by providing them with the infrastructure and tools they need to scale their business operations quickly, and efficiently.

But how did AWS become so popular? What did Amazon get so right? We take a look at its history, and what it takes to become an AWS Engineer.


Two decades ago, Amazon launched its web service offering with three key facets – its simple storage service, its elastic compute cloud, and its simple queue service. The goal was to provide software developers with access to reliable, on-demand computing resources so that they could more easily build, deploy, and manage their applications.

The new service was a hit, and within its first year Amazon had already added support for multiple programming languages and a number of other services like simple email and its commonly known ‘Route 53’.

Since then, AWS has continued to grow in popularity with businesses around the globe as its suite of services expanded further. In 2020 alone, Amazon added 3,500 new features across its major service categories – its most ever in a single year. It is now supporting customers in more than 190 countries worldwide with everything from hosting simple website to deploying machine learning models.


Given its popularity, a career as an AWS Engineer is now an incredibly attractive one. The median salary in the UK is £75,000 according to ITJobsWatch, and candidates are in high demand with almost 3,500 live jobs currently listed. For those just setting out on their software engineering journey, or for those looking to change their path, there are a few skills that need to be considered.

AWS works with an array of programming languages, but those with Java or Python skills will have an advantage – not to mention that experience working with Linux systems administration, such as server setup and troubleshooting, will also go along way. Familiarity with cloud-based technologies like Docker will also be useful, though these can be picked up along the way.

Last, but not least, is a foundational understanding of key security concepts. If you’re working within AWS you will be handling sensitive customer information in a cloud environment, so making sure you keep yourself and others safe is absolutely paramount.


The world was a very different place in 2002 – the music charts featured Sugababes, Will Young and Ant & Dec, and The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers was the year’s biggest box office hit. A lot has changed, and Amazon Web Services has changed with it.

Its continuous evolution has meant that is has kept pace with consumer demands, and as a result it remains the market leader. There are several skills needed to be a successful AWS Engineer, but investing in and expanding upon them is a worthwhile venture.