From Zero to AWS Certified

Okay, so the title is a little misleading. Zero is more of a statement on my understanding of cloud technologies than it is about computing. So, really this should be

From Zero (Cloud) to AWS Certified

If you talk to most people in anything technology related you will hear the term “cloud” at least once and usually in reference to solving all of the businesses problems. I was assigned to support a media asset system that resided entirely on premise, but there was a need to support groups working in different parts of the globe. With that directive I was told to help determine the best way to move it to “the cloud” (because it can solve everything).

Management then installed a different product into an AWS instance for testing and told me to support it (different story). I had never done anything with public cloud, so I was trying to apply what I knew of on premise solutions to the AWS environment. While it worked it was not always pretty and I probably did a number of things the wrong way, even if it gave the desired result. The annual AWS Re:Invent was coming up and I was authorized to attend to help with my understanding. I have attended several conferences over the years and I generally find them to be less than helpful because they tend to be a lot of sales pitches, but I went in hopeful.

To make it short it was very helpful. Yes, there were a number of sales pitches, but it was intermixed with a bunch of classes taught by actual engineers. I was able to have some conversations about exact problems with people who actually knew how to help. I came out of Re:Invent with a much firmer understanding of the public cloud and a thought to desire to become AWS certified. I did drink the AWS Kool-Aid a bit, but I was already working with a product in AWS and it made sense to start my cloud certification there.

At this point the story becomes less interesting than it already is. I found a training series online. It was for those interested. It was very thorough and helped go through everything. If anyone reading this decides to take this path I recommend going through the series once learning all you can and then going back after the final quiz to redo the sections you feel weakest in. I did signup for their premium offering for a little bit to have access to the Exam Simulator which was very helpful and I used Quizlet to go through a huge set of flash cards someone had already put into the system.

In the end I sat my Developer Associate exam about 8 months after starting my AWS journey and passed. It was a fun journey that has opened a number of new opportunities and I recommend it to anyone who deals with computers to take the time and learn. “The cloud” may not be the solution to everything, but as long as management thinks that it can solve their problem then there will be a need for people who know it.

AWS Certified