(Update) We’ve recently written a blog post to support those wanting to prepare for the AWS Solutions Architect Professional Certification as well as those interested in studying the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Certification.
If you’re interested in preparing for the AWS Solutions Architect Certifications, Cloud Academy’s AWS Learning Paths are a great way to learn and test your skills, with hands-on assessments, video courses, and quizzes to review what you’ve learned.
In the last few months, we spent a lot of time analyzing the cloud certification market. There is no doubt that having a cloud computing certification is today the best step you can do to start a career in this industry; AWS is right now the most important public cloud service and only Google can beat it in the next years. At Cloud Academy, we discuss and observe how the market is evolving on daily basis and Amazon is now in a great position: it’s all about the creation of an ecosystem where AWS is becoming a standard and not just a simple public cloud environment.
How Amazon is planning its certification path:
In this scenario having a cloud computing certification is the savviest step you can do if you want to refresh your resume and get exposed to thousands of new job positions. Let me clarify this: we usually get tons of email from members that want to understand what is the best certification to start a cloud career. Well, Amazon is not only the best choice because of its popularity, this is actually explained by a broader schema: AWS, most of the time, is used in high-technology startups and companies; as an AWS Solution Architect you’ll be employed in high-innovative projects that are not only about system administration but also about challenges never seen before for an IT architect.
Think about Anki Drive: those guys are using Amazon AWS for a highly scalable infrastructure that works with AI algorithms; this is a big switch from the past where IT architects were always involved on boring technologies management, like web server, email server and so on. The world is changing, the software is changing it. Amazon is simply leading this process from an infrastructure point of view.
How to get the AWS Solution Architect Certification – Associate Level in 3 steps
Some weeks ago we posted a complete article about the AWS Solution Architect Certification preparation, Amazon has some great content online to get you prepared but most of the effort is studying, learning how to think with AWS and then practice with a real infrastructure. There are a lot of courses online about AWS, but most of them are not even ready to introduce you to Amazon AWS: very low quality, no deep content, and suggestions given by people without any real experience with Amazon Web Services.
We tried most of them and the low quality cannot assure you to really get all the important topics that you’ll find in the certification. Here is how we suggest preparing for the AWS Solutions Architect Certification for the Associate Level (be aware: this is the first step, Amazon is preparing also a Professional certification level).
1) Study and gain confidence with AWS
First of all, you need to study, a lot. Amazon’s Documentation, WhitePapers and a great free tier account to learn what is AWS, what is the structure behind it, the most important services and what they do; at the same time try to practice and get involved in real operations like launching an instance, configure an EBS or an ELB and so on. Real practice (50%) with good preparation on the theoretical part (50%). White Papers are usually very useful, be sure to read them as well during this phase of your preparation.
While you are studying the documentation, open our great Cloud Academy and start taking quizzes on AWS: we use a particular technology, called Skill Assessment, to understand what is your knowledge level. If you start from scratch you’ll go through a lot of AWS services like EC2, S3, EBS and so on, then you will start reading learning statements with more deep knowledge. We have designed our quizzes to really teach you specific concepts and operations, those are really important to understand VPC, CloudFormation and all the more complex services.
Once you feel quite ready, start using CloudAcademy only to test your knowledge. That’s the time to go ahead and start answering to our strongest Quizzes. They are hard quizzes but, more important, in this level you’ll find a lot of them that are asking you how to act in real situations, with real examples of AWS infrastructures.
3) QuickLab and other laboratories to practice your skills
The last step is trying to do something for real. In this case, you can use an AWS account (the Free Tier is perfect) to build real infrastructure. It could be a single WordPress blog that uses a Load Balancer and a couple of instances inside VPC or something more complex.
Practice, how much does it count?
It is simple, practice is 50% of your effort to prepare this certification. You can do this with laboratories or using a real AWS account, but you need to do this. You cannot try to get an AWS Certification without get your hands dirty with a bunch of hours with AWS’s console. The only way to learn how to build things with AWS is actually trying to replicate existing infrastructures, you can do that with a lot of tutorials.
How to stay updated with AWS Solution Architect topics
Staying updated with Amazon is not so simple: the platform is evolving and each week we can find new changes, additions and so on. The unique source to be notified about all the news is Jeff Barr’s blog. In Cloud Academy we have different approaches to keep all of our content updated; in fact our content managers are changing the quizzes and the learning statements on a daily basis; that’s not all, we have a strong roadmap about AWS with all the tags (services of AWS) that we need to complete or we need to create from scratch.
You can find all the services that we are covering for AWS here. Very soon you will be able to get quizzes and learning statements only on a single service.
How to find a job as AWS Solutions Architect
Here comes the best part. Right now there are thousands of new jobs positions for AWS Solutions Architect. Amazon is probably the one with more positions but if you take a look at Linkedin Jobs you’ll find out how more and more companies that use AWS are looking for skilled architects. In Cloud Academy we have just started a new weekly report with the best positions for Amazon Architects, trying to cover the US, Europe, and Asia as well.
Cloud Academy’s Blog Digest: Top 5 AWS Salary Report Findings, How To Become a Cybersecurity Professional, 8 Financial Benefits of Cloud Migration, and more
Now that it's 2020, how many times have you caught yourself dating a paper 2019? Don't lie. It's happened at least once or twice — or a handful of times — I'm sure. And if you're a member of the "perfect club" that hasn't made any 2020 mistakes, then we're still happy to have you in our...
Top 5 AWS Salary Report Findings
At the speed the cloud tech space is developing, it can be hard to keep track of everything that’s happening within the AWS ecosystem. Advances in technology prompt smarter functionality and innovative new products, which in turn give rise to new job roles that have a ripple effect on t...
New on Cloud Academy: Red Hat, Agile, OWASP Labs, Amazon SageMaker Lab, Linux Command Line Lab, SQL, Git Labs, Scrum Master, Azure Architects Lab, and Much More
Happy New Year! We hope you're ready to kick your training in overdrive in 2020 because we have a ton of new content for you. Not only do we have a bunch of new courses, hands-on labs, and lab challenges on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, but we also have three new courses on Red Hat, th...
Cloud Academy’s Blog Digest: Azure Best Practices, 6 Reasons You Should Get AWS Certified, Google Cloud Certification Prep, and more
Happy Holidays from Cloud Academy We hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and plenty of food. Here at Cloud Academy, we are thankful for our amazing customer like you. Since this time of year can be stressful, we’re sharing a few of our latest article...
Google Cloud Platform Certification: Preparation and Prerequisites
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has evolved from being a niche player to a serious competitor to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. In 2019, research firm Gartner placed Google in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the second consecuti...
New Lab Challenges: Push Your Skills to the Next Level
Build hands-on experience using real accounts on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and more Meaningful cloud skills require more than book knowledge. Hands-on experience is required to translate knowledge into real-world results. We see this time and time again in studies about how pe...
New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solution Architect Lab Challenge, Azure Hands-on Labs, Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security, and Much More
Now that Thanksgiving is over and the craziness of Black Friday has died down, it's now time for the busiest season of the year. Whether you're a last-minute shopper or you already have your shopping done, the holidays bring so much more excitement than any other time of year. Since our...
Understanding Enterprise Cloud Migration
What is enterprise cloud migration? Cloud migration is about moving your data, applications, and even infrastructure from your on-premises computers or infrastructure to a virtual pool of on-demand, shared resources that offer compute, storage, and network services at scale. Why d...
6 Reasons Why You Should Get an AWS Certification This Year
In the past decade, the rise of cloud computing has been undeniable. Businesses of all sizes are moving their infrastructure and applications to the cloud. This is partly because the cloud allows businesses and their employees to access important information from just about anywhere. ...
AWS Regions and Availability Zones: The Simplest Explanation You Will Ever Find Around
The basics of AWS Regions and Availability Zones We’re going to treat this article as a sort of AWS 101 — it’ll be a quick primer on AWS Regions and Availability Zones that will be useful for understanding the basics of how AWS infrastructure is organized. We’ll define each section,...
Application Load Balancer vs. Classic Load Balancer
What is an Elastic Load Balancer? This post covers basics of what an Elastic Load Balancer is, and two of its examples: Application Load Balancers and Classic Load Balancers. For additional information — including a comparison that explains Network Load Balancers — check out our post o...
Advantages and Disadvantages of Microservices Architecture
What are microservices? Let's start our discussion by setting a foundation of what microservices are. Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). ...