Using AWS Organizations for learning and personal projects

If you work on many projects deployed to AWS over time, it can become more difficult to track what resources are where and what relates to what. Tagging can help a lot, so can regions. For example I can deploy one project to us-west-1 and another to us-west-2.

Another idea is to take advantages of multiple AWS accounts and manage them as an Organization. There’s no additional cost for each account or setting up the Organization, the costs are still only for the resources you are using.

Now you have multiple accounts to segregate various projects or other things you’re working on, instead of logging off one account and logging on to the other and switching back a forth, you can assume a role within other accounts from the Account dropdown and ‘Switch Roles’. This option is only visible if you are signed on as an IAM user and not the root account user.

Before you get to this step, in the account you want to switch to, create a new IAM role with the permissions you need to use, and in the Trust section, add the account id for the other account where you want to assume the role from. The complete the fields above and insert the ARN id for the role.

After the first time you’ve used this switch role feature, you’ll see the role in the Account dropdown to reuse later.

The spectrum of note taking options for software developers

All software developers should take notes. That’s a given. There’s far too much information we come across daily that it’s impossible to remember everything without taking notes.

Ok, so what approach should you take for your note taking? As software developers, building your own note taking app would be an interesting side project for learning a new language or framework. Before you jump to that extreme though, consider some of the simpler alternatives first.

Going from simpler to more complex, here’s some options:

  • A notebook
  • Index cards
  • Notes on loose sheets of paper, grouped by topic and filed in a folder, binder, or filing cabinet
  • Online note taking app: OneNote, EverNote
  • Note taking on a PDA (remember those?)
  • Hosted blog online (e.g. WordPress, Ghost)
  • Hosting your own blog online
  • Building your own blogging app