Damien Burks guides you to success on the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Exam

Damien Burks, a tech enthusiast, holds many certifications, including AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner and AWS Certified Developer Associate. His passion for creating and inventing new products is what led him to computer science. He began by writing small code and creating simple games. He now specializes in Security Software engineering, and hopes to become a DevSecOps Engineer soon.
We reached out to him and he was eager to share his tips and insights about a certification path. Damien shares his journey to clearing the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam. He details his preparation process, his schedule, and much more. Continue reading to learn Damien’s analysis on the AWS CSAA exam syllabus topics.
Follow Damien Burks via LinkedIn, Twitter, and GitHub
1. How did you begin your preparation for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam.
On the 5th April 2021, I began preparations for the AWS CSAA certification. I had researched the best course from those who had passed the C02 exam a few days prior. Many people praised Stephane Marek’s explanations and whitepapers. To prepare for the exam, I bought his course.
2. You’ve worked while you studied for the exam. What was your work schedule during the preparation period?
I began working full-time with some overtime. On weekdays, I would work about 1-2 hours and on weekends, about 3-4 hours. This was until Stephane’s course, which took me around a month and half. I spent approximately 2-3 hours a day reviewing notes and taking practice exams until the day of my exam.
3. What role does a certificate play in your career?
My career path is shaped by certifications. This certification allows me to design and implement cost-effective and scalable solutions using AWS. It also allows me to pivot into cloud-native opportunities like cloud architecture, security, and engineering. As of now, my goal is to become a DevSecOps Architect, which is a cloud based position that requires cloud and security experience/certifications.
Check out Damien Burks’ blog here: Damien J Burks
4. Do you have any advice for designing the learning path? What are the most important factors to consider?
You will need to make sure that you are doing hands-on labs while also taking notes for the lectures and chapters. The labs may be paid depending on which platform you use. It is important to remember that every provider is different. AWS free-tier still charges for certain services. Stephane will explain to you whether you should expect to pay a fee for using a service like CloudFormation. You must practice in AWS to gain a better understanding of these services. Whizlabs is a great resource for this. Whizlabs allows you to create an account and gain access to AWS labs for each service. Similar to ACG integration, lab environments will automatically be set up for you to log in to the console. They also offer labs for Azure and GCP.
Get Whizlabs Learning Path AWS Solutions Architect Associate now!
You’ll need to make sure that you are using other resources to retain information. Without reading the FAQs and documentation, you will not be able learn about each service in detail. Make sure you take the time to read the FAQs and review the whitepapers.
5. What are the most important topics that an aspirant should know in order to pass this exam?
These topics should be covered in detail when you prepare for the exam.
VPC Networking
AWS SAM (Serverless Architectural Model)
AWS S3 & EC2
6. How difficult did the exam seem to you? You can rate the exam on a scale from 1-5!
Due to my limited knowledge in system design and architecture, I found this exam quite difficult. I would rate it a 4 on a scale from 1 to 5. I had at least 20 questions that I was unsure of or needed to review while I was taking the exam. I would score 69% out of 65 questions. This is only a few points away to passing the exam.
AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam Question & Answers available!
7. What should aspirants learn about each service/subject in order to pass this exam? There are some services/subjects that need to be studied in depth, while others can be learned only a little. Could you please list those that are of interest to the aspirants?
I believe that you don’t need to cover every service in detail for this exam. You can choose to cover the following services: