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  • April 2nd, 2020
  • Kanishk Sethi

How To Become AWS Certified – Tips From A Solution Architect

In the years I’ve worked as a Solution Architect, I’ve realized something the hard way. Keeping up with technology isn’t a choice. It’s a necessity. Like it or not, for the last few years, AWS services have become the foundation for solution architects.  And I assure you, getting an AWS certification is the need for the hour.

You could learn how to use AWS on the job. However, getting certified is a much better way to master the software and also keep yourself job market relevant. The certification reinforces your knowledge about AWS tools; helps build cost-efficient solutions and understands the connection between all the different AWS services. Now that we know why get certified, let’s find out how to get certified.

Pick the Right Certification Level

Let’s get the basics right and understand how to choose the right one. Like every certification in the world, AWS too can be matched to interests, level of professional experience and skills. Most of these certificates are designed for Ops/SysAdmins, SRE/Architects and Developers.

For example, if you want to get a basic understanding of AWS cloud and how to work with it, the Foundational (AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner) level is just what you need to pursue. At the associate level, solutions architects can aim to be an AWS Certified Solutions Architect while systems administrators in Systems Operations role can complete the AWS sysops certification. Beyond this, there are 3 specialty certifications;

  • AWS Certified Advanced Networking
  • AWS Certified Big Data
  • AWS Certified Security

Register on the AWS Training and Certification Portal

While you’re preparing for the certification, register on the AWS Training and Certification Portal. This platform helps navigate through the certification process. The services offered by the portal include paying for the certification, getting validation links, picking the appropriate certification time, look at past exams and request for help if you have disabilities.

Look into AWS Classroom and Digital Training

You can prepare for AWS certifications any way you like. Either study on your own or participate in classroom training sessions. There is also a lot of free digital training you can pursue. This content is prepared by AWS experts and hence should never be overlooked. You can also participate in exercises that give you practical experience. In addition, you could also take intermediate tests to check your preparation.

Get Some Experience

When it comes to certification for AWS DevOps training, it’s best to have some experience working with AWS before you take the certification exam. Ideally, this should be at least a year’s experience for the Associate-level certification, and at least a few 2-3 years’ experience for the Professional-level certification.

It’s important to note that this experience is not a requirement but more of a suggestion. Having the right amount of work experience makes preparing for the exam easier. Having work experience while you’re studying also helps you put theoretical knowledge into practice.

Take Practice Exams

Taking an examination isn’t just about knowing all the right answers, it’s also about knowing how to attack the paper, managing your time, formatting answers, etc. This is why it is helpful to take practice exams before the real certification exam. Practice exams may have a small fee attached to them but this is well-worth the investment. These tests are formatted to be quite similar to the real certification exam. Taking practice papers will also help ease stress about the exam.

Read as Much as You can

Reading isn’t for literature addicts. So don’t just limit your reading to study material. Read whitepapers and FAQs. Get subscriptions to AWS newsletters. Go through AWS blogs and articles, know how the future of business lies in AWS. It would also be helpful to read accounts of people who have taken the exam earlier. This way you can get access to the latest updates.

Tips for Exam Day

When it comes to scheduling the AWS exam, pick a time and day that works best for you. If you feel you’re more focused in the morning, this is the right time for the exam. But, if you’re more attentive in the afternoon, this is when you should schedule the exam.

The exam has 80 questions and you will have 170 minutes to answer them. While you can take bathroom breaks, the time does not stop. Thus, minimize your consumption of coffee and other such drinks before the exam.

On average, you should give yourself no more than 2 minutes per question. This is not a lot of time so highlight keywords in the question and answers.

To Wrap It Up

You clear the exam and receive a certificate for the same in your account within a few days- it is that simple. With this certification, you can manage and implement methodologies and continuous delivery systems easily. Needless to say, you can effortlessly handle automate security controls and compliance, define metrics and logging systems, build scalable systems and automate operational processes among other things.

Remember, AWS certification could be just what you need to add to your resume to secure yourself a better deal. So, why not take the first step today?

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