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Philip Afable

Cloud Certifications: AWS DevOps Engineer Professional

Philip Afable

  • Oct 22, 2020
  • 8 Min read
  • Oct 22, 2020
  • 8 Min read
Cloud Fundamentals
Cloud Fundamentals


The whole concept of DevOps is to combine aspects of development and operations. Its implementation has the intended effect of removing silos between teams, and with the addition of automation, it has improved the time it takes to deliver reliable software to market.

The AWS DevOps Engineer Professional certification encompasses a wider and deeper understanding of AWS. It will test your abilities to construct and operate AWS-based solutions while using software development processes like continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD).

Who the Certification is For

The AWS DevOps Engineer Professional certification is for seasoned AWS professionals looking to automate aspects of their AWS environment. If you want to solidify and validate your automation skills and knowledge of troubleshooting, this AWS certification will definitely put that knowledge to the test.

This exam is perfect for those with a development or operations background. By following a DevOps work-flow within AWS, deployment of solutions can be completed with high velocity and little to no manual intervention.


This certification will validate your knowledge of AWS with a focus on automation, high availability, monitoring, and continuous delivery. If errors occur during the software development lifecycle, there are safeguards that can intervene to correct an issue automatically by leveraging automation in AWS.

The Exam

There is only one exam applicable to the AWS DevOps Engineer Professional. Introduced in February of 2019, the DOP-C01 is the exam you need to pass in order to obtain this certification. Like every other AWS certification exam, it is a multiple-choice exam. However, since it is a professional level certification, you are given a total of 180 minutes to complete it. The minimum passing mark you will need to obtain is 750 out of 1000.


Although there are no formal prerequisites to take the DOP-C01, AWS recommends at least two years of experience provisioning, operating, and maintaining AWS resources. If you have taken the associate-level exams, such as Developer and SysOps, this exam builds upon the knowledge from those certifications. An understanding of development practices and software deployment practices is good to have because this certification will use those foundations and delve even deeper.

If you feel confident in your knowledge of AWS and DevOps in general, you may take the exam immediately without having to pass the associate exams (Developer or SysOps).

Skills Measured

DOP-C01 will test you on the following five domains:

  1. SDLC automation
  2. Configuration management and infrastructure as code
  3. Monitoring and logging
  4. Policies and standards automation
  5. Incident and event response
  6. High availability, fault tolerance, and disaster recovery

If you have taken the previous version of the AWS DevOps Engineer Professional exam, you may remember that there were only four domains. In this latest incarnation, AWS has added "Configuration management and infrastructure as code" and "Incident and event response", along with an emphasis on automation.

Your skills as a developer and operator be examined for how well you can package code and deploy software in an iterable way within the AWS ecosystem. AWS aims to be a one-shop location for all of your DevOps needs, so expect lots of services used in interesting ways.

Although this is not a complete list, expect to be questioned on Lambda, Cloudformation, CodePipeline, CodeBuild, Kinesis, DynamoDB, and deployment strategies. The questions are not as straightforward as those on the associate exams, so take it slow and read the lengthy paragraphs thoroughly. Each question will set up a scenario for you to diagnose and select the best answer to correct a problem.

Pluralsight Courses

Pluralsight can help you achieve one of the pinnacle certifications for AWS with the following courses:

  • Wes Novak's DevOps on AWS: Getting Started will walk you through AWS's "code suite" (CodeDeploy, CodeBuild, and CodePipeline). The AWS code services will become a staple service in your DevOps workflow to accomplish CI/CD.

  • If you're looking for a general course, Mike Pfeiffer's Continuous Delivery Automation AWS Certified DevOps Engineer is great start. Even though it was created with the previous exam version in mind, the explanation of the various AWS services is still relevant for the current exam version.

Other Resources

Like the other AWS certification exams, whitepapers contain a vast wealth of knowledge to assist you in the exam.

Three notable whitepapers on this topic include:

These whitepapers illustrate how to implement DevOps within AWS. The focus is using software development practices to minimize regressions and automate as many manual processes as possible. Pay particular attention to the whitepaper titled "Introduction to AWS DevOps on AWS", which provides use cases and insights on how to implement AWS services following DevOps principles.

Compensation and Employment Outlook

The compensation for an engineer holding the AWS DevOps Engineer Professional certification is tremendously lucrative. It's quite common for salaries to range north of $100K a year, much more for those with substantial industry experience.

These engineers know AWS inside out and have a solid understanding of how to use it in a way that accomplishes continuous delivery and automation of resources. The focus of their work is using code and various AWS services to streamline and automate processes. This in turn allows an organization to become agile and increases the velocity of pushing out rock solid code.

The Certification Path

This certification is one of two professional-level certifications offered by AWS. As stated earlier, this is the highest level certification one can achieve for the Developer and SysOps paths. The DevOps certification marries the SysOps and Developer certification paths into one professional level certification. The certification will test your technical troubleshooting and automation abilities by harnessing the AWS cloud.


The AWS DevOps Engineer Professional certification combines knowledge learned from both the Associate Developer and SysOps Administrator certifications. It is a professional level certification, so you can expect to put in significantly more time studying. The key focus of this certification is implementing DevOps principles within AWS. Everything, including monitoring, automation, and CI/CD, can be done in AWS. By implementing DevOps in your AWS environment, you can achieve faster code delivery in an automated fashion while being able to react quickly to changes.