AWS (and other cloud platforms) is getting quite popular among Startups, Fintechs and even well established companies that are looking for ways to cut cost and embrace digital transformation, hence as a professional it is necessary to update yourself with the relevant skills needed to drive a transformation to cloud.
And a good start point for every AWS newbie is the AWS Cloud Practitioner (ACP, from here on) certification, this certificartion validates your knowledge of the fundamentals of AWS, which is very important for building deeper professional skills on AWS. The best thing about the exam is, it requires absolutely no code or knowledge of programming, once you can relate a little with the words “database”, “servers”, “network”, “platform error”, “hackers”, “web application”, then definitely you are well on your way to ace the exam because, in my opinion all the ACP validates are the following:
1. What tool does what on AWS, e.g EC2 (think servers), DynamoDB (database), subnet (network), so fundamentally all you will learning will be to know what different AWS services (175 of them as of 2020) achieve, luckily you don’t need to know all 175, you just need to know roughly less than 20 services.
2. Well-Architected framework: Well, in #1, you learnt what tools do what, the next thing is to know how best to deploy these tools in such a way that you adhere to best practices so that you will get maximal value from the cloud, in terms of Cost, security, reliability, operations and efficiency. In summary, you will learn how best to deploy AWS services.
3. Shared-Responsibility Model, Pricing, Account management: This just explains who and who is responsible for what on the cloud, between AWS and the cloud user, in terms of security and operations. Pricing and customer care support. All these are needed to ensure smooth operation and planning while migrating to the cloud.
In my opinion, these three (3) are the major points ACP validates.
1. Udemy: Stephane Mareek’s course covers the entire ACP knowledge base properly, he also has way of breaking down the complex parts without oversimplification. Would recommend it 100%, you can find it here
2. Andrew Brown’s YouTube video is a 4 hour video that explains all the important ACP details in a concise manner. I’d recommend watching it, after watching Stephane’s more detailed tutorials. You can get it here
3. ExamTopics.com Questions; this is a very important part of preparing. a significant part of the questions for the ACP exam are here. (40-50%), it made my exam easy and I was able to finish under 35 minutes, because I was already familiar with some questions. Link is here
Scheduling and Exam day
I scheduled my exam day for a week after I finished Stephane’s course and the free practice test in it. Mostly because I felt confident enough, as I was also taking ExamTopics questions side by side. You might want to schedule as soon as you feel slightly confident enough. I skimmed through Andrew Brown’s video the night before and the exam day, to just get a refresher on things I might have forgotten from my initial learning. And also annswered all of ExamTopics questions.
For the exam, I took it in my room (proctored exam), and I will advice that you do not, because the exam monitoring software is so rigid that it expects you to keep your head in a particular position, it was so stressful that I started rushing the exam almost midway, I also couldn’t be bothered to review my answers because I just wanted to leave and stretch my neck. My neck hurt for a few hours after exam (other people complained of this too). So I am definitely taking my next exam in a Test center.
I submitted the exam and after a few seconds it told me I have passed. I notified my remote examiner in the chat-box they then ended the test. I got my score the next day.
I am currently taking Stephane’s Cloud solution architect course on Udemy and it’s just as exciting as the ACP course, with more hands-on. Can’t wait to take the certification too and most of all deploy more services on AWS on an enterprise scale.
Wishing you success in your exams 🙂
Author: David Olasupo Olaniyi is a Software Engineer and certified AWS Cloud Practitioner. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.
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