(Update March 2019) The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional Certification has been fully released. To prepare for this certification, we recommend the Cloud Academy’s DevOps Engineer – Professional Certification Preparation for AWS Learning Path. Since this post was written, AWS has also released three Specialty certifications – AWS Certified Networking, AWS Certified Big Data, and AWS Certified Security Specialty – plus the AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification. For an up-to-date summary of all AWS certifications learning paths, visit the Cloud Academy’s AWS Certification page.
AWS certifications now include a range of cloud architect and developer designations: how to choose the right AWS certification?
With the increase in cloud adoption in the last few years, the need for cloud certified IT professionals is exploding. With cloud certifications, you can benchmark cloud computing knowledge and skills. It gives confidence to employers that they are hiring the right professional, while a professional gets an extra edge over the competition. There is quite a range of industry standard certifications – some of them vendor specific – available in the IT world. With more and more vendors jumping into the cloud computing market, you’ve got quite a choice of available certifications.
Choosing the right AWS certification for you matters a lot, as one size certainly does not fit all feet. So, for instance, a developer certification is for someone who builds cloud applications, while an architect certification is for someone who designs and plans cloud deployments.
With around 8,000 partners around the world, Amazon Web Services is the most widely used cloud computing platform. With the growing demand for cloud computing professionals with the skill sets to manage Amazon infrastructure, AWS launched their own certification program in May 2013. Over last 18 months, AWS has launched four certifications (plus one still in beta).
The AWS certification family is divided into two layers: Associate and Professional. The Associate layer focuses upon individuals with strong AWS environment fundamentals, while the Professional layer focuses upon building complex systems on top of AWS. Each of these certifications targets its own audience: design, development, or operations.
The AWS certifications:
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
- AWS Certified Developer – Associate
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional (Beta)
|Solutions Architect||Developer||SysOps Administrator|
|Associate||AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate||AWS Certified Developer – Associate||AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate|
||AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional||AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional|
|Certificate Name||AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate|
|Target Audience||Solutions Architect|
|Training Material||AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Learning Path|
|Certificate Name||AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional|
|Target Audience||Solutions Architect|
|Pre-requisites||AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate|
|Training Material||AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional Learning Path|
|Certificate Name||AWS Certified Developer – Associate|
|Training Material||AWS Certified Developer – Associate Learning Path|
|Certificate Name||AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate|
|Target Audience||SysOps Administrator|
|Training Material||AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate Learning Path|
|Certificate Name||AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional|
|Target Audience||Developer and SysOps Administrator|
|Prerequisites||AWS Certified Developer – Associate or AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate|
|Training Material||AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional Learning Path|
How to choose an AWS certification
Over time, as your knowledge and skills grow, it becomes more important for you to understand the complete environment, both infrastructure, and development. Eventually, as a Principal Cloud Architect, you will need to address certain questions, like
- how performance-tuned application code can be written by using AWS SDKs
- how to design your architecture for failure
- how to build an automated deployment process by leveraging various deployment services offered by AWS
- how to implement various security measures and compliance policies for your AWS infrastructure and application
- how to build optimal solutions within strict cost control mechanisms
To answer these questions, you’ll need to have had a hand in many roles (architect, developer, and SysOps) at some stage of your life. As you spend time in a certain role then, why not go for the relevant certification?