AWS Certified DevOps Engineer exam: Your complete preparation guide

Jeff Peters
June 4, 2024 by
Jeff Peters

Amazon Web Services (AWS) certifications validate your proficiency in working with AWS cloud services. These certifications give employers confidence in your skills in building and managing apps in the AWS environment.

The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification is especially important in 2024 because of the rise of DevOps principles in the tech landscape. For those pursuing an IT or cybersecurity career, an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer certification sends a clear message to employers: You know how to design cloud solutions using DevOps principles, as well as play your role as a security professional on a DevOps team that’s using your insights to develop more secure solutions. All of this can lead to a higher salary.

Get certified with an Exam Pass Guarantee

Get certified with an Exam Pass Guarantee

Looking to get certified? Many of our boot camps are backed by an Exam Pass Guarantee, ensuring you leave with the certification you want.

Understanding the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification

DevOps refers to practices designed to shorten the software development life cycle by producing rapid iterations and boosting collaboration between the development team and operations. From the perspective of AWS, DevOps involves using AWS tools, such as the AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK), CloudFormation, Code Pipeline, CodeDeploy and more, to automate elements of software development, testing and deployment.

From a cybersecurity perspective, DevOps practices pre-empt security issues by including security professionals in the development process throughout the development lifecycle. If you’re designing an application that protects digital assets, you can use DevOps to produce higher-quality iterations faster.

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer exam overview

The AWS DevOps Engineer exam certifies that you have the expertise to provision, operate and manage application systems distributed across the AWS platform. It’s an important cert for those who want to create solutions in the AWS ecosystem, and it’s designed for people who are currently — or want to be — DevOps engineers.

The most recent version of the exam, DOP-C02, features two changes from the previous version, DOP-C01, particularly when it comes to the names of two domains:

  • “Policies and Standards Automation” is now “Security and Compliance”
  • “High Availability, Fault Tolerance, and Disaster Recovery” is now “Resilient Cloud Solutions”

The exam features a combination of multiple-choice and multiple-response questions. Multiple-choice questions feature only one correct answer, while multiple-response questions instruct you to choose two or more correct answers when given five options.

To pass the exam, you must score at least 750 out of 1,000 and have three hours (180 minutes) to complete it.

Detailed exam content outline

Domain 1: SDLC automation

This domain centers around automating elements of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). You can use AWS tools to compile, test and deploy software you’re developing automatically. This is important because it saves time in the development process and makes it easier to avoid manual errors.

This domain specifically requires that you know how to:

  • 1.1 Implement CI/CD pipelines.
  • 1.2 Integrate automated testing into CI/CD pipelines.
  • 1.3 Build and manage artifacts.
  • 1.4 Implement deployment strategies, such as container and serverless environments.

Domain 2: Configuration management and infrastructure as code

This domain covers managing and deploying infrastructure using AWS tools and the principles of infrastructure-as-code (IaC). Knowing how to leverage configurations and work within an IaC system is essential because it enables you to optimize how apps work and create more effective solutions that can integrate with other apps and systems.

This domain requires the following:

  • 2.1 Define cloud infrastructure and reusable components to provision and manage systems throughout their lifecycle.
  • 2.2 Deploy automation to create, onboard and secure AWS accounts in a multi-account or multi-region environment.
  • 2.3 Design and build automated solutions for complex tasks and large-scale environments.

Domain 3: Resilient cloud solutions

This domain focuses on ensuring the systems you create and work with remain up and running and don’t negatively impact operations if there’s a failure. A fault-tolerant system can either continue operating after an issue occurs or avoid bringing down other systems it interfaces with when it has an issue. An understanding of the principles in this domain prepares you to build dependable systems that reduce the digital risk of an organization.

This domain requires you to:

  • 3.1 Implement highly available solutions to meet resilience and business requirements.
  • 3.2 Implement solutions that are scalable to meet business requirements.
  • 3.3 Implement automated recovery processes to meet RTO and RPO requirements.

Domain 4: Monitoring and Logging

The monitoring and logging domain focuses on monitoring the performance and security of AWS apps and resources. Mastering monitoring and logging is important because it enables you to establish metrics, configure alerts and analyze logs — all of which can help you identify issues before they significantly impact your workflows.

To perform well in this domain, you have to be able to:

  • 4.1 Configure the collection, aggregation and storage of logs and metrics.
  • 4.2 Audit, monitor and analyze logs and metrics to detect issues.
  • 4.3 Automate monitoring and event management of complex environments.

Get certified with our Exam Pass Guarantee

Get certified with our Exam Pass Guarantee

Many of our boot camps come with an Exam Pass Guarantee: if you fail on your first attempt, we'll invite you to re-sit the course for free and cover the cost of your second exam.

Domain 5: Incident and event response

This domain focuses on preparing for and responding to security incidents using automated tools. This domain is essential because knowing how to automate elements of your incident and event responses saves your IT team time while improving the accuracy and consistency of your system.

To perform well in this domain, you need to be able to:

  • 5.1 Manage event sources to process, notify and take action in response to events.
  • 5.2 Implement configuration changes in response to events.
  • 5.3 Troubleshoot system and application failures.

Domain 6: Security and compliance

This domain tests your ability to automate tools that help apps you develop conform to internal and external policies, compliance standards and security concerns. Knowledge in this area is crucial because it empowers you to design systems that automatically keep you in line with regulations and standards that enhance your organization's safety and ensure compliance requirements are satisfied.

This domain requires that you:

  • 6.1 Implement techniques for identity and access management at scale.
  • 6.2 Apply automation for security controls and data protection.
  • 6.3 Implement security monitoring and auditing solutions.

Preparing for the exam: Tips and best practices

To get ready for the exam, you can use one — or a combination of — the following techniques:

  • Self-study. This involves locating study materials independently and preparing at your own pace.
  • Use official AWS training partners like Infosec. These providers give you live instruction or on-demand training videos and other curated materials.

Regardless of the prep technique you choose, it’s important to gain practical experience using hands-on labs as you prepare for the exam. This strengthens your prep because it gives you a chance to think and problem-solve on your feet, a skill many of the exam questions assess.

You should also use practice exams and peer discussion forums like Reddit or TechExams. Here, you can benefit from the experience of those who’ve passed the exam and get answers to questions that may pop up as you prepare.

Exam registration and logistics

To register for the exam, you can go to the AWS certification page and sign in or create an account.

The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer — Professional exam costs $300, and unless there’s a special promotion, you must pay to retake the exam if you don’t pass. However, providers like Infosec offer an Exam Pass Guarantee, meaning you will get a second exam voucher at no cost if you do not pass on your first attempt.

You can also use a Pearson VUE testing center or take an exam proctored online. With an in-person testing center, you’re given a workstation where you take the test. If you use online proctoring, you share your screen with a proctor and allow them to watch you take the exam via a webcam.

To maximize your score, you can use the following strategies:

  • Ensure you’re well-rested and have snacks and hydration available during the exam.
  • Answer the questions you’re confident you can get right first, then circle back to those you were unsure of.
  • Read questions thoroughly to make sure you understand what’s being asked before answering.
  • If you’re not sure how to answer, start by eliminating the options you know are wrong.

After passing the exam

An AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification can help you stand out in a crowded pool of job applicants. Instead of hoping an employer believes you have the skills to develop in an AWS environment, you have your certification to testify on your behalf.

Regarding cybersecurity roles, AWS DevOps skills are crucial, especially because so many companies have been transitioning to cloud-based environments. Using DevOps practices, you have the skills to create effective solutions while spending less of an organization’s funds. You also create more effective solutions that take into account a comprehensive range of operational factors. As a security professional, you benefit from understanding the tools and techniques AWS developers use and how your skill set fits into the development process.

Some career paths and opportunities for certified professionals include:

  • DevOps engineer, where you design and implement development pipelines
  • Cloud engineer, where you architect and deploy cloud solutions in the AWS environment
  • Site reliability engineer, where you make sure that the AWS systems an organization uses are available and reliable

Suppose you want to advance your AWS training and credentials. In that case, you can either pursue another professional certification, such as the Solutions Architect or pursue a specialty certification, such as Advanced Networking, Machine Learning or Security. For cybersecurity professionals, the Security Specialty cert may align directly with their career path.

Get certified with our Exam Pass Guarantee

Get certified with our Exam Pass Guarantee

Many of our boot camps come with an Exam Pass Guarantee: if you fail on your first attempt, we'll invite you to re-sit the course for free and cover the cost of your second exam.

Common certification questions

How many questions are on the AWS DevOps exam?

There are 75 questions on the exam.

How many questions can you miss on the AWS exam?

It’s hard to say how many questions you can miss and still pass because of AWS’s scaled scoring. Different questions have different weights, so if two people both get 40 questions correct, for example, they may have different scores.

What are the best practices for passing the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional certification on the first attempt?

Best practices for passing on your first attempt include focusing on areas where you’re weak, using plenty of hands-on experience, and taking plenty of practice exams beforehand.

Where can I learn more about AWS training?

You can learn more by watching our webinar: AWS Certified DevOps Engineer: What it is and how to get certified.

Jeff Peters
Jeff Peters

Jeff Peters is a communications professional with more than a decade of experience creating cybersecurity-related content. As the Director of Content and Brand Marketing at Infosec, he oversees the Infosec Resources website, the Cyber Work Podcast and Cyber Work Hacks series, and a variety of other content aimed at answering security awareness and technical cybersecurity training questions. His focus is on developing materials to help cybersecurity practitioners and leaders improve their skills, level up their careers and build stronger teams.