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Eden Jose
Eden Jose

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The Examination Day

Sharing my notes and thoughts about the AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Exam.

Before anything else, I'd like to say that it is extremely helpful to take the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam first before diving into the other two Associate exams (SysOps Associate and Developer). You'll get a good sense of how each services of AWS functions and how they are used when building solutions.

Just like with any skills, it is essential to start with the essentials. Learn the theory, play around, break things, and fix them afterwards. When you have a good grasp on architecting solutions, you can move on to learning how to maintain them. This is where the SysOps Administrator Associate comes in.

data center

As a background, I started my work in IT Networking and handled routers and switches, and network management tools. I also had a short stint as an application support at a FinTech company. Besides that, I've handled Linux servers in my previous job.

All in all, I can say I'm more of an infrastructure guy with a bit of programming. I'm still a work in progress though and there's definitely a lot of technologies that I've yet to learn. I'm trying to expose myself to as many linux projects and python projects as possible. Automation is still a relatively new concept to me but I'm managing to create my own scripts and processes.

aws solutions architect

I actually started with AWS Cloud Practitioner Exam last August and then 29 days after, sat for the AWS Solutions Architect-Associate Exam. I set myself to take on the AWS SysOps exam next. However, there were other stuff at work that I need to focus on at that time so I had to park the Sysops study for a while.

I resumed the review last January to February and decided to post my notes in my github account. During this time, I was having some personal challenges brewing at home and this sort of slowed be down for a bit. I tried to gather myself, pushed through with the mission, and set to take the exam by March. Little did I know, I'll be pushing it for another 2 months.

On my first attempt, I was having problems with my internet connection and the proctor cancelled the exam while I wait for the test window to load. I had my previous online certifications through Pearson Vue before but this was the first time that the proctor closed the exam without informing me first. I reported me and they refunded the exam fee plus the voucher I used after four days. Since I was a bit tight on budget, I waited for the refund to come in before scheduling the exam for the second time around.

Last 24-May, I prepared my desk at home, cleared my mind, and sat in for the exam. I was praying hard for the exam to go through since I've already devoted so much time into it. After some 48 minutes, I submitted the 65th question and after some more clicks, the result flashed right before my eyes.

RESULT: PASS
And man, that's some sweet-tasting bacon.

NOTES THAT MIGHT HELP YOU

Of course, I know you came across this post when you were searching for notes and tips on how to best prepare for the AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Exam so I would put them here as well. You can find my Github post here. Be sure to check the summary notes.

For the materials, these are the ones I focused on:

HOW TO START

I suggest you go through either Stephane Maarek's course or Neal Davis's course. You'll be good even if you finish just one course but I just went through both since they have different approaches so even if you miss some details from Maarek's course, you'll be sure to cover it through Davis's course.

Also, make sure to play around in your AWS console. It's a definite must to be exposed and familiar on the tabs and options in the console as this further cement the concepts you learn in the courses. Besides following the labs in the course, I recommend breaking the labs you built and trying to fix them on your own. This way, you're sure to put your Google-Fu to use as well.

Once you're done with the course and comfortable with the console, you can proceed with the Practice Exams. You can opt with the Practice Exams from Maarek and Davis which are also available in Udemy. You can then pair them up with the Practice Tests from Tutorials Dojo. Each questions are presented with explanation on the correct and incorrect choices. Be sure to read both and understand because there are some questions with more than 1 possible answer.

Lastly, supplement the courses and practice test with the official documentation from AWS themselves. You can't cover every blog and documentation for every AWS service there is, but you'll have a greater chance of passing the exam.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I thought of putting this at the top first because you must first define why you want to take the exam. It could be for career progression, learning a new skill, or you want to break into a cloud role. This is important to determine first because this will define how you'll go through the whole learning process.

Do not go through the exam for the sake of the certification or badge.
As with any cloud role, you'll have to back the certs with some skills and experience and the way to do this is to build something, regardless of how simple or complex it is. There's no other way but to get your hands dirty. I'm still on the quest of exposing myself to as many cloud technologies as possible too, and it'll be great to have other people jump in on the train-ride.

Learn for the sake of learning.
Learn because you're extremely curious about something.
If you'll follow this and modify your mindset, you're sure to go far with any endeavor who wish to pursue.

Now, happy learning!


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