Let’s Explore the Cloud Certification Journey

Anyone who knows me knows this is a passion of mine.

Everyone I know on a Cloud Certification Journey has or has had a very personal and different journey.

Each person having different motivations that drive them for the certifications, whether that is:

  • for career recognition and progression
  • learning and growing their knowledge
  • or to simply have badges of honor

Each drive varies the pursuit plan and ultimately the outcome.

Let’s explore this further.

Before you start

About this post:

  • 5 – 10 min average reading time
  • Suitable for beginner through to advanced

What you will gain reading this post:

  • Insights into my Cloud Certification Journey
  • Insights into what to expect from a Cloud Certification Journey
  • Benefits that come from a Cloud Certification Journey

What you can do to help support:

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Now, let’s get started.

Why go on a Cloud Certification Journey?

To begin, let’s clarify what is a Cloud Certification Journey? It begins with the acquisition of two or more certification.

As people work towards getting a cloud certification, it is usually because they are driven by a specific motivation. This motivation is different for each person, but most of the time from what I have seen it has been because they are trying to:

  • gaining career recognition or progression
  • learn and gain knowledge
  • gaining badges of honor

All of these are valid reasons, if done in the correct manner, meaning, learning and retaining knowledge rather than studying purely to pass the certification.

Once the first certification is complete it usually opens the door to other certifications, due to specialisations, additional details and service offering, etc.

For some this become a passion for others an obsession, seeking out all the certifications.

  • in some circumstances this can put a negative spin on your career
  • a certification can assist in getting an interview but experience and knowledge will get you past it
  • while you can get career recognition and progression, these will actually be side effects from the knowledge you gain and demonstrate

Certifications is not the same as experience and do not truly reflect that, it is a lot of knowledge to retain and employers know this.

I strongly believe in the Cloud Certification Journey but the motivation should ultimately be to:

  • walk away with knowledge
  • to learn something new

If however you have this already, due to your career, then to show your willingness to learn and gain knowledge would also make for a positive motivation.

What is my Cloud Certification Journey?

For me, the journey started a few years ago when I was working in a development role and I wanted to better understand a concept that was abstracted away from me, that concept was “the cloud”, in particular, AWS.

I started with what was relevant for me at the time, and that was AWS certifications. I was aspiring to become an Architect, and I decided that the AWS Certified Solution Architect – Associate certification was the best choice for me.

After achieving that certification, I discovered that there was a wealth of knowledge to be gained. With the growing concept of “the cloud”, and the rise of multi cloud, I took on a challenge issued to me to become GCP Professional Cloud Architect certified within a three month period, it was the right decision for me.

Next I decided to tackle the remaining big cloud provider Azure, Azure Fundamentals was being offered for free at the time and a great opportunity for me to break into the Azure space.

I was very impressed with the capabilities and offering of the various cloud providers.

So I decided to continue along the journey. However rather then take the path that others were taking by challenging themselves to get all certification for a single or multiple cloud providers.

I wanted to target specific certification across multiple cloud providers that would support me in my career path and be relevant making it easier to retain knowledge, and therefore the next one I took on was the AWS Certified Security Speciality.

My journey is still going and I am still seeking the following AWS Certified Solution Architect – Professional & AWS Certified Advanced Networking Speciality while trying to maintain re-certifications.

It can be tough to manage with family, work, life commitments and the time it takes complete them and then needing to re-invest time in re-certifications, but for me the outcome has outweighed the investment and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Who are influencers in this space?

There are many people participating in this space and are making a name for themselves, the community has and is growing, but for me there are a few key influencers that have inspired me and while they are growing in reputation.

They continue to remain humble, engage actively with the community and continue to help people around them, these people for me are and have been a blessing:

I would encourage you to connect & follow these people. I’m sure you will receive a positive impact on your journey.

What can make you stand out from the crowd?

It really is quite simple, don’t take shortcut and put in the hard work.

  • Put in the effort to learn the content, not just to answer the question in the certification
  • Be able to perform the job
  • Be clear on the end goal e.g. do you want to be knowledgeable in multi cloud?
  • Always keep a level of being hands-on, depending on your role your may be completely hand-off, and that is completely fine, but ensure you set time aside to remain technical and hand-on, it will pay off
  • Be a mentor, support, and active community member
  • Pursuit creditable study sources, don’t cheat yourself with brain dumps
  • Challenge yourself and others and share the knowledge you have
  • Always remain thirsty to learn, there is always an opportunity to learn

What will Cloud Certification give you?

Understanding the Cloud is and will continue to remain crucial in growing your technical career.

As you climb the ranking in your organisation or strive to grow your own business, you will find that the knowledge you have gained about the cloud will help you in making pivotal decisions.

As an employer, leader, manager, executive

Let’s take a look from the perspective of an employer, leader or manager.

As the demand for data centers diminishes and the growth of cloud based solution grow. Having the acquired knowledge can benefit your organisation or business particular in terms of costs, timelines and strategies, these certifications are not just targeted at the technical developers but are able to help you grow your knowledge in high level capabilities, and many individual including C level executives are seeking these certifications.

In the workforce it is crucial that your engineers and architects have a good in depth understand of the cloud and its capabilities including the details.

These people make most of the technical decisions and have an large impact that is highly influential to the success of your organisation or business strategy for delivering your solutions, by setting up your people to get these certifications, it will really ensure that they have the correct knowledge to make the right decisions.

As an individual

Now onto a personal level, having these certifications help to provide you with the knowledge you require to perform your job activities, it is key to know that the certifications alone are not the enough, and you really require experience, however if you are not actively in a role getting that experience or new to the industry, this is a great opportunity to open you up do some experience.

Yes I hear you, what about those people that who have been in the role for years and have all that knowledge, well the certifications are a way to demonstrate to your employer that you have an interest in learning and growing, as well as help provide future potential employers take note and increase your chances of scoring interviews where you can shine and demonstrate your knowledge.

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Author: Robert Leggett

I am a passionate, pragmatic and focused leader for people and technology. I love to converse in Spanish, play video games and spend time with my family.

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