A couple of months ago I joined my new company.
I was excited, I got to work on new tech.
I was finally assigned a project where our infrastructure was on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
I was frustrated with how little I knew about AWS.
I worked on it, but never really understood fully what I was doing.
We had an EC2 instance of our app running, and it just magically worked.
I said enough is enough, I had to learn this.
I eventually found out that AWS offers certifications, and with that in mind I decided to take them.
The simple answer would be because it's what my company uses.
But it's more than just that.
AWS is the biggest player in the game.
When I was searching for jobs as a backend developer, around 70% of the companies were asking for cloud experience, specifically AWS.
The other reason is that I really like their learning paths.
It's clearly laid out which certifications to take based on your role.
As a backend developer, I would need only the developer associate.
But I'm still not sure about this information, I'm also thinking of taking solutions architect.
But only time will tell.
Why Cloud Practitioner?
I wanted something easy, something to get me going.
When I first decided I was going to take the certifications, I was very motivated but over time I lost this motivation and it just became harder and harder to study.
So I said screw it and I scheduled an exam the next week.
My initial goal was to get the developers associate, but that would definitely need more preparation time so I decided to get the cloud practitioner.
To be fair, the information I got was pretty useful.
I finally know what the customer is responsible for in AWS (just kidding!)
The biggest thing I gained was exposure to many different AWS services.
I didn't know services such as AWS Inspector, or Artifact even existed before.
So from a learning perspective, I would say it was a positive one.
How I Studied for the Exam
I had around 7 days to prepare.
I was panicking the first few hours after I scheduled the exam, but eventually decided to simply study as much as possible, and if I fail, it's fine. I would repeat the exam again if needed.
In terms of resources, I only used three:
1. FreeCodeCamp 4-Hour Cloud Practitioner Course
This gave me a good introduction to AWS.
It helped me set up my account, billings, budgets, etc...
I definitely watched the video in x2 or even x3 speed.
After every lecture, he has a practical follow-along.
I did some but skipped most as I didn't see the point, as long as I understood the main concept.
2. Cloud-Guru AWS Certification Real Exam Questions 10 Part Series
This is what helped me a ton.
The guy explains all his answers clearly and has real exam questions.
I watched all 10 videos, and this definitely was a game-changer for me.
In general, I simply watched videos and did any practice exams I could get my hands on.
Day of the Exam
I didn't review much on the day of the exam because at that point I was pretty confident in my knowledge.
I used the Pearson Vue proctoring software to take my exam, it was quite a weird experience.
The first thing was that they only support macOS and Windows. I only have a Linux machine, so I had to borrow a Windows laptop.
They also ask you to check in 30 minutes before, to check your identity and space to make sure that you're not cheating or anything.
The weirdest thing is that the proctor video calls you and asks you to show him your whole workstation using your laptop's camera.
Apart from that, it was all good. I would definitely take my exam with them again.
Speaking of the questions, the questions were very similar to what I saw in the YouTube playlist.
What messed with me the most, was that some of the questions were about some niche AWS services such as AWS Fsx that I didn't even know existed before.
Anyways the exam was pretty easy, it took me around 30-40 minutes to get it done.
Another thing is that after the exam, you immediately get the result whether you passed or failed.
I was pretty surprised when I got the pass.
That's the end of the story?
Nah, there's more to come.
Probably within the next 2-3 months, there would be another article titled "How I passed the AWS Developers Associate Exam" or something similar.
But that's just me being very cocky, I still have to study a lot to pass.
Anyways, this wasn't a very educational article, but I still hope you got something out of it.
Thanks for reading!