Sunday, December 18, 2016

AWS Solutions Architect - Professional Certification


Update:
Check out my updated re-certification on the new 2019 exam... here

Let me start by saying, for this certification I studied and prepared more than any certification I have done before and I have done a number of certifications throughout my career; Microsoft, Sun, IBM, Oracle and now AWS. It does feel like there is a mountain of content to get through, and then ensuring you know it at the correct level of detail for the exam.

I booked the AWS Solutions Architect Professional exam 5 weeks after the associate level one and set a couple hours a day aside to study... During the last 2 weeks however, those couple hours became all my available hours every day, it was all I focused on, including 8+ hours a day on the weekends.

Main 4 resources I used:
  • YouTube
    • The re:Invent sessions videos are an essential resource
    • My major topics playlist: 


    • Watch these twice:

  • Linux Academy 
    • These guys really impressed me, the content in the pro level certificate was excellent, I found it had more depth than A Cloud Guru, well worth the $29 per month subscription.
  • Cloud Guru
    • Decent structured content that covers the highlights of all the topics defined in the exam blueprint.
    • The discussion forum is an excellent source of tips and discussions on the practice exam questions.
  • The official practice exam
    • This was a good eye opener, into how hard some of the questions can be. I do feel that some of the questions are badly articulated which makes them almost impossible to answer, however working through every question and researching the answers was invaluable. There were also a couple of those questions on the real exam... word for word.

Other Resources (Summary  / Study Notes):


Final thoughts:

All the guides and sites recommend reading a ton of white papers, but to be honest, I read only 4 or 5 of them..and I felt that the time spent was a waste. It seems all the content was in all the youtube vids and online courses already.

I did see a lot of people mention that they were pressed for time during the exam, but I found that I finished the 77 questions with a good hour to spare. To mention though: I did not go back and review any of my answers. I have always found in the past, that I rarely change my initial answer during the review phase, and I was reasonably confident that I had done enough.

End Result:

Overall Score: 83%

Topic Level Scoring:
1.0 High Availability and Business Continuity: 90%
2.0 Costing: 100%
3.0 Deployment Management: 85%
4.0 Network Design: 57%
5.0 Data Storage: 81%
6.0 Security: 78%
7.0 Scalability & Elasticity: 90%
8.0 Cloud Migration & Hybrid Architecture: 85%


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