My name is Yurii Kazabekov, and I am a DevOps (Production) at Innovecs.
As you may know, Cloud computing has become one of the most influential trends in the tech industry in recent years. Many companies are switching to Cloud or at least partially using Cloud services. As a result, the demand for Cloud engineers and developers has significantly increased.
I’d like to share my experience with Cloud certification exam preparation and reflect on the benefits and opportunities for developers in Cloud.
Advancing Cloud Skills
A year ago, I passed my first AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam. This certification is a good start for those who want to gain basic knowledge of AWS and prepare themselves for more specialized certifications. The exam consists of 65 questions; you have 90 minutes to complete it. You need to get enough points (usually around 70%) to pass the certification.
Last month, as part of the Cloud Upskilling Program at Innovecs, I received another certification — AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate, one of the most popular ones. It covers a broader range of AWS knowledge. It is ideal for those who want an in-depth understanding of Cloud solution architecture. This exam does not require deep hands-on coding experience, although familiarity with basic programming concepts would be beneficial. The exam has 65 questions and lasts for 130 minutes. Similar to the previous certification, you need at least 70% correct answers to get the certificate.
I plan to continue building my knowledge and have already made a plan for this year. I am pretty close to completing my preparations for HashiCorp Certified: Terraform Associate and plan to pass it by the end of April. The Terraform Associate certification is for Cloud Engineers specializing in operations or development who know the basic concepts and skills of the open-source HashiCorp Terraform. Based on my experience, Terraform has proven to be among the efficient solutions for implementing the infrastructure-as-code approach in all existing Clouds.
And by the end of the year, I intend to pass two more certifications:
- AWS Certified SysOps — Associate,
- AWS Certified Developer — Associate.
Tips on How to Ace Cloud Certification Exams
Watch video courses, choose the most popular ones, and read the documentation to prepare for the exam. Pay special attention to services with which you have little practical experience or are not very popular. Each exam usually includes about 7-8 questions on services that are not very popular. Still, the questions are generally relatively easy, and you can easily navigate the correct answers.
Preparation time usually depends on your current knowledge and experience. If you are preparing for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, it will usually take about 20-25 hours. AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate preparation can take 60 to 70 hours.
I’m fond of A Cloud Guru! It’s an online training platform for tech people and a perfect resource for preparing for the certification exams for the top three Cloud providers. They offer courses specifically designed to help you pass those exams. You can access the leading Cloud providers, servers, and labs for practical tasks.
Another good platform to get ready for the certification is Udemy. I highly recommend taking courses from Stephane Maarek, an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, Solutions Architect, and Developer. We listened to his courses while preparing for certification with the Cloud Upskilling Program at Innovecs.
AWS certification benefits for DevOps
Amazon is the second most popular and largest Cloud service provider by the number of customers. Many businesses are now switching from Azure to the AWS Cloud platform, making it an essential and vital tool for DevOps.
Getting AWS certified allows you to enhance your own knowledge and skills. While preparing for the exam, you can review various training materials, including documentation, video tutorials, and labs. This helps you keep up with the latest technologies, boost your productivity and efficiency, gain new insights, and expand your knowledge.
During the process, you may discover new AWS services that could be implemented in your work or project.
For example, the project needed to create a service for sharing files with our clients. There were some points to consider, such as:
- Ensuring each client has different access rights.
- Using encryption for data transfer.
- Storing files on AWS S3 due to working automation (Jenkins jobs) is configured to use these files.
After passing one of the courses while preparing for the certification, I discovered the AWS Transfer Family services. It helped me to successfully solve this task in one day without using third-party resources.
Obtaining certification is also very important for the company as a whole. The more certified developers in the company, the higher the level of interaction with clients. Certified developers are highly competent, and certification guarantees their expertise in developing Cloud solutions.
Advantages and Opportunities for Developers
AWS certification is widely recognized as a reliable indicator of an individual’s technical skills and knowledge of Cloud computing.
- Better job prospects
Demand for Cloud computing professionals with AWS skills is growing, and many organizations are looking for AWS-certified candidates.
- Higher salaries
After spending 10 minutes googling, you can see that engineers certified by AWS or other Cloud providers such as GCP and Azure tend to have higher salaries.
- Opportunity for career growth
An AWS certification can open up new career opportunities within an organization. For example, an individual with an AWS certification may be eligible for a promotion or leadership position. An AWS certification can also enhance an individual’s visibility within their organization by demonstrating their commitment to learning and professional development.
Keeping Up with the Cloud Trend
Over the past few years, Cloud computing has become one of the key trends in technology. Many projects are gradually moving to Cloud or at least partially using Cloud solutions. This has become possible due to the wide range of services offered by Cloud service providers, which allow for greater flexibility and resilience of the infrastructure.
One of the main advantages for businesses of switching to Cloud solutions is less need for engineers to maintain the infrastructure. For example, you need to increase server resources by 30%. Instead of turning to the manufacturer and waiting approximately 90 days for delivery, you can quickly boost capacity in a Cloud service.
DevOps, in turn, can focus on essential activities such as security, high availability, CI/CD improving or implementing new features rather than just maintaining the infrastructure. This leads to amplified productivity and more efficient resource use. In addition, Сloud-based solutions often provide engineers with access to a wide range of tools and resources to help them in their work and keep up with the latest industry developments.
Cloud solutions have become ubiquitous, with many industries migrating their operations. Commercial companies realize the benefits of Сloud services, such as reduced infrastructure costs, more flexible and efficient solutions, and commercial benefits in budget planning. Even the military forces of many countries are building their own Cloud services and infrastructure.
As organizations, regardless of their size or industry, seek to optimize their infrastructure and cut down on maintenance costs, the trend toward Cloud solutions is expected to persist. Due to the widespread availability and growing competition among Cloud service providers, companies can choose the most suitable solution that meets their requirements.