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AWS Certification Journey: Solutions Architect Associate

This time last year, I was counting down the last few days until I was to sit my first AWS certification exam, the Solutions Architect Associate. Starting in October of 2018 I’d decided that this would be the course I’d take next and began working toward skilling myself up in all things AWS. There is a lot of conceptual overlap between virtualization and Cloud, so personal experience combined with about three months of study led to my passing and achieving the cert.

I thought I’d share the things I used on the off chance anybody else finds it useful. What I find most useful is to identify more than one resource to get a different perspective on the objectives and, with the case of the book, it was also nice to be able to study offline. With the SA Associate certification, I used a combination of the exam blueprint, a textbook, multiple online classes, and (most importantly) hands-on experience. All told, it was a personal investment of only about $350, including the exam fee and any overages that may have exceeded the free tier.

The guidance from the two online courses was excellent and also provided a good deal of hands-on experience.

After you identify the resources you intend to use to study, the next thing you should do is pick a date for the exam and actually schedule it. The commitment of placing actual money is a great motivator. Scheduling will give you a deadline to work towards, not only making the goal real but providing a sense of urgency.