Certified Cloud Architect

I’ve been into the topic of cloud computing for quiet a while. Mainly by migrating legacy applications to a “cloud ready” application architecture. Since migrating applications only covers a relatively small part of cloud computing, I decided to broaden my knowledge on cloud computing by obtaining a certification as a “Certified Cloud Architect”.

This certification is offered by Arcitura which basically is owned by Thomas Erl. Thomas Erl is the author of various SOA, Cloud and Big Data related books. Detailed information about the certification and the topics covered can be found on the cloudschool.com website.

I choose this certification because it is vendor neutral. That is, it does not cover any specific “cloud product” or “tool”. It rather covers general concepts, architectural design patterns and technologies used in clouds.

I also had some positive experiencences while obtaining the Certified SOA Architect certification offered by the same company.

Of course there are also some drawbacks to this certification in my option. For example I think that multiple-choice based exams are not ideally suited for taking an “architect-level” exam. Some years ago I obtained the SUN Certified Architect certification. For this certification a complete architecture including written concepts as well as diagrams had to be submitted. I found that type of exam more suitable for architect certifications.

The two books from Thoams Erl the certification is based upon are:

Which are worth reading even if you do not plan to take the exam. What I liked about these books is that they cover a very broad range of cloud computing thus giving you a very good overall knowledge of cloud computing.

When choosing to obtain the exam naturally the question came up: What is it good for ?

The value of IT certification is highly disputable amongst IT specialists. Some years ago I read an article from Martin Fowler on the value of certification. In this article he explains that he does not think that certification is of a great value and does not necessarily correlate to competence in the certified field. But he goes on saying:

Is it reasonable for a competent person to acquire a useless certification? I wish I could answer no, but the reality is that a certification is often used as an entry gate […]. As a result competent people often need a useless certification in order get an interview.

Which is one of the reason why I decided to obtaining the exam.

This post servers as the first of a mini series about my experiences while trying to obtain the certification. The next posts will cover the five exams that need to be taken in order to obtain the exam:

So if you are interested, here is the link to the first post.


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