Disclaimer – This post is based on my personal experience. I have spent more than 8 months with A Cloud Guru and just a few weeks with other two services – Linux Academy and CloudAcademy. I am NOT associated or affiliated with any of the services and/or product mentioned in the post. If I have misrepresented anything please let me know via comments.
|A Cloud Guru||Linux Academy||CloudAcademy|
|Pricing Model||You buy a particular course and you get lifetime access to the course contents||You get access to the website. As long as you have the access, you can access all the courses. You can start with a trial version which gives you full access||You get access to the website. As long as you have the access, you can access all the courses. You can start with a trial version which gives you full access|
|Courses / Content||Mostly AWS and cloud related course||Wide variety of courses - AWS, Linux, Big Data, Devops, Azure etc||Cloud based courses - including AWS, Azure and Google Cloud.|
|AWS Solution Architect Practice Exams/Quizzes||As of January 2017, it has 1 mini exam, 1 practice exam and 11 quizzes. Almost all topics have quizzes||As of Jaunary 2017, it has just two quizzes - overview quiz and S3 quiz and 1 practice exam||As of April 2017, it has 15 Video Courses, 9 Quiz Sessions and 9 Hands-On Labs|
|Labs||Course videos have labs for most of the topics, you have to follow the video and complete the lab||Course has 9 Live Labs . You can launch and do the live lab in the AWS account created by you by the course||Course has 9 Hands on labs.|
|Mobile Support||You can watch the videos on your mobile device and that's about it. There is no app.||They have a pretty decent mobile app||CloudAcademy has the best mobile app of them|
I will leave the final decision to you. But in my opinion, you can go with this plan
- I think A Cloud Guru courses are a must. Here are the benefits
- Videos are high-quality content and it covers the subject in great depth where required.
- Videos are created with certifications in mind. So you know what is the scope of certification for any given topic.
- Once you buy a course it stays with you. With this, you don’t have a time limit within which you have to finish the course. Not only that, you can refer to the videos even after the certification is done.
- If you are willing to learn from one other source then choose any one of Linux Academy or cloudacademy.com. You can choose both and start with a trial and continue with whichever one you like. Make sure in the trial period you finish all the quizzes and the courses/topics which are not covered by A Cloud Guru in sufficient details(remember the goal is to gain knowledge, not just certification). Remember to download apps for the corresponding course while in the trial period so you can evaluate that aspect of the offering too.
General Certification Tips
- Give ample time to yourself to prep for the certification. If you are aware of work with AWS features already then you need 1-2 months to prepare. If you are new to AWS then you will need more. Much more.
- Do all the quizzes. Repeat. Do all the quizzes again and again. Repeat as long as you don’t get 100% on the quizzes. Some of the questions on the exam are picked directly from the quizzes. Google for AWS quiz and do some of those too.
- Try some mobile apps. Other than the CloudAcademy and LinuxAcademy apps above, I had two more apps on my Android phone. “AWS Tests” and “AWS-Solutions Arch Associate”. These apps are no longer on play store I think. But you can try other apps out there. The benefits of the mobile apps are that you can do a few quizzes, revise some concepts if you have 5-10 minutes of free time. I used these apps before going to bed or in mid of the night when I can’t sleep but too lazy to pick-up a book :). I have read not-so-great reviews about acloudguru mobile app. So use your judgment before spending any money on that.
- You have to finish FAQs and Whitepapers as much as you can
- If you are into Live/In-person classes then you can try out http://awspro.academy/. They will send you a free copy of the Developer Guide.
- Read the forums on acloudguru and other sites to know what kind of questions are being asked.