Do AWS Certifications Matter?

Garrett Sweeney
May 12 · 3 min read
A picture of a man pondering if he should take an AWS certification

Someone recently told me that people who have more certifications tend to perform worse on the job. As a younger engineer who was instructed to get cloud certifications to become more valuable, this concerned me.

Is having a list of 5 certifications on my resume going to hurt my job prospects? Should I only list 1 or 2 certifications so it looks like I’m capable of learning new things but not a “paper chaser”?

Personally, I do think there is a value in preparing enough to pass the AWS certifications. I’m not a better “programmer,” but I’m a better “developer”. My code is probably exactly as mediocre as it was before the exam, but I do approach problems differently.

For instance, one of the current exams I’m preparing for introduced me to a service called Cognito. How to use it, the best practices, good and bad use cases, etc.

Amazon Cognito lets you add user sign-up, sign-in, and access control to your web and mobile apps

One year ago, I built a small web application and tried to store user’s usernames and passwords on my own. Salted password hashing, the entire deal. It took a little while for me to get it right.

One month ago, I built a small react application and used Cognito for authentication. Less code, and probably safer for those that choose to use my app :)

And that’s the value in AWS Certifications. The platform moves so fast and introduces too many tools for me to keep up with day to day. So if I can force myself to prepare for an exam every 1 to 2 years, I think it’s a great way for me to keep up on what Amazon considers important.

Would I hire someone that only has certifications? No, but I think it helps. If you can find someone who is willing to learn new technology, keep with with the times, and prove they have some kind of implementation kills, that’s who you hire!

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Garrett Sweeney

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