My journey to become AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

At the beginning of 2022 I deiced to start my journey in the world of AWS certifications.

I already had some practical experiences with AWS thanks to the Udacity Data Scientist Nanodegree Program: Data Scientist Capstone Project.

This article will cover:

  1. AWS Cloud Practitioner Exam introduction
  2. Learning material for the exam
  3. Conclusion

AWS Cloud Practitioner Exam introduction

There are plenty of articles about AWS and AWS Certifications but to be on the same page let me just do a quick introduction.

There are 4 level of certification:

1. Foundational
2. Associate
3. Professional
4. Specialty

https://aws.amazon.com/certification/

It is not mandatory to take the Foundational certification before the Associate one but it is highly recommended.

The Cloud Practitioner exam covers 4 domains:

https://aws.amazon.com/certification/certified-cloud-practitioner/

The exam costs 110 Euro more or less (the price is 100$ so it depends on the USD-Euro exchange rate) and it is composed by 65 question that you have to answer in 90 minutes. To pass the exam you need to score higher than 700/1000.

Have a look at the Exam Guide on the Certified Cloud Practitioner page for more information.

I did the exam at home with online proctoring with Pearson VUE.

Take the time to read the rules for the exam an run the software to check if your laptop is OK for the exam.

The day of the exam connect at least 30 minutes before the appointment to do all the needed identification and preparation steps. Don’t worry, there is an easy to follow guide to take all the needed steps. You will also have to use your smartphone to take pictures of your desk.

Learning material for the exam

The main resource I have used to learn about AWS and to prepare for the exam is AWS Skill Builder. I followed two courses:

1. Cloud Foundations Learning Plan

2. Exam Prep: AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (Get Certified)

Cloud Foundations Learning Plan is a set of videos and quizzes that take more or less 10 hours. The course is composed by:

1. Job Roles in the Cloud

2. AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials

3. Getting Started with Cloud Acquisition

4. AWS Well-Architected

5. AWS Foundations: Getting Started with the AWS Cloud Essentials

6. AWS Foundations: Securing Your AWS Cloud

7. AWS Compute Services Overview

8. Getting Started with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)

9. Amazon RDS Service Introduction

10. Introduction to Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

11. Introduction to AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)

12. Introduction to AWS Organizations

13. Introduction to AWS Auto Scaling

14. Introduction to Amazon Elastic Load Balancer — Application

15. Introduction to Containers

Exam Prep: AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (Get Certified) is a set of videos that covers the 4 domains of the exam. For each domain there is a quick video that recaps the basic concepts and some exam like questions with answers and explanations. The course is composed by:

1. Module 1: Cloud Concepts

2. Module 2: Security and Compliance

3. Module 3: Technology

4. Module 4: Billing and Pricing

5. Practice Questions and Practice Test

6. Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam Prep: Course Close

7. Course Feedback

Using the code given in the lesson 5 it is possible to take a 20 question practice test on BenchPrep

Have a look at the Sample Questions on the Certified Cloud Practitioner page.

Conclusion

In my opinion it is better to start from the Foundational certification to acquire solid bases on AWS and the main services before facing more advanced certifications. AWS provides plenty of information on Cloud Concepts and on all its services so there is no need to buy specific courses to clear the Foundational exam. As for everything else if you want to learn something you have to commit to it. It is not enough to passively watch the videos of the courses but you have to focus and be an active learner.

See you soon in the next step: My journey to become AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Associate. Wish me good luck :)

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