Passing AWS Solutions Architect Associate

I just took the Amazon Web Service Solutions Architect Associate certification and saw those four amazing words…PASS. Nothing is sweeter to see after all the time spent studying, missing the latest Game of Thrones, and missing time with family. After each exam, before hitting that small innocent “Submit Now” button, I say a small prayer. A minor panic attack sets in while waiting those long 3 seconds before the outcome. A quick flash of “What if I fail? Uggh, I need MORE time. I’ll need to miss MORE time with my family. I’ll need to spend MORE time studying at the coffee shop.” So many thoughts rush through your mind in those tiny seconds. Until the final screen pops-up and you hunt the page for a four letter word that will make or break your day. Pass, AH. You can now relax.

The two areas I needed to study were API Gateways with Lambda as well as the newer service, Elastic Container Service (ECS). I had a number of questions in these areas and I did not put the time towards them. After studying with Acloud.guru, listening to recorded podcasts from vBrownBag, and reading other pre-study blogs, I either missed these areas, or they didn’t put much effort into them either.

I spent 80% of my time in acloug.guru world and invited Ryan Kroonenburg into my home a number of nights and he taught me all about the amazing services offered in AWS. I started off at rock bottom not knowing anything about S3, EC2, or any other service. Acloug.guru hits on all the main topics and each major section has a hands on lab walk-through. Signup for a free 12-month account and get your hands dirty, you’ll struggle to pass without it. By the end of Ryan’s courses, I was able to build and run this WordPress site that you’re reading now. I not only learned a great deal about AWS and its services, but about architecture and how AWS is changing the IT infrastructure landscape.

When I learn something new, I need to absorb as much information on the new topic as possible. So, I not only used Acloug.guru, AWS free tier for lab time, but I listened to all the clips in vBrownBag. The group over at vBrownBag do an amazing job! They hit on each major Domain in the exam blueprint. On the main AWS Solutions Architect Associate homepage of vBrownBag are two awesome blog posts. Chris Williams (@mistwire) over at mistwire.com outlined all the major points and organized it an easy to follow bullet outline. I certainly used this over my own notes because of how easy it was to follow. Alex Galbraith (@alexgalbraith) at tekhead.it goes deeper in a few key areas as well as an overview of how to prepare for the exam. Give both a read.

I can’t recommend Acloug.guru enough. The depth they cover with the hands on lab walk-though is invaluable. Be sure to read the two blogs, including any FAQ of areas you feel you need fill any gaps of information. Lab as much as you possibly can and good luck! It’s a great journey.

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