A week ago I did three exams in one day ― along with two friends of mine Adarsh and Nick Triantafillou . We were all at AWS re:Invent 2016 and AWS had just announced three new exams ― it didn’t seem like we had much choice (* we had all the choice in the world ).
We’re all pretty competitive guys ― and we all hold all-5 of the current AWS certifications so being in with a chance of holding all-8 seemed like a pretty cool thing to do, starting at 7.30am, on a Monday morning, after 13 hours of international flights (* also a crazy thing to do )
The newly released exams are all specialty exams ― the speculation being that they are positioned between associate and professional in difficulty, with a more narrow focus on a specific subject area ― and more depth. The exams were in the Security , Advanced Networking and Big Data areas ― all of which are pretty in-demand within the cloud space and IT in general.
Mike G Chambers , did an excellent job on the day of documenting the experience ― he was intending to do all-3 himself, but took one for the team. He spent his day on one exam and on produced a video detailing our experiences before and after the event. The video is posted on the A Cloud Guru Youtube channel . I would strongly recommend you subscribe if you want regular and interesting videos covering AWS, certification, influential opinion pieces and cloud in general.
Mike Chambers, on the right, documenting the day and hosting a specialty exam roundtable afterwards
I wanted this article to provide a collection of resources to help any students looking to complete the exams.
Practical certification and examtips Before starting, you need to have a valid AWS Associate level exam. This can be the Solutions Architect , Developer or SysOps engineer . Any of them is fine ― but they need to be valid, i.e non-expired . Once you have one of those, you can start looking at the specialty certs themselves. I mentioned above, that there are three, Advanced Networking , Security and Big Data . For each of them there is an exam blueprint which details the high level topics covered within each ― and the expectation of the skill of students taking them. The blueprints are available either from the AWS certification website, or by clicking the cert names above. The next step is to decide on which exam to focus on first. Only you will know which fits your skill the best. It’s easier if you have an advanced networking, security or Big Data background ― the choice in those cases will be easy. If you don’t fit into those specific role/career types just spend some time looking at which interests you the most ― and for that you can use the above blueprints. After you’ve selected the exam, now comes the hard bit ― study time. I have a number of suggestions on study aids, and full disclosure, I have created one of them. First things first, get yourself a course ― you cant beat a good online training course. It gives you the information you need to be successful in a efficient and convenient form and allows you to watch, listen and implement at your own pace. A Cloud Guru offer courses for the Security , Advanced Networking and Big Data courses, OR, you can buy a bundle providing access to all of them. !! PLEASE NOTE!! ― these courses are in beta , they only contain a subset of lessons for now ― new ones will be added constantly over the coming weeks. To supplement the above courses, you should watch all of the videos on the AWS re:Invent youtube channel . All of the 300 & 400 level videos will be of help ― just look at watching as many as possible which align to the certification you are studying for. You can also look at the AWS documentation website ― but I prefer watching videos as you can leave them on in the background while doing other things. If you bore easily, keep in mind that youtube offer magical 1.5x and 2x speeds… ‘training by chipmunk’ I’ve also spent some time over the last few days, together with Mike Chambers and Sanjay Kotecha writing guides on each of the exams.
Passing the AWS Certified Security ― Specialty Exam
For anyone paying attention to my recent ‘craziness’, yesterday was the first day that the AWS certified specialty… read.acloud.guru
Passing the AWS Certified Advanced Networking ― Specialty ExamFor anyone paying attention to my recent ‘craziness’, yesterday was the first day that the AWS certified special