I have worked with Amazon Web Services since 2008. For the past couple of years, I have done a lot of work around network design and hybrid cloud in enterprise level environments. Over all the years, I have been exposed to most of the AWS services.
The examination is not easy but someone with a few years of experience should not require a lot of time for preparation. It took me two weekends to prepare and feel quite confident. Here are a few remarks about the examination:
- As for the time of writing (April 2016), the exam is not very up to date. Newer services from about the past two years (lambda, aurora, application load balancer, etc.) do not seem to be covered at all. That may change soon.
- The questions are lengthy and hence they require good reading comprehension skills and ability to keep focused. In each question you are presented with a business scenario and you need to pick the right answer(s) to meet specific business requirements.
- The answers are formed in such a way that more than one answer can be technically correct. Very often you are required to pick only the most correct answer but sometimes you are asked to choose two or three.
- You need to answer about 80 questions in 170 minutes. You have just over 2 minutes for each question. This is not a lot of time.
After the first 20 questions, I felt confident that I would pass the test. I did not find the questions very difficult but it took time to read and understand them. After 40 questions, I started getting a bit concerned as I noticed that it took me too long to get to this point. After 60 questions, I made up a bit of time but I felt like I had to rush through the questions. On top of that, it became more and more difficult to focus. When I had gone through all the questions, I only had just about two minutes left. No much time to review so I decided to finish the exam. That was my first attempt and I passed.
I have not done any of the online courses from acloud guru, cloud academy nor linux academy. I have heard good things about them though so if you have enough time to go through them, I am sure you would benefit from them.
Below are the resources I would recommend using for preparation:
- AWS Certification Exam Cheat Sheets
- Architecting for the Cloud – AWS Best Practices
- AWS Security Best Practices
- AWS VPC Connectivity Options
- AWS re:Invent 2016: Deep Dive: AWS Direct Connect and VPNs (NET402)
- AWS re:Invent 2016: From One to Many: Evolving VPC Design (ARC302)
- AWS Storage Services Overview
- AWS re:Invent 2016: Deep Dive on Amazon Relational Database Service (DAT305)
- AWS re:Invent 2016: Deep Dive on Amazon DynamoDB (DAT304)
- AWS Best Practices for DDoS Resiliency
- AWS re:Invent 2016: Mitigating DDoS Attacks on AWS: Five Vectors and Four Use Cases (SEC310)
- Backup and Recovery Approaches Using AWS
- Building Fault-Tolerant Applications on AWS
- Using Amazon Web Services for Disaster Recovery
- AWS re:Invent 2014 | (APP202) Deploy, Manage, Scale Apps w/ AWS OpsWorks & AWS Elastic Beanstalk
- AWS re:Invent 2015: AWS Cloud Formation Best Practices (DVO304)
- AWS re:Invent 2016: IAM Best Practices to Live By (SAC317)