What is AWS certified developer exam
I just quote what the AWS documentation says, “This credential helps organizations identify and develop talent with critical skills for implementing cloud initiatives”. It also says, “AWS Certified Developer – Associate is intended for anyone with one or more years of hands-on experience developing and maintaining an AWS-based application”. Simply put, having this certification shows that you are skillful enough that you can implement cloud solutions in AWS. This adds quite a good credibility to your knowledge and skills of AWS.
Why I took this exam
Honestly speaking, I didn’t really plan on taking this exam at all if it was not part of my class. I took a cloud computing class at my college (Utah Vally University) and it was all about learning about AWS and getting hands dirty with some of the AWS services. As part of that course, we were provided resources to learn AWS services through video lectures by AWS and what not. My professor also created quizzes and resources (white-papers, etc) to read upon. I didn’t have to pass the AWS certified developer exam for me to pass the class, but I wanted to pass it if I’d be studying and learning a lot about AWS.
How I Prepared for this exam
Like I mentioned, I had resources school provided included a Canvas styled organized course by AWS (I think school gets that from AWS for free?) where we could watch lectures on each AWS service, do lab exercises, and take a few quizzes/questions at the end of each section to make sure of our understanding of what was taught in it. But I was doing this like going through motions throughout the semester because I didn’t have much urgency that I really needed to prepare for the exam since it would be in May 2022 if I’d take the exam but the semester started in January 2022. Also, not passing the exam wouldn’t have meant that I’d fail the class.
When I really started preparing for the exam was at around April, right after I scheduled my exam on May 2nd, 2022. I knew I still lacked a lot of knowledge for some AWS services. And I wanted to get some insights from others who were preparing or who passed the exam, so I went to Reddit and read through threads where people talked about that type of stuff. I even posted my question on Reddit to get more insights. I was recommended a few Udemy courses and some practice questions sets from certain websites. I ended up buying this Udemy course to solidify some AWS services. I used this practice exam question sets as well (provided by my professor, meaning I didn’t buy it…!).
I went through almost all the chapters of the Udemy course, at least the ones I thought I needed a better understanding of. I also played around some AWS services as I went through the course. Each section of the course included the author going through some activity so you could get a good idea of each AWS service by just watching these lectures, but going through the activities on your own or doing something with yourself clarified a lot better than just passively taking the course. And honestly, taking this course, doing your hands-on with AWS services as necessary, and doing a bunch of practice exam questions would be enough to pass the certification!
On the exam day
As far as I remember, questions were pretty much focused on Lambda, S3, DynamoDB, API Gateway, EC2, ECS along with security permissions and how IAM role, policy, etc work (this type of information is outlined in AWS certification website). Surprisingly, there were 3 or 4 questions on the exam that were on the practice exam question sets I mentioned! The difficulty and feel of each question was very similar as well. Most questions ask what’s the best approach in a certain case or scenario. I don’t really remember the exact questions I saw on the exam, but a question on DynamoDB RCU/WCU calculation was definitely there. I might add a list of questions here if I ever remember them.
When I was taking the exam, I had a little trouble when taking the exam where the Person app got closed out suddenly. Although I was pretty freaking out, I was able to get back to where I was at on the exam. You are able to chat with the helper in case of this type of problem. I took the exam at home but you could go to a designated testing center to take it as well.
After answer all the questions and reviewing them, I had to answer some survey questions. After that, the screen said that I passed the exam. I didn’t get my score then, but I got it the next day. It was a little over 800.
I honestly don’t think the organized lectures and quizzes that I took using the resources school provided didn’t really help, but the Udemy course I bought, the practice exam questions, and playing with AWS services on your own helped the most. Exam questions were not as difficult as I thought they would be. Practice exam questions were right on the level of questions on the actual exam. Hope this blog post is somewhat helpful in learning what taking AWS certified developer exam looks like and how you might want to prepare for it.