I took the exam and I passed. I fell behind on blog updates starting about a month ago but I studied up until the day before the test. I was somewhat disappointed in myself for not keeping my schedule but in the end, I passed and that was the main objective.
Persisting Through Difficulty
First, I want to remind myself and everyone that we are still living through a pandemic. Being a year into it, the abnormality of pandemic life is becoming the new normal. The new normal is still a collective state of crisis, widespread trauma, and loss. Many of us have been not okay for at least the past 12 months.
It’s okay to acknowledge that we aren’t okay. Out of necessity, I’ve developed the ability to be productive at times when I’m in need of rest and care. As I move into a new season of my life, I’m intentional about being kinder to myself. I’m learning to let “good enough” be good enough. I’m learning that I am responsible for asking for the help I need and taking breaks as necessary.
I believe that I hit the “pandemic wall” between my last blog post and this one. I hit the wall, took a moment to recover from the shock, and then went to work on scaling it. To scale the wall means to keep going even if it’s at a slower pace, setting reasonable expectations, focusing on what’s most important, and rationing the energy that is available to me.
All of this is to say, please give grace to yourself and others right now. There’s pressure, even if it’s coming from yourself, to act and perform as if things are normal. Persist, but don’t forget to rest. Don’t be hard on yourself for the times when you are not operating at full capacity.
What I Would Have Done Differently
Near the end of my study period, I started to have doubts that I was ready for the exam. I didn’t take the course that AWS provides until about a month before the exam and by my test date, I hadn’t even finished half of it.
If I had known what I know now when I started studying, I would have started with that course. It makes sense that AWS itself would have the most up-to-date curriculum for its certifications. The videos are well-produced (with transcripts available) and they also present content in text and illustrations. At the end of each lesson, there are links to documentation so you can go deeper on the topic if you choose to.
I’ve secured the certification so what’s next for #NikemaLearns? I have a web project to wrap up with a Hugo site, so I’m sure I’ll be learning and re-learning some things for that. For my next blog series, it’s looking like I’ll be learning and playing with Spinnaker and Armory Enterprise. My AWS CLI is installed and my own namespace is ready to go. Should be fun.
So far, I’ve written about how I’m studying for this exam, but I haven’t shared much about what I’ve learned. I thought it would be fun to make bite-sized presentations covering key topics. I know teaching and sharing learnings are ways to reinforce and solidify new concepts.
I abandoned the idea to review the video course that I completed; that would have been boring. I did start working with the e-book I mentioned last time and I added this video course provided by AWS. I like both resources for different reasons. The AWS course from Amazon does a great job of simplifying terms and making the concepts relatable. The cert guide (e-book) makes it easy to check your understanding and goes into more detail with technical terms.
This will be a short blog post. The work I’ve done in the last two weeks isn’t the kind of work that I have much to say about. In preparation for today’s blog, I made sure to finish the course, set up the repo for notes, and I randomly had the idea to recap the lessons from the course using video (transcript here).
At least now the stage is set. I expect that my next post will be more interesting.
The last thing I want to say is video is hard, but that’s okay. We can do hard things! I’m looking forward to feeling more confident on video and more secure in my knowledge of cloud fundamentals. I’ll get there, it’s just a matter of investing the time and effort to do so.
It is absolutely going to be a thing starting today. I had a goal to go live a few minutes. I did that and I exceeded the goal time. Next time, I’ll be prepared with at least a talking point. The goal today was just to get it done.