How I Passed the AWS Certified Developer - Associate Exam

Cloud computing sounds cool and exciting for most software developers. There are dozens of services which give you the ability to control some server in the cloud or even no-server at all but I will speak about it later. I was lucky to have a special program at work for learning the public cloud services from AWS and get certification sponsored by the company. However, I would like to share with you tips, resources, and experience in preparation for the AWS Certified Developer — Associate certificate.

In October 2018, I was doing software development as a profession for 2 years. I was doing mostly back-end with Java and sometimes front-end with JavaScript. During my studies, I have discovered the power of cloud computing by deploying to Heroku and using Cloud9 as a web IDE. Actually, I was surprised after starting my preparation that AWS bought it.

Structure and Requirements

First of all, the beginning of preparation should start with the studying of this link where you can find the official high-level requirements from AWS. Here one can find that there is a need for actual programming experience where Java, JavaScript or Python work really well. From my experience, Python is one of the best because of the SDK and verbosity of the language itself. The word ‘ability’ is repeated many times in the requirements. This means just one thing — you need to be able to implement using AWS.

Practical knowledge

If you don’t have any previous experience with cloud computing, go to edx.org. There are three awesome online courses with a lot of practice and minimum theory. Building on AWS (link), Deploying on AWS (link), Optimizing on AWS (link). From my perspective, these courses, which are free for an audition, save you a lot of time of random mingling on the platform and trying to invent use cases. Also, the materials are made by people from Amazon which guarantees quality.

Whitepapers

On the very first link from AWS, one can find the official whitepapers. They are very very long and boring. Who has read them fully? However, reading them can help if you have time but be prepared for several hours of reading. To be honest, ‘well-architected framework’ seems over-complicated and repetitive. I was interested in Serverless computing, that’s why reading the whitepaper on it was useful and delightful. For better preparation, you will need more squeezed information.

Preparation Courses

There are multiple websites that are offering courses for the preparation of the various levels of AWS certificates. I have tried Linux Academy and Pluralsight. However, there is one more resource that should be definitely checked — A Cloud Guru. These guys made a great effort to share the knowledge and experience in preparation for certification exams. They have a free trial for 7 days. This will be enough to complete the AWS Certified Developer course. Although, you will get the chance to use an exam simulator which is a great tool to train and familiarize yourself with the exam as a whole environment. But there are plenty of different courses in other certificates and real usage of cloud technologies. For example, I have enjoyed the course for learning Python with the first part about the language itself and the second one on how to use it with the CLI.

One more resource should be mentioned. It is Udemy. There are many trial exams. I was buying only the high-rated ones. They are good in terms of the structure and the topics but the preparation questions are not the most actual according to the exam. For instance, this one helped me. Beware of putting too many hopes on that. You will need hours of practice still which you can get either by doing edX or your own hobby projects.

All in all, after almost a year from the actual exam, I would like to tell you that the preparation and the certificate itself are both worth investing time into. You will definitely need dedication and effort which will broaden your horizons in modern cloud technologies.

This is my article on software development. Please, clap, if you like the article and follow my account to read other stories about motivation and tech. In another one, I am telling my story about becoming a software developer.

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⚡ AWS Community Builder, 📺 wabi-sabi, 👨‍💻 Soroka Tech founder, 🏃 long-distance runner, 🇫🇮 Finland. Writing about tech, motivation, learning, and sports.

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Igor Soroka

Igor Soroka

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⚡ AWS Community Builder, 📺 wabi-sabi, 👨‍💻 Soroka Tech founder, 🏃 long-distance runner, 🇫🇮 Finland. Writing about tech, motivation, learning, and sports.