One of the most valuable IT certification by Forbes is AWS.
and earlier, LinkedIn released cloud computing is one of the top 10 skills that can get you hired.
Are you prepared to build your career in cloud computing world?
From all the cloud service providers, Amazon tops the list when it comes to web application services with its Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Now companies are shifting their servers to the cloud to save the data and ease its access, and that’s why they look for AWS specialists who can guide them about the cloud.
Even many companies demand technicians who carry expertise in cloud system architecture to learn about its security and other web services. Technicians are the ones who hold AWS certification exam and are the specialists in the cloud.
Well, if you are planning to give AWS Solutions Architect – Associate Certification Exam then this post is for you.
AWS certification started in May 2013 by Amazon Web Services. It involves two professional-level and three associate-level certifications.
The aim of AWS certified Solutions Architect-Professional is to network professionals with two years of experience designing cloud environments on AWS.
AWS Certification Roadmap
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate: It serves as the essential credential for the professional-level certification. The person with this certification gathers requirements and develops insights for solution plans and guides on architectural best practices throughout the project on AWS.
- AWS Certified Developer – Associate: Designing, development, and implementation of cloud solutions using AWS.
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate: Provision of systems and services AWS, recommends best practices, automates deployments, and keeps a record of metrics on AWS.
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional: Maintains operational systems; provisions, operates and manages distributed applications using AWS; defines and deploys monitoring; implements and manages delivery systems, controls security, governance, and compliance validation.
The good thing about learning AWS is you have plenty of online courses, books which help to know in-depth about AWS cloud and prepare for an exam.
One of the best-selling online courses to learn AWS architecting would be by Ryan Kroonenburg. Ryan covers almost everything you need to know which is easy to understand and follow.
Preparing for an Exam
Below are some essential points that you need to know before you appear for the exam:
- What are the ways to configure and troubleshoot a VPC outside and in, along with basic IP subnetting? When it comes to VPC, you need to have a thorough understanding of it to clear exam as it is one of the complex components of AWS.
- Make sure you know the difference in the use cases among Simple Workflow (SWF), Simple Queue Services (SQS), and Simple Notification Services (SNS).
- In a high-availability deployment, how an interaction between Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) and auto-scaling groups takes place.
- What are the ways to properly secure a S3 bucket during scenarios of different usage?
- What is the right time to use either EBS-backed or ephemeral instance?
- A complete familiarity with CloudFormation.
- What is the right way to use various EBS volume configurations and snapshots to increase data durability and I/O performance?
AWS has their on-site testing centers to conduct the exam. You get 80 minutes to answer 60 questions(sometimes with multiple responses). You have to score a minimum of 65% to pass the exam.
The questions are not tricky and mostly carry one possible answer. The total time is sufficient to think and answer all the questions for those who have thoughtfully prepared for it.
Though there are some questions related to details of single service mostly are scenario based where the set of services are used to solve any case of business.
There are four sections in the paper:
- Designing highly available, cost-effective, scalable systems, fault tolerant, (60%)
- Data Security (20%)
- Troubleshooting (10%)
- Implementation/Deployment (10%)
It is essential to answer the first section. The section carries all the questions regarding building modern cloud systems with the help of AWS. The real world examples help to craft the questions and to introduce a problem that a candidate has to solve.
Questions about Implementation/Deployment and Troubleshooting are easy as they are related to the basic concepts and problems that you get already familiar with after a few lessons of using AWS.
The following steps will help you prepare the exam efficiently.
- Your first step would be to go through the AWS exam site and learn about all the essentials of certifications and other important things. You can check the exam cost, scope, and many other things that can clear your all doubts.
- After that, you need to read the exam blueprint carefully and check the topics that the exam covers.
- You can download questions to understand the pattern of exam and type of questions that are frequently asked in the exam. When you get to know the pattern of questions; it becomes easier for you to prepare for it.
- The FAQs section is one of the most significant sources of information on Amazon website. Try to read everything and understand their services.
- The blueprint of the exam has mentioned that reading of the whitepapers is essential for passing it. Amazon has a published whitepaper of its every service.
- They have detailed explanation and research about every service. Don’t forget to go through few important whitepapers like S3, security, etc. – List of WhitePapers.
- After your preparation, the final step would be to buy a commercial mock exam and try to do maximum practice. The more you solve questions; higher will be your confidence. Further, you will be able to clear the exam faster.
I hope above gives you an idea what all it takes to become AWS certified solution architect. Good luck!