In the cloud environment, you have three main providers to choose from, such as Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. I chose AWS for its balance between these three attributes: services versatility, support and documentation. Having no experience with any of them, I must base on reviews found in private forums, reddit and twitter posts.
Knowing which provider to dedicate is the first step for narrowing down the knowledge gap you want to close. Each provider has their own sets of certificates to validate your proficiency with their tools. The documentations are overwhelming at first, you'll eventually learn to navigate and find the details needed to succeed.
For someone new, it is recommended to start with AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. You'll familiarize with the key services, the fee structure and billing, your responsibility as a client, the exam structure and test center. There are two risks you want to mitigate: surprised billing and exam fees.
Passing the CCP is the best way to mitigate any financial risks incurred when using services that runs on simple clicks. You get a better understanding on the fees associated with the services used and how you can bring them to your attention. It's unfortunate but you'll eventually find stories with customers burned by their ignorance incurring a huge debt on their financial sheet. This is not a position I wanted to get myself into when starting.
Passing the CCP will also help you familiarize with AWS test format for future certificates. The CCP is an introductory exam, and it took me about 35 to 40 hours of dedication, which consist of viewing Youtube, listening the whitepapers, building flashcards and reviewing. I used Toggl to track my time, here is a screenshot of my report.
The main study material I used to pass the CCP is from Andrew Brown. His actually an Amazon Hero, after going through his material and Youtube channel, it's pretty self-explanatory why he is a Hero ;). I strongly recommend using only his material to pass the CCP. I tend to prioritize books over videos, but how he presented the materials was extremely, EXTREMELY, easy to follow. Slides of power points, graphics to visualize the concepts, use of bold and colour fonts to emphasize on key ideas to retain. ✅
You'll find his full material in a 4 hour stream with Freecodecamp or you can choose from his company playlist, Exam Pro. 😎
- Freecodecamp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hLmDS179YE
- ExamPro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4kl23udOKo&list=PLBfufR7vyJJ4fOplWPOtYqRyQ6YPMsBsF
Second, I also glossed over two whitepapers. Having spent so much time in front of a screen, what I like to do for any reading material is to open them through Edge and use the "Read Aloud" feature on 1.5x. ✅
You'll get a 50% discount voucher for your next certification and a Free practice exam voucher. The CCP cost 100$ USD, the associate levels 150$ USD, the professional and specialty levels 300$ USD. Needless to say starting with CCP first will cost you less for a newcomer to the cloud space.
Last note, in February 2021, I passed the CCP on my first try with materials by Andrew Brown. Thank you if you are reading it! Huge respect for your contents! 👊 👊 👊 👊 👊