Are you looking for the best AWS DevOps Certification Path?
It’s challenging to decipher Amazon’s certification paths, so here I detail the exact path to the DevOps certification.
DevOps is a professional-level certification; the certification path includes three associate exams before taking the professional test.
You’ll learn how this all fits together in this exam guide.
Hi, my name is Carol, and I report on education that will boost your career so that you have access to more jobs and qualify to earn a higher salary.
In this article, you will learn the five steps (4 essential and 1 bonus) to qualify as a Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional.
You will learn which certification exam to take in what order so you know which AWS training to take and when.
You will learn which AWS tools you must master at each step and the certification you will earn.
By progressively earning these certifications, you can demonstrate expertise across the entire AWS stack and DevOps methodology.
Amazon recommends focusing your AWS training and certification on three Associate exams before acquiring your DevOps Engineer Professional certification.
The “DevOps Certification” is Step 4 on this 5-step path.
The exact path to AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional status is to pass the exams for each of these tracks in this order:
- AWS Certified Developer – Associate
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
- AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty (optional)
Professional AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Path Overview
Step One, Two, and Three of the AWS Certification Roadmap is to take and Pass the AWS Certified exam for three Associate-level topics.
Step Four on your certification journey is to take the Professional DevOps exam.
Step Five is the optional networking specialty exam.
Amazon recommends certifying in the following order to become a Professional AWS Certified DevOps Engineer:
- AWS Certified Developer – Associate: This certification focuses on developing and maintaining AWS-based applications. It covers core AWS services, AWS CLI, SDKs, IDE Toolkits, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and AWS Lambda.
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator (Associate): This certification validates technical expertise in deployment, management, and operations on AWS. It covers EC2, EBS, S3, ELB, RDS, VPC, and CloudWatch.
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate: This certification tests your skills in designing distributed applications and systems on AWS. It covers cloud architecture principles and AWS global infrastructure.
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional: You reach the nominal certification for a DevOps career. This certification demonstrates expertise in provisioning, operating, and managing distributed applications on AWS. It covers CI/CD, infrastructure as code, monitoring, and security.
- AWS Certified Advanced Networking –Specialty: This networking certification is an optional achievement you might earn after passing the DevOps exam. It validates advanced AWS networking skills like AWS Direct Connect, VPC, and Hybrid Cloud connectivity.
The recommended path starts with the AWS Certified Developer and SysOps Administrator certifications, followed by the Solutions Architect and DevOps Engineer certifications.
The Advanced Networking specialty can complement these for networking-focused roles.
Amazon’s AWS DevOps Certification Path in Detail
The DevOps is a professional certification; the path includes three associate certification exams before taking the professional test.
Here is the exact learning path and the tools you will learn and use in each step.
1. AWS Certified Developer – Associate Focus
The Certified Developer – Associate focuses on services and tools for building, deploying, and managing applications on the AWS cloud.
When you take the AWS Certified Developer exam, you will focus on these tools:
- AWS CLI: Using AWS Command Line Interface for managing AWS services through code/scripts.
- AWS Elastic Beanstalk: Service for deploying and scaling web applications.
- AWS Lambda: Serverless compute service to run code without managing servers.
- Amazon DynamoDB: Managed NoSQL database service.
- Amazon S3: Scalable object storage service.
- Amazon SQS: Managed message queuing service.
- Amazon Kinesis: Service for working with real-time streaming data.
- AWS CloudFormation: Infrastructure as code service for provisioning AWS resources.
- Amazon CloudWatch: Monitoring service for metrics and logs.
- AWS X-Ray: Analyzing and debugging distributed applications.
- AWS CodeCommit: Managed source control service.
- AWS CodeDeploy: Automating code deployments to EC2 instances.
2. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate Focus
The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate focuses on tools for deploying, managing, and operating infrastructure and applications.
Key tools include:
- Amazon EC2: Launching and configuring virtual machine instances.
- Amazon EBS: Managing EC2 block storage volumes.
- Amazon S3: Using scalable object storage service.
- VPC: Creating isolated networks on AWS cloud.
- AWS CloudTrail: Logging API calls and events.
- AWS Config: Tracking resource configurations.
- AWS CloudWatch: Monitoring metrics and logs.
- Auto Scaling: Automatically scaling EC2 capacity.
- Elastic Load Balancing: Distributing traffic across EC2 instances.
- AWS CLI: Executing commands through code on AWS.
- AWS SDK: Developing applications using AWS APIs.
- AWS IAM: Managing access through identity policies and roles.
- Amazon CloudFront: Content delivery network service.
- Route 53: Managing DNS web service.
- AWS CloudFormation: Provisioning infrastructure as code.
- AWSOpsWorks: Automating operations with Chef/Puppet.
3. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Focus
The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate focuses on tools to control infrastructure, security, deployment, and architectural best practices.
Key tools include:
- Amazon EC2: Provisioning and managing virtual servers in the cloud.
- Amazon EBS: Block-level storage volumes for EC2 instances.
- Amazon S3: Scalable object storage service.
- Amazon VPC: Isolating AWS resources in virtual networks.
- AWS Direct Connect: Establishing dedicated network connections to AWS.
- Elastic Load Balancing: Distributing application traffic across instances.
- AWS Auto Scaling: Automating scaling of instances.
- Amazon CloudFront: Content delivery network for distributed caching.
- Amazon CloudWatch: Monitoring metrics and logs.
- AWS Trusted Advisor: Optimization and security recommendations.
- Amazon SQS: Decoupling and scaling microservices with queues.
- Amazon SNS: Pub/sub messaging between distributed components.
- AWS KMS: Encrypting and managing access to data.
- AWS IAM: Managing access through identity policies and roles.
- Amazon Cognito: Providing identity to end users.
- AWS Lambda: Running code without provisioning servers.
4. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional Focus
The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification was your original goal.
Now that you have completed the first three certifications, you are finally at the DevOps Engineer learning level.
You will focus on tools for automating, managing, monitoring, and operating distributed systems on AWS.
Essential tools you need to know to pass the AWS Certified DevOps exam include:
- AWS CodeCommit: Hosted Git-based source control service
- AWS CodeBuild: Fully managed build service
- AWS CodeDeploy: Automating software deployments
- AWS CodePipeline: Orchestrating release pipelines
- AWS CodeStar: Develop and deploy AWS applications
- AWS X-Ray: Analyzing and debugging applications
- AWS CloudFormation: Provisioning infrastructure as code
- Amazon ECS: Running containerized applications
- AWS OpsWorks: Automating operations with Chef/Puppet
- Amazon CloudWatch: Monitoring metrics and logs
- AWS Config: Recording and evaluating configurations
- AWS SDK: Building tooling and automation
- AWS CLI: Executing commands through code
- AWS CloudTrail: Logging API and user activity
- Amazon VPC: Launching resources in virtual networks
- AWS Trusted Advisor: Optimization and security recommendations
5. AWS Certified Advanced Networking (a Specialty Certification)
When you reach this point, you will have taken the AWS certification exam four times, earning Developer, SysOps Administrator, Solutions Architect, and DevOps Engineer certifications.
You can safely assume you will be well-rewarded for your work.
However, if you focus on a networking career, you will want this fifth exam to become an AWS Certified Advanced Networking Engineer.
This optional and specialty test focuses on networking services, connectivity options, traffic management, and AWS networking monitoring.
Key tools include:
- Amazon VPC: Designing and implementing virtual private clouds, subnets, route tables, network ACLs, and security groups.
- AWS Direct Connect: Establishing dedicated network connectivity to AWS.
- AWS VPN: Creating secure VPN tunnels to AWS.
- AWS Transit Gateway: Implementing hub-and-spoke network architectures.
- Amazon Route 53: Registering domains and routing traffic globally.
- Amazon CloudFront: Distributing content through a content delivery network.
- Elastic Load Balancing: Distributing application traffic across targets.
- AWS PrivateLink: Enabling private connectivity between VPCs and services.
- AWS Network Firewall: Deploying network firewalls on Amazon VPC.
- AWS Client VPN: Setting up access to VPC resources for remote users.
- AWS Site-to-Site VPN: Establishing connections between on-premise and cloud networks.
- AWS Network Manager: Centrally managing VPCs across accounts and regions.
- AWS CloudTrail: Logging network API calls for auditing.
- Amazon CloudWatch: Monitoring VPC performance metrics.
Professional AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Responsibilities
An AWS DevOps Engineer automates and optimizes the software development lifecycle using AWS services.
The DevOps main responsibilities include:
- Implementing continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines using AWS services like CodeCommit, CodeBuild, CodeDeploy, and CodePipeline to enable frequent and reliable software releases.
- Building and managing infrastructure as code using AWS CloudFormation, Ansible, and Terraform to provision and manage infrastructure efficiently
- Monitoring application and infrastructure performance using AWS services like CloudWatch, X-Ray, and CloudTrail to identify and troubleshoot issues quickly.
- Optimizing application performance and availability using autoscaling, load balancing, caching
- Implementing infrastructure security and compliance practices.
- This includes managing access controls, data encryption, and vulnerability audits.
- Promoting best practices for software development like test automation, source control, code reviews
- Collaborating with software developers, QA engineers, and project managers to improve the software delivery process.
The main skills required of a DevOps Engineer are:
- AWS Services
- Ci/CD Tools
- Configuration Management
How the “Dev” and the “Ops” Work Together (Why Take This AWS Certification Path)?
DevOps is short for “Development” and “Operations.”
It refers to bringing the development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams together to collaborate during the software development lifecycle.
DevOps aims to optimize and integrate the software development and IT operations processes to enable faster and better software delivery.
The key goals of DevOps are:
- Faster time to market: Reduce the time between software changes and deployment to customers
- Improved deployment frequency: Increase the frequency of releases to improve delivery speed.
- Enhanced reliability: Ensure changes and deployments are stable and reliable.
- Shortened lead time: Reduce the time from code commit to deployment.
- Better collaboration: Break down silos between dev and ops teams.
Practical Uses for DevOps Engineer Skills
DevOps engineers work closely with software developers and engineers to implement continuous integration and delivery pipelines, infrastructure as code, and monitoring.
While primarily focused on engineering, DevOps positions interact with several other teams, from IT, operations, and security to leadership, to improve software delivery and availability.
A key role is bringing together expertise across multiple domains.
DevOps engineers typically work across several departments in an organization:
- IT/Operations: They collaborate with IT/Ops teams to administer and manage infrastructure, network, and security required for software delivery.
- Quality Assurance: They partner with QA professionals to ensure quality through test automation, performance testing
- Product Management: DevOps engineers provide feedback on release planning feature development based on deployment capabilities.
- Security: They implement security practices like access controls and vulnerability testing across the delivery pipeline.
- Support: They help troubleshoot and resolve issues in production for a better customer experience.
- Leadership: DevOps engineers guide on improving developer productivity, system stability, and deployment velocity.
Prerequisites for Professional Level Certification
Amazon has a course on preparing for the Professional DevOps exam.
Exam Readiness: AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional is a day-long virtual or classroom advanced class on nothing but DevOps prerequisites.
The advertising and the reality are not in sync, though.
The actual courses offered are one 1-day and one 3-day course in person, in Great Britain, and not online.
I thought it’d be interesting to see what training providers said about DevOps prerequisites.
Global Knowledge is a SkillSoft online training company.
Their DevOps Professional certification course comes with these prerequisites:
- The AWS Certified Developer – Associate certification
- At least two years of experience working in AWS environments
- Experience with AWS:
- developing code
- building highly automated infrastructures
- administering operating systems
Pluralsight is a popular online technical platform that offers a Professional DevOps Engineer certification exam preparation class.
Their prerequisite suggestions include the following:
- 2 years of provisioning, operating, and maintaining AWS resources
- Developer Associate Exam
- SysOps Associate Exam
- Knowledge of software development practices
Just Add AWS Experience to Get AWS Certified
Getting hands-on lab time is the most critical task in preparing for the DevOps exam.
There are several self-paced labs on the AWS website and many more on Udemy’s website.
Take advantage of the learning resources that AWS provides here.
Take free AWS or paid professional courses.
Talk to professionals online about their exam experience.
Resources for DevOps Professional Research
Furthering your education is critical for exam success and career advancement.
Many free and low-cost resources are available to help you prepare for the Professional DevOps Engineer exam.
Use the resources below to gain hands-on practice, test your knowledge, and deepen your understanding of key concepts covered in the certification exam.
Leverage AWS technical documentation, whitepapers, sample questions, and training courses.
Additionally, connect with the AWS community through forums and groups to learn from professionals who have passed the exam. Their insights and tips can prove invaluable.
Invest time studying the services and methodologies central to the DevOps role on AWS.
Mastering the technologies and practices tested will equip you to earn this sought-after certification.
- What is DevOps? (Essay)
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional Exam Guide (PDF)
- AWS DevOps Ramp Up Guide (PDF) (use for SkillBuilder subscription choices)
- Exam Prep Enhanced Course: AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional (DOP-C02 – English) (subscription training)
- Continuous Delivery and Continuous Integration (CD/CI) (User Guide)
- Practicing Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery on AWS (White Paper)
- What is Continuous Delivery? (Essay)
- What is Continuous Integration? (Essay)
- AWS CodePipeline (User Guide)
- AWS CodePipeline (DevOps Tool)
- What is CodeDeploy? (User Guide)
- Exam Prep Official Practice Question Set: AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional (DOP-C02 – English
- Amazon AWS Cloud Institute
Conclusion – Ready to Get AWS Certified?
Following the 5-step certification path outlined here will equip you with the comprehensive AWS and DevOps skills needed to advance your career as a Professional AWS DevOps Engineer.
By progressively mastering the essential services and methodologies tested in each exam, you can demonstrate your expertise in building, deploying, managing, and operating robust cloud-based applications and systems on the AWS platform.
The associate-level certifications lay the foundation for core AWS services, infrastructure architecture, and operations.
The Professional DevOps Engineer certification validates your automation, monitoring, and security abilities needed to oversee modern software delivery pipelines.
The Advanced Networking specialty cements advanced skills for network-focused roles.
With this complete set of credentials, you will showcase competency across the entire AWS stack and DevOps lifecycle.
You will be ready to take on critical roles in delivering business value through consistent, reliable application releases and optimized infrastructure.
Investing in this certification path can pay dividends for your cloud computing career.