The Quest for the AWS Golden Jacket

Teemu Niiranen received an extraordinary recognition from AWS after successfully passing all AWS certification exams.

The Quest for the AWS Golden Jacket

If you’ve even been to the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, you might have seen someone wearing a shining golden jacket passing by. You might have thought that the person carrying the jacket is just another showman belonging to the Vegas scene. But you may have been lucky to spot one of the very few persons in the world who have successfully passed all AWS certification exams.

NordHero’s Cloud Architect Teemu Niiranen belongs to a group of very few. As we have heard, you can count the AWS Golden Jackets in Finland with the fingers of one hand. But what is the story behind the Golden Jacket and how do you get one?

Teemu & the Golden Jacket spotted in Kuopio, Finland

Teemu & the Golden Jacket spotted in Kuopio, Finland

Started as a small circle jest

Rumors tell that the Golden Jacket started at AWS as an insider jest among AWS Solution Architects. They began ordering the Golden Jacket each other whenever someone from the SA team received all AWS certificates. At some point, the jackets also started to end up at AWS Partners.

We also had heard about the thing and had even seen one or two Golden Jackets at AWS re:Invent, but we have yet to find any official information about where and how to get one. So we asked our AWS peer. The question was new even to our experienced AWS counterpart, but soon, we got an email: “Yes, it is real. And we even have an ordering form for it!”.

The Golden Jacket hero maker

It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey. I have learned so much on the way.

Let’s start with an iconic question typically posed to gold-medal winners. Teemu, how do you feel now?

“It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey. I have learned so much on the way. I became interested in AWS and cloud computing in 2015 or early 2016 after AWS Lambda was released. This was a huge game changer in the industry, but oh boy, a lot has happened since. The IT world is evolving so fast that it requires constant work to keep up to date. Now, we are living in the middle of generative AI hype, and what comes next?”

Which AWS certification was the first you achieved, and did you plan to conquer the mountain of all AWS certificates?

“It was the second, renewed version, of “AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Associate” with an exam code “SAA-01” in 2018. It is currently available in the third iteration, SAA-C03. I recommend this as the first technical certification because it contains a lot of foundational knowledge needed with AWS solutions, no matter the role. The next one was the “AWS Certified Security — Specialty” exam, which I’ve passed thrice.

I only planned to get some certificates, but my passion for learning new things drove me to the point last year that it was so close that I decided to try out the last ones.”

Which certification exam did you find to be the most difficult one?

“It could be “AWS Certified Advanced Networking — Specialty”. I envision this as an extension of the “AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Professional”.”

Last one: Where and when can we see you wearing the Golden Jacket?

“I’m active in the AWS community, so maybe in AWS User Group meetings in Finland or AWS Events worldwide.”

The home of certified cloud hero makers

NordHero’s team currently possesses an average of four AWS certificates per employee. We encourage and support our team to challenge themselves and pursue certifications. With the certificates, we can demonstrate our competence to customers and ensure our cloud specialists have extensive and up-to-date knowledge of AWS cloud services. That way our customer’s can trust they will get the best competence to build successful services on AWS.


Want to be the hero of cloud?

Great, we are here to help you become a cloud services hero!

Let's start!
Book a meeting!