Why I Pursued an AWS Certification Exam 25 Years into my Career

Jeff Hunsaker
4 min readJul 19, 2020

Begin at the beginning

Image by tjevans from Pixabay

Early in my career as a developer, I passed a lot of Microsoft development-related certifications. They demonstrated I at least took the time to study and learn the material. Maybe I was just decent at taking tests. Having them on my resume never hurt though and I did learn from the exercise.

Much of my career has been spent working for a Microsoft partner organization. My certifications benefited those organizations too — it helps with their partnership obligations. I hold (or held) a host of Scrum.org certifications as well.

I won’t argue the efficacy of certifications or a correlation between great technologists and certifications. My experience has typically been the opposite in that heavily certified professionals aren’t necessarily the strongest.

Certifications seem to benefit the beginner as well as the extremely talented senior professional. Without a proven body of work, a certification signals to others a baseline competency for the novice. In contrast, the toughest certifications (Cisco CCIE, Red Hat RHCA, etc.) are so well-known and respected they set those professionals apart. For folks in the middle, certification may not be the best investment.

With the COVID-19 crisis, a lot of good people will struggle in their careers. Businesses and our economy cannot sustain operations when a fraction of the population is going to restaurants, entertainment, and shopping. If consumers aren’t consuming, neither are businesses. Many jobs will simply vanish. I think this time will accelerate the transformation from physical to digital and dramatically impact careers, entire industries, how we shop/consume, how we learn and educate ourselves, and what it means to navigate one’s career.

To this end, while I try to learn something new every day and am a very curious person and voracious reader and learner, I need a directed path and goals to channel my objective. Structure and some level of guidance help guide me to achievement.

Vendors want people to pursue their certifications. It improves their market position and value. The more folks that hold the certification, the better. As such, there is a huge market and resources to aid in passing…

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Jeff Hunsaker

Curious technologist interested in writing, health, personal improvement, and continuous learning.