How I got AWS Certified in 1 month (part-time)!

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Developer Associate

Posted by Tomy Jaya on March 30, 2017

Shameless Self-Promotion

Though I have been using AWS services for my college and personal projects, I would say that my exposure to this dominant cloud player’s technologies is somehow limited.

Therefore, persuaded by stats (AWS certifications top the list of most valuable IT certifications) and my colleague (whose friend works in a bank which, wait for it, is migrating to AWS!!!), I decided to learn more about AWS and eventually get certified. I made a bet around Feb 2017 with my colleagues that I should be able to get AWS Certified Developer Associate by March 2017.

Fast-forward to 29th of March 2017, I am now eligible to display this logo:


Exam Prep Tips

Most people ask how I prepared for the exam. Here’s my answer:

  1. Prior experience: Acronyms like EC2, S3 and DynamoDB were not alien to me. I’ve personally used those services (though not daily)
  2. Udemy: AWS Certified Developer - Associate 2017 - There is usually promotion on this one, so, please watch out not to pay the full price. I watched all videos and attempted all the labs for this course.
  3. ACloudGuru Forum Exam Tips (1) & (2) - Read them thoroughly (including the links)
  4. ACloudGuru Certified Developer Associate 80 Minute Practice Exam - If you’ve bought the Udemy course, you can port your account to for free. Just contact the support. If I recall correctly, there are some questions from here which came up word for word in the actual exam.
  5. AWS Exam Sample Question - Really important to know the answer for each question and why.
  6. DO NOT (I repeat DO NOT) register for the official Practice Exam which costs USD $20. I’ve read that a lot of people found them of no value. I didn’t buy them and yet I could still pass the exam with no issues.

Exam Quality

Honestly, I was quite disappointed with the exam questions. There were lots of memorization questions rather than conceptual understanding ones.


For some people, especially those looking for a job, I can see how this cert might add value. Hence, I came up with a crazy project idea to collaboratively write a book entitled: “Barely Adequate Guide to Amazon Certified Developer Associate Exam”. The aim is for this book to be a fairly short study guide cum cheatsheet for people who is short of time (I know everyone is…). Let me know if you think you’d be interested in that book in which case, I should pursue that project.


Certifications aside, I really think that folks at AWS have done a really awesome job bringing Cloud to where it is now. It’s an amazing technology to get your hands dirty on.

Note to self: use AWS for your startup idea!

And as usual, feel free to post any questions and comments below.