Certified AWS Cloud Practitioner

After a long journey, I’m glad to say that I passed my AWS Cloud Practitioner Exam. It’s been something that I’ve been looking forward to since March of this year and I’m so excited to share the things that helped along the way.

So if you’re new to this field, like myself, and have no idea where to start, I’ve got you covered. You’ll hear from multiple people that it would be impossible to know everything about AWS because they offer so many certificates and over 400 AWS resources. Let’s take a look at the foundational level certificates, associate level certificates, and professional level certificates.

AWS Cloud Practitioner Cert — this is the first exam you should take if you’re interested in AWS as it is aimed for newbies that need to understand the basics. It covers quite a bit from AWS Fundamentals, Compute Resources, Security, and Billing & Pricing.

Solutions Architect Cert — focuses on the main AWS services like IAM, EC2, S3, and VPC. It’s meant to give you a better understanding of these services to see how AWS approaches security, networking, data storage, and compute capabilities.

SysOps Administrator Cert — this cert goes into detail with CloudWatch. It’s meant to prove that you have a solid understanding of the AWS architecture and is regarded as the hardest of the three associate certs.

Developer Cert — focuses on DynamoDB, Elastic Beanstalk, SQS, SNS.

Solutions Architect — this is regarded as the pinnacle of general expertise for the cloud. This will test your understanding of your ecosystem in a deep level.

DevOps Engineer — This cert gets deeper into specific areas of deployment and lifecycles and services like OpsWorks and CloudFormation.

After completing everything up to the professional level certs, you can go into specialty certifications which include Big Data, Security, Machine Learning, and Networking. At this point, you would be specializing in a particular field of the cloud. Personally, I’d love to get to the point where I get my a Machine Learning certificate.

At this point, this certificate is something that makes me stand out from a pool of bootcamp grads that have the exact same experience as I did which should help with the job search. The cloud, like I said, is something that I’ve been interested in for a while. I’m prioritizing jobs that use AWS so that I can get hands on experience with this material. After about a year of experience, I’d like to go for the 3 associate level certificates to expand my knowledge of AWS. For now, the job search is my priority.

What I found really helped were the videos from A Cloud Guru’s platform. Ryan Kroonenburg does an amazing job at breaking down the essentials of cloud computing into familiar physical computer hardware to make the abstraction a bit less abstract. The next thing I suggest is to take a gander at the white-papers that are mentioned in that curriculum.

A couple of days before the exam, I found a free practice exam on youtube that simulated the real thing. If you’re naturally anxious about test taking, then I highly recommend it so that you can just practice calming your nerves. Lastly, I took note of everything that I didn’t recall from the practice exam and reviewed it. Minor things were confusing, just because the of the naming convention like CloudFront and CloudFormation. Both look very similar but do incredibly different things. So take note of everything that confuses you, define them, and make sure you don’t mix things up.


Software Engineer based out of NYC. Learning more about programming everyday 👍