Amazon Web Services expands cloud training portfolio with new cert

Cloud sunburst

There's good news for IT pros interested in cloud computing: Amazon Web Services recently announced the beta launch of its newest professional-level certification, the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer. Announced Nov. 7, the new exam "is intended to identify individuals who are capable of implementing and managing systems which are highly available, scalable and self-healing on the AWS platform," according to the press release. The DevOps is AWS's fifth certification, following three associate level exams and one professional level exam since AWS launched its certification program last year.


This is not a simple internal corporate cert, either. Over the past eight years Amazon has become the cloud-computing powerhouse of the world, providing services that are reliable, flexible and scalable. Amazon has been aggressive in its innovation, and its breakneck pace has made it possible for the behemoth to leave many smaller and slower companies in the dust. Much of their success can be attributed to their unparalleled customer support, a godsend for clients unfamiliar with emergent and rapidly advancing cloud tech.


According to Gartner Research, AWS has five times more deployed cloud infrastructure than its closest 14 competitors combined, and they boast over 600 government agencies and 2,400 educational websites as clients. A certification for Amazon's cloud may not technically be completely sound everywhere, but it will also not be quickly dismissed.


Amazon needs people who understand cloud tech to support its rapidly-growing IaaS, which is not an easy task when most IT pros have been trained up in the old physical-infrastructure model. Leaving behind the world of the tangible, the cloud moves into virtual machines and variable requirements, demanding that the technician knows how to scale between a private individual running a small game server and a Fortune 500 company demanding huge amounts of bandwidth and storage space.


Applications developed on the platform need to be able to adapt as well. Amazon offers a "pay for use" model, meaning that if more infrastructure is required at certain times, everything should be ready to scale up. This highly-customizable aspect of the cloud adds an extra dimension of difficulty to application design. So for the most part, knowing how to program for a single machine or network with finite and static specs is not going to cut it anymore.


Applicants for the new DevOps certification are required to have already obtained either of two associate level exams: the AWS Certified Developer, and the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator. Additionally, applicants are expected to have two or more years of experience provisioning, operating, and managing AWS platforms, a firm grasp of a high-level programming language, experience in automation scripting or coding, and an understanding of Agile and other development processes.


The new certification is still in beta, but can be taken at Amazon's Las Vegas Re:Invent conference this week (through Friday). After that, the exam will become globally available at Kryterion testing centers worldwide. Applicants can schedule an exam through the AWS website. The registration fee is $150, and the exam is 170 minutes in length.

Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author
David Telford

David Telford is a short-attention-span renaissance man and university student. His current project is the card game MatchTags, which you can find on Facebook and Kickstarter.