Linux Academy student Shyam R., Senior Member of Technical Staff, Developer, at AthenaHealth, took the leap to learn about AWS for his career, and went on to earn 2 Associate and 2 Professional certifications (4 certifications!) in one year! Read about his journey and how he made this happen below.
Tell us a little bit about your background! How did you get into AWS?
I did my schooling and got into a good college, where I did my master’s in software engineering. I always liked software engineering and thought of myself as a good software engineer. After college, I ended up in a big MNC as a software engineer. After working there for a few years, I switched to another company and am doing great. There was a dev seminar one day, and a guy from Amazon was explaining about all AWS features. I was like: “Wow, that’s very interesting. I should definitely learn more about it.” And that’s how I got into AWS.
What has your career been like?
Throughout my career, I have been working as a developer. The companies in which I worked were only based on on-prem or just started to use the public cloud services. My exposure to the public cloud is very slim. In my current company, I work as a developer, and we just started to use AWS — we are at the starting point of breaking our monolith app into microservices.
What made you choose Linux Academy over other training companies?
After I decided to learn about AWS, I went online and learned about all the AWS services in random. Back then, I didn’t know there used to be a certification for AWS. When I came to know about AWS certifications, I thought that would be a good motivator for learning AWS. I came across multiple online training companies, but honestly, I chose Linux Academy back then because it was a bit cheaper than the others. And only after subscribing, I found out Linux Academy had Hands-On Labs and a variety of video content like no other online training company. And I’m so happy I made that decision.
You mentioned in your community post that you have gotten two Associate and two Professional certifications in one year. Which ones are they?
As many suggested, I started off with Solutions Architect – Associate. I was so afraid I wouldn’t pass. So I learned until I really felt comfortable. After five months of preparation, I passed. I then attempted the Developer – Associate on the very next month — as there was a lot of overlap, the exam felt so easy. My initial plan was to do all the Associate exams and go for the next cloud provider. But when I was starting to learn for SysOps Administrator – Associate, Linux Academy released the new DevOps prep course. I was so excited about it and took the course. As I already did have my Developer -Associate, I decided to give it a go for the DevOps – Pro and passed. As much as the Professional exams were hard, I found it very challenging and fun. So I decided to go with the Solution Architect – Professional. The more I learned for the exam, the more I got excited about it. I finally took the exam and passed it with a good percentage.
What has been your biggest motivator to accomplish this?
Having a full-time job, personal life, learning about AWS, and balancing all these has been challenging. My greatest motivator is what the cloud could offer and learning about it. Getting a certification has also been a great motivator and also very rewarding.
What features within the Linux Academy platform have been the most valuable during your studies?
The course videos are great. It’s not that the course authors just talk over PowerPoint — they explain the features with live hands-on environments and Lucidcharts. Not to mention the Hands-On Labs, which are a great way to get your hands dirty by playing around with AWS. Linux Academy also has a new feature, the Cloud Playground, which is a good way to learn about AWS features.
Did you go through a learning pathway on our platform?
I did choose the Amazon Web Services – Master Level Learning Path. I started with AWS Concepts, and then all Associate-level prep courses. For the Professional-level apart from prep courses, I also took other courses like Manage and Deploy Code with AWS Developer Tools.
Is there anything you would do differently looking back?
The more I learn about AWS, the more I understand about Linux’s importance. Now I learn about Linux side by side when I learn about AWS. If there is anything I would do differently, I would have subscribed to Linux Academy earlier and mastered Linux.
What’s the best piece of advice you would give to a new Linux Academy student?
There are numerous courses in Linux Academy, and it might get us excited and jump from one course to another. I would like to say, “Eating an elephant can only be done one way: one bite at a time.” Anyone who would like to start with AWS, like Anthony says, “The more the hands-on, the more you will learn a lot about the services.” Not just the Hands-On Labs that Linux Academy offers, but we need to spin up an AWS account and take advantage of the free tier and play around with it.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently learning for AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty. I plan to complete the specialties before April 2019. And when Google Cloud Next 2019 starts, I wanna start with GCP. My goal for 2019 is to complete all AWS and GCP certifications and hopefully start with Azure.
Your goal for 2019 is very inspiring! If you could say one thing about your experience with Linux Academy, what would it be?
Phenomenal! I just signed on to learn about AWS — now I’m inspired to learn about every cloud provider and more. Be it cloud, Linux, Big Data, DevOps, Networking — you have everything in one place to learn about it all, and I find that exciting and learn more about it. It would have not been possible without Linux Academy.
Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us, Shyam! Best of luck in the AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty course, and we wish you great success in 2019!