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. I got this certification in 2017 and it expired in 2020.


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:

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AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional

Software defined infrastructure was a whole new thing back when I first took this certification back in 2017. 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; this certification expired in 2020 and I haven't renewed it. Below are the notes and projects I did for exam prep and review.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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 and I've renewed it through 2026.

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 and I've renewed it through 2026.