June 14, 2022 By Jani Byrne Saliga, Ph.D 3 min read

Yair Shaked’s learning journey and how he achieved four cloud certifications.

To plan or not to plan, that is the (common) question. But for IBMer Yair Shaked, the approach of combining the two approaches yielded uncommon results — four professional certifications from the IBM Center for Cloud Training (ICCT) in only two months.

“When I look at it, in retrospect,” he says, “it reminds me of a quote from the movie Forrest Gump: ‘I just felt like running.’ In my case, I just felt like learning.”

That part he didn’t plan. But once he dived into certification, the busy Yair took a methodical approach to the process.  

The certification journey begins

It all started when Yair received an email with a subject line that challenged him: “So You Think You Know Cloud?”

Yair did know cloud. He is a Cloud Lead Architect at IBM in Israel, where he helps organizations move their workload to the IBM public cloud for application modernization. This means using the most advanced technologies, tools and skill sets to match his customers’ needs. The email’s challenge looked like an unmissable opportunity for building expertise and opportunities with new clients.

So, he turned to the IBM Center for Cloud Training — the free, role-based cloud training and certification program from IBM.  The center provides learning paths for cloud professionals to quickly and smoothly fill the gap between business needs and individuals’ capabilities.

A plan opens opportunities

With his experience, Yair knew he could pass the introductory-level IBM Center for Cloud Training (ICCT) program. “But,” he says, “then I thought that this was a real opportunity for me to become certified in one of the new and exciting cloud technologies.”

The technology that caught his eye was certification in the IBM Cloud Satellite Specialty.

In Yair’s plan, the first steps were to review training materials from ICCT and to take a sample test to evaluate his knowledge level. Then, he followed the ICCT training sessions on the IBM Cloud Satellite Specialty learning path. Importantly, his plan also included keeping a notebook, which eventually became his go-to journal for all of the learning modules he later would encounter.

When Yair felt he was ready, he took the assessment exam, but his grade was not as high as he wanted (which may indicate that it may impact the real exam). So, he reviewed his answers, paying particular attention to those that had given him the most trouble.

A few days later, he took the certification exam and passed with a high score.

His learning never ends

This might have been the end of Yair’s learning journey, but a few days later, he says, “I saw LinkedIn posts from two of my colleagues that announced that they had achieved their IBM Cloud Architect certifications. Their achievements spurred me on to get my IBM Cloud Architect certificate as well.”

Once more, Yair went to the ICCT website, where he started down the learning path for his IBM Cloud Professional Architect certification. He used the same methodology as he used for his Cloud Satellite certification — a combination of pretesting, learning and keeping detailed notes in his notebook.

It didn’t take long for Yair to pass the IBM Cloud Professional Architect exam with a high score and share his success on LinkedIn, where as he puts it: “The training cycle never ends.”

Next up were certifications for IBM Cloud Security Engineer and IBM Cloud Advanced Architect.

Following his proven training methodology, Yair soon passed the Advanced Architect exam and let the world know on LinkedIn. There he restated his commitment to “…expanding my knowledge and expertise with IBM Cloud technology and my commitment to my clients to become their technical cloud advocate.”

And just like that, in only two months, Yair had completed four certifications.

But he still feels like learning.

Now that he has completed four Cloud certifications, Yair has a new goal: completing his IBM Cloud Professional Developer certification — because, he says, “The way that I see it, as a cloud architect, you must be familiar with a developer’s perspective and challenges in order to better support these developers, who are among the most important customers in the cloud environment.”

Get started on your learning path

Visit the IBM Center for Cloud Training to learn more about how you can achieve your next cloud certification. And be sure to check out the new Cloud Prep Web App for flashcards, detailed study guides and practice quizzes to help you on your cloud certification journey.  

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