I passed my AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam couple days ago! Here’s my badge.
In all my years working in computer field professionally or otherwise, I’ve never taken any certification exams. I always thought them as very cheap, easy to get, and doesn’t really make you better in your job or get a new job.
But my employer recently purchased some licenses for A Cloud Guru platform, who provides training courses specifically geared towards achieving certifications in AWS, Azure or Google Cloud Platform. I initially started going through the course work to learn about AWS services without thinking about certifications, since my employer is going full AWS on moving workloads from on-premise to cloud, and because of that I wanted to get comfortable with doing my job in AWS.
Few things changed my mind to try the certification route. One being that when I was watching the AWS videos and reading online, everyone indicated how tough AWS certifications are compared to others out there. This was a challenge. Two, my employer would pay for certification exam expenses. If it’s tough and rare to pass some of the AWS certs, it might help my management or future employer see them in a positive light. So why not do it?
Certified Cloud Practitioner (CCP) exam is supposed the be the easiest of all AWS certification. It’s just a foundation certification that anyone, even non-technical folks, can take and pass. I wanted to build from foundation so I decided to take this first.
I used AWS on and off in my career. I first started playing with it and used it for production workloads in 2010 when I was setting up web and database applications with EC2 instances. I attended an in-person AWS 3 day training sponsored by my previous employer, attended AWS conferences in Vegas a few times and used AWS services for this website. 90% of my day to day work in my career was not spent in cloud so my on-the-job AWS experience is abysmal so far.
With this background,
- I took about 10 hours of course work from A Cloud Guru.
- Did few AWS labs by signing up for a AWS Free Tier account and following material from A Cloud Guru.
- Read three or four AWS whitepapers that’s required for CCP certification.
- Took practice exams in A Cloud Guru.
- Read up and memorized some facts and figures that’s required to answer some exam questions, like the fact that AWS provides you 25GB of DynamoDB capacity when you sign up using the AWS Free Tier account.
Since I was doing this preparation on my own time, after work day, I think I might have taken 20 hours or so spanning 2-3 weeks. I was ready for my exam.
All AWS certification exams can be taken online, from the comfort of your home! I’m not sure if this was a policy switch to COVID-19 or if this was a planned roll out in the evolution of proctored exams. Whatever it is, it’s very convenient to take exams from home.
There were plenty of dates and times to choose from when registering for the exam, so I picked one at 7.15PM few days ago. You are supposed to download an application from Pearson called VUE which will be used during your exam. This application allows a proctor to use the webcam and the microphone on your computer to verify your surroundings before you take your exam and also continuously record your session during the duration of your exam, so you can’t leave your computer for any reason or you risk voiding your exam.
The instructions to take the exam using the application is pretty clear and straightforward. Just follow the steps from your registration email and you should not have any issues.
The exam questions were pretty straightforward. There were a few AWS services in the questions and responses that were new to me and wasn’t covered in any of my preparation but for the most part I knew all the answers to the questions. After finishing the exam, you are presented with a screen showing if you passed or failed. You don’t see a score or anything.
I’m not sure If I will receive a score. The exam scores from 100-1000 and 700 is the passing score. I’d be interested to see how I did.
EDIT 5/28/2020: My score is 908. I don’t think I got an email saying my score is ready but I was able to find it in the CertMetrics site under
Previous Exams menu.
Here are all the certifications offered by AWS.
My plan is to do course work, labs, reading and personal projects with AWS to get certified for the following;
- Solution Architect Associate
- SysOps Administrator Associate
- Developer Associate
- Big Data Specialty
- DevOps Engineer Professional
- Solutions Architect Professional
It’s going to take at least a year or more to get through this path, so we’ll see how this goes.