AWS Certification blog

I thought I would start this category off with my experience getting AWS certs and what I did to study for them.

To start off with why I have been working on these certs. I work for a consulting company and we are a pretty high tier of partners with AWS. We are a consulting partner and to meet those requirements we needed so many people to be certified at different levels. So my boss decided to start an AWS study group at my company and I joined and got some resources for studying for the Certs.

My first cert I started studying for around June but decided to focus on my schedule and got the certified developer Associate cert on Jully 11. I almost entirely studied using Cloud Guru which my company provided and I took the practice exam. I studied some quizlet questions and briefly looked at the FAQ for each of the resources. I passed the exam first try. I found there were questions I didn’t know exactly what the answer was but you could usually reduce it down to two options. This cert revolved more around serverless infrastructure, cloud formation, and code pipeline.

The second cert that I got recently was the certified solutions architect. I took one week of after work hours and a weekend to go through cloud guru and then scheduled the exam for that Friday. I then took some practice exams Cloud Guru provides and the one from AWS. I found this exam was easier than the Developer one. I already knew a bunch of AWS services and it just seemed easier in general. This cert had a heavier focus on VPC’s and EC2 based infrastructure.

The next cert I will be looking at is a specialist one for Big Data. I was talking to my boss and our consulting company will need one more person to have a specialty cert or professional to maintain our teir with AWS by the end of the month of August. I also am in the field of Big Data at John Deere. I was thrown onto a team at Deere as a consultant to help a very large scale project dealing with streaming agronomic data for data analysis. So if I can gain some formal knowledge on the subject it will make me a more useful resource to my team and my consulting company by keeping our teir where it is. Keeping the teir where it is will help the consulting company I work for getting new contracts as a lot of clients find it important.

This Monday I plan to start the studying process so I can hopefully get the big data cert by the end of the month.


Nice dude, that’s badass! Congrats on the SA and Dev certs! I’m considering getting the SysOps and DevOps, one. My job paid for the training for the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, but we didn’t have to take the test. It was basically using AWS’s version of Jenkins, GitHub, etc. to build pipelines lol. Learned a lot of cool AWS-CLI tricks, which was nice. I just bake those commands into Jenkins when I need them LOL.

What do you do at John Deere? That sounds pretty legit, to be honest. Do you like working in Big Data?


I was thrown onto a team that does enhancements to data in the streaming and batch pipeline. It’s still a little confusing to me but they have data coming in from machines out in the field or people that upload the data. That data is then sent to be ingested and eventually converted from Epoch data to what we call subsessions and then sessions and then field ops where other teams read this data and create maps and stuff. We have a mix of API’s that are either in javascript, Scala, and Java. Everything needs to scale outward so a lot of it is written in a purely functional referentially transparent way. We are using a lot of kinesis firehoses and kinesis data streams. A friend of mine on the analytics team is using Flink with kinesis analytics to get a better insight into the bigger picture.

More recently I have been refactoring some of the API’s to use cloudformation instead of their legacy infra deployment tool they made.

I think I do. I don’t agree with how we are currently doing things on my project but in general, it has some very interesting problems. I would eventually like to learn more on the analytics side and machine learning to understand what happens to all the data coming in to be stored.


Started doing the big data cert class on Cloud Guru yesterday. The setup is more intense than the other courses. I had to generate a M class ec2 instance and generate 80 gigs of test data.

1 Like

Today I took the test for the AWS Big data cert. There was only a single question on AWS IOT which was surprising. It felt like a majority of the questions revolved around Kinesis firehose. I got done an hour early in fact.

I should have mentioned also that I passed this cert exam. I think I will be taking a break from AWS certs for now.

1 Like