Certification Industry: Cloud
Certificate Name: AWS Professional DevOps Engineer
Certificate Issuing Authority: Amazon Web Services(AWS)
Certification Price: 300 USD
Certificate Validity: 3 years
Once you have attained the AWS Associate certificate, IT specialists should consider the Professional level as the next step. The average salary of an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional is 117,000$USD. Depending on one's additional experience and performance it can rise upto 144,000$USD.
This certificate validates your technical skills and expertise with an industry-recognized credential and grow your career.
Candidates should have experience:
The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional exam is intended for individuals who performs a DevOps engineer role with two or more years experience provisioning, operating, and managing AWS environments. The certification validates your ability to:
To register for an exam, sign in to aws.training and click Certification in the top navigation. Next, click the AWS Certification Account button, followed by Schedule New Exam. Find the exam you wish to take and click either the Schedule at PSI or Schedule at Pearson VUE button. You will then be redirected to the test delivery provider’s scheduling page, where you will complete your exam registration.
Exam Format - Multiple-choice, multiple-answer
Exam Time - 170 minutes
Exam Language - Available in English, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese"
Passing Criteria - AWS Certification passing scores are set by using statistical analysis and are subject to change. AWS does not publish exam passing scores because exam questions and passing scores are updated to reflect changes in test forms as the content is updated.
For recertification, you can take the current Professional-level exam for the certification you already have. For example, if you are an AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional, you can retake the current AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional exam to recertify.
AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional
Please find all the preparation material I used for this exam mentioned below:
1. Stephane Marek's Udemy tutorial - The key to pass this certification exam is the tutorial video course of Stephane Marek. This course is readily available on Udemy at a very low cost. I've also gone through Linux Academy course, but Stephane Marek's course is definitely a Game Changer. I also noted all the scenarios he mentioned in the tutorials because these are actually what comes in thr exam.
2. Jon Bonso's Practice test (Tutorials Dojo) - These questions are actually tougher than the actual exam and it has a deep explanation as to why a answer is right and why others are wrong
3. Braincerts Practice Test - This website also have one of the best practice test I've ever encountered. They literally updates their course frequently and providing us the latest pattern of question that can come up in exam
This is more or less what I focussed on in this journey. Hope this will help you all.
Preparation for AWS DevOps Engineer Pro
Before attempting DevOps Pro, I completed Developer and Sys Ops certifcation, These will help to lay foundation. If we are at best basics then advance topics will be easy. DevOps Pro is more how do you apply AWS tools for engineering and automations. I have practiced scenarios mentioned in DevOps blogs.. These are really helpful apart from taking regular courses.
Stepahne Maareck course is awesome, But have to practice. Mocks in TD are also good and will pose scenario based questions which will help us to think and also we can learn some time management. Its very important to plan to have a strategy, Answer what you know first and mark for review and proceed to next. I spared 1.5 hrs for review qns and i could able to complete exam within 3hrs....
My experience with AWS DEVOPS Engineer Exam
To start with ....
The test is super hard. The exam is long and tiring (3 to 3.5 hours) with 75 scenario-based and problem-based questions with long answers which all seem to be correct. After 35–40 questions your brain starts melting down and it hurts when you try to think and analyze.
I was supposed to give it by last DEC-2019 but it was postponed due to my personal loss (I lost my daughter and she passed away with pulmonary hypertension) so kept on reading on and off but am dedicated to this as I love being ‘AWSome’ always .. Finally, I took the exam in APR 28th, 2020 and passed.
Used to read the question and use paper and pencil to draw a rough architecture and focus on the areas that you need to improve. Trust me, you will be able eliminate 2 answers for sure and then need to focus on only the other two. Read the other 2 answers to check the difference area and that would help you reach to the right answer or at least have a 50% chance of getting it right.
The only thing is it is brain drainer and need lot of patience and calm down during the exam not to lose focus. Fun to be challenge and accept them so that you will be surprised with outcome that you produce.
It covers a lot of concepts and services related to Automation, Deployments, Disaster Recovery, HA, Monitoring, Logging and Troubleshooting. It also covers security and compliance related topics. I did score well out of all the 6 domains except one domain (Incident and event response- Needs an improvement) and rest all are meet competencies. The % of scored domains are:
SDLC automation (21.5%), Configuration Management and Infrastructure as Code (18.5%), Monitoring &Logging (15.4%), Policies & Standards (10.8%), Incident and event response (18.5%), HA,DR section(15.7%)
Be sure to cover the following topics
Whitepapers are the key to understand Deployments and DR
· Blue Green Deployments
· Disaster Recovery
· Architecting for the Cloud: Best Practices
· Building Fault-Tolerant Applications on AWS
· DevOps professional exam cannot be cleared without the knowledge of this topics
· Deep dive into CloudFormation, Elastic Beanstalk and OpsWorks
· Very important to understand CloudFormation vs Elastic Beanstalk vs OpsWorks
· Have in-depth understand of CloudFormation concepts
· Know how to indicate completion of events using CloudFormation helper scripts.
· Understand CloudFormation deployment strategies esp. rolling and replacing update with AutoScaling and update of launch configuration
· Elastic Beanstalk
· Understand Elastic Beanstalk overall – Applications, Versions and Environments
· Understand Elastic Beanstalk Deployment Strategies esp. the rolling, immutable and blue/green deployment
· Understand OpsWorks overall – stacks, layers, recipes
· Understand OpsWorks Lifecycle events esp. the Configure event and how it can be used.
· Understand OpsWorks Deployment Strategies
· Unlike the previous DevOps Engineer – Professional exam, the latest pattern has a heavy focus on the Developer tools and be sure to deep dive into them
· Understand CodePipepline, CodeCommit, CodeDeploy, CodeBuild and their uses cases
· Understand how to build Pipelines and integration with other Code* services
· Understand CodePipeline pipeline structure (Hint : run builds parallelly using runorder)
· Understand how to configure notifications on events and failures
Monitoring & Governance tools
· Very important to understand AWS CloudWatch vs AWS CloudTrail vs AWS Config
· Very important to understand Trust Advisor vs Systems manager vs AWS Inspector
· Know Personal Health Dashboard & Service Health Dashboard
· Deep dive CloudWatch
· Understand CloudWatch logs
· Understand CloudWatch Subscription Filters and its integration with other services.
· Understand CloudWatch Events
· Networking, Security, Storage and Database domain areas too
aws.training website, AWS whitepapers, blogs, webinars, practice tests and Udemy courses too. Pluralsight.com is also free sometimes they give us free month. good to read those. You need to practice and draw the underlaying architecture components for every scenario which will solve the puzzle faster.
Journey to AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional
Being in Software Industry 8 years, I always tries to explore cutting edge technologies like Blockchain, CloudComputing like AWS, Azure, GCP, various tool used for automation.
But learning all these things at same time landed in learning nothing or only "ABCD/Hello World" about these technologies.
So I decided to take one step at time. Since I love automation, Infrastructure as Code concepts, setting up end to end infrastructure in Cloud I choose DevOps professional learning path.
One should have clear goal before choosing any Certification. Let's you are a Devloper and in long run of your career you want to carry that, you should go for AWS DevOps Professional Learning Path. You should not choose AWS Solution Architecht Professional learning path.
Practice - Hands On
This is key factor for anything you want to learn in your life and it should be also in structured way.
To have structured preparation and Hands On, below are courses and Blogs that are useful in your prepartion for AWS DevOps Professional.
1. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional 2020 - Hands On by Stephane Maarek.
2. AWS DevOps Blogs : https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/
You don't need to go through all blogs. Blogs which are mainly related CI/CD are good ones.
3. Practice Tests: Before appearing for exam, please test your knowledge with below practice test. Its very nicely designed and asked scenario based questions.
4. You can also try Exam readiness course(Self paced) from AWS Training and Certification
Its often happen that, we do Certification may be just to save job or pay hike but in long run it will not help. To continue your journey, you must be hungry for knowledge. Certification is just a stamp that - yes you know basic terms about AWS DevOps , how it works , in which situation what I need to use.
But to make sure we should not forget what we gain in certification, you should try these things in your project. May be try with PoC. If not, try to create your own scenarios, which scenario is most optimized because in AWS DevOps you can one thing in multiple ways.
So Don't Stop your learning after doing Certification.
Happy Learning !!!
My journey to AWS certified DevOps Engineer - Professional
** Disclaimer: All the details mentioned below are true to best of my knowledge. If you are still unable to clear the exam, it is definitely your luck (i.e., lack of preparation!)
Note: This not so funny disclaimer is only to tell you not to rush and give sufficient preparation time before attempting the exam! :-) **
Bit of my background: I'm currently working as a performance engineer for a migration project from on-prem to AWS; so, I do get on the job experience. I have cleared AWS Solution Architect, SysOps and Developer Associate exams before; so well versed with AWS services and basics. Due to the nature of work I hardly get time (max 1 hr per day) to prepare for the exam during weekdays. Whatever the little time I get, used it to go through the course and AWS DevOps blogs. And utilized 2 full weekends in last 2 months to give practice papers and to clearly understand the reasoning at the end (which is very important). Watched few AWS re:Invent videos here and there while having dinner. Those are just out of interest and not specifically as exam preparation.
Before the exam:
I think you must go through the course twice. First time in detail and do take notes on the key points. Second time may be 1 or 2 days before the exam; you can browse through quickly by setting to 1.5x video speed and slow down when you find the topic which might have been forgotten or unclear.
Udemy course used for preparation:
You can also go through free Exam readiness course by AWS in training and certification portal.
Don't forget to utilize the free practice exam (do this atleast a week before) and 50% discount coupon for the next exam received as a benefit when you have passed the previous AWS exam. I know some of my friends unaware of it and paid extra.
If you are still not confident enough you can also do the practice exams from Whizlabs and the one from Jon Bonso (tutorial dojo) in Udemy. I have done this during my Associate level exams and they are equally good.
Practice exams really helps you to gauge your current level of understanding so that you can plan the exam date accordingly.
Since time is one of the constraint, you can take extra 30 mins if you are not a native english speaker. Would recommend to opt for it even if you are good at English. You can always end the test if you are able to finish early. This will atleast give that extra cushion. In AWS certification portal request for accommodation and choose ESL +30 to gain additional 30 mins for the subsequent exams.
During the exam:
You might have heard this multiple times from many; certainly, AWS Professional level exams are very lengthy and comprehensive. You need lot of patience to sit for so long, read through those lengthy questions and options, map architecture mentally (if you are good at visualizing quickly else write it down) and choose the correct option. Don't spend much time on one question which is tricky, if it is taking more than 2 - 3 mins flag for review and move on. Keep 20 - 30 mins at the end to review the flagged options and choose the best possible option you think.
Now, in terms of test questions coverage during my exam. Primarily exam questions were focussed around CloudWatch Events, Logs subsription, Lambda (for events response), Elastic Beanstalk (hooks, CLI, commands and container commands), ASG (lifecycle hooks), CodeCommit (correct IAM policy to be set), CodeBuild (to build and test scenarios), CodeDeploy (both on-prem and AWS deployment), CodePipeline (to orchestrate), SSM (all possible combinations), AWS Config, Kinesis, S3, DynamoDB, ECS, Elastic Search, X-Ray, DR (Multi Region, RPO and RTO), AWS Organization (OUs, Multi Account) and combination of all of these depending on the scenario.
After the exam:
Make sure to share your certificate in LinkedIn, you definitely deserve all the appreciations that comes after. And please do help others by sharing your certification journey.