re: Hi, I'm Kyle. I just wrote a book on learning AWS, I love helping others and working on side projects. AMA! VIEW POST

re: Hey Kyle! So this: Certified Professional Solutions Architect Can you describe that more? Where did you get that certification? Was it hard? How ...

Hey Spiro!

I have been certified through the AWS certification program as a Professional Solutions Architect. To get this certification you have to go through the previous associate levels. It is a difficult certification to obtain because you really need to know AWS inside and out. The exam itself aims to measure you for the following responsibilities:

  • Identify and gather requirements in order to define a solution to be built on AWS
  • Evolve systems by introducing new services and features
  • Assess the tradeoffs and implications of architectural decisions and choices for applications deployed in AWS
  • Design an optimal system by meeting project requirements while maximizing characteristics such as scalability, security, reliability, durability, and cost effectiveness
  • Evaluate project requirements and make recommendations for implementation, deployment, and provisioning applications on AWS
  • Provide best practice and architectural guidance over the lifecycle of a project

I had been developing green field projects on AWS for 3 years before I obtained the cert. Because I had a lot of exposure using AWS by building a lot of products on the platform, the exam wasn't extremely difficult. However, I have met folks that have used AWS for only a year or two and found the exam to be very tough.
One of the biggest takeaways for me was that you need to truly understand networking, auto scaling, high availability, fault tolerance, and hybrid cloud architectures to be successful at being an SA.

I chose to go the solo route for the initial phase of my book launch because I wanted to be able to iterate things quickly. So far it is working out very well. I use a service called Gumroad for payment processing and that was very quick to integrate into my site. That said, I am planning to release a Kindle and printed version via Amazon as well at some point in the future.


I know you already have AWS certs so these might be loaded follow-up questions but I'm curious about your perspective :) Why are certs important? Do you recommend other devs put the time and effort into acquiring them?

These are very relevant questions Victor!

I view certificates as important because they allow me another mechanism to demonstrate my expertise in a particular subject. This isn't to say that they are required, but in my opinion they are important for giving you another foot in the door when it comes to interviewing for companies.

I absolutely believe developers should put in the time and effort into acquiring them if the cloud/AWS is of interest to you. Don't just get them to get them. That is like going to detention just to go to detention because they are not easy to obtain. But if you are curious about the cloud and want to learn more, certifications are a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

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