Preparing for the AWS Solution Architect Professional Certification (2 Part Series)
I have a deadline - in late May my AWS Solution Architect Associate certification will expire. Rather than simply renewing it I'd like to "level-up" to the Professional certification.
Now, I actually had this goal last year before AWS extended their certifications from 2 years to 3, but I was really busy this time last year and it fell by the wayside. This year I'm probably just as busy, but at least I have an extra year of experience under my belt.
I'm planning to write a series of posts about the experience of studying for the certification and the exam itself, but I thought I'd start with a more general topic - how to stay up to date with developments in the different Cloud platforms (but particularly AWS).
In my role as the Cloud Solutions Lead for Leading EDJE I feel a responsibility to stay up to date with the Cloud Platforms we use at our clients. As I also work full time at a client there's a limit to how much time I can spend experimenting with every new technology, so I mostly have to settle for an awareness of new features unless they directly related to a project I'm currently working on.
Here are some resources I've found useful (in particular for AWS).
- AWS News Blog - this is the primary blog for AWS that highlights the larger announcements, often with examples of how to use them. This is where Jeff Barr often posts.
What's New with AWS - this is the firehose of all announcements across all services and regions, and a lot of the information here is not relevant to me, but it can include information I might otherwise have missed. For example I just saw this:
- Amazon ECS-optimized Linux 2 AMIs now come with pre-installed AWS Systems Manager Agent - I was actually just researching this last weekend when I noticed that I couldn't connect using Session Manager to new ECS instances, and after having read some of the comments on the roadmap GitHub issue, I'm a little surprised to see this announced.
- A Cloud Guru: AWS This Week - this long running series of short videos (the last one was #307) gives a summary of the important AWS announcements from the last week.
- AWS YouTube channel - lots of videos, but perhaps most importantly this is where you can watch the replays of the re:Invent keynotes where this year like every year there were a lot of announcements.
- AWS Stash - Searchable index of AWS videos, blog posts, GitHub repos etc. This is a particularly good way to find particular sessions from re:Invent
- Azure Blog - highlights announcements and related content.
- Azure updates - the firehose for Azure updates
- GCP Blog - blog that includes announcements but also customer stories, tutorials and other content
- Individual services within GCP have Release Notes that contain details of all changes:
I hope you find some of these resources useful. Let me know if you have any resources you use (in particular for Azure and GCP).