AWS Certified Developer – Associate examination

AWS certification
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The AWS Certified Developer – Associate examination is intended for associates, who take on the Developer role. The examination tests the expertise of the candidate in development and maintenance on AWS Cloud Platform and endows a sheer confidence in handling complex technical details of this intricate platform.

Examination Overview

  • Duration: 80 minutes
  • of Questions: 55
  • Pass Score: 70%
  • Question Type: Multiple Choice Questions
  • Answers Type: Single/Multiple Options Correct Answers
  • Price: 150 USD
  • Languages Available: English, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese
  • Pre-requisite: There are no pre-requisites to registering and appearing for the examination. However, being trained in ‘Developing on AWS’ is a notable suggestion.

Course Content and Syllabus

The course content for AWS Certified Developer – Associate Examination is divided into four domains, with each domain pertaining to a section of development, testing, securing and deploying using the AWS Cloud Services.

Domain 1:

Amazon Web Services – Fundamental Concepts

The sub topics under this header include the following concepts:

  • Identifying and recognizing cloud architectures and designs and implementing upon them
  • Designing cloud based services and concepts of cloud database
  • Fundamental concepts of planning and design, scalability, and elasticity
  • Familiarization with concepts of high availability vs. cost
  • Familiarization with Amazon Relational Database Services and creation of databases in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
  • Amazon Elastic Beanstalk and Cloud Formation
  • Amazon S3, Amazon SWS and Amazon Messaging

Domain 2:

Design and Development

The sub topics under this header include:

  • Identifying appropriate programming techniques using Amazon Web Services
  • Configuration and usage of Amazon Machine Image ( AMI )
  • Programming using AWS APIs

Domain 3:

Security and Deployment

The sub topics under this header include:

  • Recognizing the cloud security best practices and implementation of secure procedures for optimal deployment and maintenance on cloud platforms
  • Ability to implement correct architecture for – development, testing and staging in their respective environments
  • Shared Security and Responsibility model
  • Security attributes and services pertaining to the AWS platform
  • Platform compliance
  • AWS IAM – Identity and Access Management
  • Amazon VPC – Virtual Private Cloud
  • Ingress/Egress filtering, CIA and AAA models

Domain 4:

Debugging

The sub-topics under this header include:

  • Best practices involved in debugging process
  • General troubleshooting questions and their answers

Weightage of Domains in the Certification Examination

The AWS Certified Developer – Associate Examination deals with a wide range of topics related development, testing and debugging using the services in AWS Cloud Platform, or creation of entirely new services using elements of AWS. The Certification Examination, as mentioned earlier, is a multiple choice question examination which contains questions from all four domains. Below, you can see the weightage each domain roughly carries in the final examination that may help you prepare better.

  1. Amazon Web Services – Fundamental Concepts – 10%
  2. Design and Development – 40%
  3. Security and Deployment – 30%
  4. Debugging – 20%

Eligibility Criteria

As per AWS website and certification guidelines, there is no demarcated eligibility criterion for appearing for the examination to obtain the AWS Developer – Associate Examination. However, being an advanced and novel concept that requires more than just theoretical knowledge, it is advisable for any candidate wishing to appear for the same to at least fulfil the following:

  • They must have the professional experience of working with AWS technology for a minimum period of one year
  • They must have a hands-on experience of working with APIs provided by AWS
  • Excellent understanding and knowledge of at least one AWS based Development Kit(AWS SDK)
  • Knowledge of storage options, consistency models, and automation
  • Knowledge of AWS Deployment and Security tools

Besides the above knowledge of the AWS Cloud Platform, any aspirant should have the general IT knowledge as below:

  • Knowledge of loosely coupled, stateless distributed systems
  • Understanding of relational and non-relational database systems
  • Familiarity with development of RESTful web services and queuing

Preparing for the Examination

For any aspiring professional to become a certified AWS Developer – Associate, one must clear the examination with atleast 70% of the total attainable score. Thus, inspite of having prior knowledge of AWS Development, it is always advisable to have ample preparation.

Training Classes on AWS

Web based Trainings or Instructor Led Trainings in AWS can be found throughout the internet. Amazon Web Services website itself has a section for being trained in the art and science of Developing in AWS as a recommended course for any aspiring individuals. Trainings give a clear insight of the topic and how to deal with questions on those topics.

Guide Books and Practice Questions

Books can always be a great source of information. There are two books that can help an aspiring individual to successfully clear the examination and obtain the certification. The books are as follows:

  • Mastering AWS Development – by Uchit Vyas
  • AWS Certified Developer Associate All in one guide – by Pubali Sen

The books contain a good amount of training material and sample questions that can keep the candidate busy, and help him/her prepare well for the examination. 

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Amazon Whitepapers

Amazon Whitepapers are release papers that are provided by AWS team, their partners and analysts. They provide an overview of the AWS platform and how to use and manage the APIs and other services provided by AWS.

Some of the recommended whitepapers that you can focus on are:

  • AWS Best Practices for Architecting on cloud
  • Overview of AWS Security Processes
  • Development and Testing on AWS
  • Backup, Archival and Recovery on cloud using AWS
  • AWS Pricing
  • AWS Well-Architected Framework
  • Amazon VPC Connectivity

Discussion Forums

Possibly the best thing about the internet for the seekers of technical knowledge, is the presence of discussion forums. Various discussion forums for AWS Services and Platform exist where the candidate can visit and post questions, clear doubts, find frequently asked questions and learn about developing, testing and staging on AWS Platform, besides obtaining other useful insight.

Practice Examinations

Mock examinations are the best way to check if one is ready for the challenge. AWS organizes a practice examination that works as a pre-test to the main certification examination. Chargeable, and priced at 20 USD, it is a mock exam with the pattern of questions and setting reflecting that of the main examinations.

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