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AWS first came to my mind back to April of 2018, when I just started a call centre job. Back to that point, I was very much devastated by the fact that my career expectation could not be fulfilled. AWS came in like fresh air, I started my first attempt to obtain AWS CSA Assocatiate. It was a very challenging journey because of my zero IT background. After 5 months of self study, mainly from online courses, I failed my very first attempt with only 61 of 100. AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Associate (Retires March 2020) I was lost. And I made a judgement on myself, I was a failure in this and I could not make it anyways. But my colleague, who had a backround in IT industry pursaded me not to give up by saying you did a pretty good job considering your zero background in IT. So I did not give up. Later, I came to know that AWS eliminated prerequisite for Professional level exam. So that’s when I made a bold move — attempting the AWS CSA Professional exam. After my failed first attempt, I came to a conclusion that I focused solely on the concepts without any hands-on experience. So this time around, I chose a certification course from Udemy with hands-on labs, and followed the instructor throughout the course. After 6 months later, I sat for my second AWS exam, this time it was Professional level. The moment I clicked “finish” button, I was very uncertain about what I might expect. Then I saw “Congratualtions” shown screen. I was in jubilation in no time. This was the first time in my life, I ever felt hardwork would pay.

Then there were so many other things going on in my life. I was always planning to go continue with my AWS study and truly find a career in this. But not until late last year, around October, I was given the opportunity to restart my study journey with AWS again. What went in parallel with AWS CSA Pro, was AWS DevOps Engineer Pro. So I challenged me again with this one. For me, it was 100 times more challenging than CSA Pro due to my lack of general Developer’s knowledge. I came across plenty of brand new concepts. It was overwelming, but I did not say die because I realized I would be a warrior as it was last time. Also, I took my course from a true Pro in AWS DevOps Engineer Professionl from Udemy. Since I had full-time study this time, I spent two and half months and registered the exam on January 4th, 2020. The moment I started my test, I knew it was not be an easy one. But I truly placed trust in myself. There were tons of brand new concepts during the exam that I had very little knowledge about, but I fully focused on core components of AWS DevOps Engineer Pro’s blueprint and the hands-on lab from the course I took. Although I finished my exam and was able to review every single question, I was not really confident about the result. The moment I clicked “finish” button, I knew it could go either way. Fortunately, I made it with my intiatives and efforts.

Now it came to the end of my study journey with AWS for now. I’m now pursuing a career in AWS. I hope what guided me through AWS study twice will lead to a promising career in AWS career.

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Paul Zhao

Paul Zhao

Amazon Web Service Certified Solutions Architect Professional & Devops Engineer, Digital Designer