AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

Its time to study for AWS Certification #3.  I took a little time off, but no more!  This time I am going for the SysOps Administrator – Associate certificate.  I guess its a little harder than the other 2 certifications I passed, but still within range!

Whats hard about some of these certifications is you don’t actually work with all covered material day-to-day.  Spinning up EC2 instances and creating security groups it pretty standard, but when it comes to things like networking, those tasks are not typically done by me.

So my plan is going to be the following to pass the exam:

  • Listen to a training course from on the way to and from work. (Long commute both ways)
  • Practice heavily in AWS on all the relevant topics.
  • Use the practice exam voucher I received from passing previous certifications to pay for an official AWS SysOps practice exam.
  • Rely on personal experience.
  • Cross-fingers!!!


Agile Velocity – Don’t Take It Serious

Velocity – Its a metric, but not a metric to take serious.  This is my opinion!

  • Is it beneficial to skip story points or think of each story as 1 point?
  • Would it be okay to capture velocity, but tie zero goals or KPI’s to it?
  • Do we need to hide velocity from managers and PM’s?
  • Would it be okay to focus on building cool solutions and not worry about all these metrics?
  • Do we do what works in regards to sprints and capacity for the team?
  • How about we NOT measure team productivity by velocity, but rather deliverable’s!!


Tech Lead – Characteristics

So what makes a good tech lead.  In my opinion its something that warrants a type of framework or guide.  Its to easy to forget about the little things that make up a good tech lead.

After some researching and brainstorming, I came up with the following matrix\chart to better clarify expectations and help guide others to success.


It will be a good reminder for those leads out there to periodically look at this diagram and take action as needed.

Blink(1) USB Light

I just got my Blink(1) in the mail today.  Its a cool indicator light that hooks into your USB port.


There is a ton of potential with this device.  You can utilize the Blink1Control2 application to setup event polling triggers or just play around with the colors. (e.g. Show red color when a specific email is received)

Or you can enable your device to listen on a specific port, which would allow you to update the device remotely via a curl command. (e.g. Jenkin job failure)  You can find the URL summary here.

Another option to using the light is to integrate it into a program, which would allow for more customizations.  Pretty easy to do with Python.  The Blink Python lib can be found here.

AWS SAA Certification Prep – 2018

I’m getting ready to take the AWS Solutions Architect Associate 2018 test.  Below are some final items I need to review before the exam.


Specific Items:

  • Spot vs Spot Block
  • Application ELB vs Classic ELB
  • Convertible vs. Standard Reserved Instances
  • EBS Cost vs Performance
  • EC2 reverse proxy (link) (link)
  • Glacier Retrieval Options
  • Beanstalk vs. NGINX
  • Cross-region snapshots for databases