Exactly two weeks after sitting the AWS CSA Associate exam I attempted and passed the AWS Sysops Administrator Associate exam with a score of 72%, there was quite a lot of crossover from the Architect exam with a big focus on Cloudwatch,VPC/Networking and IAM, you really need to know these subjects in quite a bit of depth . Once again the questions were quite wordy and really made me think hard about my answers, for preparation I used the acloud guru course which this time around did a good job of covering all the subjects in the exam, unlike the architect associate exam nothing unexpected came up and I felt well prepared for most of the subject material. I also consulted the AWS faqs quite a lot and of course plenty of hands on work, if you have already achieved the AWS CSA-Associate cert I would say there is not huge amount more you need to study for to pass this exam, as I mentioned previously Cloudwatch, VPC and IAM feature heavily so combined with the knowledge already gained from the AWS CSA study it shouldn’t take a whole lot to bag this one. Next for me is the Devops associate exam, I going to take some time off studying as I need to go back to Ireland for a week, but I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the Devops material on my return, good luck to all attempting the Sysops Associate exam!
After approximately 6 weeks of study I sat the AWS CSA Associate exam today(14/07/17), the usual exam conditions apply with the exception of a mug shot before the exam which is standard practice for VMware exams, anyway I was feeling quite well prepared as I’d been putting in 2-3 hours of study per day for the past 2 weeks. As mentioned in my previous post I used the acloud guru training course as a base for my study, I also consulted the very wordy AWS FAQs as well as reading countless blogs.
Whilst the acloud guru course provides a good grounding for your study and helps you get to grips with the base services offered by AWS, it’s essential to also read the AWS FAQs as well as reading other people’s blogs on exam experiences/study advice, they contain lots of good pointers that will help when it comes to sitting the exam. I’m not going to provide links to individual blogs as I honestly can’t remember which ones I used, a quick google will return plenty of hits.
The exam was way trickier than I expected and I really had to grind the gears on a lot of the questions, there were quite a few scenario based questions that made me think hard before making a selection. I completed all the questions in just over an hour so had plenty of time to go through the review, I really wasn’t sure if I had done enough to pass but thankfully I got through with 69%……. not a great pass but a pass all the same. I think I underestimated this exam and maybe took it a bit too lightly, I won’t be making the same mistake on subsequent AWS exams! Up next is the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate, so back to the books/webtraining/faqs/blogs for me! Good luck if you plan on sitting this exam, below is a summary of items you should include in your study, I would advise to learn them all in some depth!
- EC2 Container Services
- VPC/Networking/VPC Peering
- EC2 Instance types
- Elastic Load Balancer
- API Gateway
- The various AWS database and use cases and if they are multi AZ or region
- S3 Storage bucket policies/permissions
- S3 Storage types and use cases.
- SQS – How it works and it’s moving parts
- NAT Gateway
- EBS and encryption
I’ve decided it’s time to get certified on AWS, the plan is to start with the Architect Associate exam as I feel it will give me high level understanding of the technology, once I’ve achieved this I will drill down in to the Sysops professional qualification. I’ve purchased the Certified Solutions Architect course from acloud.guru for a very reasonable £27, probably the cheapest training course I have ever purchased. The guys running the site are big advocates of serverless architecture, the current AWS pricing model for Lambda offers the first 1 million requests free of charge, so for the time being their IT infrastructure costs are zero!! They pass this cost saving on to consumers of their training which is why the courses are so cheap, so far the course has been very hands on and very enjoyable, I’m about 80% through and would highly recommend this to anyone interested in obtaining AWS certification. They really do start from the ground up, even if you have no previous cloud experience this course will really help you get a better understanding of how everything fits together.