A guest post authored by Jennine Townsend, sysadmin extraordinaire, and perhaps the AWS Doc team’s biggest fan.
I’ve always believed in reading vendor documentation and now that AWS is by far my largest vendor I’m focussed on their documentation. It’s not enough to just read it, though, since AWS is constantly making changes and releasing features, so even the documentation that I’ve already read and think I know will be different tomorrow.
Putting together a list of my favorite or most-hated documentation would just result in a list of what I worked on last week, so instead I thought it would be more interesting to point out some “meta” documentation – docs about the docs, and docs about what I think of as the “meta” services, and a few pages that you’ve read – but they’ve changed since you last read them!
AWS meta documentation:
The Github repo – yep, the AWS docs’ source is on Github now
The Feedback button at the bottom right of every AWS docs page!
The AWS blogs – there are several, not just the main blog, so see the Category pulldown
Documentation about AWS meta services:
IAM and STS:
Policy Variables – Know what they are, because they can save a bunch of work
Grammar of the IAM JSON Policy Language – A bit esoteric but useful, and the examples are real-world useful and thought-provoking – but note that if you use CloudFormation for IAM policies, you can write them in YAML!
Comparing the AWS STS APIs – this table is key if you want to write code that uses roles
Demystifying EC2 Resource-Level Permissions – Blog post that’s a bit old but still a good walkthrough of iterating on nontrivial permissions
Five of the seven links on the CloudFormation Template Reference page were orange (visited recently) for me just now, but these in particular are always open in a tab while I’m writing CloudFormation:
Information from the AWS General Reference:
Regions and Endpoints – For extra credit, find the region that isn’t secret but AFAIK never got widely announced.
Using Markdown in AWS – Did you know?
A few pages you’ve already read… but they’ve changed since then!:
EBS Volume Types – Did you know there are at least five different EBS volume types? Find out about sc1 and st1!
And did you know you can grow EBS volumes and change their type on the fly?
When you do trigger it, what does the event look like that it receives? Did you know you can save 10 test events per function for testing in the console (and that an event can be up to 6MB!)?
How many Kinesii are there now, and what do they all do again?
Just re-read the S3 docs – seriously, I guarantee you will discover something useful and money-saving.