AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional

Solutions Architecture Professional is a simple moniker for know the mile-wide breadth of the AWS product offering deep enough to name the parts, fit the pieces together, explain how the pieces should fit together, optimize how the pieces might fit together then answer detailed product capability questions about all the pieces. Or, simply study Direct Connect because like there are a lot of question on that product. But seeing that I'm an AWS Academy Accredited Instructor for Cloud Architecture this should be an easy certification to waltz in and pass, right?? nope. Studying was involved. Lots of it.

Aws-guides

The AWS Solutions Architect Professional Exam blueprint covers the material by topic... so, triaging and thinking about the material got reworked... by topic. Here is is:

Aws-guides Posts:

Cloudfront

CloudFront is an edge service that enables content caching and includes 1 million configuration options. Give or take 999,000. Lots of rich functionality that requires lots of planning to cover more than the 20% case that covers 80% of the value. I like focusing on the 20%.

Cloudfront Posts:

Rds

The Relational Database Services is for those of us that want a easy to set up, operate and scale relational database. With support for the old school RDMBS including MS SQL Server and Oracle, open-source darlings MySQL and PostgreSQL, the scale to 64 TB of data Aurora service this service makes sense for so many use cases.

Rds Posts:

Kinesis

Kinesis is for real time streams. Loading the stream with Kinesis Firehouse. Gathering the stuff with Kinesis Streams. Analyzing the stream with Kinesis Analytics. Three products solving one giant real-time situation.

Kinesis Posts:

Kinesis Projects:

Iam

Identity and Access Managment is how user get access to AWS. And how you control how they get access and when. Much richness in this product.

Iam Posts:

Iam Projects:

Vpc

The Virtual Private Cloud isolates your resources into their own private Idaho. Except in the cloud.

Vpc Posts:

Cloudformation

CloudFormation is the most powerful tool in your AWS DevOps toolbelt. The ability to create then update using a transactional model in a declarative manner from souce then use the same model to deploy application is the best thing for the cloud... ever.

Cloudformation Posts:

Opsworks

Opsworks is Chef running on AWS. On the, "Are servers pets or cattle?" spectrum, Opsworks is a little too far to the pet side for my taste. Not much of a fan.

Opsworks Posts:

Elastic-beanstalk

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is an orchestration service offered from Amazon Web Services for deploying infrastructure which orchestrates various AWS services, including EC2, S3, Simple Notification Service (SNS), CloudWatch, autoscaling, and Elastic Load Balancers. For my money, EB is fantastic for microservice deployment on ECS.

Elastic-beanstalk Posts:

Elastic-beanstalk Projects:

Cloudwatch

CloudWatch is all about monitoring. And logs. And metrics. And alarms. And dashboards. And an event bus. Hum, turns out there is a LOT to CloudWatch.

Cloudwatch Posts:

Cloudwatch Projects:

Dynamodb

If SimpleDB grew up, got cloned, then got jack on Database Growth Hormone, it would look almost exactly DynamoDB except with great hair.

Dynamodb Posts:

Dynamodb Projects:

Cloudsearch

Like SOLR... except in the cloud... on AWS. Overall, the manual push model of batches less than 5 mb makes this a less attractive option that Elastic Search.

Cloudsearch Posts:


AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional

Software defined infrastructure is a whole new thing. With great tools like Cloudformation and CloudWatch it is a straightforward affair with tons of amazing functionality and rich meadows of details. And this certification tests not only the ability to name the parts, put the parts together, understand how they might fit together, it tests how it could fit together the best way based on complex patterns and requirements. Not a trival exercise. Earned it July 29, 2017 after doing it for years and teaching it for months. Below are the notes and projects I did for exam prep and review.

Cloudformation

CloudFormation is the most powerful tool in your AWS DevOps toolbelt. The ability to create then update using a transactional model in a declarative manner from souce then use the same model to deploy application is the best thing for the cloud... ever.

Cloudformation Posts:

Opsworks

Opsworks is Chef running on AWS. On the, "Are servers pets or cattle?" spectrum, Opsworks is a little too far to the pet side for my taste. Not much of a fan.

Opsworks Posts:

Elastic-beanstalk

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is an orchestration service offered from Amazon Web Services for deploying infrastructure which orchestrates various AWS services, including EC2, S3, Simple Notification Service (SNS), CloudWatch, autoscaling, and Elastic Load Balancers. For my money, EB is fantastic for microservice deployment on ECS.

Elastic-beanstalk Posts:

Elastic-beanstalk Projects:

Cloudwatch

CloudWatch is all about monitoring. And logs. And metrics. And alarms. And dashboards. And an event bus. Hum, turns out there is a LOT to CloudWatch.

Cloudwatch Posts:

Cloudwatch Projects:


Project Management Professional

There is a reason the Project Management Professional is THE project management certification. It's comprehensive. The Project Management Book of Knowledge is a tome of processes and tools for PM. Add in the 4500 hours of required project management professional work and the most difficult exam I've taken and you end up with a certification that is worth the effort. I earned the PMP certification on June 10, 2007.


Agile Certified Practitioner

Agile is more than Scrum, and Kanban, and a manifesto. And that is exactly why I got the Agile Certified Practioner certification - it's not limited to a single method. Rather, it covers a broad range of agile methods (Scrum, Kanban, XP, FDD, Crystal, DSDM, etc) and doesn't play favorites. Unfortunately, this certification is a certification anti-pattern - the acronym is horrible and no one has a clue to what it is or what it covers. So let me help spread the word. To qualify to sit the exam you 21 hours of training in Agile, 1500 hours of Agile project management experience and pass a 3 hour, way too expensive exam that covers all the major Agile project management methodologies. I earned the PMI-ACP certification on January 3, 2014.


AWS Academy Accredited Instuctor

Being asked to teach any lecture from a 48 hour AWS Academy Cloud Computing Architecture course, to a senior AWS Solutions Architect and instructor for 3 hours isn't something I am going to forget. Fast forward a bit and I'm an accredited instructor for AWS Academy (as of January 2017), I've taught the course twice, and most of my students are now AWS Certified Solutions Architects.