In my opinion, motivation is one of the most important keys to success. If you don’t have an inner drive to want to achieve defined goals, you will not achieve them.
By motivation I understand to define personal goals for myself, to which I set a strict deadline in each case. In this case, this means that I set myself a certificate as a goal and plan a realistic time frame in which I will achieve this certificate. In this context, discipline also plays a major role. No procrastination. No excuses. If your goal is important to you, then you take time for it – even if it is theoretically not available to you in your current everyday situation.
If you really want to achieve something, you simply create your time yourself.
In my case, at the beginning of my path to 12 certificates, I was working full-time, was and am at the same time father of two small children, husband, and in addition I worked on my independence. Regardless of this, it was not even an issue for me that I could not pursue my goals due to lack of time.
So I learned meticulously before I went to my full-time job, learned as soon as I was back home, went to bed partly after midnight only to get up again in the early hours of the morning to pick up where I left off at night.
I also had to make some cutbacks in terms of leisure time, which was not always easy. Despite everything, I and my family were always aware during this time that this state would only be temporary and that the more time I invested in my learning process, the faster it
2. Tight schedule
Set yourself a tight and strict schedule. I have spent about a week in each exam to estimate how much preparation time I need in each case. I have kept the preparation time as short as possible and have deliberately set exam dates “early” in order to keep my goal firmly in sight. In addition, this time pressure gave me a boost in motivation and the time I had taken was used 100% effectively. I was not even tempted to postpone the exam unnecessarily or to postpone the date as long as possible.
Another important factor on my way to the 12 certificates was continuous learning. Almost every day before or after work I took at least one hour to learn. This enabled me to build on the topics I had worked on the previous day and my learning flow was not interrupted.
4. Courage for small gaps
Don’t try to learn 100% – don’t get stuck forever on things that are difficult to learn. With this mass of information and learning, it is simply not possible to understand and know EVERYTHING 100%. Try to be able to do something from every area and to master this “something” very well. Create areas in which you are very secure and do not let yourself be unsettled by information you cannot remember.
No person can do everything.
That certain “something” I mentioned earlier, which you should be able to do very well, mainly includes the basics.
It is very important that you have a really good command of the basics, as they are the basis for all AWS exams. If you are uncertain about this, it will make your way to AWS certificates of any kind quite difficult.
The basics include EC2, S3, IAM, VPC and Lambda.
6. Video speed
An important step that has driven my learning process immensely has been to play the videos at an increased speed. I noticed relatively quickly that while watching the videos at normal speed, I often became bored, impatient and ultimately not focused enough.
So I learned to watch most of the videos at 1.75 times the normal speed. For topics that I already knew, I was allowed to watch at 2 times the speed. The same was also the case when I was under time pressure.
Besides all the tight time management, loss of leisure time and lack of sleep, it is especially important to take breaks while learning.
I have never studied more than 1-2 hours in a row. Sometimes I went on short hikes through nature and sat on benches in between to continue learning.
This way I could be in nature and clear my head a little bit while walking, so that I could learn again focused.
8. Putting theory into practice
There are some topics that you should apply in practice to gain real experience in this area. For example, how to create your own VPC and how to set the different settings for it.
Topics I was not sure about yet, I directly looked up again in the AWS Developer Guides to go through them step by step.
9. Do not make notes
Due to the limited time window available to me, I refrained from taking notes. Only in the area of networking I made some sketches to be able to remember different things visually.
My plan is not a “master plan,” as you may have noticed. But it was the plan that worked best for me personally and helped me achieve 11 certificates in just 6 months.
I hope that you can now benefit from my personal experience and wish you success on your way to numerous AWS certificates.
Please let me share your success and link me on LinkedIn.