Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to dominate cloud computing, and its powerful suite of services has transformed how companies do business. So much so that at the end of Q3 2022, AWS accounted for 34% of the cloud computing market, overtaking its counterparts, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. As a result, AWS certified solutions architects are highly sought after to design and implement solutions for the cloud.
If your organization wants to leverage AWS, having a certified solutions architect on your team can help ensure success. AWS certified solutions architects are essential to the AWS ecosystem and teams that design, deploy, and manage cloud applications using Amazon Web Services. But what exactly does this type of developer do?
This article will explore the role of an AWS architect and what it takes to become one. We’ll also look at the position's skills, salary potential, and how to hire one.
What Is an AWS Certified Solutions Architect?
An AWS certified solutions architect, also referred to as “cloud architect” or “cloud engineer,” is a technical expert who designs and deploys architectural solutions on Amazon Web Services (AWS) that are secure and performant. Cloud architects have a deep understanding of all the core concepts and services offered by AWS and use this knowledge to design highly available, fault-tolerant, and cost-effective solutions on the cloud platform. They also have expertise in deploying, monitoring, and managing business applications on Amazon Web Services.
AWS certified solutions architects are sometimes confused with AWS developers. So, what is an AWS solutions architect vs. developer? An AWS developer focuses more on implementing cloud solutions and writing code to develop applications. Solutions architects are responsible for the overall architecture of a cloud-based solution, including designing and planning the infrastructure.
What Does an AWS Certified Solutions Architect Do?
The roles and responsibilities of an AWS certified solutions architect can vary depending on the size and complexity of your organization, the size of your cloud environment, and the project's scope. Nonetheless, the core responsibilities of an AWS certified solutions architect include the following:
- Designing and deploying scalable and secure applications on the AWS platform
- Analyzing the existing architecture and project requirements to create an optimal solution
- Developing architectural solutions for complex problems using a wide range of AWS services
- Implementing cost-effective solutions to ensure maximum efficiency and performance
- Developing strategies for migrating existing applications to AWS
- Monitoring and managing application performance in the cloud
- Establishing best practices for cloud security and serverless architecture
AWS Certified Solutions Architect Skills
Evaluating an AWS solutions architect’s skills is essential to determining their suitability for the job. The more experience and technical skills they have, the better your chances of success with your cloud projects. Here are the skills you should look for when hiring an AWS certified solutions architect.
Soft skills are the "people skills" an AWS certified solutions architect needs to perform their job effectively. They include:
- Organizational and time management skills: Cloud architects must be organized and effectively manage their time, prioritize tasks, and stay on top of deadlines.
- Communication skills: This skill set is critical for any successful AWS solutions architect to effectively communicate their ideas and designs. They should also be able to understand and interpret customer requirements.
- Analytical and problem-solving skills: The cloud architect should be able to analyze complex AWS architectures, find improvement areas, and develop creative solutions.
- Teamwork skills: Most cloud projects require the collaboration of multiple stakeholders, so an AWS solutions architect must be able to work effectively in a team environment.
- Leadership skills: AWS certified solutions architects must lead tasks and projects and confidently make decisions.
Hard skills are the ones related to specific technical abilities and certifications. Here are some of the hard skills an AWS solutions architect should have:
- Expertise in AWS services: In-depth knowledge of Amazon Web Services, including EC2, S3, ELB, Aurora RDS, Lambda, CloudFormation, and more
- Knowledge of programming languages: An understanding of one or more programming languages that are commonly used in cloud development, such as Java, Python, and Ruby
- AWS certification: AWS solutions architect certification at either the associate level or professional level
- Systems and security knowledge: Understanding system and security best practices, such as identifying solutions for file storage and deploying and managing cloud applications
Here's a list of some of the most important technical skills an AWS certified solutions architect professional should have:
- Infrastructure as Code (IaC): The ability to create and maintain Infrastructure as Code, such as CloudFormation templates or Ansible playbooks
- Containerization: Knowledge of container technologies, such as Docker and Kubernetes, to deploy applications in the cloud
- Serverless: Experience with serverless architectures, such as AWS Lambda functions and API Gateway
- Networking: Understanding cloud networking concepts such as virtual private clouds, security groups, route tables, etc.
- Analytics: Knowledge of data analytics tools such as Amazon Kinesis, DynamoDB, and Redshift
- Monitoring: Ability to use monitoring tools such as CloudWatch to track the performance of applications in the cloud
- Automation: Understanding automation tools, such as AWS Step Functions and Amazon Machine Learning
AWS Solutions Architect Salary
Before hiring an AWS certified solution architect professional, you should know their salary potential. Generally, the cost per developer varies depending on experience, location, and other factors.
According to figures from Glassdoor, an entry-level AWS certified solutions architect in the U.S. makes an average annual salary of $163,730. Mid-level AWS cloud architects with four to six years of experience earn an average yearly salary of $192,967. Senior-level cloud engineers with over six years of experience can expect to earn $202,179 or more.
While AWS certified solutions architects in Latin American countries are equally skilled, the lower cost of living means they’re usually paid 30% to 50% less than their U.S. counterparts, with salaries varying based on location and experience. Revelo provides a cost-effective solution while offering highly qualified, pre-vetted Latin American AWS professionals.
Programming Languages for AWS Solutions Architect
AWS architects must understand different programming languages to design and deploy applications on the platform. Some of the essential programming languages used for developing AWS solutions:
- Java: This is the go-to language for developing applications on the AWS platform. It’s versatile and reliable and allows developers to build advanced applications quickly. Cloud engineers also use Java for DevOps tasks, such as automating deployments and provisioning resources.
- Python: This is a popular language for AWS developers, making it easier to develop serverless applications, analyze data, and manage advanced storage solutions.
- Ruby: This is an object-oriented language used to create dynamic web applications on the AWS platform.
- Go: This is a relatively new language but has quickly become popular among cloud engineers for its scalability and speed. It’s used to create applications that process large amounts of data quickly and efficiently.
How to Hire an AWS Certified Solutions Architect
While there's no one-size-fits-all approach to hiring an AWS architect, there are certain steps you can take to make sure you find the right candidate for the job:
- Define your needs: The first step is to define the company's objectives and the requirements and skills needed for the role. This includes a detailed job description, key responsibilities, necessary experience and skills, and other requirements.
- Conduct thorough research: Once you’ve defined the role's requirements, it’s time to research potential candidates. Look for candidates with relevant experience and check their portfolios to ensure they’re qualified for the job.
- Leverage referrals: Don’t hesitate to leverage your network and ask for referrals. Talk to colleagues, friends, or other professionals in the industry to see if they have any recommendations for an AWS solutions architect.
- Conduct a thorough interview: Ask the candidates about their experience, technical skills, and problem-solving abilities. Also, ask about their past projects and challenges in the cloud.
- Consider professional hiring services: If you don’t have the time or resources to find an AWS certified solutions architect professional, consider using a hiring service. These companies specialize in finding the right talent for the job and can help speed up the process at an additional cost.
Hire an AWS Solutions Architect With Revelo
Hiring an AWS certified solutions architect professional can help you take full advantage of Amazon Web Services benefits. An experienced and skilled cloud engineer can be a valuable asset to your team, helping you design and deploy highly available and secure applications on the platform. However, finding and hiring the right AWS solutions architect can take time and effort.
That’s where Revelo comes in — we make it easier to connect with top-tier talent from all over Latin America. We offer a comprehensive vetting process and a dedicated team to ensure you find the perfect candidate for your project. Contact us today to find out how we can help.