Wednesday, October 14, 2020

How to Crack AWS Certified Developer Associate Exam - DVA-001 Certification

Hello guys,  if you are preparing for AWS Developer Associate certification and looking for the best books, courses, and overall guidance to pass this exam then you have come to the right place. Earlier, I have shared the best AWS developer courses and practice tests, and today, I am going to share the overall guide and complete resources to pass this prestigious AWS cloud certification. There is no doubt that AWS certification is very valuable and opens the door for a lot of opportunities, not just for system admins and solution architect but also for developers and DevOps Engineers.
The AWS Certified Developer Associate certification exams are for Software Developers and Web Developers and it tests your ability to develop and deploy software applications on AWS and work with databases, serverless architecture, and use of AWS API. 

Even though there is no substitute for knowledge and experience and your certification is not very useful if you don't know how to work in AWS console, there are a lot of tangible and intangible benefits of AWS Cloud certifications, particularly the AWS Certified Developer Associate exam.

For example, it gives you an opportunity to learn about AWS services and platforms in depth. It also gives you the recognition you deserve for your knowledge and cloud skills. It allows you to put AWS in your resume and LinkedIn and that brings a lot of chances as recruiters and companies are always looking for certified AWS professionals.

But, the most important benefit of the AWS Developer certification or any other certification is the knowledge it gives you. I have personally learned a lot while preparing for certification and that's also my preferred way to learn new technology in depth.

Once you know the basics, go for certification, along the way you will learn a lot and become an expert on that technology. I have tried this method to learn Java, Spring, and several other technologies and I can say it works well.

Once you start preparing for AWS certifications, you obviously start reading more about different AWS services, their pros, and cons, watching more online courses and tutorials on Youtube, doing more hands-on labs, and start solving more practice questions, all these activities brings a lot of knowledge and experience related to AWS which serves well not just on certification but also during interviews and your day-to-day jobs.




How to Crack the AWS Certified Developer Associate Exam

I have been focusing a lot on Cloud, Machine Learning, and Big Data since last year and reading a lot about associate-level AWS certifications like solution architect, cloud developer, and sysops administrator. 

I was also helping a couple of my readers with their AWS, Azure, and Google cloud certification journey and I am happy that many of them have succeeded in their first attempt and now I am sharing the same blueprint with you guys.

This is a tried and tested blueprint by myself and many of my friends and readers. I have followed this blueprint to get different Oracle, Java, Spring Professional, SQL Server, Data Science, and AWS certifications.

It's pretty much a three-point formula where you need to choose a good course, do a lot of hands-on labs and then solve as many practice questions as possible. If you follow these three steps honestly, you are bound to score 800+ on your AWS Developer Associate exam.

This blueprint will help you to get success in not just AWS certification but also in any IT certification, all you need to do is pick the right resources for each section. I mean choose the best online course for the AWS Certified Developer Associate exam and choose the best book and Mock tests, and that's where this article will help you.

In this article, I'll share your resources which will help you to pass the AWS Certified Developer Associate exam with flying colors.




1. Online courses

Online courses are the best resource to start your AWS certification preparation, the key here is to choose the right courses which not only cover the exam topics well but also teach you practical stuff so that you can learn AWS skills that are required in real-world jobs.

For the AWS Developer Associate exam, I recommend following online training courses, some of them are free and others are also very affordable and you can buy them in just $10 on Udemy sales which happens every month.


1.1. Stephane Maarek's Ultimate AWS Certified Developer Associate Course 
This is the best online course to pass the AWS developer associate exam. Created by Stephane, an AWS expert which has passed all the AWS certification this course will teach you everything you need to know to pass this prestigious cloud certification. If you can get just one course, buy this one, you won't regret it, it's worth both your time and money. More than 50K people have already joined this course.

best course to pass AWS Developer Associate Exam




1.2. A Cloud Guru's AWS Certified Developer - Associate 2020 course
This is another high-quality online course to prepare for the AWS developer associate exam. Created by A Cloud Guru, one of the leading training organizations when it comes to cloud training this course is both well structured and goes deep enough to pass the exam.  

This course is created by Ryan Kroonenburg and Faye Ellis of CloudGuru and if you are a complete beginner on AWS then this is the perfect course for you to both learn AWS and pass this valuable certification.

best Udemy course to pass AWS Developer Associate certification


2. Books

Apart from online courses, I highly recommend you get a study guide to learn exam topics in good detail. While the book provides the most comprehensive coverage they are often not up-to-date because it practically not possible to update books every 6 months when exam topics and syllabus is updated for AWS certifications.

Hence, I don't have any recommendations here except AWS: The Good Parts which is my favorite book to learn essential AWS services that have to withstand the test of time and going to remain for quite some time.

best aws book for beginners




This is not like any other book which covers things based upon Docs and specification but it's born from real experience. Both the Author have worked for 15 years on Amazon and know AWS in and out. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn AWS and especially to those who are preparing for certification.

3. Mock Tests

Now, this is the third piece of the puzzle to your AWS certification journey. Mock tests are the most important part of your preparation as they can be used to assess your preparation level. You can also use them to find your strength and weakness and work on that before the real exam.

I generally start with a topic-wise test to see if I am ready for a full mock test and then work my way there.

When you consistently score 80% on mock tests and practice paper you are ready for the real exam. And, if you need recommendations, here are AWS Developer Associate practice tests you can take to full proof of your preparation.

3.1. WhizLabs (834 questions)

When it comes to practice tests and AWS simulator I trust Whizlabs, their practice test is often of high quality and covers exam topics nicely. Their explanations are also revealing and I learn a lot from them.

The AWS Developer Associate Practice tests from Whizlabs contains 834 unique questions divided into 12 full-length test which are enough to prepare for this exam. To get the most from this practice test, do the full-length test in a real exam like setting like a quiet room and time limit. This will help you to truly assess your preparation level.

best practice test to pass AWS Developer Associate certification



3.2 Udemy AWS Practice Tests

Along with online courses, Udemy also has some practice tests sold as online courses that you can use for preparing the AWS solution architect exam. Out of many AWS SAA-C01 Practice test on Udemy, I recommend these two, both are the most up-to-date tests:

3.1. Jon Bonson's AWS Developer Associate Practice tests (260  questions)
This is another AWS developer associate mock test on Udemy which is worth recommendation. This course contains 6 mock tests of 65 questions each, which are good for your final preparation. If you consistently score 80+ on this mock test then you are ready for the real exam.


3.2. David Mayer's AWS Developer Associate Practice Question (987 questions)This is another big list of AWS practice questions, actually, they are exam dumps means they are real questions from past exams if you like to really go for those 900+ scores. This mock test has got 987 questions and 20 exam tests which make it the mother of all AWS practice papers. You don't need anything else after doing it.

3.3. Stephane Maarek's AWS Developer Mock tests (293 questions)
High quality and scenario-based questions to do well on real AWS test. sometimes tougher than the actual example level.  This is a perfect exam to hone your speed and accuracy before appearing for the real exam. I highly recommend this exam to anyone serious about passing this exam in the first attempt and scoring high.

best udemy mock test to pass AWS developer associate exam


4. Hands-on Labs

Practice inside the AWS console is very important if you aspire to work as an AWS Certified Developer for AWS Cloud. In general, I advise students to join a course that also has practice labs and also opens an AWS free tier account.

Since, you only remember if you do the stuff, these AWS practical session will help you to understand and memorize the services which you are reading like EC2, S3, DynamoDB, IAM, and others. You can sign up for a free AWS account at the AWS portal.


5. White Papers

If you are someone, who is not happy with 800+ core and want to go for a 900+ score then I also suggest you read White Papers and Case studies provided by Amazon and AWS. These are some of the most in-depth and practical content you will get anywhere on the internet.

If you want to go one step more, you can also read AWS documentation as it provides the most up-to-date information, which is certainly an important factor given AWS is still evolving and there are hundreds of updates to catch up. 


Alternatively, you can also signup for AWS weekly on ACloudGuru which is a great way to keep up-to-date with new AWS changes.

Here is the link to read AWS whitepapers -https://aws.amazon.com/whitepapers 




5 Tips to do well on AWS Developer Associate Certifications

Now that you know how to prepare for AWS Developer certification, book, courses, and practice test, it's time for some practical tips which you can use to not only accelerate your preparation but also avoid silly mistakes in the exam and pass the exam in your first attempt.

1. Passing marks for the AWS Certified Developer Associate certification exam varies daily. It could be 60% or 72% or even more but you should always prepare for 75% to pass the exam on the very first attempt.

2. How much time you need to prepare for the AWS Developer Associate exam? Well, preparation time mostly depends on experience level. If you have some AWS experience under your belt then 2-3 weeks of preparation is enough but if you are a complete beginner to AWS then 4 to 6 weeks is a reasonable time.

3. Hands-on lab exercises are a must if you don't want to become a paper certified AWS developer or solution architect. All the things you will learn and earn via certification also need a backup of hands-on experience. It's even more important for people who are not actively working in AWS like as part of their day job. In short, get a free AWS account open and try to break things and learned how to fix them.

4. Join the courses which are most up-to-date and also include lab exercises for the reason I have mentioned above. Since AWS is still evolving and there is a new feature coming up daily, it's important to choose the course which is not most up-to-date, not just in terms of the certification syllabus and curriculum but also with AWS feature and how to do things in a best and latest way in AWS.

5. Solve as many practice questions as possible. This is by far the most important tip from me. Since you are going to appear for an exam, where you need to solve questions in a limited time, you got to do practice to be able to read, understand, and solve those problems quickly. I know many people how have got 1o to 15 questions wrong just because of time pressure.

Mock tests and practice questions also help to solidify your knowledge and highlight gaps in your learning. For example, you can use them to find your strong and weak areas and then cover them better before the real exam.


That's all about how to pass the AWS solution architect associate level exam. AWS Certifications, particularly the solution architect one is very important. This not only gives you approval from the AWS but also prepare for your interviews and further work. AWS Solution Architects are also most high-paying professionals with annual salary ranging from $120,000 to $130,000 and as more and more companies are moving towards the cloud, there are a lot of opportunities for cloud developers and architects.

Other AWS Certification Resources you may like to explore
Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like the AWS Developer Associate certification roadmap and guide then please share it with your friends and colleagues.

P. S. - If you are keen to pass the AWS Certified Developer Associate Certification but can't afford these resources and instead of looking for free resources to prepare for this prestigious certification then you can also check out this FREE AWS Developer Associate Training on Udemy. It's completely free and you just need an Udemy account to join this AWS training course.

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