Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides cloud-based computing platforms for use on-demand. AWS hosts the infrastructure and firmware, while the consumer (which can be an individual or even a Fortune 500 company) is provided access to utilize this infrastructure via the AWS dashboard.
This set-up is managed by the “shared responsibility model” in which AWS ensures the uptime of hardware and infrastructure while the consumer ensures its proper usage. The shared responsibility model is at the core of the AWS business operation.
AWS controls about a third of the current market share for cloud infrastructure services, shaming Microsoft, Google, and IBM’s market share percentages, both individually and combined. That makes an AWS certification significantly more valuable in terms of general marketability.
To get your foot in the door, you can attempt the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification, which tests general knowledge of services offered, pricing, and other basic concepts that assist in understanding the business side of AWS. This exam is available both proctored in person, or online. The exam itself costs an even $100 USD, and a significantly shorter practice test costs about $20 USD.
If you already have a decent understanding of AWS in general, or want to focus more on the technical side rather than marketing and business, you can skip the Cloud Practitioner certification and work on AWS Solutions Architect certification, which comes in two levels: Associate and Professional.
You can also skip to my post on AWS Solutions Architect, Level I (coming soon!).
Here is a video that covers most of the topics which appear on a typical AWS Cloud Practitioner exam. If you can handle it, I suggest watching the video at a slightly higher speed, such as 1.25x to 1.5x, in order to make studying quicker. Just be sure you can still follow along, as the follow-along steps are crucial for truly understanding what is being discussed. Check it out:
I suggest watching this video in portions, over time, in order to properly digest the information provided. In addition, watch the video more than once, as this will allow your brain to catch info that was previously missed or not given much priority.
For the sake of clarity and completeness, the next levels of the AWS Cloud Practitioner lesson will go over these services and talk more in-depth about each one. Some levels will feature services which were not mentioned in the video, so these lessons could be useful for rounding out your knowledge.
Good luck, and keep an eye out for AWS Cloud Practitioner, Level II!