Friday, June 14, 2019

AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional

So I recently needed to re-certify my AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional certification. I tried to keep track of everything I did, found helpful or what wasted my time. Hopefully this can aid someone looking at doing this certification, there is so much content to cover.
I spent roughly 2 months prepping for this certification, I did take a week break in the middle, and did skip a couple days here and there.

Roughly, I did about 100 hours of video content courses and YouTube, 10 practice exams and whole a bunch of reading.

Courses & Video Content

A Cloud Guru:
I have always been a fan of ACG, however I found this course lacking in details to be honest. The actual videos felt like summaries and then you are pointed at other external resources. If you recently did your associate certification, I don't know if you'll get much out of it.
I used this as a a starting point, and it was a good "refresher". The exam simulator as another source of practice, and that is quite good.
https://acloud.guru/learn/aws-certified-solutions-architect-professional-2019

Linux Academy:
This course covers a lot of the content in some good detail, and gets you to actually try it out in labs. I would recommend everyone signup for this. The instructor and other students are also quite active on their slack channel. I found some of those discussions and exam feedback useful.
https://linuxacademy.com/amazon-web-services/training/course/name/aws-certified-solutions-architect-professional-2018

Exam Readiness: AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional (Digital):
https://www.aws.training/transcript/curriculumplayer?transcriptId=ui4o3L6JBUuG_Zx7hkNvwA2
Was a complete waste of 3 hours of my life.

You Tube / Re:Invent:
Search YouTube for AWS Re:invent deep dive or 300/400 level for any topic you need to cover.
Here are my playlists:
Level 400s - Watch all of these
Level 200-300s - Watch what required

This is my Architecture:
I generally enjoy this format, quick, real-life examples of working architectures.
https://aws.amazon.com/this-is-my-architecture/


Notes

I didn't read a single FAQ, I personally don't like the format. I rather used the aws-cheat-sheets from tutorialdojo.
https://tutorialsdojo.com/aws-cheat-sheets/


Practice Exams

ACG, Linux Academy:

Both had 1 test each, pretty good, would recommend everyone do them. I just found their explanations only focused on the correct answer, where actually identifying incorrect answers is just as important.
https://acloud.guru/learn/aws-certified-solutions-architect-professional-2019
https://linuxacademy.com/amazon-web-services/training/course/name/aws-certified-solutions-architect-professional-2018

Whizlabs:
These have a bad rep amongst other people taking the test, and I would agree to some extent, I don't know if they added that much value, except for the practice in reading / dissecting questions at speed, and their explanations on some concepts were useful.
https://www.udemy.com/aws-certified-solutions-architect-professional-whizlabs/

Jon Bonso / Tutorials Dojo:
These were good, I would say a little easier than my actual exam, but again great to practice, great to review explanations for correct and incorrect answers
https://www.udemy.com/aws-solutions-architect-professional-practice-exams-2018/

General Reading



The Exam

Topics covered in my 75 questions (as much as I can remember) :
  • AWS Organizations scenarios - Multi AWS accounts, SCP, SAML IAM  4+
  • Lambda + Api gateway 4+
  • AWS Systems manager - Patch, Run command, automation, maintenance:  4+
  • Amazon Aurora vs RDS vs EC2 hosted: 3+
  • Elastic Beanstalk: 3+
  • ECS & Fargate: 3+
  • Cloudformation - nested stacks, stacksets: 3+
  • CloudFront - Caching & Lambda@Edge: 3 
  • SQS: 3
  • EBS - Provisioned IOPS & GP2: 2+
  • DynamoDB: 2+
  • ELB & Autoscaling : 2+
  • Redshift (one HA / quick recovery scenario) : 2+
  • AWS CodeDeploy & CodePipeline: 2+
  • Cloudwatch / CloudWatch Logs: 2
  • Cloudtrail: 2
  • Direct Connect & Direct Connect Gateway: 2
  • VPN & Direct Connect routing BGP preferred: 2 
  • Data Migration Service:  2
  • AWS WAF & Shield & Shield Advanced (DDoS) : 2
  • Transit VPC vs Transit Gateway / VPC Peering:  2
  • Kinesis - family video, firehose, analytics 
  • NAT Instance / Nat Gateway
  • Route 53
  • AWS Config
  • Application Discovery
  • Snowball, Snowmobile
  • AWS Batch
  • Athena & Quicksight
  • AWS Rekognition
  • Trusted Advisor (Business Level Support)
  • Lex
  • OpsWorks
  • Service Catalog
  • AppStream
  • VPC Flow Logs
  • VPC Endpoints - Private DNS, S3
  • Storage Gateway - File and Tape
  • X-Ray
  • Amazon Connect

My experience writing:

Going to start by saying, I found it harder and the questions less obvious than any of the practice tests. I have a certification exam technique where I flag questions I am not 100% sure of... not necessarily to go back to, but as a counter... I know if I marked less that 20 out of the 75 questions, I would be pretty sure that I would pass.. and can just complete the exam.

I started, Question 1: easy... ok nice can relax, I got this...

I then proceeded to "flag" the next 7 questions due thoughts ranging from "mmm ... unsure" to "I have no clue, wtf?".

Anyways, that trend continued throughout the exam.. couple correct, a whole bunch of "I'm not sure.". I got to the end with around 40 minutes to spare and realised that I had flagged 39 questions, I was quite disheartened at that point, so I went back and tried to review as much as I could.. I got through about 20 flagged questions when I had 9 minutes left, and I resigned myself to the fact that this was my first attempt and starting thinking what should I go back and learn for when I write again in 2 weeks.

Amazingly, I saw the words... "Congratulations, you have successfully passed ... bla bla bla."
I had to read that a couple times.. and actually still didn't believe it until I actually got my score report the following day.
I somehow managed to get: 880

So after receiving my score and re-evaluation my exam, I guess my main piece of advice would be:

The way the questions / scenarios are structured are purposely meant to be a little unclear. Be sure to pay attention to the key words / synonyms / phrases that the question is actually asking for:
cost, fewest changes, fastest processing time, least ongoing maintenance, most secure, highly available, most scalable, least downtime, fastest recovery time... etc
Then apply what you have learnt about the services, even if you're not 100% sure on the actually implementation of the scenario, make sure it satisfies the core requirement.

To anyone reading this and planning to write, Good Luck! This is a tough one.

39 comments:

  1. thank you for your post about SA pro, I am currently studying using LA, and I appreciate your insight about the structure of the questions on the exam.

    ReplyDelete
  2. great post thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. This is very insightful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice blog you have been shared here. Get the online safety training courses in Spanish at the affordable prices from safetraining.com. Visit on online safety courses

    ReplyDelete
  5. Always so interesting to visit your site.What a great info, thank you for sharing. this will help me so much in my learning architects near me

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice article, Which you have shared here about the AWS. Your article is very informative and useful to know more about the AWS Certified Solutions Architect. Get the Best AWS Training in Delhi at affordable price.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yet, what's to come is yet to convey quite a lot more. Throughout the following years, the pace of advancement won't simply proceed, it will accelerate exponentially. machine learning course in pune

    ReplyDelete
  8. Excellent post. I was reviewing this blog continuously, and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information especially this page. Thank you and good luck. underground oil tank removal cost

    ReplyDelete
  9. Excellent and very exciting site. Love to watch. Keep Rocking. resume writing service india

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for sharing an informative blog keep rocking bring more details. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. You can opt for quality Traffic Control Course Online that offers a wide range of courses.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is a great post. Thanks a lot for showing the direction.

    ReplyDelete
  12. thanks for posting this nice information.please keep posting.
    we are proving Digital marketing course in Bangalore with Live Projects. 100% placement, 20+ modules, 10+ certifications, Great discounts on course fees.
    https://onlineidealab.com/digital-marketing-courses-in-bangalore/


    ReplyDelete
  13. The more information are open to energize an insightful model, the more exact it becomes. Data Analytics Courses

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

  15. Thank you for the valuable information, its was very helpful
    Best Kubernetes training in Bangalore

    ReplyDelete

  16. Thank You so much for sharing this information. I found it very helpful
    Best Azure training in Bangalore

    ReplyDelete

  17. Thanks for sharing the information....keep sharing more articles
    data science courses in bangalore

    ReplyDelete

  18. Thanks for sharing the information....keep sharing more articles
    Best Software Training institute in Bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for sharing the information...
    SEO Training in Bangalore | SEO Course Fees | Best SEO Classes - Join SEO Training in Bangalore at i Digital Academy and learn how to increase your website Traffic by
    Google Certified Trainers with 100% Placements and affordable course fees. Book a Free Demo!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Awesome post. Really you are shared very informative concept... Thank you for sharing. Keep on updating...

    Embedded Systems Training in Chennai | Embedded Systems Training in velachery

    ReplyDelete
  21. Very interesting topic. Helps to gain knowledge about lot of information. Thanks for posting information in this blog.
    Machine Learning Training in Chennai | Machine Learning Training in OMR

    ReplyDelete
  22. Expected to form you a next to no word to thank you once more with respect to the decent recommendations you've contributed here.
    Cloud Business Management Software suite | Business Management Software

    ReplyDelete

  23. Nice post. Thanks for sharing! I want people to know just how good this information is in your blog. It’s interesting content and Great work.
    360DigiTMG digital marketing courses in hyderabad

    ReplyDelete
  24. great post. Please keep posting. Mukul Sharma   When the film “Birds of Prey” was released on 07 Feb 2020, trade pundits projected it to gross $50 to $55 million during the opening weekend in the US and Canadian markets. Warner Bros, the distributors of the film had their own projection pegged at $45 million. However, It could muster only […]
    https://onlineidealab.com/warner-bros-loses-22-million-in-a-weekend-due-to-poor-seo/

    ReplyDelete
  25. Astonishing, astoundingly valuable post I appreciated it and wish to see more posts like that structure this blog, I adored this blog this perhaps helpful to me as I additionally have a Photoshop Clipping path service site where we give all kind of Photoshop services and to give tips on Photoshop a clipping path blog i made is a nice way to learn different tips on photography and illustrations designs.hope to get increasingly valuable post Form this blog😊

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for this blog are informative contents step by step. I here attached my site would you see this blog.

    7 tips to start a career in digital marketing

    “Digital marketing is the marketing of product or service using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium”. This is the definition that you would get when you search for the term “Digital marketing” in google. Let’s give out a simpler explanation by saying, “the form of marketing, using the internet and technologies like phones, computer etc”.

    we have offered to the advanced syllabus course digital marketing for available join now.

    more details click the link now.

    https://www.webdschool.com/digital-marketing-course-in-chennai.html

    ReplyDelete
  27. Amazing article useful information.

    Web designing trends in 2020

    When we look into the trends, everything which is ruling today’s world was once a start up and slowly begun getting into. But Now they have literally transformed our lives on a tremendous note. To name a few, Facebook, Whats App, Twitter can be a promising proof for such a transformation and have a true impact on the digital world.

    we have offered to the advanced syllabus course web design and development for available join now.

    more details click the link now.

    https://www.webdschool.com/web-development-course-in-chennai.html

    ReplyDelete

Popular Posts

Followers