This weekend I completed the final of the five certificationsoffered by AWS, finishing up with the rather grueling DevOps Engineer Professional exam. While my comments back in this earlier post still apply, I wanted to complete this series. There are few resources available on the DevOps Engineer Professional exam (and yes, I cringe a bit each time I have to write “devops” right next to “certified”). While the ACloudGuruclass is due to be released Real Soon Now™, a few preliminary notes may still be of help.

Below are my working notes for all five of the AWS certifications as a publicly shared PDF* document on Google Drive. Feel free to copy and use these in your own studies. These are organized via the AWS service categories rather than any specific certification exam.

A few particular items to note:

  • CloudFormation is not covered extensively in these notes but is a major part of the Developer and Devops tracks.
  • Full knowledge of the various ways to accomplish Blue-Green (aka A/B) deployments is vital. Really. This was a huge part of the DevOps Pro level cert.
  • Adam Cantrill’s postis one of the best overviews available of the exam. 
  • As of the time of my exams, there was no coverage of CodeDeploy and CodeCommit in my exams and only a very cursory coverage of Lambda. I expect future revisions to cover Lambda much more, given how useful it is as a glue to plug various AWS offerings together.
  • When covering system limits, you should know not just the current state of the service but also how that service looked back as far as 12 months ago. Several items come up in the exam that reflect service limits that have changed with recent roll outs (think encrypted EBS boot volume, some OpsWorks v11 items, etc.).
  • Be very comfortable with the roles SNS, SWF, SQS, and Kinesis play in building more complicated solutions in AWS.
  • If there is a service you haven’t worked with much (as DynamoDB was for me), spend the time not just reading the docs, but getting hands on experience with a free tier account.
  • DynamoDB in particular is a surprisingly large element in many of the exams.
  • Speaking of docs, read every AWS developer guide and white paper you can get your hands on. Done that? Now go read them again. You know, a third reading wouldn’t hurt…
  • Sometimes you will be asked very specific items, such as the API calls for certain services. Be familiar with what APIs are available and be able to determine actual calls from non-existent APIs in a mixed paragraph.

Best of luck!

*I use OneNote as my primary note capturing platform and I wasn’t able to get a OneNote->HTML->Markdown conversion working with an acceptable fidelity. It turns out that OneNote does not use the same heading style functionality as Word, which results in all exported formats not having the level information I so carefully maintain in OneNote. Fie!