Where did it all start
I believe I first heard the phrase "AWS Certified" just 3 months ago. I was working with DevOps on AWS and managed to get my hands on a Pluralsight subscription. The first course I stumbled across was AWS Certified DevOps Engineer: Continuous Delivery and Automation. I had no interest in the certification part, what got me hooked was the Continuous Delivery and Automation.
A colleague of mine raised a question if I plan to get certified with that course? It took me a few days to realize that I was preparing for the highest level of AWS certification - Professional.
I've always looked down on certifications, thinking it's more of a gimmick. With so many certifications out there, you can't expect an HR manager to know if it validates your skill or your ability to recite a textbook.
Maybe it was time to shine a different light on the subject.
- I am studying for a Computer Science BSc and where do I deploy my university projects? - Cloud!
- What about side projects? - Cloud!
- Let's not forget Hackathons - Also Cloud!
- I am freelancing as a Software Engineer and guess where I'm deploying the applications? - Cloud!
- In my internship, I am working on rearchitecting legacy apps for Cloud!
Super early in my career and no matter what I do, it has something to do with the cloud. It just made sense to go out of my way and get a certification from the leading cloud provider AWS.
AWS Certification roadmap
I was willing to give certifications a try, but I wasn't going to dive deep into the highest level. No, if I want to do it right, I have to start with the Certified Cloud Practitioner, move on to Associate and finish with Professional.
To prepare for the exam, I turned to A Cloud Guru (acloud.guru). They provide specialized certification training for AWS and Azure which they update every few months to reflect the newest changes. It's easy to follow along and has a variety of hands-on labs and lectures all split into small, easy to follow chunks of a few minutes each. But that's not it, they have practice exams that closely simulate the real exam experience and with complete explanations for every answer that you get wrong. Furthermore, there are weekly update videos of all the news on AWS and a massive collection of other cloud-related videos.
All I did was finished the 5 hour Cloud Practitioner course, read the whitepapers and did the practice exam until I felt ready.
Just a month ago AWS announced that Certified Cloud Practitioner exam can be taken from home. That's how I took mine. Late in the evening at my own leisure. And to no surprise, it all went smooth. The questions were not easy, but that was expected as AWS exams are geared toward real-world situations rather than definitions.
Overall I was satisfied with the whole experience and even more so when I saw the word "Congratulations" appear when I finished the exam.
As of 5th November, 2019 I am now AWS Certified!
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