Recently, I worked through Stéphane Maarek‘s excellent training on Udemy to become an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. I’ve worked with teams that use AWS for years now, but have had limited hands-on experience outside of S3 storage. I used certification prep to make sure I had a firm foundation and plug any knowledge gaps. The training cleared some misconceptions I had around IAM (Identity and Access Management) and provided a good overview of the “simple” services I wasn’t familiar with, such as LightSail and Elastic BeanStalk.
I passed the certification exam on the first try, but I’ve always been a good test taker, so maybe that’s not a great indicator of knowledge gained. For people new to AWS, its Pillars of a Well-Architected Framework, and associated operating costs, the Cloud Practioner certification provides a good starting point to dig deeper with AWS. For me, it provided a refresher and motivation to work toward the AWS Certifed Developer – Associate exam.
As I work through the training, I plan to create mini-projects to test my knowledge with real-world applications. I learn best by doing. Having a badge on LinkedIn is great, but certifications are only worthwhile if you can apply the training.