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  • Writer's pictureDamien Burks

How I Passed the AWS CDA DVA-C01

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

After I took the AWS CCP, I was tempted to pursue the AWS Certified Developer Associate (CDA) - C01 certification. This was my first associate exam, and I expected it to be somewhat difficult. However, it was extremely difficult for me when I studied and took it for the first time in 2019.

Listed below are the resources I used for studying for the exam:

  1. ACloudGuru's AWS Certified Developer Associate:

  2. Jon Bonso's AWS Certified Developer Associate - Practice Exams:

  3. TutorialsDojo Cheat Sheets:

During the first time, I only leveraged the ACloudGuru course for the AWS CDA and passed their practice exam a few times. This course was about 15 hours at the time with labs included. The labs that ACloudGuru had leveraged Whizlabs, which was pretty awesome. ACloudGuru is an expensive service to use when you are studying for your certification, and at the time, the company that I was working for paid for the service. With all that, I started the course and completed it, including the hands-on labs, within a month and a half. I was not aware nor did I pay for Jon Bonso's practice exams or looked at the cheat sheets. So, I booked the exam on May 4th, 2019, and I failed it with a 674.....

Yes... I was devastated. However, I did not have much experience as a software developer to use deductive reasoning with answering some of the exam questions correctly. When I took the exam, I was about 4-5 months into my position as a software developer. As a result, I took a few months off to focus on my craft as a developer and gain some experience troubleshooting infrastructure and debugging applications. In addition, some of the questions are heavily focused on CI/CD principles and design patterns. If there is anything that I would recommend, it would be to study up on those before attempting to pass this exam. Here is a link to a book that I would highly recommend you read before attempting this exam:

After about 3 months, I decided to go take the AWS CDA again. I still used ACloudGuru due to the free labs and how well they broke down the services. It was also a relatively fast course to complete. However, I took about one month to finish the course content, take notes, and complete all labs.

As I was studying, I stumbled across Jon Bonso's practice exams and the TutorialDojos cheat sheets. I did some research, and those who passed the AWS CDA recommended using the practice exams and cheat sheets as study material. So, I bought the course on Udemy on sale for $19.99.

For the AWS CDA, the scores from the first round of testing ranged from the 40s and 50s, which definitely left me feeling a little upset inside considering this is the second time I'll be taking the exam. So I did some research and read through the practice exam questions. I wrote a lot of the answers down and read the cheat sheets right after before attempting another round of testing. The second round of testing left me with scores ranging between the 70s and mid-80s. At this point, I knew I was ready to take the test. I booked the test for October 6th, 2019, and passed the exam with an 873!

After I took the exam, I wrote down some of the services that I saw that were heavily emphasized on the exam. Listed below is that list of services:

  1. AWS Kinesis Streams

  2. DynamoDB

  3. SQS/SNS (lots of information on this too)

  4. CodeDeploy

  5. CodeBuild

  6. CodeCommit

  7. CloudFormation

  8. Anything dealing with Lambda (just know this is a popular service that developers use)

  9. Elastic Beanstalk

  10. AWS X-Ray (very important service to understand for debugging applications)

This was such a great feeling after failing it the first time and stressing over it again. However, it was well worth it in the end.

I hope this is some help to you all! Good luck passing that exam!


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