5 Months In The Cloud - My AWS Journey

5 Months In The Cloud - My AWS Journey

It is the first day of the last quarter of the year, so basically a good time to pause for some reflections.

I started exploring cloud computing and devOps in early May and in 5 months, I:

  • graduated from the Udacity Cloud DevOps Engineer nanodegree,
  • became an AWS Community Builder, and
  • passed my AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam!

It may not be a big deal but it reminds me of my efforts; I did that with a full-time job I was dedicated to, and preparations for my postgraduate degree.

Let's dive a little deeper, shall we?


1) Udacity/ALX-T Scholarship program

I did not write a final article for my #3MonthsOfCloudDevOps series, so it deserves the first highlight.

I cannot exactly remember when I signed up for the program but I do remember I was at a stage where I wanted to learn something new and pivot into a different area. Then, this opportunity showed up.

For about 3 months, I studied cloud computing concepts, worked on projects for the course and attended the technical sessions.

July 31: I successfully graduated from the nanodegree, after completing 3 main projects and the career services. I wrote a brief summary here, but that's pretty much the gist.

After that, I knew I wanted to keep going.


2) AWS Community Builders Program

This was one of the several things I signed up for, whilst trying to challenge and "push myself out there". I officially joined the program in August and I probably got selected because of the articles I wrote for the #3MonthsOfCloudDevOps series.

Either way, it felt thrilling.

Perks of being a Community Builder

Apart from being able to connect in a global community and attend webinars, there are definitely quite a number of other benefits!

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1) FREE Swag!

I mean, who doesn't love those?!

As a new community builder, you get a welcome kit full of exclusive AWS Community Builders swag!

Swags for my cohort have not been sent yet, but I absolutely cannot wait to receive it.

2) Cloud Academy Subscription

Cloud Academy is one of the leading global cloud learning platforms. As a community builder, you get one year of subscription which gives you access to all contents on the platform.

If you ask me, that's the best idea for someone like me - a cloud newbie.

3) AWS Credits

What's an AWS community builder if you do not actually build on AWS?

Another perk of being a builder is that you get $500 worth of AWS credits to help you learn and experiment with new (and existing) AWS services. It typically expires within a year or so, regardless of when you claim it.

4) Certification Exam Vouchers

As a community builder, you get to claim one voucher per 12 months to take a certification exam 100% FREE!

The exam can be of Foundational, Associate, or Professional/Specialty levels.

There are other benefits, but these ones seal the deal!

You can click here to learn more about the program and how to join.

3) AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (CCP) Exam

If you recall from one of my posts, I mentioned the "Get AWS Certified Sub-Saharan Africa - Cloud Practitioner Challenge".

Thanks to the challenge, I was able to claim a 100% voucher for my CCP exam in June. After finishing the nanodegree, I was unavoidably preoccupied and felt too stressed to take the exam in August.

I eventually scheduled for September and prepared with free materials and digital trainings on AWS Skill Builder. I also attended a virtual classroom live for the AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials course, and another for the Exam Readiness.

Being the "over-worrying over every detail" type, I ensured to also go through the available guides; the exam guide as well as the Ramp-up guide. The latter was especially useful since it included links to different resources.

I felt quite prepared until I was hit with technical difficulties on the scheduled day. It was pretty nerve-wracking, but I was eventually able to reschedule the exam at zero cost.

Special thanks to Kimberly on the PSI technical support team as well as the candidate support rep. that attended to my queries via phone.

A week later, I passed the exam! Although the overall score could have been better, the breakdown report reassured me that I was on the right path.

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So that's pretty much it!

August and September was a rollercoaster, and this last quarter is not going to be any different.

However, I plan to keep making progress so I can successfully secure my first devOps role, and eventually look back at where it all started.

May 2022.

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