Last week I had some good (and at the same time bad) times studying for the AWS DevOps Engineer Professional Certification (which I approved).
I wanted to share some personal tips for anyone who is looking to take the certification as well.
About the study materials:
- I started with an acloud.guru course which was great, but while doing the practice exams I felt some topics were missing. Though I have to admit, I didn’t read none of the whitepapers that were given along the course videos. None!
- As per the recommendation of a colleague, I enrolled in this Udemy course. I have to say that it filled all the gaps I had. I really recommend it. It’s all lab-based, so you get to see how does each service/topic looks like in the console. Most functionalities have “how-to” demos. I didn’t take the whole course, only 3 or 4hs of videos for the concepts I felt I was missing.
- Take a look at the AWS & Jenkins Integrations paper. There are many pipeline-integration examples that I have seen in both practice and live exams.
About the topics:
- Autoscaling groups, load balancers, and deployment strategies (rolling, blue/green, canary, a/b, etc.) were involved in A LOT of the questions. Get those concepts straight.
- Learn how to implement HA and fault tolerance applications using those services, or integrating with others.
- Cloudformation and Opsworks were also present during the whole exam. Get to know their differences, and, especially for OpsWorks, when should we use it and when we shouldn’t.
- Get as clear as possible the sources and destinations available of each of the CI/CD AWS components (CodePipeline, CodeBuild, CodeDeploy). It will help you discard many incorrect answers just by knowing the available options for each one.
- A major difficulty for me was to get to know when SNS was available for direct integration with a specific service (for responding to a service event), or when it should be done through cloudwatch events rules and filters.
- Many questions had more than one “feasible” answer, so, you have to read carefully and find which is your objective. That may point your answer in the right direction. You may be looking for the solution with the lowest costs, or the easiest implementation. Maybe making the least changes compared with the present structure. Or the “most maintainable option”, the one with the shortest RPO and RTO, etc. Having a good understanding of the question may be a game-changer.
About the exam duration & difficulty:
- Get a quiet place to be able to focus on your questions.
- Avoid getting distracted by any means.
- Try to discard the invalid answers right away and concentrate on the 2 or 3 valid ones. This will help you save some precious time.
Hope it helps anyone on this path, and good luck with the exam!!!
If you want, you can take a look of our AWS Success Cases.
We are BigCheese, an engineering in-house team.