Question : “I don’t have any prior cloud experience — how do I get started on Cloud/AWS?”
This the most common question that I have heard in my mentoring experience in the past year. I often recommend them to get started by achieving AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification — this foundational certification from AWS gives you a good overview of the cloud and sets you on the learning path for cloud/AWS.
Remember, the goal here is to gain knowledge — certification comes along.
The follow-up question then I hear is — “How do I prepare for the AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification?”
So in this article we will look into 4 week learning path for AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification — along with all the free resources.
I have used this 4 week learning path in my mentoring initiative to get people people started on cloud and have helped at least 50+ people to achieve AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification.
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C01) Exam Guide — quick overview
You will be able to find all the information about the AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification in its exam guide.
However, in nutshell, it validates an examinee’s ability to:
- Explain the value of the AWS Cloud.
- Understand and explain the AWS shared responsibility model.
- Understand AWS Cloud security best practices.
- Understand AWS Cloud costs, economics, and billing practices.
- Describe and position the core AWS services, including compute, network, databases, and storage.
- Identify AWS services for common use cases.
Here is a quick snippet of all the topics it covers:
Week 1 (6–7 hours study)
In week 1, your focus should be to understand the value proposition of Cloud/AWS. You can spend your Week1 study time as below:
- Focus on first two domains — Cloud Concepts and Security and Compliance (5–6 hours)
- Create Free Tier Account and familiarize with AWS Management Console (1 Hour)
Resources for Week 1
- What is Cloud Computing — 3 minutes Video
- AWS Overview whitepaper — first 8 pages
- AWS Cloud Essentials — 1 hour free digital training
- Create Free Tier Account and setup billing alert
- Create your first IAM admin user and lock root user access keys
- AWS Security Fundamentals (optional) — 2 hour free digital training
Week 2 (8–9 hours study)
Now that you have covered the basics you can gear up. I also hope that you found cloud interesting enough that you are motivated to put in extra hours this week to focus on the most important section — third domain — Technology.
In this week, gain high level understanding of Core AWS Services — Compute, Storage, Database, Networking, Security. Also, it is important to do some introductory hands on labs.
Week 2 Resources
- Digital Cloud Practitioner Essential Training — 6 hours free digital training
- Try out few introductory Hands on Labs — you can use your free tier account to do the labs
Week 3 (5–6 hours study)
Now you might be bit exhausted by all the hard work you have been doing in last couple of weeks — so let us keep this week a bit light.
In this week, focus on fourth domain — Billing and Pricing. Although you must have covered the basics in the 6 hour digital training in the pervious week — dive deep into following topics — AWS Pricing Models, AWS Cost Management Services and AWS Support Plans.
Week 3 Resources
- Read through AWS Pricing Overview whitepaper to understand pricing details for core services like Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3.
- Familiarize yourself with AWS Pricing Calculator.
- Understand and compare AWS Support Plans.
- Understand AWS Billing and Cost Management features and browse through them in AWS Management console.
Week 4 (Revise and Practice tests)
Congratulations — you have made it till here means that you have good understanding of Cloud/AWS and you have tried your hands-on AWS Management console. You should be comfortable in demonstrating basic knowledge of AWS Platform like provisioning an Amazon EC2 instance or creating a Amazon S3 bucket and storing your files in it.
Week 4 Resources
- Go through official sample questions — you should aim to score at least 8/10
- (Optional) Take any paid practice tests on Udemy / Whizlabs / or your choice — if you are taking them, aim to score 70%.
There is only one thing left for you to do — whenever you are ready — Book your exam and get AWS Certified!
Do not stop here. Let this just be the beginning of your cloud journey. Your next step should be to achieve AWS Solution Architect Certification.
In my next article I will write about how you can create a cloud learning path for yourself based on your current skills, knowledge, interest and future goals.