It can get very overwhelming when you start looking for which certification to pass to learn new skills. There are several certifications that may be interesting for architects, but before, you may ask yourself if a certification is worth pursuing for your career?
I find the next facts good criteria to help me decide:
- A certification is probably more relevant if you are already using a technology and want to consolidate your experience and expand your knowledge.
- If your company is planning to use a new technology, a good strategy would be to invest your time to learn it and pursue a certification. This will put you in a good position to use this technology when it will be adopted by your company.
- Certification can also help you learn new skills that you are not using in your daily work, but you consider important for your career. Keeping yourself motivated during the preparation may be a challenge after the first excitations days, as the certification will not bring you any concrete value in the short time.
- The certifications require a considerable commitment of time and efforts and can’t replace in any way a real hands-on experience.
Then comes the question, which certification to pass?
The answer is it depends on different criteria. A certification that may be valuable for me is not for you. I strongly recommend that you do your homework and do your research, talk with your co-workers, and read blogs to identify the certifications that may be relevant to you. The following are the certification exams I consider passing:
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
Start by reading the Exam guide that includes the exam contents and recommended knowledge required for this exam.
For more information about the cost and how to schedule the exam and other useful details, visit this site: https://aws.amazon.com/certification/certified-solutions-architect-associate.
In addition to the free resources provided in the site above, the following resources are very helpful to help you prepare for your exam:
- Stephane Maarek’s Udemy class
- Coursera Exam Prep: AWS Certified Solution Architect – Associate
- Jon Bonso Practice Tests
Professional Cloud Architect Certification
Start by reviewing the study guide to learn the content of the exam. You can find sample questions, free resources, the cost of the exam and how to register at: https://cloud.google.com/certification/cloud-architect
The following are additional resources to help you in your preparation:
Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)
The interesting thing about this certification is that it tests your Kubernetes competences in a hands-on, command-line environment. All the questions are hands-on and there are no multiple choices questions. During the test of the 2 hours, you will have to resolve 17 problems.
For more details about this exam, visit this site: https://www.cncf.io/certification/ckad/
To prepare your test, I recommend that you install Minikube if you don’t have access to another Kubernetes installation. Other alternatives include using Google cloud Kubernetes, AWS Kubernetes, or Install Kubernetes on a VM. The goal is to have a simple Kubernetes environment to practice as the exam is based on hands-on exercises.
The following exercises will help you to prepare for the test:
Certified Professional for Software Architecture-Foundation Level (CPSA‑F®) exam
This certification is not specific to any platform or any vendor. You can find more details by visiting the iSAQB site.
The recommendation resources to prepare for this exam:
I find the following strategies useful once my decision is made to pass a certification and start preparing:
- Work with a co-worker to prepare for your certification to motivate each other.
- Commit yourself to a date to pass your exam but before, make sure it’s realistic. Usually, it takes 2 to 3 weeks to gather and get familiar with the exam material, and then come up with a better assessment of the effort required to select a realistic date for your exam.
- Once the exam date decided, go ahead, and pay you exam fee. This will put additional pressure on you to keep going.
- Create a realistic weekly plan that clearly describes the parts you want to cover. Then, assess your progress at the end of the week and adjust your plan accordingly.
- Start practicing and passing tests early and avoid the tentation to wait towards the end to go through the practice tests. Indeed, testing yourself continuously is the best way to assess your progress.
- Take notes when studying for your certification exam can be helpful to help you remember the material.