AWS Cloud Practitioner: Passed!

Wednesday (5/19) I passed the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification. This was the first non-Cisco cert that I have taken (outside if ITIL which was work sponsored). It has been about 7 year since I last worked with AWS. When I began studying it was surprised how much I had forgotten about. I also found how narrow my view was back then only focusing on the networking aspects of the early days of the cloud.

The challenging part of this exam for me was the database sections and the billing. The last time I dealt with databases in any form was in college and I don’t remember much about it. Learning the difference between relational and non-relational databases helped me figure out the different offerings in AWS. Without knowing why the differences mattered I couldn’t get through my head what each service did and how they were different. The billing section just felt repetitive and had a lot of tools that all sounded the same.

Overall I thought this was a fair exam and stayed within the blueprint (as vague as that blueprint was). I found Udemy had the best video trainings on this. PluralSight had a few, but nothing as in-depth as Stephane Maarek. Stephane’s Udemy training when over each service and most had a hands on lab. They were short videos that were easy to learn from with great practice tests after each section.

Now that I have gotten my feet wet with the AWS certifications I think I’ll work on the Solution Architect Associate next. It looks closely related to what I just learned and goes a bit further into each of the technologies. It also feels to most relevant towards my job and being able to help my customers or at least understand what they are doing in the cloud and where my integration points are.

DevNet Associate: Passed!

Today I took the DevNet Associate for the second time with a much better result 🙂

Passed the exam, barely, with a 831, but a pass is a pass

I used the Cisco digital learning library, devnet’s getting started guide, youtube videos about python and data-formats and random googling of some of the topics. I also referenced Nick Russo’s study guide and watched all of his videos on Pluralsight. I also had help from friends who have programming experience to help explain some of the topics that I just couldn’t quite understand from reading about them.

For practice, I created a some python scripts, played with different API calls with postman against the DevNet always-on sandbox. The hard part on this was figuring out what problem to solve with creating a script. I found doing things on my home Meraki network and using my Webex Teams instance was the easiest for me to come up with ideas.

This was a challenging exam for me since I have very little programming experience. Once the topics started to click with practical practice and being able to dissect the code apart it made things easier. It was definitely worth the challenge and I’m looking to see what other problems can be solved with programming.

It’s been a year. What’s next?

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted to this blog. I have almost forgotten about it, until the bill showed up 🙂

I’m coming up on a year since I’ve achieved my CCIE and I started to reflect how has it changed my life.

After getting my CCIE I took a break from doing anything networking wise in my personal time. I took a lot of time to fix up things around the house, redid the kitchen, got back into woodworking, built the massive Millennium Falcon lego, basically anything that kept me away from a computer.

The CCIE journey really burnt me out and it took a lot of time to figure out what I wanted to learn next. A few months ago I got interested in Cisco DevNet. I’ve know about this for a long time, but programming never really interested me, I didn’t like it in college and couldn’t really see the use-cases. Until recently that changed when I started playing around with some of the API’s available in Meraki and Webex Teams and seeing some of the power of writing a python script and understanding the API interaction.

This new found interest has lead me down the DevNet Associate path and learn some more about python and how API’s can be used in networking. By no means does this mean I want to be a programmer, however I want a basic understanding of how scripts are made and how to pull them apart.

I have already attempted the DevNet exam once, more to see where I was at in my studying and see where my weak points were. What I found is how much more python I needed to learn. I’ve taken a step back, watch a lot more youtube videos, attended DevNet day and found some more resources to help out. In doing that I’ve also written a couple of scripts focusing on webex teams and just using simple GETs.

The code I have written is not pretty, but it’s functional and that’s all I’m aiming for. I’m sure as time goes on I’ll get better and understand how to write it in a more concise way.

I’ll try and post about this next journey, but at this point I’ve already done a lot of work and didn’t plan on posting about it