How to Prepare for AWS Certified Developer Associate Certification (DVA-C01) ?

The AWS Certified Developer Associate certification showcases knowledge and understanding of core AWS services, uses, and basic AWS architecture best practices, and proficiency in developing, deploying, and debugging cloud-based applications by using AWS. Preparing for and attaining this certification gives certified individuals more confidence and credibility. Organizations with AWS Certified developers have the assurance of having the right talent to give them a competitive advantage and ensure stakeholder and customer satisfaction.

Who should take this exam ?

AWS Certified Developer – Associate certification exam is a great starting point on the AWS Certification path for individuals who may have any of the following:

  • Experience working in a developer role with in-depth knowledge of at least one high-level programming language.
  • Experience in AWS technology.
  • Strong on-premises IT experience and understanding of mapping on-premises to cloud.
  • Experience working in other cloud services like microsoft azure, GCP, IBM cloud, etc…

What you’ll learn while preparing for this exam :

Preparing for and attaining this certification will showcase :

  • Understanding of core AWS services, uses of the services, and basic AWS architecture best practices, including the AWS Shared Responsibility Model, application lifecycle management, and the use of containers in the development process.
  • Proficiency in developing, deploying, and debugging cloud-based applications using AWS and writing code for serverless applications.
  • Ability to identify key features of AWS services and use the AWS service APIs, AWS CLI, and SDKs to write applications.
  • Ability to apply a basic understanding of cloud-native applications to write code.
  • Ability to author, maintain, and debug code modules on AWS.

Why AWS Certified Developer Associate Certification ?

Now that more and more applications are built & migrated to the cloud it is becoming a norm for enterprises to ask a developer to have knowledge in the cloud. Due to the close working and fading gap between cloud engineer’s and developer’s responsibilities while developing an application, developer’s with cloud proficiency are highly valued. AWS DVA is the certification that will establish a developer’s competency in using AWS for application development.

Apart from developers, cloud engineers or devops engineers can also take this certification to showcase their competency in PaaS services like AWS cloudformation, AWS elastic beanstalk, AWS lambda, SAM framework, etc which are not covered in depth in AWS solutions architect associate level certification. This certificate also helps cloud/devops engineers show that they have enough development knowledge required to support developers.

How to prepare for this certification exam ?

Now that we know who, what and why of the exam, let’s look into the “How” part of it.

Whenever taking a certification of AWS associate level it is expected for the candidate to have at least 1 year of hands-on experience. So it is of paramount importance for you to perform exercises in hands-on lectures as suggested in the exam course if you don’t have the prescribed experience. Even if you have the experience it never hurts to get a refresher!

For the exam only one learning course and one practice exams bundle are enough which are mentioned below :

This is the one stop solution if you want to get AWS DVA certified. The course covers every topic expected in the exam + a few extra details that will help you enhance your AWS knowledge and make you understand things better. There are handson lectures as well which you can practise along if you don’t have working experience with AWS. The course also has a short quiz after the end of each module which will help you verify your understanding of that module.

The course is neatly distributed into sections based on exam syllabus. The concepts are explained with the help of visual representations and in a proper flow which makes it easy for you to sail through the course. There are introduction to related concepts for the concerned AWS resources also like introduction to docker for AWS ECS & introduction to YAML for AWS cloudformation.

The course includes one practice test and a few lectures at the end that tell you everything about how to register for the exam and other details on getting extra time and discounts for the exam.

Course link –Ultimate AWS Certified Developer Associate 2022 – NEW!

This course has more than 400 videos and 30+ hrs content, it might feel overwhelming to go through all this stuff at first glance. To help you with planning and getting through the course to prepare for the AWS DVA exam I have added some tips below in this article.

This practice exams bundle has 6 exam sets which are based on the real exam pattern and it is a great way to see if you are ready for the exam. It also helps you identify your weak spots so you can revisit those topics. If you pass the practice exams with 90%+ score then there are high chances you will pass the exam for sure!

I will recommend you to take these practice exams when you are less than 10 days away from giving your AWS DVA exam and after completing your learning course. If you solve these before this timeframe you might forget the question patterns and will be more prone to repeat the same mistakes.

Note – You can skip the practice exam in “Ultimate AWS Certified Developer Associate 2022 – NEW!” if you are giving the practice exams in this course as those same questions will be covered in this one as well.

Practice Exams Bundle link – AWS Certified Developer Associate [4 Practice Exam Tests]

  • Bonus (Optional) : AWS official tests

AWS has its own official sample and practice tests which you must go through before taking the exam. Combined these both have 20+10 = 30 questions which will help you better understand the scenarios that might appear in the exam. Below are the links-

AWS official practice test (DVA) – Practice-tests

AWS official Sample questions (DVA) – Sample Questions

Advice & Tips on How to Prepare for the exam :

  • Set a deadline

I have completed 4 certifications in the past 9 months (Including AWS DVA & AWS SAA). Many people tell me that they were struggling with their first certification itself! I always suggest people to have deadlines set for their certification exam also. Depending on your level of preparation for the exam you can schedule your exam max up to 3 months later(in case you are yet to start). Schedule your exam pay your fees and promise yourself to not reschedule it! Deadline forces you to commit yourself more strongly!

  • Plan milestones to meet the deadline

Let us consider the course suggested above, it has 33 sections and 400+ lectures of approx 32 hrs of content. Now that you have set your deadline after 90 days from today, assuming you are going to start from scratch. You can decide to have weekly milestones so that you will be exam ready before the 90th day. So you break the course as –

400/10 = ~40 lectures per week for 10 weeks

(You can divide by sections/number of hours per week as well)

Remaining 2 weeks can be utilised to solve the practice exam sets and revising the weak topics.

I have followed the same practice for every certification or for other tasks as well. It helps you get things done and to have a track of it.

  • Don’t just get the certificate get the proficiency as well

If you are a student, a fresher or a working professional willing to change roles/job it is very important for you to “Know” the stuff. If you are AWS DVA certified and you are mentioning it in your resume then you should expect the interviewer to ask you the questions based on the PaaS services as well. You should be prepared with the answers to these questions because you get an edge over non-certified candidates if you answer correctly but if you are not able to answer the interviewer’s questions correctly your other credibility is lost and your chances of selection are reduced.

Hence, I sincerely request you to not just learn for the exam but to get the true knowledge as well. It will help you everywhere.

  • Lookout for discounts/reimbursements(for working professionals)

If you are a working professional check with your HR or concerned Talent development authorities about certification policies for employees. Many companies provide training/ coupons/ reimbursements (partial or full) to their employees. Also, AWS provides 50% off on your second certification enrolment if you have passed your first one.

  • Making list of weak topics and playing with it

It might happen that you struggle with a particular or a set of AWS resources or that you are completely new to them. I will recommend that you list them and play(practice) with them until you get comfortable with them. Go through the lectures again if you make mistakes about a particular AWS resource in practice exams or you are confused about them.

  • The most simple solution is generally the correct one

The exam has very few trick questions, most of them are very straightforward. In case where multiple solutions look correct choose the one which is easiest to implement because the least complex one is generally the correct one.

Final words

This exam is less difficult than the AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam in my opinion but it also has some extra resources in detail (PaaS oriented) so you will have to dig them up too. If you are already AWS SAA certified then this one will not be much of a challenge for you.

For other people I will suggest to follow the above mentioned courses thoroughly, follow the tips mentioned in the article, they will be helpful for your AWS DVA certification journey.

Wishing you best of luck for your certification journey!

About the author


Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of

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