AWS Certified Developer - Associate Guide - Second Edition

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By Vipul Tankariya , Bhavin Parmar
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    Overview of AWS Certified Developer - Associate Certification
About this book

This book will focus on the revised version of AWS Certified Developer Associate exam. The 2019 version of this exam guide includes all the recent services and offerings from Amazon that benefits developers.

AWS Certified Developer - Associate Guide starts with a quick introduction to AWS and the prerequisites to get you started. Then, this book will describe about getting familiar with Identity and Access Management (IAM) along with Virtual private cloud (VPC). Next, this book will teach you about microservices, serverless architecture, security best practices, advanced deployment methods and more. Going ahead we will take you through AWS DynamoDB A NoSQL Database Service, Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) and CloudFormation Overview. Lastly, this book will help understand Elastic Beanstalk and will also walk you through AWS lambda.

At the end of this book, we will cover enough topics, tips and tricks along with mock tests for you to be able to pass the AWS Certified Developer - Associate exam and develop as well as manage your applications on the AWS platform.

Publication date:
June 2019


Overview of AWS Certified Developer - Associate Certification

First of all, congratulations on choosing this book and beginning your journey towards earning AWS Certified Developer Associate certification. As the saying goes, a good beginning is half done. You have set a target and taken the first step towards it. If you follow the instructions in this book, it will certainly help you complete the certification exam.

To start with, let's first discuss a number of certifications offered by AWS and see where the AWS Certified Developer Associate certification stands with respect to other AWS certifications.

AWS mainly provides certifications for four roles: AWS Cloud practitioner, architect, developer, and operations. As you can see in the AWS certification path section in the following diagram, AWS Cloud Practitioner is a foundation course for the architect, developer, and operations roles. The foundation course is the same for every role-based certification path. The AWS Certified Developer – Associate certification falls under the developer role. The AWS Cloud Practitioner certification is good to have, but it is not mandatory for either of the associate-level certifications. Each of the chapters in this book begins with foundational knowledge of the relevant service and subsequently gets into the details of all the topics that are required to pass the Developer Associate exam.

The following diagram describes the AWS certification path for all the certifications with AWS:

Figure 1.1: AWS certification path

After passing the AWS Certified Solution Architect – Associate exam, you can take the AWS Certified Solution Architect – Professional exam. Similarly, after passing the AWS Certified Developer – Associate exam, you can take the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional exam. The same goes for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate exam. The professional-level path for Developer and SysOps remains the same. AWS also provides specialty certifications for advanced networking, big data, and security. You can take a specialty certification exam only if you have at least one of the role-based certifications, either at associate or professional level.

Each of these certification exams has its own difficulty level. The following diagram indicates the difficulty level of each of the certification exams and highlights where the AWS Certified Developer – Associate exam stands in terms of difficulty:

Figure 1.2: AWS certification exam difficulty levels

As you begin your journey towards the certification, you may have a number of questions running through your mind. This chapter covers a number of such questions, the ones that are frequently asked by beginners. Let's see how you should start preparing for the exam.

Amazon publishes an official blueprint for each of its certification exams. The blueprint explains the scope of the exam, the prerequisites for taking the exam, and the knowledge required to pass the exam. The blueprint may change from time to time, and you should look out for the latest copy of the blueprint for the exam from Amazon.

At the time of writing this chapter, the official blueprint for the AWS Certified Developer – Associate exam is available at these URLs:

The exam scope is divided into five domains, as shown in the following table, with their respective weighting in the exam:

Serial no.


% weighting in the exam


Domain 1: Deployment



Domain 2: Security



Domain 3: Development with AWS services



Domain 4: Refactoring



Domain 5: Monitoring and troubleshooting





Frequently asked questions about the exam

The following are the questions that are frequently asked:

  1. Are there any prerequisites for the AWS Certified Developer – Associate exam?

There are no prerequisites for the AWS Certified Developer – Associate exam; however, it is recommended that the person preparing for this exam has some prior knowledge or hands-on experience in development.

  1. What is the total duration of the exam?

A total of 130 minutes are given to you to complete the exam.

  1. How many questions are asked in the exam?

There are around about 60-65 questions in the exam. The number of questions may vary depending on the complexity of the questions asked.

  1. What types of question are asked in the exam?

The exam asks multiple-choice questions. It gives a question with multiple answers, and you have to choose one or more right answers from the given list of answers. We have provided some mock tests at the end of the book. You can practice and test your knowledge after you finish reading the book.

  1. Where can I register for the exam?

Amazon has partnered with PSI for its certification exams. PSI centers are spread across the globe. You can go to and create an account if you do not already have one, or log in with your existing account. After logging in to the site, you can follow the exam registration process on the site to register for the exam at an exam center near you.

  1. How much does it cost to register for the exam?

There are two types of exam: practice and final. The associate-level practice exam costs $20, and the final exam costs $150.

  1. How should I prepare for the exam?

Here's what is recommended to prepare for the exam:

    • Carefully read all the chapters in this book.
    • Follow all the tips and tricks in the book.
    • Go through the mock tests at the end of the book.
    • Go through the whitepapers mentioned in the blueprint.
    • Read the FAQs for each of the services given in the book.
  1. What is the passing score for the exam?

You have to score 720 out of a total of 1,000.

  1. How should I answer the questions in the exam?

The exam poses scenario-based questions. There may be more than one right answer, but you have to choose the most suitable answer(s) out of the given answers. We suggest using the elimination theory whenever you face difficulties answering a question. Start discarding the wrong answers first. When you start eliminating the wrong answers, you may automatically be able to find the right answer, because the eliminated answers will reduce your confusion. Also, do not spend a lot of time on a question if you do not know the answer. Instead, mark the question for review. The exam interface keeps track of all the questions marked for review, and you can revisit them before submitting the final exam.

About the Authors
  • Vipul Tankariya

    Vipul Tankariya has a broad range of experience in cloud consulting, development, and training. He has worked with a number of customers across the globe, solving real-life business problems in terms of technology and strategy. He is also a public speaker at various AWS events and meetups. He has not only extensively worked on AWS, but is also certified in five AWS certifications. He is an accomplished senior cloud consultant and technologist with more than 21 years of experience. He is focused on strategic thought leadership concentrated around next-generation cloud-based solutions. He has a lot of experience in working on DevOps, CI/CD, and automation at each level of the delivery lifecycle of products, solutions, and services on the cloud.

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  • Bhavin Parmar

    Bhavin Parmar has a broad range of experience in cloud consulting, development, and training. He actively participates in solving real-life business problems. He has not only extensively wor

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Latest Reviews (7 reviews total)
Needed for exam in conjunction with other training (Udemy)
The book makes understanding the AWS service easy.
My e-book was not properly edited, so on my e-reader there was a problem with images and long text citations. There are moments which are not explain enough so it is hard to understand it.
AWS Certified Developer - Associate Guide - Second Edition
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