AWS Solution Architect Certification from zero: my first adventure with AWS

In this summer after some long days at the beach I was looking at the clouds in the sky and I thought that I should start a new cloud related adventure. And a spark came into my mind: Start to learn AWS. Then: “Am I crazy?  I have tons of Azure experience and I have never seen AWS before.” Finally the answer was so easy: “Why not? I have enough motivation to do this moreover it is a good opportunity to make a comparison between Azure and AWS.”

Step 1 – Goals

Therefore I set a goal. My goal was quite simple: Become an AWS Certified Person within 2 month.

Step 2 – Discover sources

Then I started to collect the required training sources and materials for this adventure. I had decided to use the most familiar – for me – online training portals: Udemy and Linux Academy. Although you can find several Free materials there, you should accept it when you would like to get great knowledge on a new area you have to invest – money – into your improvement.

Linux Academy

Luckily I was sponsored a little bit at Linux Academy due to my previous professions,  so I could use it almost free. Nevertheless it costs $100 for two month ($49/month). Then you can use all materials there without any limitation.

 

Udemy

The registration here is free and there are several Free materials. Nevertheless if you need a really good course it costs between $10 – $30 per course.

 

AWS training and certification

Amazon also provides you some opportunity to buy practice exam for $20. I know this is not free and not full exam (merely a slice of an exam) BUT – in comparison – Microsoft doesn’t provide any opportunity you could see a real exam related questions.

 

“Free” dumps?

When you try to find some free sources you will see hundreds of dump related pages. These pages offers free demos, 100% money-back guarantee and other things which are look good but…who knows whether are they reliable or not. My personal suggestion to skip these sources.

 

Step 3 – Choose right online trainings

At first we skip “free” dumps due to reliability reasons.

So check the others. Although Udemy is a great portal to learning, my personal experience: AWS related trainings are not so reliable. I mean there are tons of  great materials such as Azure, Ansible, Development, etc. The quality of trainings strongly depend on the instructor. The good news is that, you can find here some Linux Academy related online trainings. Hence I merely chose some practice tests from Udemy.

Accordingly my main knowledge source was Linux Academy. Luckily in middle of this year they updated the “AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate” related materials. If you are new in AWS I strongly recommend to start with AWS essential or AWS concept course at Linux Academy before you jump into the Architect training.

Finally the AWS training and certification site where you have chance to schedule the exam and buy practice test.

 

Accordingly I have chosen the followings trainings and material for learning:

Name and link
Description
Level
Source
Comment
AWS ConceptsVery useful and short course about concept of AWSBeginnerLinux AcademyRecommended if you are new in AWS
AWS EssentialsIt introduces you the AWS resources and services.BeginnerLinux AcademyRecommended if you are new in AWS
AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate Level (2018)IntermediateLinux Academy

 

Step 4- Make a plan

When you have chosen the right trainings I suggest to make a learning plan. This plan is required because it helps you in the right progress. This could be very efficient if you follow your plan. 🙂

There are some practice to make it manually such as you decide to learn 3-5 hours per day or make some calendar events to allocate your own time for learning AWS. Nevertheless Linux Academy provides you its great Course Scheduler function:

 

Step 5 -Learn and focus

We have trainings and a great plan so nothing to left…Let’s start to learn.

The most important things to increase your efficiency during the learning period:

  • Please get rid of multitasking and focus on ONLY the training in that time you spend with online trainings.
  • Make an AWS account to make resources and services that instructors show you.
  • Make and follow the labs which are included in trainings.
  • Make some notes/flash cards about magic words and services.
  • Make some special services and scenarios in AWS which related with your job role or ideas.

 

Step 6- Practice, practice, practice

After you watched all videos and made all task according to hands-on labs it’s time to check your knowledge and improve your chance to pass the exam. The practice test helps you to organize your knowledge regarding AWS.

Here you can find some useful practice tests related information where you can test your knowledge and get better understanding regarding the real exam questions:

Name and link
Description
Source
Comment
AWS Solutions Architect – Associate Feb 2018 Practice ExamReal questions and scenarios with references and explanations.UdemyMore than 300 questions. Lifetime access.
2018 Practice Test AWS Solutions Architect AssociateReal questions and scenarios with references and explanations.UdemyMore than 180 questions. Lifetime access.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate - Practice - Practice ExamReal questionsAWS training and certification25 questions - exam duration: 30 minutes. One-time access!

 

I have spent more than 2 weeks with practice and improvement my understanding about exam. I take the practice exams and tests more than 3 times each. Method: fill the test – check answers – fine tuning my knowledge – repeat

 

Step 7 – Take the exam

When you know everything about AWS you merely should schedule the exam via AWS training and certification site.

 

If you need some tips for exam here are my suggestions:

  • Practice exams’ results are above 76%
  • Do not learn at the evening before the exam day
  • Try to schedule your exam at the morning. (Your brain capacity is the best in the morning)
  • Eat a good breakfast before exam
  • Drink enough before the exam (you mustn’t take any drink to exam room)
  • Eat some chocolate  to speed up your brain
  • Arrive to exam center on time (My suggestion is, you must be there 30 minutes before exam is starting)
  • Read the question carefully then take an answer according to your best knowledge. (Respect and trust yourself)
    • Some questions have difficult wording and hard to understand the real meaning of it.
    • Use the flag for a question if you feel you need more time to think through. Later on you can return and work on it.
    • Question types: Multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions

 

You can find here some other tips for the preparation and the exam.

 

Finally, I hope you can see the next message on the screen when you click on “End exam” button: “Congratulation! You have passed…”

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