Updates to Two AWS Developer Certification Exams Coming in 2023!

2022 has been an extremely busy year for our team and for AWS certifications! So far, we’ve already refreshed our Certified Cloud Practitioner Learning Path, released learning paths for the brand new Certified SAP on AWS – Specialty (PAS-C01) exam in April, the updated Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty (ANS-C01) in July, and updated Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C03) exam in August. And to top it all off, we’re actively working on updating our Certified Solutions Architect – Professional (SAP-C02) learning path in time for the upcoming November update to that exam!

AWS Certifications

Usually, AWS announces updates to its certification exams one at a time, but this week they decided to surprise everyone with two separate exam update announcements on the same day!

This time, both of the AWS developer-focused exams are in line for a refresh; the updated AWS Certified Developer – Associate and AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification exams will both be available within a week of each other in early 2023.

The new DVA-C02 exam will be available starting February 28, 2023, and the new DOP-C02 exam will be available beginning March 7, 2023. AWS indicated that both of these updates were “the result of a Job Task Analysis (JTA) and reflects changes in trends, the industry landscape, and the work practices of cloud professionals.”

AWS Certified Developer Associate Badge

The current versions of these exams have been around since 2019, so it’s no surprise that they were both due for a facelift. There have been many significant changes and updates to key AWS services and features over the past three years, and it’s important for these exams to reflect those changes to ensure they remain relevant and valuable to organizations and individuals alike.

In this blog post, I’m going to answer some questions you might have about these updated exams, including:

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional Badge

  • Can I still take the current DVA-C01 and/or DOP-C01 exams if I’m currently studying for them?
  • I recently passed the current DVA-C01 and/or DOP-C01 exam. Is it still valid for three years or will I need to take the new exam sooner?
  • When will the new DVA-C02 and DOP-C02 exams be available?
  • What are the changes between the DVA-C01 and DVA-C02 exams?
  • What are the changes between the DOP-C01 and DOP-C02 exams?
  • Where can I learn the new materials for the new DVA-C02 and DOP-C02 exams?
  • Where can I find more information on the new DVA-C02 and DOP-C02 exams?

Can I still take the current DVA-C01 and/or DOP-C01 exams if I’m currently studying for them?

Absolutely! In fact, I strongly recommend that if you’ve already started studying for either of the current DVA-C01 or DOP-C01 exams, you continue to do so. You still have plenty of time to finish your preparation as the last date to take the current DVA-C01 exam is February 27, 2023 and the last day to take the current DOP-C01 exam is March 6, 2023.

Even if you haven’t started studying yet but want to take either of these exams, with enough effort and dedication (and depending on your existing experience as an AWS developer or DevOps Engineer) you’ll likely still have time to prepare and pass the current version of these exams.

If you’re looking for study guides and material for the current exams, check out our DVA-C01 learning path, which covers all of the assessment points in the current DVA-C01 exam guide, along with our DOP-C01 learning path, which covers all of the assessment points in the current DOP-C01 exam guide.

Cloud Academy AWS Developer Associate Learning Path
Cloud Academy AWS DevOps Engineer Professional Learning Path

I recently passed the current DVA-C01 and/or DOP-C01 exam. Is it still valid for three years or will I need to take the new exam sooner?

This is always a concern when AWS announces an updated certification, and for good reason! You probably just spent months studying for this exam, only to find out that AWS will be updating it in the not-too-distant future. Well, I have some good news for you: you do NOT need to pass the updated certification exam in order to keep your credentials!

Let’s say for example you passed the current DVA-C01 exam on the last possible date (February 27, 2023), your certification will remain active and valid for three years from that date — or until February 27, 2026. There’s no need to pass the newly updated exam until it is time to renew your certification. The certificate and digital badge you get for achieving the certification don’t include the version of the exam you passed.

When will the new DVA-C02 and DOP-C02 exams be available?

The new DVA-C02 exam is available beginning February 28, 2023 and the new DOP-C02 exam is available beginning March 7, 2023. If you want to be one of the first to take either of these new exams, you can register for them beginning on January 31, 2023. There are no beta exams as part of these updates.

What are the changes between the DVA-C01 and DVA-C02 exams?

After reviewing the differences between the exam guides for both exams, there’s a fair amount of overlap between the DVA-C01 and DVA-C02 exams. The new DVA-C02 exam guide references some of the latest services and newer features within existing services that were not covered on the DVA-C01 exam, like Amazon MemoryDB for Redis and AWS Certificate Manager Private Certificate Authority.

One other interesting item of note: AWS WAF now appears in the list of “In-scope AWS services and features” that may be covered on the DVA-C02 exam (it was in the list of “Out-of-scope AWS services and features” for DVA-C01).

From a domain perspective, the five domains from the DVA-C01 exam content outline have been reduced to four domains covered by the DVA-C02 exam. The domain breakdowns from both exams are shown in the tables below.

DVA-C01 Domains

Domain% of Exam
Domain 1: Deployment22%
Domain 2: Security26%
Domain 3: Development with AWS Services30%
Domain 4: Refactoring10%
Domain 5: Monitoring and Troubleshooting12%
Total100%

DVA-C02 Domains​​

Domain% of Exam
Domain 1: Development with AWS Services32%
Domain 2: Security26%
Domain 3: Deployment24%
Domain 4: Troubleshooting and Optimization18%
Total100%

Aside from some reordering and very minor changes to the percentage weightings, Domains 1 through 3 are unchanged between the two exams. Domains 4 and 5 (“Refactoring” along with “Monitoring and Troubleshooting”) from the DVA-C01 exam guide have been consolidated into Domain 4 (“Troubleshooting and Optimization”) in the DVA-C02 exam guide. Again, this appears to be a minor change. Let’s briefly discuss what’s covered within each of these four domains in a little more detail.

DVA-C02 Domain 1: Development with AWS Services (32%)

This domain focuses on architectural and design patterns used when developing code for applications hosted on AWS, including event-driven, microservice, and fanout architectures.

You’ll need to have a deep understanding of AWS Lambda, including how to configure event source mappings and access private VPC resources from your Lambda code, as well as how to properly unit test and troubleshoot your Lambda functions. You’ll also be tested on different strategies for incorporating data stores into your applications, including both relational and non-relational databases as well as file and object stores in AWS.

DVA-C02 Domain 2: Security (26%)

This domain will require you to implement security best practices across all facets of application development, including authentication and authorization, encryption, and properly managing secrets in your application code.

This requires an in-depth understanding of IAM and the principle of least privilege. You’ll need to understand the difference between client-side and server-side encryption and know how to use AWS KMS to manage and rotate keys. You should also be familiar with AWS Secrets Manager and Systems Manager Parameter Store, understanding the differences between them and appropriate use cases for both.

DVA-C02 Domain 3: Deployment (24%)

In this domain, your focus will be on testing and deploying your code into different environments including development, test, and production environments. You’ll need to know how CloudFormation, the AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK), and AWS SAM are used to deploy applications.

You should understand how to maintain your application source code in a version control tool such as Git or AWS CodeCommit and how to use AWS tools and services to perform automated unit, integration, and mock testing as code moves between different environments within a CI/CD pipeline.

DVA-C02 Domain 4: Troubleshooting and Optimization (18%)

This final domain will assess your ability to determine memory and compute requirements for your applications, as well as how to debug and troubleshoot application code. You should know common HTTP error codes and how to read and interpret application logs, metrics, and traces.

You should also be able to instrument your own application code to assist in troubleshooting and observability after it’s been deployed to production. And finally, you should know how to optimize your application’s performance by leveraging features such as caching and concurrency.

What are the changes between the DOP-C01 and DOP-C02 exams?

Much like we saw with the new DVA-C02 exam, I’m pleased to report that there is also a fair amount of overlap between the DOP-C01 and DOP-C02 exams. The new DOP-C02 exam guide references the same 13 areas of focus as the DOP-C01 exam, including categories ranging from application deployment, integration, and pipelines to hybrid deployments and IAM policies.

However, within these 13 focus areas, AWS has added over 40 new services that were previously not considered “in scope” for the DOP-C01 exam, including AWS Backup, Amazon FSx, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, the AWS Fault Injection Simulator, and several database services including Aurora, Aurora Serverless, DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility), ElastiCache, and Redshift, among others.

From a domain perspective, both the DOP-C01 and DOP-C02 exams feature six domains. The domain breakdowns from both exams are shown in the tables below.

DOP-C01 Domains

Domain% of Exam
Domain 1: SDLC Automation22%
Domain 2: Configuration Management and Infrastructure as Code19%
Domain 3: Monitoring and Logging15%
Domain 4: Policies and Standards Automation10%
Domain 5: Incident and Event Response18%
Domain 6: High Availability, Fault Tolerance, and Disaster Recovery16%
Total100%

DOP-C02 Domains​​

Domain% of Exam
Domain 1: SDLC Automation22%
Domain 2: Configuration Management and IaC17%
Domain 3: Resilient Cloud Solutions15%
Domain 4: Monitoring and Logging15%
Domain 5: Incident and Event Response14%
Domain 6: Security and Compliance17%
Total100%

Aside from some reordering and very minor changes to the percentage weightings, these domains are largely unchanged between the two exams. Based on the task statements in the DOP-C02 exam guide, Domain 6 (“High Availability, Fault Tolerance, and Disaster Recovery”) from the DOP-C01 exam appears to have become Domain 3 (“Resilient Cloud Solutions”) in the DOP-C02 exam.

The objectives from Domain 4 (“Policies and Standards Automation”) from DOP-C01 have been spread across all six domains in DOP-C02, and Domain 6 (“Security and Compliance”) in DOP-C02 brings a new top-level emphasis to a number of security concepts that were previously spread across all six domains from DOP-C01. The other four domains remain the same aside from a couple of very incremental percentage shifts.

Again, these all appear to be mostly minor semantic changes, perhaps with the exception of the new “Security and Compliance” domain in DOP-C02. Let’s briefly discuss what’s covered within each of these six domains in a little more detail.

DOP-C02 Domain 1: SDLC Automation (22%)

This domain will require you to automate the software development lifecycle by configuring code repositories and CI/CD pipelines. You should know how to integrate these pipelines with different application environments and use automated testing to ensure applications are ready to be deployed. You should be able to create and configure various artifact repositories and understand the different deployment strategies involved when using containers or serverless architectures.

DOP-C02 Domain 2: Configuration Management and IaC (17%)

In this domain, you’ll need to configure and deploy infrastructure as code, or IaC templates using AWS CloudFormation, AWS CDK, and AWS SAM. You should know how to apply CloudFormation StackSets across AWS regions and accounts. To that end, you should also understand best practices for multi-region and multi-account environments, including how to use AWS Organizations and Control Tower to centrally manage accounts.

You’ll also need to design, build, and configure automated solutions that can perform tasks across large-scale environments using services like Systems Manager, Step Functions, and OpsWorks.

DOP-C02 Domain 3: Resilient Cloud Solutions (15%)

This domain is all about implementing robust solutions that are both scalable and highly available. This involves configuring multi-AZ and multi-region deployments and leveraging auto scaling, load balancing, and caching to help meet performance and availability requirements. You should also understand the concepts of recovery time objective and recovery point objective (RTO/RPO) and be able to implement, test, and configure automated backup, restore, and failover processes.

DOP-C02 Domain 4: Monitoring and Logging (15%)

This domain will test your ability to configure the collection, aggregation, and storage of application logs and metrics. You should know how to detect and remediate issues in different environments using AWS Config, CloudWatch, and CloudTrail, and be able to design event-driven architectures that leverage SNS, Lambda, or EventBridge events for alerting and automating various actions.

DOP-C02 Domain 5: Incident and Event Response (14%)

This domain focuses on how to deal with application events, along with incidents such as system and application-level failures. You should know how to configure notification and alerting processes in response to a variety of events, including different types of failures. You’ll also need to know how to perform root cause analysis when analyzing failed deployments or processes and make the necessary configuration changes and remediations to restore things back to a desired state.

DOP-C02 Domain 6: Security and Compliance (17%)

This final domain requires you to implement security at scale, including identity and access management, security and access controls, and security monitoring and auditing solutions. You should be able to use AWS services such as GuardDuty, Inspector, and Config to identify security vulnerabilities and protect against common security threats.

Where can I learn the new materials for the new DVA-C02 and DOP-C02 exams?

As soon as these updated exams were announced, our team here at Cloud Academy began to assess the content in our current AWS Developer – Associate (DVA-C01) Certification Preparation and DevOps Engineer – Professional Certification Preparation for AWS learning paths to ensure we will fully cover all aspects of the updated DVA-C02 and DOP-C02 exam guides.

Over the coming months, we will be refreshing these learning paths to include new and updated courses, hands-on labs, and assessments covering topics that are emphasized in the new DVA-C02 and DOP-C02 exams.

Where can I find more information on the new DVA-C02 and DOP-C02 exams?

To find out the latest information about these exams, as well as to learn more about updates to other AWS certification exams, you can visit the Coming Soon to AWS Certification page. From there, you can review the exam guide and sample questions for the new DVA-C02 exam and the exam guide and sample questions for the new DOP-C02 exam. You can also learn more about the upcoming November 2022 update to the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional (SAP-C02) exam, which I recently blogged about here. For training preparation on all AWS certifications, I encourage you to take a look at our entire library of AWS certification content.

Best of luck with your studying! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to help!

Danny

Cloud Academy