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AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate (SAA-C02) Crash Course

Topic: System Administration
Chad Smith

Amazon Web Services certifications have never been more popular as they have become the preferred method for showing mastery of knowledge and skills in the Cloud ecosystem. AWS Certification is an increasingly important credential that companies are looking for when hiring for key technology positions. In AWS, no certification is more important than the Certified Solutions Architect Associate. This exam validates the candidate’s ability to design appropriate architectural solutions in the ever-growing AWS ecosystem.

This course will combine infrastructure diagrams and practice questions that follow the five certification exam question domains. Each question domain point will consist of a summary discussion of the relevant architectural principles and a dissection of practice questions, detailing why each answer choice is either correct or incorrect. This class is an essential part of studying for and passing the test.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

  • The pillars of the Well-Architected Framework
  • Most important concepts from each domain in the exam
  • AWS certification exam general strategies
  • How to design resilient architectures
  • How to design performant architectures
  • How to design secure applications and architectures
  • How to design and recognize cost-optimized architectures
  • The principles behind operational excellence and how this relates to DevOps and DevSecOps

This training course is for you because...

  • You are a certification exam candidate seeking to hone your skills on exam topics
  • You are an Infrastructure or Application architect responsible for designing systems that will be deployed in AWS
  • You are a security or network specialist who will be managing/auditing AWS resources
  • You are a programmer or application engineer who will be developing code to be deployed in AWS
  • You are a functional or technical manager whose team is responsible for AWS infrastructure


  • Solid understanding of technology stacks including ipv4 networking, virtual machines, storage choices and multi-tier application architecture
  • Basic working knowledge of common AWS services such as VPC, EC2, S3, RDS, IAM and others

Course Set-up:

Recommended Preparation:

Recommended Follow-up:

Certification path:

Non-certification path:

About your instructor

  • Chad Smith has worked in IT for 25 years, starting out as a Linux administrator, progressing through operations, network and security in various roles. He is now the Principal Cloud Architect at Brightkey.cloud. Chad is a Certified Architect for both Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. He brings a wealth of personal experience in cloud adoption, infrastructure design, cloud operations and cloud security. He holds current AWS certifications in Architecture, SysOps, Security and Networking, as well as Google Professional Cloud Architect and Associate Cloud Engineer credentials.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Day 1

Exam guide and general strategies - 45m

  • Exam logistics
  • Exam guide discussion
  • Question domain explanation

Design Resilient Architectures - 120m

  • Storage principles
  • Break - 10m
  • High Availability and Fault Tolerance
  • Break - 10m
  • Multi-tier architectures
  • Decoupling mechanisms
  • Break - 10m

Design Performant Architectures, Part 1 - 60m

  • Performant storage and databases
  • Caching solutions
  • Q&A - 5

Day 2

Design Performant Architectures, Part 2 - 30m

  • Elasticity and scalability

Specify Secure Applications and Architectures - 90m

  • Securing application tiers
  • Break - 10m
  • Securing data
  • Single-VPC network security
  • Break - 10m

Design Cost-Optimized Architectures - 60m

  • Cost-optimized storage
  • Cost-optimized compute resources
  • Break - 10m

Define Operationally Excellent Architectures - 30m

  • Principles for enabling operational excellence
  • Q&A - 10