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AWS has extended its recertification period meaning that customers are now only required to recertify every three years, whilst also revealing updates to two Professional-level exams – AWS Certified Solutions Architect and AWS Certified DevOps Engineer.

Firstly to the news on recertification, with customers now able to recertify every three years, rather than the previous two, thereby offering greater flexibility to both individuals and businesses.

Importantly, AWS has also relaxed the rules regarding the prerequisite qualifications needed prior to pursuing higher level certifications. The result is that candidates now have the option to attempt any exam at any time, regardless of level or type. In other words, candidates are no longer required to have an Associate-level certification before pursuing Professional-level certification and they don’t need to have Foundational or Associate certification before pursuing Specialty certification. Nevertheless, AWS still encourages candidates to pursue its recommended learning paths, as they advance and validate their skills.

In terms of recertification, the options differ depending on the level of the certification:

• You can recertify for the Foundation-level certification by either taking the Cloud Practitioner exam or earning an Associate-level or Professional-level certification
• When it comes to the Associate-level certification, you can take the Associate-level exam for the certification you already have; alternatively, you can satisfy the recertification requirement by passing either the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional exam for the Architect path or the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional exam for the Developer or Operations path
• For both the Professional-level and Specialty certification, you will be required to retake the current exam for the certification you already hold.

Because AWS releases such a wide range of new features and services each year, recertification is seen as key to demonstrating continued expertise. This continuity is also reflected in the news of the two restructured Professional-level certification exams that include new features and best practices.

Let’s take a look at the key points of these revamped Professional exams:

• The AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam validates advanced technical skills and experience in designing distributed applications and systems on the AWS platform. In its new form, it now covers five domains:
o design for organisation complexity
o design for new solutions
o migration planning
o cost control
o continuous improvements for existing solutions
• The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer exam tests the candidate’s technical expertise in provisioning, operating and managing distributed applications systems on the AWS platform. The revised content now covers six domains:
o SDLC automation
o configuration management and infrastructure as code
o monitoring and logging
o policies and standards automation
o incident and event response
o high availability, fault tolerance, and disaster recovery.

In terms of prerequisites, as we mentioned earlier, AWS now only recommends that candidates have an Associate-level certification before taking Professional-level exams.

Matt Barclay

Solutions Architect

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