1. It is the only REAL Certification in the market
There are a lot of public cloud providers in the market especially at the infrastructure level. AWS is the undoubted market leader, and by a huge margin. The other popular ones are Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Rackspace, HP Cloud, VMware Cloud, etc. But none of these cloud providers have an architect level certification for their products. There are a lot of other vendor-neutral certificates, but they test very basic skills, and do not prove anything towards one’s cloud architecting skills. So they are mostly useless at architect level.
Thus AWS certification is the only REAL certification you can attain until other cloud vendors come up with their own certifications or there is any Vendor-Neutral certification at architect level.
2. Companies are demanding their consultants to be AWS Certified
Companies are also realizing the point “1” mentioned above. Just recently many cloud consultants informed me that their client companies are now requiring all the consultants to be AWS Certified Solutions Architect within couple of months. This is PHENOMENAL!! AWS certification was launched in May this year, and within three months, client companies are requiring consultants to be AWS certified. I expected this to catalyze over a year’s time, but it’s truly remarkable that its happening so quickly.
There are a lot of so called cloud experts our there, and many of them are snake oil salesman (Will post shortly an article “5 signs that a cloud consultant is a snake oil salesman”). Companies are likely to trust individuals with AWS Certification so if you are in cloud consulting space, you will require this certification sooner rather than later.
3. Questions are very reasonable and relevant
There are a lot of exams filled with irrelevant jargon, so you have to read the books even though you have been working in that area for a long time. Luckily this certification is NOT one of those. If you have hands-on experience with AWS and have been architecting on AWS, you will find the questions very relevant. Reading before the exam and testing your skills with sample questions always helps, but you will not have to remember a lot of unnecessary acronyms for this test. I have provided some sample questions here.
4. Currently there are lesser services to learn
I love the rate at which AWS innovates, but it is also quite taxing. They launch a new service almost every month and its hard to keep up. Honestly, I have not had a chance to do any hands-on with newer services like the Amazon Elastic Transcoder Service. Thankfully the newer services like Elastic Transcoder, Redshift, OpsWorks, etc. are still missing from the certification, possibly because they are newer services and AWS acknowledges that not everyone have had time to master these services. But its almost a surety that they will be added these services in the next update to the certification questions. So you can take the exam now or later you will have to master a lot many more services to clear this same certification.
5. There are more levels coming
Currently the AWS Solutions Architect certification is only available at the “Associate” level. Two more levels, Professional and Master will be available sometime later. As clearing this Associate level will be a pre-requisite for higher-level certification, this is the right time to clear the Associate level and be ready for the next certifications. It will be a pain to clear two or three certifications, so its better you clear this one NOW!!
Update: AWS has now released beta for Professional level. Thus this is already true
If you want to read more about preparing for AWS certification, please read my previous blog post here.
Thus the time to clear AWS Solutions Architect Certification is NOW!!!!