recommended training

No time to read? Recommended training is acloud.guru – use qwikLABS as backup

update: When you apply for AWS Activate you get 80 credits for qwiklab.com Self-paced labs ($80 value). Go to http://aws.amazon.com/activate/ 

There are a lot of options to educate oneself these days. This post will focus on online training options, because I just love CBT’s. I love it because you can set the pace yourself, skip parts you are already familiar with or stop the instructor if you want to Google or try something yourself. Learning on the go is of course another big benefit.

What again?

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To be clear: I want to pursue two certifications from Amazon:

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam is intended for people with experience designing distributed applications and systems on the AWS platform. Exam concepts you should understand for this exam include:

  • Designing and deploying scalable, highly available, and fault tolerant systems on AWS
  • Lift and shift of an existing on-premises application to AWS
  • Ingress and egress of data to and from AWS
  • Selecting the right AWS service based on data, compute, database, or security requirements
  • Identifying proper use of AWS architectural best practices
  • Estimating AWS costs and identifying cost control mechanisms

and

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect pro – Professional exam validates advanced technical skills and experience in designing distributed applications and systems on the AWS platform. Example concepts you should understand for this exam include:

  • Designing and deploying dynamically scalable, highly available, fault tolerant, and reliable applications on AWS
  • Selecting right AWS services to design and deploy an application based on given requirements
  • Migrating complex, multi-tier applications on AWS
  • Designing and deploying enterprise-wide scalable operations on AWS
  • Implementing cost control strategies

qwikLABS

Amazon recommends qwikLABS so I looked at this first. They use a weird credit system – you buy credits and then pay for every module. The Architect Associate level course will cost you about 76 USD.

They use a weird credit system – you buy credits and then pay for every module. The complete Architect Associate level course will cost you about 76 USD. Not expensive at all – for 5 hours of content. You can also buy only a part for about 10 points. But when you want to do a lab twice, you have to pay again.

As of april 2016 QwikLabs offers a subscription for $55 USD a month. This gets you full access all their AWS lab topics. Take as many labs as you want, any place and any pace, all with access to the real AWS Console.

Read more about it here: http://blog.qwiklabs.com/2016/04/11/introducing-qwiklabs-advantage-subscriptions/

There is also a lot of free content. Currently they have about 30 free introduction labs.
this is how it works:
– you apply for a lab
– you will get a lab instruction PDF
– then you launch the lab <- in fact a AWS account is created for you
– login to AWS and play around following the PDF instructions

+ What I do like is the hands on experience, and you don’t have to use your own AWS account and credit card.

+recommended by Amazon

-not suitable for learning on the go

update: When you apply for AWS Activate you get 80 credits for qwiklab.com Self-paced labs ($80 value). Go to http://aws.amazon.com/activate/ 

CBT nuggets

Love them, came up in my mind first to look at. They have a lot of content on Amazon web services, but they only cover the Associate level solution architect for now. So I will have to look further, because I want to do both the Associate and Pro level to become a “real cloud architect”. CBT Nuggets is an expensive option: at least a 100 USD a month. Not recommended.

Pluralsight

Formerly known as TrainSignal; again a big name in the industry. I happen to have a corporate account so it would be nice if they offer both the Associate and Pro AWS Solution architect training. Pluralsight is not expensive at all (about 30 USD a month for an individual) and they offer about 20 courses on AWS. However they do not offer a course directly meant to do the AWS solution architect certification. Not an option.

CloudAcademy

Found CloudAcademy, never heard of it before. Looks good; they offer the courses I am looking for:

Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 10.57.35

The courses contain course material, labs and quiz modules. For the Associate level certification 11 labs and 10 video courses with a quiz at the end. They offer subscriptions starting at 25 USD a month. You can get started easily: 7 days for free without looking up your credit card. Looks good to me!

After a few hours you will get bored by these video lessons. The content is there, it’s technically correct but boring. Not sure why. Maybe a lack of personality or the intonation.

acloud.guru

Found acloud.guru via Udemy.com. 11 hours of video, 74 lessons and 230 quiz questions for a fixed price. At the moment of writing there is a discount, the course costs only 27 EURO.Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 09.38.39

Acloud.Guru also offers the AWS Solutions Architect professional course.
Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 09.38.48

+study on the go

+good instructor – enthusiasm & personality

+big and active community

+course is being updated all the time

Conclusion

So acloud.guru is highly recommended.

If you need some extra material, or when you need guidance with the hands-on labs qwikLABS is higly recommended.