Chandra Lingam

@chandralingam

Keeping up with AWS Changes

Frequent questions I get on AWS are:

“How do I keep up with all the changes happening in AWS?”

“Do I have to know all these new things to pass the certification exam?”

“AWS changed the way a service works. What is the right way to handle questions about this in certification exams?”

To give some examples:

Previously we could attach an IAM role to an EC2 instance only at launch time. Now, EC2 service allows you to attach an IAM role to an existing instance.

VPC Peering used to be supported only within region. With a new release, AWS now supports VPC peering across regions.

My 2 Cents on this

For the first two, it is a chicken and egg problem. Focus on core services that are widely used and has gained credibility among users. Certification exams tend to emphasize on these services. As services gain acceptance among user community, you can expect few questions about these to show-up. Not all services are super successful and some are gradually phased out as well.

The third question is tricky. With these kind of “knowledge-breaking” changes, more than one answer may be correct when you are expected to pick a single correct answer. General advice: pick an answer based on your best knowledge. I suspect that for these kind of changes, exam may give you credit for both old and new knowledge answers.

Core Services

VPC, Route 53, EC2, IAM, ELB, Auto Scaling, S3, EBS, Glacier Concepts, CloudWatch, SQS, SNS, Serverless compute, RDS, RDS-Aurora, DynamoDB, ECS, Elastic Beanstalk, CloudFormation, Kinesis, Opsworks

Core Concepts

Cloud Computing Benefits, Cloud Security / Shared Responsibility Model, Global Infrastructure, Pricing Concepts, Data Protection, Disaster Recovery

WhitePapers

AWS Well Architected Framework, Security, Reliability, Cost Optimization, Performance Efficiency, Operational Excellence, Architecting for the cloud: AWS Best Practices

Preparation

Guided preparation can save you a lot of time and keep you focused: Practice Test AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate, Part 1: AWS Certified Associate (SA,CD,SO) Guide & Questions

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