Study plan for certification, AWS Solution Architect -Associate

Get certified, AWS Solution Architect -Associate

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In my last blog post, I emphasized the importance of getting certified especially “deep certified” and not “dump certified”. As promised, the following is a quick plan which we will follow to get to the goal of learning AWS, and as a by-product, we will also get certified.

  • Iteration 1, timeline ~(8 articles and 4 weeks), The purpose of this iteration is to get hands dirty rather than overload the mind with theoretical details. We will talk less about concepts and do more hands-on. Don’t worry, we will revisit the concepts later but this iteration will give you enough confidence to map your existing projects to a cloud one and you can claim to be cloud-ready! A quick outline:

    • Understand the basics of AWS global infrastructure.

    • Understand the basics of AWS security philosophy -this is the most fundamental aspect when building for the cloud as we operate in a shared model.

    • Understand how to use groups, roles, and policies to authenticate and authorize users.

    • Apply IAM policies, this is the bare minimum to get started developing solutions.

    • Basic cloud formation script to create some users and resources via scripts.

    • How to build APIs on amazon -APIs are lifelines, so we must understand them.

    • Understand some basic services like AWS lambda, s3, dynamodb, Athena, etc. which will get us going and at the same time will not be very heavy.

    • Build a real application -this is going to be fun, I will use an existing in-premise application and try to convert it to a cloud-based. Will share the code on GitHub.

  • Iteration 2, timeline ~(12 articles and 6 weeks), The purpose here will be to revise the last iteration and then build on some advanced concepts. By end of this iteration, you will have a very good hold on designing a scalable solution in AWS by using the appropriate choice of technology among many available.

    • Revision with some sample papers and tests

    • Extend security concepts and learn about single sign-on, network security, app security, token-based authentication, etc.

    • Learn more about building scalable architecture like on-demand scaling, managing a growing database, routing, content delivery, and many more.

    • API management, horizontal scaling vs vertical scaling, event-driven architectures, serverless architectures, queue and messaging concepts -these all will help you build real-time scalable system design rather than just mugging up hypothetical system design courses

    • How to make choices for different options like relational vs NoSQL or dynamo vs Athena -when to use what

  • Iteration 3, timeline ~(4 articles and 2 weeks), This will be the last iteration on our learning path for the associate exam. We will cover some advanced theoretical concepts, no need to get hands dirty there -at least from a certification point of view. We will cover

    • Start with revision papers and some summary from the last two iteration

    • Data analytics solutions and concepts

    • Geo redundancy, backup recovery, and other non-functional concepts

    • A bit more internals of networking like Internet gateways, route tables, etc.

    • Cost optimizations, AWS cost management tools

  • Iteration 4, timeline ~(10 revision papers and 1 week) -7 days and 10 papers, this will be the most comprehensive week from the perspective of exam preparations. We will concentrate more and more on practice.

The ultimate goal of the Amazon solution architect exam is to crack this ratio.

And we surely will but instead of going waterfall which is so old fashioned ;), we will hit the buzzword -agile! We will take a slice from all 4 domains in each of the iterations, build something, validate our previous knowledge and then keep advancing. At end of each iteration, we will be more and more cloud-ready and also a lot near our goal post of getting certified.

I will publish these tutorials on youtube also, many are comfortable in more interactive mode rather than just text! This is the introductory video

Watch out for the next blog and video covering IAM -no more plans and intros, let's get our hands dirty!