George McKinney Adventures in Software Development

February 14, 2022

CIS 193 Spring 2022

Filed under: AWS,CIS,CIS 193,LA Mission College — georgemck @ 7:55 pm

CIS 193 Database Essentials Syllabus


Amazon Web Services logo with the arrow smile underneath


Semester: Spring 2022
Class CIS 193 – Online – No Set Scheduled Meetings
Student Time Commitment: 6 to 9 hours per week
Meet with Prof. McKinney: Days, 0:00pm-0:00pm; Days, 0:00am-0:00pm
Schedule a Meeting on Calendly
Class Numbers: 28069/28070


Class Description and Overview

This course introduces AWS’ data storage services. It covers introduction of AWS database technologies and AWS block and object-based storage services. Students learn the principles of database design and management, AWS SQL and NoSQL database technologies. Students use principles of block and object-based storage options. They will study various use case scenario for AWS data storage services. The hands-on labs will allow them to apply the knowledge acquired.



Student Learning Outcomes


Student Learning Outcomes

  1.  The student will demonstrate a basic understanding of designing and managing databases in AWS.
  2. The student will demonstrate a basic understanding of how to manage block and object level storage in AWS, including managing data life cycles.
  3. The student will demonstrate the ability to configure AWS storage services using security best practices.


Course Objectives

Upon satisfactory completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain AWS database services
  2. Discuss advantages and disadvantages of various AWS database services
  3. Identify database operations to design and manage various AWS database services
  4. Design small databases using various AWS NoSQL database services
  5. Explain the various options to store and retrieve data in terms of cost and latency.
  6. Identify when to use AWS data storage services
  7. Examine various scenarios of storage, encrypted at rest, in transit, user managed keys
  8. Explain block level AWS storage
  9. Explain object level configuration and management
  10. Setup object level storage lifecycle
  11. Explain AWS Content Delivery Network
  12. Explain data migration tools
  13. Describe data security options


New Skills

By the end of this course, you will :

  • Install MySQLWorkbench, node and npm.
  • Review a Case Study and identify the database features used, how is that data used, updated and revised as you interact with the system.
  • Create an RDS database online in AWS and connect MySQLWorkbench client to it.
  • Acquire a dataset and load it in the AWS RDS
  • Using Amazon Rekognition, upload various images into each of the different system features.
  • Define an appropriate DynamoDB table to hold the dataset provided. Create various records in this table based on the dataset.
  • Define a table using HeidiSQL with RDS that can hold various records from the dataset. Use CloudWatch to build a dashboard that includes a widget from each of the four different RDS dimensions
  • Download a publicly available dataset – document and describe the dataset, Create either an RDS or DynamoDB to store the data, Upload various records and document the structure of the storage solution. Justify your choice of the solution path selected.

Class Introduction

Welcome to Database Essentials in Amazon Web Services

We will strive to create a learning community here — one where you learn from myself, the material and your fellow students through engaging and educational activities each and every week. Although we cannot be physically together, we can still create a feeling of connection to each other through a shared experience with the assignments, labs, and discussions. Here, you along with everyone else in class are valued members of this learning community. During this Covid-19 life we are living, there are additional challenges and responsibilities in life to family, friends and work. Sometimes, because we are human, we can get sick or just become overloaded. So, if you have reached a point where you can’t meet an assignment deadline, please contact me–we will work together to make a path to success. We are in this together.


I want to emphasize that if you are not able to keep up with your work to please contact me ASAP so we can put a plan in place to help you succeed in this class.


If you are a student with a disability, please do not hesitate to let me know at the beginning of the semester, if you like to. You can access the  Student Services Online for assistance; access to campus is closed due to the pandemic. The telephone number there is (818) 722-6752.


Introducing the Instructor

Instructor standing in front of the London, England skyline


Hi, I’m George McKinney, a Software Developer based in Los Angeles. For 16 years, I have worked on projects for many companies including Acura, Disney, Samsung, LG, Kraft and numerous medium-sized firms and startups. My journey as a professional developer began at Los Angeles Community College where I studied C/C++, Java and Macromedia Flash. I learned computer science and applied it in marketing, sales, automation and communication solutions. I absolutely love what I do and sharing it. As I became more experienced, I went from attending workshops and conferences to presenting at them. I co-founded a mobile user group, organized meetups, conferences and travelled the world for “fun and profit.” Along the way, I taught software for the US Navy, City National Bank, Starwood Hotels, Stanford University, Cisco Systems, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, and other places. I have an MBA from the University of Southern California and my undergraduate degree was in History at Stanford University.

Nine years ago, I started using Amazon Web Services because I had heard something about Cloud Computing and I thought I could use it to put a website on it… something about S3 and a lot of EC2 and I figured I should have a look. At the time, I wasn’t much interested because mobile apps was in high gear and I focused my attention there. Five years years later, I began to see more job announcements come out requesting AWS from companies like Disney, Fox and others and I told myself to pay more attention to this. Around the same time, I got an Amazon Alexa and discovered that it was programmable and I was hooked. I reopened my AWS console and saw cobwebs on my S3 buckets and went straight writing Lambda functios with Node.js and I haven’t looked back. Today, I work on large value projects building call centers, event rooms and communications platforms.

I am excited to be guiding this class, I love working with Amazon Web Services and I hope you will, too.

Instructor Contact Information


Please use the Canvas Inbox to send me an email so I receive push notification to my mobile phone and can respond to you faster. It will also keep all our course-related correspondence together.

I respond to emails and private messages within 24 hours, during the hours of 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and 48 hours on weekends. My office hours are Thursdays, 4 to 6pm. I can also meet with you individually but contact me in advance to set a day and time.


Accommodation Statement for Students with Disabilities

The college and I are commited to your success here in this course. If you were not already aware we have resources described below for you. Please contact me if I can be of help or you need accomodation.

Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSP&S)

DPSS Statement
If you are a student with a disability and require classroom accommodations, please contact me to discuss arrangements. The sooner I am aware that you are eligible for accommodations, the quicker I will be able to provide them. If you have not done so already, you may also wish to contact the DSP&S Office in Instruction Building 1018 (phone 818-364-7732 / TTD (818) 364-7861 ) and ask them to contact me with a letter stating the accommodations that are needed.

LAMC students with verified disabilities who are requesting academic accommodations should use the following procedure:
Step 1: Obtain documentation of your disability from a licensed professional. You can use the LAMC Disability Verification Form.
Step 2: Students exiting high school can use their IEP as a qualifying document.
Step 3: Make an appointment with a Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSP&S) Counselor or Specialist to review your documentation and discuss reasonable accommodations. Please call DSP&S at 818-364-7732 or use the Online Counter Support on the DSP&S page to schedule an eCounseling appointment.
Step 4: Each Bring your disability documentation to your DSP&S eCounseling appointment, which will be held through Cranium Café. Be sure to use a laptop or computer with Chrome or Firefox (no smart phones) and a working video camera and microphone.
Step 5: Every semester, you are required to meet with your DSP&S Counselor to review your academic progress and accommodation letter. After meeting with them, your written accommodation agreement will be emailed to your professor(s).

To be most effective, students should complete this process by the end of the 3rd week of the semester. Tests with required accommodations must be taken at the DSPS office. Since this course is completely online, you can take tests where it is most comfortable for you.


Basis for Grading, Late Policy and Extra Credit

Evaluation and Grading

Unit Assignments

During the semester, 11 assignments must be completed, by the scheduled date. You may be dropped from the class if you fail to turn in TWO assignments. Remember, it is your responsibility to communicate with the instructor promptly.

Homework is to be submitted by the due date.  Homework must be submitted using the blue Submit button on the assignment’s page.

If there are extenuating circumstances, send me a canvas message with the name of the assignment you wish to make a past due submission, and I will consider your request.

Threaded Discussions

Participation in the weekly discussion group online through Canvas is required. Threaded discussions account for 5% of your total grade, marks are rewarded on participation vs. non-participation.


Every week there will be a quizzes to assess the week’s modules.

Final Exam

A comprehensive final exam is at the end of the semester. It will cover most topics presented during the course.

Class Project

During the term, you will complete a class project. The project will consist of analyzing the design and development of a system which could utilize the cloud services discussed in class. You may either choose a system of your own or I will provide one that you can use that you will be familiar with if you cannot think of one from your own experience. You will be dropped from the class if you fail to complete the class project.


Category Percent
Quizzes 20%
Unit Assignments (11 total) 35%
Discussion Participation (8 weeks) 5%
Final Exam 25%
Class Project 15%


Final Letter Grade

Total Percentage

A = 90% -100%
B = 80% – 89%
C = 70% – 79%
D = 60% – 69%
F = 0% – 59%


Other possible grades

Yes, other grades are possible, including W and EW. You may receive a W (withdrawal) if you drop the class (or are dropped) before the withdrawal deadline. It is your responsibility to drop yourself before the drop deadline if you want to receive a W.

You may receive an EW (excused withdrawal) if you withdraw for excused reasons—you’ll need to ask the college administration for an EW. Make sure to notify me as soon as possible and keep any documentation of medical emergencies or other life events (losing housing, family emergencies, etc.) that may justify an EW.

It is also possible to Request for Pass/No Pass instead of a Letter Grade. This may be beneficial if you do not intend to use the course for transferring to a 4-year university/college.

Please contact me as soon as possible if you think you might not pass the class, and we can talk through your options and try to work out a solution.


Textbook and Class Materials


Required Text Book

There are no required text books for this course. I hope you will find all the course content and the videos in the Canvas shell to be sufficient material to succeed in this course.

Optional Reference Material

  1. Amazon Web Services in Action by G. Wittig and A. Wittig ISBN-13: 978-1617295119
  2. Learning Amazon Web Services (AWS): A Hands-On Guide to the Fundamentals of AWS Cloud Mark Wilkins ISBN: 9780135301098
  3. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Complete Video Course by Richard Jones
  4. Miller, M.. Cloud Computing: Web-Based Application That Change The Way You Work And Collaborate Online, 1 ed. Que Publishers, 2013, ISBN: 978-0-7897-3803-5.
  5. Erl, T., Mahmood, Z., Puttini, R.. Cloud Computing: Concepts, Technology & Architecture, 1 ed. Prentice-Hall, 2013, ISBN: 9780133387520.



Advice for Class Success


This course was created using the Course Management System (CMS) called Canvas. For instructions on how to use it, I recommend reviewing their training videos. This knowledge will be beneficial for you in other courses you take in the California Community College system.


If you have not used the Canvas mobile app for you phone, try it out. You can participate in discussions, view assignments and send messages enabling you to stay on top of the course. See Contacting the Instructor for more information.


In order to access Amazon Web Services, you will need to use a supported web browser. At the present time, Amazon supports the following browsers:

  • Google Chrome: latest 3 versions
  • Mozilla Firefox: latest 3 versions
  • Microsoft Edge: latest 3 versions
  • Apple Safari: latest 3 versions

Please use one of these supported products. Install this product on the computer you plan to use to access Amazon Web Services and the Canvas course shell.


To do well in the course it is important that you complete the course work. For more detailed information, see the Basis for Grading page.


Class Attendance/Drop Policy


Please contact me as early as possible if you will not be connected to the class longer for more than 3 days. I monitor the assignment submissions, discussions and conversations inbox for your participation. You are a valuable member of our learning community and we need you. Let me work with you to help keep you moving forward in your studies.

As per college policy, if a student is inactive for more than a week (if 8 week session) or two weeks (if 16 week session), the instructor may exclude the student from the class. For online class, this occurs when a student has not submitted assignments due that week. For materials covered in the class, refer to the schedule on Canvas. If a student misses two weeks in a row of assignments, they will be dropped.

Campus and Class Rules


Dishonesty, such as cheating or knowingly furnishing false information to instructors and college personnel, turning in work that is not one’s one will be grounds for disciplinary action at LAMC according to the Standards of Student Conduct as described on the LAMC Catalog. The penalty may range from no credit for the assignment up to an “F” grade and disciplinary action. Students are expected to adhere to all school policies, and to abide by the standards of student conduct as described in the Los Angeles Mission College Catalog. Any infringement upon the rights of other students in the class will not be tolerated. Please refer to LACCD Board Rul 9800 for further information.

Standards Statement

Please read and be aware of the Student Code of Conduct for Los Angeles Mission College.

Los Angeles Mission College Honor Code

9803.12 Academic Dishonesty: Dishonesty, such as cheating, or knowingly furnishing false information to colleges.

This generally means violations of academic integrity which include, but are not limited to, the following actions: cheating on an exam, plagiarism, working together on an assignment, paper or project when the instructor has specifically stated students should not do so, submitting the same term paper to more than one instructor, or allowing another individual to assume one’s identity for the purpose of enhancing one’s grade.

Plagiarism Statement

All students must comply with the policies that regulate all forms of academic dishonesty, or academic misconduct, including plagiarism, self-plagiarism, fabrication, deception, cheating, and sabotage.



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