So I got them, all 5 of them, the top 4 on this list in less than 3 months. But don’t let the limited time fool you, I spent vast amounts of time, every evening and over 30 hours on weekends, stealing from personal, family and sleep time. I wasn’t intending on doing the Devops Pro till the end of July, but business reasons “pushed” it quite a bit forward on my schedule.
In retrospect, my advise is plan to take all associate ones together, as closely scheduled as possible, maybe a couple weeks apart on each. There are 2 main reasons for this. First of all, a lot of material is overlapping, and even the material that isn’t helps towards passing the other ones. Second, the material and knowledge attained in all three as a whole helps immensely at any one of the pro exams. The order in difficulty, you will find this in blogs quite a lot and I agree 100%, would be developer, architect, sysop from easiest to hardest.
For the sysops exam I followed the same method as discussed in the blog posts below. I did both acloud.guru and linux academy courses and used my free tier services as much as possible. That’s my second piece of advise. USE the free tier and don’t be afraid to get into small charges also. Those 5 tests combined reference a very large set of technologies, many of them which have been evolving for a while into separate beasts packed of features and abilities. There is no way to remember these or distinguish between their merits unless you use them. I built several Lamda functions, coming up with business scenarios on my own, even though I knew Lamda had small coverage on the exams. Have fun! – AWS is a true “enabler” giving you options to come up with solutions that needed months of planning and work before. Play, scratch and destroy, play again!
Now the Devops Pro Exam. This for me was far harder than the CSA pro exam. I was surprised that opinions in other blogs seem to vary on this. Maybe it was just my lack of experience in the Devops field and my more heavy experience in architecture. But, the questions seemed longer, “verbier” with many more options. On a few there were answers till (f) I think, by the time I was reading (e) and (f) I had already forgotten what (a) and (b) were about. This was the only test in my life – apart from an advanced Math Statistics course back in college – that almost none of my clicks were “given” with 100% certainty. This adds to the stress already high by constantly being behind in time. When I reached question 80, I had 45 seconds left on the meter.
There is no course online for the Devops Pro other than the acloud.guru one – but that is a fantastic course!!! Those 2 guys have done a superb job in creating a framework that guides your studies for the exam and in the delivery of it. Watch each lesson at least twice, pay attention to all the details – I think there wasn’t a single word spoken in that course that didn’t somehow help in the exam.
And… play, get a free-tier and play. They provide a github repo with material to build your own Opsworks and Elastic Beanstalk deployments. Branch it, alter the code, deploy and redeploy, go through rolling updates, A/B testing and Blue/Green deployments. You can do amazing work with free-tier and well under a hundred dollars of AWS charges. You need to “feel” the differences between EB, Opsworks and Cloudformation before entering that exam.
Once again, I hope this advise helps you and good luck if you are on the all-5 quest! I didn’t want to repeat advise given below, so if you are just starting read my 3 posts in chronological order. Cheers!