AWS Developer Associate (DVA-C01)
Steps I took to prep for my AWS Developer Associate Certification Exam
5th January 2022
3 Min Read
During 2020, I wanted to get more familiar with the cloud. I picked Amazon Web Services(AWS) primarily because it is the most popular cloud provider at the time, and this is what I use at work. Previously, whenever I interacted with AWS I was always confused because the user interface is not very intuitive. I thought the best way to get familiarity with it is to prepare for one of the certificates Amazon offer, as that would give me structured learning. I went with the Developer Assoicate because I thought it would be the most relevant for me.
I found the subreddit r/AWSCertifications very useful in helping me find the best resources to prepare. I settled on using Stephane Maarek’s Udemy course to learn about the different topics, and I used TutorialDojo for mock exams.
Stephane is an incredible teacher, and goes to incredible depth during his lectures. He not only explains the concepts, but also demonstrates how it is done on AWS. His 32 hours of lecture gave me a solid understanding of the topics.
I used TutorialDojo for mock exams. Although Stephane did an amazing job it didn’t translate very well when I was practicing the exams. The exam questions were very specific and the first few times I was going through the question sets I was failing it repeatedly. Overtime with practice I saw my marks improve as I got the hang of things. TutorialDojo was crucial in me passing my exam, I found a lot of the questions common and the timed practice really helped. I found the TutorialDojo exam harder than the real exam, so the real exam felt like a breeze.
I took the online proctored exam. Before the exam, you have to install special software on your computer. The software asks to take multiple pictures of your desk to make sure there is no notes laying around. The software also locks any other monitors plugged to the computer and makes sure no other applications are open during the duration of the exam.
The exam is about 2 hours long and costs $150 USD. It consists of 65 multiple choice questions from the different topics that was covered during preparation. The exam is marked out of 1000 and a score greater than 720 (72%) mean a pass. This article also does a great job in explaining the marking scheme.
During the exam you need to have your webcam and microphone turned on. You also have to keep your eyes on the screen. I was given a warning by the proctor because my eyes were wandering, and if it happened again I would be automatically failed.
I learnt a lot while preparing for the exam, and passed my exam first go. However, I feel the exam doesn’t do a great job on testing this knowledge. I would say the exam is not worth it unless you need a certificate for work or your employer is willing to pay for it. All this being said I am currently studying for AWS Architect Associate and Professional, and will be taking the Professional exam only. Overall, the entire process was a great learning experience and now I am more confident with my abilities with developing on the cloud.
Recently, I had the opportunity to work with Google Cloud Platform(GCP) and I think they are much more intuitive. The knowledge however gained while prepping for this exam can be transferred to other cloud providers.
All the notes I made while prepping for my exam can be found on my GitHub repository.
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