What Is AWS DevOps Certification? (Plus How to Earn It)
Updated 30 May 2023
To pursue a career in IT and cloud computing, you may require AWS DevOps certification. This accreditation typically covers software systems' development, deployment and maintenance in business environments. Pursuing it can help you build your cloud developer skills and prove your knowledge and experience to potential employers and clients. In this article, we provide an overview of the AWS DevOps certification, highlight its requirements, discuss what it covers and explain how to earn it.
What is the AWS DevOps certification?
Learning about the AWS DevOps certification can help you understand the accreditation and determine its suitability for your career plan. The Amazon Web Services (AWS) DevOps certification is an accreditation programme by Amazon that can validate your understanding of cloud architecture solutions. This involves learning about cybersecurity, cloud infrastructure construction and migration tactics. The certificate shows employers you have considerable experience designing, implementing and managing cloud infrastructure. To earn the AWS DevOps certification, you may require at least two years of experience in cloud operation and maintenance and an active Certified Solutions Architect associate certificate.
AWS DevOps certification requirements
Ensure you meet the certification's prerequisites before applying for an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional (DOP-C01) exam. Besides being an active Certified Solutions Architect associate, you may also require the following:
experience in handling operating systems
proficiency in modern operations and development processes and methodologies
expertise in coding using at least one high-level programming language
at least two years of experience in operating, managing and provisioning AWS environments
expertise in building highly automated infrastructures
What does the AWS DevOps certification cover?
The AWS DevOps certification programme has six topics known as domains. Each domain covers a unique concept and contributes different percentages to your results. Here are their summaries:
This domain contributes 22% of the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional exam marks. It entails learning about continuous integration and delivery of software to business environments. Here are the five SDLC automation stages:
Planning and analysis: This step may involve studying how to analyse business needs and ensure the product meets them. It may also entail lessons on creating business requirement documents, identifying potential risks, writing use cases and determining technical feasibility.
Product architecture design: Technical architects and lead developers often create initial high-level software plans, outlining how to integrate them into the business environment, security processes and hardware requirements. This task may require expertise in creating the Design Document Specification (DDS).
Development and coding: This section may cover how database administrators create and integrate data into their databases during software development. It may also include how to interpret coding guidelines, select programming languages and perform unit testing.
Testing: After creating software, you may assess it to determine if it addresses the needs you highlighted in the planning and analysis stage. Some tests you may learn about include non-functional testing, unit testing, integration testing, acceptance testing and system testing.
Maintenance: The last part of the SDLC automation domain covers the software's post-production stage. It may comprise the creation of support resources, routine software maintenance and installation of upgrades and security updates.
Configuration management and infrastructure as code
The second domain contributes 19% to the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional exam marks. Infrastructure as code is automating the creation of cloud services or systems via codes rather than physical hardware configuration. These codes are typically machine-readable definition files or provisioning languages, such as YAML and JSON. This domain may also involve learning about human-readable programming languages, such as the HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL). Configuration management is a systems engineering procedure that helps ensure products' attributes remain consistent throughout their life cycles. The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional exam may test several aspects of configuration management, including the following:
Planning and identification: Before developing software, you can first identify test cases, configuration items, code modules and specification requirements. You may also list necessary documents, tools, resources and requisite changes.
Version control and baseline: This step comprises methods to ensure software maintains its integrity by identifying its accepted version. The exam may cover how to pinpoint and classify a software development project's scope, outline relationships between the software's components, track its growth and create a standard label scheme.
Change control: This technique can help you ensure changes to any section of the software's infrastructure are consistent with other components. It may include assessing changes and validating their merits, examining change requests from clients and approving or explaining why you can't implement specific changes.
Configuration status accounting: AWS DevOps engineers may require expertise in testing projects and ensuring they follow specific baselines. Configuration status accounting may also involve analysing previous software versions to gauge the impacts of changes.
Audits and reviews: The last step in configuration management can be to perform a technical review of the software development project to ensure you've met its goals. Examiners can ask you to outline how you conduct audits, give a case study or request you to perform a practical assessment.
Monitoring and logging
This domain contributes 15% to the AWS DevOps certification exam marks. Application performance monitoring means evaluating a system's metrics, such as memory usage, capacity, response time and CPU consumption. Logging is creating and maintaining records of an application's events. The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional exam may cover the following aspects of monitoring and logging:
collecting, storing and assessing metrics and logs
outlining a project's requirements and identifying the best logging options
applying various concepts to automate an environment's monitoring and event management
implementing tagging to group resources when reviewing insights into a project's costs
Policies and standards automation
The fourth domain accounts for 10% of the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional exam marks. It comprises lessons on developing governance strategies, safeguarding corporate data when moving to the cloud, monitoring cloud environments for suspicious activities, establishing threat lists, enabling compliance monitoring and identifying vulnerabilities. Some tools and methods under this domain that may feature in your certification exam include:
AWS Identity and Access Management (AWS IAM)
data protection at rest
AWS system images
credential storage options
AWS personal health board
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance compliance
AWS service catalogue
Incident and event response
This domain accounts for 18% of the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional exam marks. It may require you to know how to troubleshoot system glitches, manage their impacts and restore regular operations. Below are some incident and event response concepts you may review:
Logging strategy: Certification students often review the application of the CloudWatch Logs agent to maintain off-site records. The test may also assess your ability to use Kinesis Firehose in a separate account.
AWS Elastic Beanstalk: Study how to use this service to deploy and scale web services and apps. The test may also ask you to compare AWS Elastic Beanstalk and other orchestration services.
AWS Ops Works: Review how to use this configuration management service to automate system configurations via codes. You can also find similarities between the service and CloudFormation.
Auto-scaling: Study how life cycle hooks work, the seven termination strategies and the application of CreationPolicy to EC2 instances. Exams also often cover the benefits and drawbacks of auto-scaling.
High availability, fault tolerance and disaster recovery
The last domain contributes 16% to the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional exam marks. You can review the following concepts when studying for the test:
evaluating deployments for points of failure
implementing scalability, HA and fault tolerance
developing and deploying automatic disaster recovery strategies
identifying the correct services according to business needs
determining when to apply Multi-region or Multi-AZ architectures
How to earn an AWS DevOps certification
After confirming that you meet the prerequisites, you can apply for certification. Here are four steps you may follow:
1. Select your preferred language
AWS DevOps certification exams may be available in English, Korean, simplified Chinese and Japanese. Select a language you're familiar with and can comfortably use when answering the exam questions. If you're not proficient in any of the four languages, you can inform AWS and ask for an extra 30 minutes for the exam.
2. Register for certification
You can review certification courses and register for a programme of your choice at the AWS Training and Certification Portal. AWS also uses this platform for fee payment and certification time allocation. Register with the same name on your ID to avoid confusion when visiting the exam centre.
3. Prepare for exams
When preparing for exams, you can review the six domains and familiarise yourself with their topics. You may also attend online certification classes, read AWS DevOps books and research common questions. Alternatively, you can take a practice exam at half the price of a regular test and gauge your mastery of various concepts.
4. Sit and pass the exams
You may take AWS exams online or by going to exam centres. For the latter, you may require two copies of your government-issued ID. Some test centres restrict students from carrying bags and phones to exam areas.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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