Last few months, I was focused on preparing myself to achieve AWS certification – Solution Architect Associate. Having almost no clue from where to begin, I was bit anxious, if I should really take up this challenge. In my past life, I explored few Cloud solutions like AWS, Azure, Digital Ocean, Red Hat Open Shift, IBM BlueMix, Vultr,.. Period! (Don’t wonder, why Google cloud is not in the list, sorry, but it never got me excited. Wait, there is still hope). But beyond spinning up few VMs and toggling some features, my experience in Cloud remained limited. This is what triggered me to spread my wing and I decided to go for the certification. Here is my attempt, to share how I started this journey, the experiences that I had, sources that helped to learn and prepare for certification. An advice – read no further, if you are looking for shortcuts like Exam dumps, actual test questions. You will be disappointed. Before we proceed, – I completed AWS Solution Architect Associate certification on 15th June 2017 and my score was 92%.
Make decision and be ready for consequences
Glad, you are still reading!!! This isn’t specific to AWS certification, but applicable to all the plans that you have. Preparing for AWS certification will require disciplined efforts including developing your study plan, exercising lab sessions, attempting mock exams etc. After all, you are aspiring to be Cloud Architect – responsible to build the future and foundation of an organization, so no shortcuts. This entire process going to eat considerable time. I strongly believe there are parallel worlds, Worlds which will always collide with our Dream World. When you are determined to do something, there will be external forces who will try to get into your path and convince you, the path you have chosen is wrong OR isn’t so important at this stage OR things can be delayed, it won’t bring any harm. Decide what is more important, own your decisions and be ready for consequences. Don’t expect motivation from others, as Elon Musk says
“If you need Motivation, don’t do it.”
AWS has came up with new website this month, which helps aspiring professionals to manage their certifications. You can access many things including Blue Print for AWS exams, sample questions, manage certification, schedule an exam. Register yourself and explore various sections available in the site. Here are few links you should check
This has nice Roadmap for AWS Certifications. The page has link for various helpful sources including Preparation, FAQ, benefits.
If you are planning for any of the entry level certification, this page lists steps you should follow. The page has also link for Exam guide and very short sample of exam questions.
Opt for a Good course
If a picture is equivalent to thousand words, then Videos are filled with plethora of information. AWS has a course on Architect certification, but I preferred to chose something, which was more convenient for me (Disclaimer: I am not associated with any online course providers and do not receive any benefits for endorsing their courses). Google was very handy, while I was searching for courses and I stumbled on Udemy. Udemy has lot of courses related to AWS certification and they are mostly offered by Professionals. Doing, little more research, I found a course offered by Ryan Kroonenburg – AWS Certified Solution Architect – Associate 2017.
The beauty of this course is the structure, in which the topics are laid out. The perfect sequencing of AWS services mixed with short quizzes, will definitely help you to grow from beginner to advanced level. Plus one to Ryan for the fantastic presentation, his accent and speed at which he speaks. The entire course will take up somewhere between 20-25 hours. At the end of course, you will be presented with Mega Quiz. Remember, while going through this course, you should do the following
- Pay attention to each video. Note down the concepts.
- Attempt every quiz. Make sure to score 100% in every quiz. If you can’t, try again.
- Practice lab sessions.
This brings to an end of Part I of the series. In the next part, I will talk about additional courses, whitepapers, lab sessions.