The AWS Certification to me is a way to ensure that one is continuously learning the different facets of the ecosystem. There are 3 Associate Level certifications and 2 Pro Level certifications. While the 3 Associate Levels overlap somewhat, each of them has a different focus. The Solution Architect Associate training focuses on a broad understanding of the different services of the ecosystem, while Developer Associate focuses on the application services and SysOps Administrator Associate focuses on operations on the ecosystem. To prepare for the exam, it is worthwhile to start with the FAQ for each of the services in concern. The FAQ tends to contain a good portion of the theoretical aspect of the services and give one some insights into how the services work in cohesion with each other.
Here is a closer look into the AWS Solutions Architect Certification (Associate Level). It was created to certify the IT professionals on AWS services with reduced focus areas, such as design cloud environments and deploy scalable, highly available, and fault tolerant systems. The main intention is to guarantee that people who are working on their solutions can understand which AWS services are needed for different situations. AWS also developed whitepapers and best practices to explain and show how to migrate environments from on-premise infrastructure to the cloud.
To be ready for this test, you must be very well familiarized with AWS services as well as have a great infrastructure background. There are many ways to prepare yourself for the tests. You can find a great volume of information online through AWS documentation, CloudAcademy (be careful, there some wrong answers on quiz tests), Udemy (excellent forum discussion and training material), Linux Academy, and acloud.guru (excellent training material and forum) sites. All of them provide documentation and quizzes that helps with test preparation. However, regardless of the exam that one chooses to write, hands on experience is also tremendously important. Working knowledge of the individual services is just a foundation, to be able to create a manageable solution that involves one or more services is far more critical. It is also through hands-on experience that one truly acquires the understanding needed to leverage the services. One suggestion is to open a personal account, make your own tests and understand the AWS services.
The keys to being successful on AWS Solution Architect – Associate Level exam are:
- Embracing the Challenge
The Solution Architect certification exam consisted of:
- 60 questions to be answered within 80 minutes.
- Minimum passing score required is 65%.
- Almost all questions are “scenario questions”, where they explain a situation and provide 4 or 5 options to be selected. They sometimes ask to choose the best answer or 2 or more answers for the same question.
- Designing highly available, cost efficient, fault tolerant, scalable systems
There is usually a focus on the following AWS services in certification exam:
- Encryption (huge volume of questions related to encryption)
- IAM (especially AD connections and least privilege models)
- Storage: S3 (huge volume of questions related to S3)
- Troubleshooting (how to fix or recover a service)
- About 2 or 3 questions about how to deploy an environment with fault tolerance.
What does the AWS Certification mean to me?
It’s hard to replace hands on experience, however getting the AWS Certification for me means that I have a deeper knowledge of AWS and this in turn gives our customers additional confidence in our expertise. In fact at TriNimbus you need to have an AWS Certification within the first three months of joining which emphasizes how much energy and investment our company puts into learning.