Certification: 2020 results

In 2020 I have cleared 4 technical certifications – AWS Certified Solution Architect (January 2020), AWS Certified SysOps Administrator (November 2020), AWS Certified Developer (December 2020) and AWS Cloud Practitioner (December 2020).

My strategy for preparation was fairly simple – I have used combination of self-paced video course from A Cloud Guru, practice exams from Jon Bonso and AWS public whitepapers.

Total preparation time was 9-10 weeks, in average 1 hour per day. In total, around 70-80 hours.

I’m using Pomodorro technique to track productive time. Picture below is from Pomodorro app that I’m using and shows time investment categories over last 3 months .

60% of total time I have spent on “Technical Training” category which mostly consist of preparations for technical certifications, reading whitepapers and etc. So, it is quite time consuming.

If I will range exams from easiest to hardest, it will look like:

  1. AWS Cloud Practitioner
  2. AWS Certified Solution Architect – Associate
  3. AWS Certified Developer
  4. AWS Certified Sysops Administrator

For the next year my targets are AWS Certified Solution Architect – Professional and, potentially, AWS Certified DevOps – Professional exams.

Book Review: Think Smarter: Critical Thinking to Improve Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills by Michael Kallet

“If I am paid for my thinking and problem solving skills, how I can become better in this?” – this is a question that I ask myself from time to time.

A book “Think Smarter” provides clear definition of key stages of critical thinking process (clarity, conclusions and decisions) and gives step by step instructions what to do on each of the stages.

Some ideas and instruments can look pretty obvious and well-known but a value of the book in systematic process that author created.

Among multiple things taht I liked in the book are:

  • Visual representation of decision making process – how expiriences, observations, facts and assumptions form our conclusions and how to distinguish fact from observation
  • Definition of “outside the box” thinking. “What is “the box” in thinking?” is a first question to ask to understand
  • Explanation what is premise and why it can be weak or strong. This is important knowledge to measure confidence of the conclusion
  • Abductive thinking – how my conclusions will change if some of my assumptions are wrong? Or how would I think about it if I had not some of my expiriences?

My next step for the topic “Critical Thinking” is to write an article that will apply critical thinking to customer’s requests prioritization.

So, a lot of interesting ideas written in easy to read language. Totally recommend to read.

Check out series of my articles how critical thinking framework applies to prioritization.

Overall rating – 5 out of 5.