One of my personal and professional goals for 2019 was to get a certification of some kind. That's a fairly broad requirement with no real reasoning behind it. I wanted to learn something and I wanted it to be helpful at work. As the year rapidly entered the last few months, I realized I not done anything to reach the goal.
After a brief talk with my management, it was decided that I should get an AWS certification. It'd help the company out with some work we are doing to become an AWS partner, and I'd get a certification that would be useful.
With a read goal, I set out to learn something. I started by finding Ultimate AWS Certified Developer Associate 2019 on Udemy. At the time I'm posting this entry, the course has been updated to be useful for 2020. It's always a good sign that the creator is continuously updating their materials. This course was created by Stephane Maarek, who also holds the certification that is being taught about.
This course is a 19 hour overview of most of AWS. At first I thought that length was excessive, but it turns out that 19 hours isn't enough. This course is focused only on the AWS products that you need to know for the DVA-C01 certification. There is...a lot to know.
The materials go through how to use AWS's free tier for almost all of the work needed for the course. The very few areas that can't utilize the free tier are explicitly called out, so you don't end up with surprise AWS bills.
I highly recommend you set aside the time to go through this course and the practice tests. Then, I recommend that you do it again. AWS has a ton of services with three letter names. You need to know how those work and interact with one another. You need to know how to troubleshoot them, set them up, and scale them.
One pass through this course wasn't enough for me. I don't blame the instructor though. I blame the expansiveness of the test.
The practice questions were very similar to what questions looked like on the real exam. The concepts that were covered were helpful in answering a few others.
If (when?) I go for the next level of certifications in Amazon, I'll be looking for more courses from this creator. The course is very well built, very hands on, and obviously updated to stay relevant.
In November, I took my exam and passed on the first try.
I have other professional goals for next year, but if I decide to go for another AWS certification, I'll be looking for another course by Stephane Maarek.