I recently went through the process of having to renew a couple of my AWS certifications and while in the tedious process of preparing, studying and reading many white papers thought – “Is it REALLY worth having the certifications?”. Well – for me the answer is of course they’re mandatory, but what about other people who attend AWS training courses, is the effort worth it to them, both personally and for their employers?
I cannot reveal what’s in the exams (due to having signed an NDA), I can tell you what I thought of them.
Firstly: I concluded that if I only read white papers and other AWS documentation – it would have been highly unlikely I could have passed my exams, there is just far too much information to absorb and remember.
Secondly: Many of the questions in the exams were worded with a practical orientation. If I had not actually had all the practical experience of physically setting up and configuring services and resources on AWS I would not have known the answers to these questions.
Thirdly: The questions involving troubleshooting issues or recommending services (and service configuration) were based on many real-life issues I have personally encountered.
To honestly answer the question- “Are AWS certifications of value to the person and to their employer?” - I have to say YES. The exams really tested my knowledge in the way the questions interrogated my ability (and knowledge) to be able to correctly undertake the task required and troubleshoot any issues that may occur from services and resources already configured and running on AWS. The questions regarding solutions tested my knowledge and abilities to both understand what was being asked and to correctly select a service based on a set of specific requirements. I can proudly state – I know my stuff, and its not an idle boast.
For employers – employing (or looking to promote) a person who has an AWS certification, you can be assured that that person knows their stuff too. That means they will be more productive, more efficient in what they do and better innovators for your organisation, which in turn equates to a significant cost saving in the long run.
For the first time I fully understand the reason behind the huge focus in every AWS training course on practical hands on labs.