AWS Certified Solutions Architect
AWS launched its certification model to validate knowledge of professionals against ever changing standards of the industry. Before jumping into AWS certification, it is important to know what are the basic concepts of AWS and the various ways in which learning about AWS and AWS certificate can help us in our future.
AWS offers the following tier of certifications:
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect
- AWS Certified Developer
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator
To obtain certification in AWS Certified Solutions Architect, there are two levels to it: Associate and Professional. There are papers for these levels which one needs to pass to become a professional.
Certified Solutions Architect- Associate
An AWS Certified Solutions Architect must know how to migrate on-premises applications to AWS, identify data and select it, compute, database or security services that are meeting business requirements and also know how to estimate the costs accurately. AWS expects an Architect Associate to have one year of hands on experience and be well versed in one or more programming languages and should be familiar with the best practices on AWS platform.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect- Professional
AWS Certified Solutions Architect- Professional covers the same topics at a more advanced level. An Architect Professional must know how to migrate more complex, multi-tiered applications to AWS and deal with deployment of large enterprises as well. AWS recommends two years of experience at this level, with an ability to act as a lead or advisor on architectural designs.
The exam is held in one of their on-site testing centers. It contains 60 questions (mostly multiple choice ones) which have to be answered in 80 minutes. The minimum passing marks are 65%. Mostly questions are scenario based and are not tricky. They are simple and easy to answer.
The exam is divided into four sections :
- Designing high availability, fault tolerant, cost efficient and scalable systems. (60%)
- Deployment/ Implementation (10%)
- Data Security (10%)
- Troubleshooting (20%)
The first section is very important. The exam covers more than half of the paper with questions like these. You find questions about building modern cloud based systems using AWS. In this section, real world examples to a problem have to be solved.
The Implementation/ Deployment and the Troubleshooting section is the easiest one. It has questions concerning basic facts and problems that you are familiar after working on AWS.
The Data Security section in the paper has questions that can only be answered of you have a proper knowledge about the security process.
Some tips that can be helpful for you before you take your AWS exam are as follows:
- Sample exam:
Taking sample exam questions can help you get an overview of the format of the paper and the types of questions that might be asked. Blog posts can also be a helpful resource.
2. Official preparation site:
Prepare for AWS Certification Site can be very helpful for you in having a proper insight into the exam. There might be some information that can be useful for you.
3. Hands on practice:
Experience in AWS can be very helpful for you to pass the exam. With mostly questions being scenario based, experience acts beneficial. Online labs and Courses can also help guide you about various services and help you understand AWS better.
Overview of security processes is a very important whitepaper. It is a must read and covers a section of the paper. Storage Options in AWS cloud can also be read to understand the pattern and anti patterns for every room service on AWS.
A list of FAQ is available on the official site that is worth a read.
A lot of documentation is available about AWS services. A thorough reading through it is necessary. Going through this can help you know what is done and what is left.
7. Exam practice:
Practice makes a man perfect! Keep practicing; there is always something new to learn and know.
Cloud Computing being our future is one of the key components for acquiring an AWS certificate. AWS Certified is also considered to be highly skilled professional. There is a huge demand for certifications and industries are on a lookout to find such professionals.
AWS certifications are vendor-specific and the credential holders should expect to find employment with AWS, a company using an AWS platform. With the light of AWS expected to shine brighter for years to come, a career focussing on AWS tools and technologies looks highly stable and extremely promising for people.
AWS Solution Architect Certification not only validates an employee to be highly skilled and experienced but also makes him exceptional. An AWS Certified Professional also earns a lot and has a handsome salary. With the great difference they can make to a company everybody is willing to hire them.
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By Danish Wadhwa