I am 12X AWS Certified -How does it matter


I have got 7000 odd Linkedin connections and whenever I open my feed I see people posting a screenshot of certificates. 

With the latest trends of 3X <4x <5X something like this…

Are 3 or 4 or More Certificates useful?

If we carefully look into AWS or fact of the matter any certification track of any of the popular cloud vendors we see something of similar line.

For AWS specialty certification, AWS gives an official guideline like below 

Explore our role-based certifications for those in Cloud Practitioner, Architect, Developer, and Operations roles, as well as our Specialty certifications in specific technical areas.

Very clearly 3 or 4 or More certification (Nowadays people have gone beyond single-digit) is not really a true reflection on one’s skill because of below reason

  1. Most of the certifications are not more than 4 to 5 years old so in this short period of time one cannot perform this many roles
  2. Most of the certification is of a similar level in organization hierarchy ex: DevOps engineer, Security specialist, or Data Analytics engineers, so if you want to move up the value chain why should you perform all these roles?
  3. AWS is vast and complex to understand. If you have a look at any 400 Level talk on Youtube ex:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXFooR95BYc you can understand the complexity of a single topic. It’s not humanly possible for one to have a real true hands-on level understanding of all these areas which AWS expects you to be proficient at in each certification.

So obviously people are not really doing what is actually expected from them, gaining HANDS-ON knowledge 

What industry looks for in an AWS candidate

Industry looks for a specialist to a deep understanding of some specific areas (Spanning across cloud platform )which can solve a business problem. If we see the market we will see there are broadly requirement of three kinds of people 

  1. DevOps engineer
  2. Data platform engineer
  3. Security specialist
  4. Solution Architect, Pre Sales BD roles 

If you see a typical job description for any of the above roles. Ex: DevOps engineer will go beyond AWS services across tools and platforms.

Companies love Specialists than generalists. Specialists can replicate their knowledge across platforms and tools chains .

So when you sit for an interview for either of these above roles having multiple certifications in different areas within the same vendor may work against you. 

Certification gold rush and paid Practice question and dump culture 

There are plenty of individuals, companies that are creating brain dumps and candidates are falling pry for them. I will write a detailed article about this, but in a short note, this is what is happening.

  1. People with zero cloud or IT experience are buying dumps or paid practice tests and once they are certified they are wishing for a track change or new jobs
  2. Once they are checking the reality they are having a false notion (Motivated by these companies ) of doing another certification. This creates a vicious circle and takes them away from gaining hands-on knowledge.
  3. There is no difference between Udemy, Braincert practice test with something like pass4sure its all the same. AWS in spite of all their NDA is not able to stop this circle.
AWS is not about wordy multiple choice objective question or Chetseets

Multiple AWS certification is not bad always

There are some very specific roles for which multiple AWS certifications can work very well

  1. You are a Technical content creator for a Learning and Development company
  2. You work in Sales and Business development role ( Personally I have seen these people to hide from the developer and true architects or product experts if a discussion is a bit deep)
  3. You are already 12 years or more experienced with good connections and just want to flash the certification for a new role (This works in Senior Manager and above level where people are already outdated)
  4. You work in a company which concentrates heavily in sales through AWS marketplace (These are getting fewer day by day)

What you should focus on

There is no denying the fact there are some outstanding people with multiple certifications coupled with massive knowledge but if you want to learn AWS concentrate on HANDS-ON Knowledge.

Spend your time in 

Break your head in keyboard after getting stuck for hours on google. Look at the work of these great engineers and appreciate the time they have spent to create these solutions with hours of effort (Without thinking much about validations in terms of certifications).

There is no easy way to success and gain knowledge, Linkedin certification post is as good as Facebook or Instagram selfies. 

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