Becoming an AWS Solutions Architect

by | Mar 18, 2014

I just passed my AWS Solutions Architect exam.
Here’s what I did to pass the exam:
First, I have the background. I’ve been an architect before, so I already understood message queues and load balancers, and all of the other core offerings. Of course, I’ve also been working with the AWS platform for half a year. I’ve learned a few things from the school of hard knocks.
I more or less accidentally ended up on the 3-day training course for the exam, Architecting on AWS. Shane organised it for me. I didn’t even know there was an exam when I started the course.
Once I’d decided to write the exam I started studying. For my studies I:

  1. Toured the AWS Website, where I read all of the service home pages, product details pages, pricing pages, and FAQs. I learned a bit from this, but it did not help much in passing the exam. If you read the exam blueprint you’ll see that they focus on a handful of core services, which I already understood.
  2. I did some extra activities in my AWS account, to really focus on various options of the Route 53 to ELB to EC2 to RDS pipeline.
  3. I read the practise questions to make sure that was on the right path.

I did not study VPC, subnets, security groups, and IAM in general, but I’ve been doing, re-doing, and continually refining these services for months. The exam asks about all of them repeatedly.
I think that taking the exam was good for me, as I better understand the various options in AWS. I’ve learned enough that I’m using AWS more efficiently. Which was really the point all along.



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