Earlier this summer (in June actually) I achieved my AWS Solutions Architect Professional certification (SAP-C01), yay!
My overall AWS experience is more than 8 eight years at the moment of writing this, so my take on this initially was “pff, what is all the buzz about? That should be no problem for me!”
Obviously I was completely wrong =)
I managed to pass on the first try, though, but I prepared for around 6 weeks prior to exam. What I quickly realized is the breadth of AWS knowledge required, so I studied extensively. I mostly used Pluralsight learning paths (both Associate & Professional) but some AWS e-learning was extremely useful as well.
Practice exams did an awesome job for my exam preparation, these were absolutely crucial. I used both included in Pluralsight Pro subscription and the paid one provided by AWS itself. I obviously had lots of practice under my belt already based on experience. Anyway additional practice with services and features I haven’t used much was very helpful too.
AWS Solutions Architect Professional exam itself
The exam itself was… extremely intense. I went to a testing center despite an opportunity to take a proctored online exam from home. I decided that additional pressure to comply with home exam requirements is likely to be counterproductive in comparison to an already propery established testing space of a testing center.
The exam throws long & tricky questions at you at extreme pace. The whole exam experience is a race against time. Questions require solid overall technology knowledge besides just AWS tech. That makes sense since it’s not enough to just scratch the surface of AWS cloud for this exam. To succeed with this challenge one should be proficient with overall enterprise technology landscape. To be honest I doubt that just 2 years of designing & operating systems on AWS is enough to pass AWS Solutions Architect Professional exam as certification requirements claim.
Hope this post wasn’t too discouraging – however you slice it passing the AWS SAP exam is absolutely doable for a seasoned cloud professional. I just wanted to stress that this exam is among the most valuable and highly sought after cloud computing certifications for a reason. Good luck tackling it!
AWS Resources list aka PS
During my preps I also put together a list of AWS web resources useful for a solutions architect:
Hope this helps!