Monash University is in the process of shutting down data centres, he said. (It has been reported elsewhere that Monash shut down one data centre following an aggressive four-month process, and that it uses Google as well as AWS.)
"They're still on that journey," said Quah.
In the US, the University of Notre Dame has spent three years migrating almost all of its workloads to AWS, he said. Any applications that couldn't be moved were replaced with new, cloud-native applications.
The AWS Educate program aims to help fill this gap, and to assist graduates and IT professionals who are finding it hard to get work with the acquisition of cloud skills that are in demand, said Quah.
The material — which is being used by La Trobe University as part of a cloud major — is all online and self service, he said, and incorporates content from some of the world's top ten computer science courses.
The La Trobe course provides three exit points, he observed. Students successfully completing year one receive a diploma, getting through the second year earns an associate degree, and passing third year is rewarded with a degree. In addition, completion of AWS Educate modules earns "microcredentials", he said.
The full AWS Educate program — which provides structured pathways aimed at various occupations such as data scientist or cloud architect, as well as a "job bot" to help match students with relevant job openings (including internships and contract positions) — is currently US-centric, but AWS is looking to implement it in Australia more broadly than the use of the materials by RMIT and La Trobe, said Quah.
"We're trying to build a content framework that can be easily adopted."
The materials are not always used as a formal part of the curriculum. In some cases they form part of electives that can be offered without requiring formal approval, and so can be more easily kept current. They are also used in short courses and workshops offered by participating institutions.
In addition, AWS is looking to work with the TAFE sector but is not discussing any specific projects at this time, he said
Outside the formal education system, Quah pointed to Bega, where the shire council and other bodies are encouraging people to improve their cloud skills with a view to creating 1000 new jobs. AWS has been involved in the project, for example by running workshops on how to implement Alexa skills. Earlier this year, a competition that set secondary students the task of writing an agricultural-themed skill was won by a team that created a skill to specify the exact doses of medication required by individual calves.
The writer attended AWS re:Invent as a guest of the company.