Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the leading providers of cloud computing services worldwide. With an affiliate list that includes General Electric, BP, and Infor, AWS offers nearly 200 cloud services that are optimized for nearly any application.
To complement its cloud services, AWS also facilitates a certification program that helps cloud professionals validate their skills and allows organizations to ensure they have the expertise to maximize their use of AWS. In addition to these benefits, AWS Certification keeps cloud professionals ahead of the curve by encouraging them to continually improve their skills.
AWS has nearly a dozen certification programs for professionals specializing in development, operations, and much more. Here are a few of the AWS Certifications you should know about:
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (CCP)
One of the latest additions to the list of AWS Certifications, AWS CCP is the organization’s Foundational-level certification. This certification does not test one single cloud capability, but rather assesses a professional’s general knowledge of the AWS platform. Ideal for professionals who hold managerial, sales, or other non-technical positions, AWS CCP recommends that professionals have at least six months of experience working within the AWS Cloud before seeking certification.
The AWS CCP exam covers the breadth of the AWS Cloud, focusing particularly on the overall structure of the platform. Professionals validate their capabilities in such areas as the AWS Cloud value proposition, pricing models, and architectural principles. AWS CCP certification can also serve as the first step in preparing IT professionals for Associate or Specialty level certifications.
AWS Certified Security – Specialty
This certification validates IT professionals’ advanced knowledge of security as it applies to the AWS Cloud. The exam covers the topics that security professionals must understand to implement best practices for general cloud security on the AWS platform. It also focused on more specialized knowledge of the security measures that exist only in the AWS Cloud. As such, AWS Certified Security is designed for security professionals who have been working in AWS for more than two years and general IT security for at least five years.
AWS Certified Security focuses on several topics, such as secure internet protocols, data classification, and data encryption methods. The certification also validates a number of AWS-focused capabilities. Much of the exam requires a deep understanding of the specific AWS data protection mechanisms and security protocols. The AWS Certified Security exam also tests IT professionals’ ability to balance various application requirements with security concerns, costs, and deployment complexity in the AWS Cloud.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect (CSA) – Associate
Adept solutions architects who have spent more than a year developing distributed systems in the AWS Cloud can benefit from obtaining AWS CSA certification. This exam validates a number of skills that are fundamental to building applications in the AWS Cloud, from identifying and defining requirements for an AWS-based app to providing implementation guidance on best practices throughout a project’s lifecycle. As such, AWS CSA certification requires a broad scope of knowledge and expertise in regards to the AWS platform. This gives IT professionals a strong foundation from which to build more specialized cloud skills.
AWS Certified Machine Learning (CML) – Specialty
Ideal for those who work in data science or development, AWS CML certification tests professionals’ capabilities in designing, launching, and managing machine learning solutions in the AWS Cloud. The certification exam asks professionals to not only determine which machine learning approaches would help solve specific business problems, but also to choose the right AWS services to implement them. AWS recommends between one and two years of experience with machine learning before seeking this certification.
AWS Certified Developer – Associate
Professionals with experience developing and managing applications in the AWS Cloud can benefit from pursuing AWS Certified Developer certification. This mid-tier exam verifies a professional’s understanding of the AWS platform and its architecture, but also focuses on more specific development-related skills. As such, those looking to obtain this certification should possess at least a year of experience developing and maintaining cloud-based apps on AWS Cloud.
AWS recommends that professionals hone their knowledge in several key areas before sitting for the AWS Certified Developer exam. Developers should understand how to build apps using one or more high-level programming languages, know how to use containers throughout app development, and be able to code serverless apps. Where AWS is concerned, the exam covers aspects of the AWS CLI, SNS, and other services with which developers should be familiar.
AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
This certification is designed for DevOps engineers with at least two years of experience in the AWS Cloud. Those who seek DevOps Engineer certification will have the opportunity to verify skills related to managing distributed apps in AWS. The certification exam focuses primarily on implementing and managing continuous delivery systems and on automating security controls, governance, and compliance validation in these environments. All of these skills reflect a professional’s ability to not only build continuous delivery systems on AWS, but also to ensure that they are highly available, scalable, and self-healing.