My recommendations to pass the AWS Solutions Architect Certification

Background

Although I was not new to using AWS because Origo was accepted as part of their AWS Activate program back in 2018 and that later we received additional YCombinator credits in 2019, I really didn’t have experience deploying applications in all the range of solutions that this cloud offer.

On the other hand, given that my academic background and a great part of my professional experience have been in deploying telecommunication networks and launching digital products, I was already familiar with some computer networking concepts so I wasn’t really starting from scratch. Nevertheless, I didn’t have experience using all the SQL and NoSQL managed databases, nor implementing IAM security groups given that we’re a small team, and so on with many other AWS services.

Why did I decide to take the certification exam?

Given that I’m CEO/CTO for Origo it’s been always important to me to stay updated about today’s tech trends in the development of applications and new resources. Particularly, for Data Analysis, AI, and ML solutions that are the new focus for my company.

On the other hand, I wanted to learn more about best practices and assure my knowledge about the pillars of the AWS well-architected framework. And I’m not going to lie, there was a great economic incentive with the #GetCertifiedChallenge with a 50% of discount. So I decided it was the moment to take it.

My preparation process.

I studied for about two months in total but with different schedules. The first three weeks were about two hours during weekdays but for the last week, I spent about four to six hours with practice tests. Nevertheless, I have to remark that I wasn’t able to finish all the tests so I was a little bit scared and I tried to postpone the exam, something that I finally didn’t do.

Please take your time to take some practice tests, it’s important to understand how to identify key information in a question and you practice reading lengthy questions if English is not your native language (which was my case).

Below are the books that I used for quizzes:

The following are free resources with good questions to study for the test:

Also, I posted my study notes in a Github repository.

And a summary of the services on a Notion page.

If you never have experienced AWS before I recommend you to open an account and take advantage of the free tier for the first year. Also, you can use the official labs at https://wellarchitectedlabs.com to understand how to deploy some solutions.

Areas recommended for the certification test

Notwithstanding the questions are randomly selected for the test I think there are some important trends that I identified after taking the test:

  • Review the serverless solutions from AWS (Lambda, Fargate, DynamoDB, etc).
  • Review the solutions for containers like ECS and EKS. Also, the cases in which you’d use EC2 instead of managed services.
  • Be aware of managed services based on AI/ML like Macie that can help you to detect inefficiencies and risks in your files.
  • Check the cache solutions as REDIS, MEMCACHED, and Amazon DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX).
  • Review some scenarios from migration from on-premises to cloud.
  • Check Multi-cloud configurations and Hybrid Cloud solutions for customers that are not ready to move 100% to the cloud.
  • Review auto-scaling solutions and how to adapt resources to sudden increases in demand for a service.
  • Security is always important, so review how to grant permissions and the least privilege principle.

Finally, if you decide to go for it don’t be afraid. Good luck! and relax because the idea is to enjoy the process and be aware that you’re learning how to design high performant and resilient architectures in the cloud not just passing a test.

Also, hurry up because the materials should be updated according to the announcements made at re:Invent2021 in six months.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Danilo Salazar Ramos

Danilo Salazar Ramos

78 Followers

Techie, Geek, Gentleman, Dreamer, disciplined entrepreneur and pirate thanks to MIT. From #Ecuador