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Natalia Marek for AWS Community Builders

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Get ready for AWS Developer Associate exam

I have decided to write a guide on what resources I have used when preparing for the AWS exam, because I have gone through a variety of them before finding the right ones. Additionally, as AWS Developer Associate was my first AWS exam to take, I will write this post from that perspective. Last but certainly not least, I would also like to make this guide as accessible from economic perspective as possible, so majority of resources mentioned here are completely free to use.


How long should I prepare?

The answer to that is - of course - it depends! I have started using AWS in September and sat down to take the exam in July, which makes it around 10 months, but this can easily be done in around 2-3 months - it all depends on the amount of time you have available for learning, and how often you get to work using AWS, and whether you have taken any AWS exams before.

Especially with the last in mind - if this is not your first AWS exam, you would have gotten used to the way exam questions are phrased, and you would have covered some of the material if you have passed the AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam.

Resources available for free

I would like to start with and mainly focus on resources available, because in my opinion they are absolutely enough to prepare you well for the exam, especially if combined with practical usage of AWS tools and technologies in your everyday work.

*AWS Certified Developer - Associate 2020 from FreeCodeCamp and created by Andrew Brown - this is a very comprehensive 16 hours course, in my opinion better than some paid courses. Andrew Brown goes through and covers all the services in detail and at the end of each section there is a cheat sheet/summary available, that I found extremely helpful for the revision just before the exam.

*Cloud Academy webinars - this is a free webinar, hosted monthly by Cloud Academy instructors and it goes through each domain and exam questions. Some of the past webinars are available on Cloud Academy YouTube channel, so you can access them without having to sign up, but I definitely recommend attending live webinar, as you do get a chance to ask questions. This is a great resource to go through before you sit the exam, it highlights what are the things you should look out for, what do you need to focus on in your revision and what resources are useful to look at.

*Exam Certification Readiness Webinar from AWS - official and very thorough live 3=4 hour walk through all of the domains and exam questions. Worth mentioning that they are available for most certification exams and take place live in different time zones, so it makes it easy to find one that fits your schedule.

*AWS Ramp-Up Guide: Developer - this is by far the best resource, that was recommended during one of the AWS exam prep webinars. Whilst it is not specifically targeted at Developer Associate Exam, it contains links to labs, courses, whitepapers, and many more resources for developers, engineers and DevOps engineers.
*Official Practice Question Set with AWS skills builder . AWS SkillsBuilder is a new AWS learning center offering free digital courses and learning paths, and this is where you can now find Practice Question Set to get used to the way questions are phrased before you sit the exam.

*Developer Learning Plan with AWS Skill Builder- AWS designed this to help anyone, who wants to learn how to develop modern applications on AWS. It will help you learn your ways with serverless solutions, containers and DevOps on AWS. TThis Learning Plan can also help prepare you for the AWS Developer Associate certification eExam.

*AWS Certified Developer – Associate Exam Guide- this documents covers all you need to know about the preparation for your exam, discussing scope of the exam, content, exam domains, technology and tools that might be covered in the exam and services that are out of scope for the exam.

Paid courses and resources

When researching on how to best approach preparation for AWS Developer Associate exam I came across a vast amount of paid courses, however after reading plenty of reviews I have found these courses/resources are the most useful and comprehensive:

*Ultimate AWS Certified Developer Associate 2021 - this is a 32 hours course that will
thoroughly prepare you to sit the exam. in addition to the course itself you also receive slides that were used in the course, which I used to review the material before the exam day. It also comes with 1 full practice exam.

What next?

The first thing you should do when starting your exam preparation is book your exam - you probably heard that from other people many times, but it does help with your learning plan, and if anything comes up, you can always reschedule your exam up to two times or cancel it all together for a full refund as long it's more than 24 hours before the exam start date.Book your exam here.

Additionally, if English is not your first language you can request an extra 30 minutes to be added to your exam.

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