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Exploring AWS: Certification In Depth

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of five blog posts by trainer Jeremy Cioara.

email-4-understanding-certsWith “the cloud” now in full swing, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is rolling into their second year of having an official certification program. Certification (from a vendor perspective) always has at least two goals:

  1. Create competent administrators using their product line
  2. Increase sales (because you always buy what you know!)

In the end, it becomes a win-win situation: System administrators have “proof” that they know what they’re doing (providing career opportunities) and the vendor sells more product.

Thankfully, AWS did not fall too far from the typical certification tree, providing three certification paths, each with Associate, Professional, and (I’m sure someday) Expert level certifications. Here are the paths and my perspective on each:

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – These are the folks who design the system. Big picture concepts, framework, and putting the puzzle pieces together.
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – These are the folks who administer the system. More focused concepts, heavy on server management and monitoring; and also branches into other areas of AWS related to day-to-day administration (database performance, billing, etc.).
  • AWS Certified Developer – These folks like to code and build their own solutions that integrate into the AWS platform.

Currently (as of today’s date), there are three Associate-level certifications and one Professional-level certification (Solutions Architect) you can sign up from Kryterion (a little-known testing company for me). Cool tip for you: Kryterion also offers practice exams that, from my experience, have been VERY close to the questions caliber of the actual exam.

There’s plenty more I can write on this, but I’ll stop for now. Comment on this post if you’re interested in hearing more.

Ready to learn AWS? Check out all of Jeremy’s AWS training here!


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