#NikemaLearns About AWS – #1 Getting Started hero graphic

#NikemaLearns About AWS – #1 Getting Started

Jan 29, 2021 by Nikema Prophet

Getting started can be difficult. The state between the initial excitement of learning something new and when things start to click into place can be hard to move through. I’m proud to say that I’ve started and I’m moving forward in my study practice.

I’m still wobbly and uncomfortable but I know that’s part of the process. I trust that learning is still happening here 😀.

The Goal

As a reminder, I am working towards building proficiency in cloud computing fundamentals and AWS services so that I can confidently attempt the AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification Exam.

Why am I doing this? Because having a high-level understanding of the cloud will help me to be more effective in my role at Armory. I am also intentionally learning in public to show that there is a doable path from beginner to certified.

My Process

Organizing my study practice and thinking through how I’ll document it turned out to be time-consuming and challenging tasks. I’ve figured out enough to get started and know what I’ll do next but I am allowing myself the flexibility to change plans as needed.

I’m glad that I took the advice to go with a structured and well-defined learning objective. It’s easy for me to get into the weeds “getting ready” to work. I think having a path laid out for me cut down on some of the time it takes for me to start.

Here’s the study plan as it stands today:

  1. Before anything else, take a practice test to see where I’m starting from (done ✅).
  2. View the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Complete Video Course in its entirety, taking handwritten notes along the way.
  3. Continue the blog series while the course is in progress; give high-level updates on learning and progress.
  4. Take another practice exam once I finish the video course.
  5. Review my handwritten notes and record a cleaner version of them in a public GitHub repository
  6. Test and retest until I can reliably score 75% or above.
  7. Schedule the real certification exam.

My Progress

I started and that’s a win that I have to acknowledge. I planned to take the practice test first and that’s what I did. I scored 50.77%; 70% is the minimum passing score.

Taking the test was helpful because it made it clear that I would have to cover many of the core services for the first time. It was also validating because I’ve been slowly introducing myself to DevOps and cloud concepts and some things are starting to stick.

For example, I’m starting to feel like I know parts of the value proposition of cloud computing. I’ve had repeated exposure to the concepts of immutable infrastructure and the benefits of automation and scalability. I’m understanding more of the “what”s and “why”s of DevOps.

Practice Exam results for Nikema. Score 50.77%

After I took the practice exam, I started the video course. I’m currently on lesson five out of nine total lessons. I watch the videos and take notes as I go with my Remarkable2 tablet.

So far these are the lessons and modules I’ve completed and the one in progress:

  • Module 1: Cloud Concepts
    • Lesson 1: Cloud Practitioner Certification
    • Lesson 2: Fundamental Concepts
  • Module 2: Technology
    • Lesson 3: Fundamentals
    • Lesson 4: Basic Core Services
    • Lesson 5: Advanced Core Services (In progress: up to 5.7/5.11)
Handwritten notes exported from a Remarkable2 tablet. Text available at https://gist.github.com/prophen/b9ac57318ccae263980ef81df03537bd
This is what a page of my notes looks like (gist version of the text). I take notes by writing and drawing what I see onscreen.

What’s Next

I plan to be finished with my first run of the video course before the next blog post is due. According to the plan, the next steps will be to retake the practice test and start entering my typed notes on GitHub.

I’m happy with my progress and I am having more of those moments when things start to click. As a person who enjoys learning, I live for the “clicks.” Now that my note-taking process is planned out, I think putting it all together will start to be fun and gratifying.

We’ll see, I’ll check back in a few weeks!

 

This post was originally published on my personal blog nikemaprophet.com.

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