Before I start my blog post, I want to say at this point we are fortunate to be healthy. My thoughts are with you that face a difficult time right now. Take care and let me know if I can assist.

This post is not a story where I share best practices on how to work remotely. It is an update for the people that I work with closely, and are interested in what I’m currently doing (and what not).

My personal story

A few months ago, I shared the work-life I was enjoying so much. Of course, that has changed drastically after just a few weeks. Now I have to take care of the kids for 3 days a week. To be honest, it’s easy to work for 14+ hours straight, but after taking care of the kids for 8 hours I’m completely exhausted. But I’m also thankful. Without this situation, I would have assumed this was not such a big deal. With this experience, I can learn to be a better dad and admire all parents that take care of the kids most of the time. About the 14+ hours working days, those days are now limited to Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. I usually work between 5 am and 5 pm, with a two-hour break to exercise, lunch and relax a bit. On all the other days of the week, every minute I can find, I try to empty our family and business todo lists.


A quick background. I left my previous job in December last year and took some time to prepare for freelance work. Right at the beginning of my first assignments, the coronavirus hit The Netherlands. A lot of our savings are lost, and my income is lowered to a bare minimum. Even while remote work should be possible, I have to take care of the kids instead. They are 0 and 3 years old, so they deserve and need attention and entertainment all day. Thus, I’m kind of “out of office” most of the week.

My work

I still have some work to do remotely and do have some work planned in the future. At the moment of this writing, there is no clarity if the planned onsite work can happen in June. Maybe it must be postponed to July or even beyond. So I need to be more creative and adapt my plans. One of them is a new concept I became excited about the last couple of weeks.

A new concept

I give online and onsite AWS training. In a few words: this training brings you self-paced coding labs, 1-on-1 support, and plenary (virtual) classroom sessions. Become a true professional, in the breadth and depth of AWS. Pass official certifications as a side-effect. Build a peer-to-peer learning culture and AWS tribe along the way.

A few weeks ago, I started a private website that contains all content, instructions, videos, code examples and a lot more. It evolved to a platform I’m quite proud of. I’m considering to start selling access keys. There are 3 stakeholders involved; I) teams and individuals that think now is a good time to develop AWS skills. II) self-employed AWS consultants that have the ability and desire to become an instructor (part-time/remote). III) investors that have good faith in this concept. If you belong to group II or III, please contact me and I’ll share more details. Are you part of the group I, just stay tuned!

Community work (

My first priority is the continuity and acquisition of billable work. However, there is something awesome that I’m working on in the background, community-related. I really hope to share this news soon. Now is not a perfect time due to the uncertainty we live in. There are some great initiatives in our community too, like virtual events or launched slack workspace. Of course, I’ll still support these initiatives wherever I can.

Free consultancy?

I see a lot of people offering free consultancy. I’m not able to do that. So I want to do it a little bit differently. You could book a one or two-hour online meeting about any AWS/cloud-related topic. I offer strategic advice, consultancy, tips & tricks, technical support, etc. At the end of our conversation, I’ll ask how much you valued our talk, and you tell me how much I can charge you. €0, €50, €100, €250 or any other amount the talk was worth to you. I can send you an invoice, or bunq payment link (with a receipt of course). I’m available most Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Just send me an e-mail, whatsapp, to book a session.


So far I was not able to find sufficient time to publish the promised blog posts. I do have some drafts, that might get published in the upcoming weeks. Sooner or later I’ll start publishing them all in a very high pace. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn to stay tuned. I’m also still working on a manuscript for the AWS book I’m writing. It was supposed to be published before summer, but that ain’t going to happen. I’m now aiming for an autumn edition, when probably most of you will book an alternative vacation.

Stay strong! Hope to see you soon!


Photo by Susan Holt Simpson on Unsplash

Martijn van Dongen
Cloud Evangelist / MCE
Martijn works at Schuberg Philis as Cloud Evangelist and Mission Critical Engineer (MCE). Martijn is an active AWS developer, architect, consultant, and trainer. He is chair of and recognized as an AWS Community Hero.
View more
Next Blog
How to become an AWS APN Ambassador and AWS Community Hero
April 11, 2020 | Est. read time: 7 minutes
I was very fortunate to hold both positions at the same time last year. Some folks asked a few times how I got selected to these programs, and if I could share some tips & tricks. Well, here they are.