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 AWS Documentation index page
The Github repo – yep, the AWS docs’ source is on Github
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
Resource Types Reference
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.
AWS’s IP ranges
– Plus get your own IP
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
How many different ways can you trigger a Lambda function?
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.
Original article and comments: https://alestic.com/2018/03/aws-documentation-jennine/