What are the best AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate (SAA-C03) Video Training Courses? (Subtitle: Why Does So Much Training Stink?)

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As co-author of the official AWS Certified Solutions Architect Study Guide: Associate (SAA-C03) Exam, 4th Edition, I'm pretty picky when it comes to how I spend my time watching video training courses.

The Problem with Most Video Training

I've watched a lot of videos that are designed to help you pass the Solutions Architect exam, and although some of them are good, most of them suffer from one of three major problems.

  1. They're boring—The pace is too slow, there's not enough hands-on, the instructor has a monotone voice, etc. Training should be interesting. Not goofy or gimmicky or full of unnecessary visuals and bad jokes, but genuinely interesting.

  2. They're too freaking long—You don't need a 15 minute overview of what an instance is, do you? No. Do you need to be told why certification is important? No, because if you didn't, you wouldn't be watching a video on how to get certified! The unnecessary little intros and summaries add up when you're trying to cover dozens of different AWS services.

  3. They spend too much time on the wrong stuff, not enough time on the right stuff—Certification exams are always biased towards a certain technology or service. The same is true of AWS. Flagship IaaS services (EC2 compute, VPC networking, storage) are going to get the most attention on an exam, so they should consume the bulk of your time. Any course that spends more than 5 minutes walking through the exam blueprint is wasting your time. And any course that spends an equal amount of time on every exam topic is a red flag that the course designer has not actually taken the exam!

The Best SAA-C03 Courses

So what courses are good for studying SAA-C03? Obviously you know I'm going to promote my own courses. But don't just listen to me. Read what others who have taken these courses have to say:

Architecting for Reliability on AWS

I am on track to get my AWS Solutions Architect Associate cert. This course by Ben Piper is really helping me get to this cert, thanks Ben!!... Feels fresh and updated, great job!!

As always Ben Piper nails it when it comes to explaining networking

Architecting for Security on AWS

This is one of the best AWS courses that I had ever taken. This one course will take you on a complete journey of locking the AWS resources using various methods. Its a one stop shop for AWS Security.

Ben Piper delivers! The reason I give such high praise is that he was able to provide accurate and detailed explanations in his videos, that are easy for one to follow.

Excellent 10/10. Easy to follow by replicating the actions on my own account on a second screen.

the demos and tic-tac-toe app were fantastic. no time wasted configuring unrelated topics.

Architecting for Operational Excellence on AWS

I just completed a second PluralSight course from you, Operational Excellence. I really appreciated them and consider you and one other author the best of the courses I have taken so far. So I want to say Thanks.

Chad Mitchell

Hi Ben,

First a compliment 🙂 I'm following your course having done many AWS courses on Pluralsight, and I'm certainly enjoying yours the most.

Matt Shickell

Layoffs, Downsizing, and Certifications

In a time when tech companies are laying off really good, smart employees, the people that are certified are going to come out on top. Here's how this normally works:

  • Experience gets your resume looked at

  • Certifications get you an interview

  • Certifications + experience get you hired

Experience is important, but as I've said before, certifications are synthetic experience. They are a substitute for experience you may not have, and they add to the experience you do have. You can't go wrong getting a widely recognized IT certification.. ever.