Passing the Google Certified Professional - Cloud Architect exam: Tips & Resources
Recently at Cloudreach we’ve had a big push to get more engineers Google Cloud Platform certified in order to elevate our ability to support our customers.
We’ve had lots of engineers taking (and passing!) both the Google Cloud Architect and the Google Data Engineer certifications.
I decided to study for the Google Cloud Architect exam, to hone my skills on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). After successfully passing the exam - I thought I’d write a short blog post to offer some advice and tips for anyone who wants to take it in the future.
Why should you take the Google Cloud Architect Exam?
There are many reasons to take a certification exam, personal development, interest, bragging rights, job requirements…. The Cloud Architect exam will definitely help with all of the above - and more!
The Google Cloud Architect exam acknowledges that you have a working knowledge of all of the core GCP services and how to architect and design solutions on GCP.
The exam covers all the major services, from IAM to GKE and BigTable to Dataflow. It ensures that takers are able to advise potential customers or teams on the best way to implement solutions and migrations on Google Cloud platform.
What do you need to for the exam?
From the documentation:
The exam covers architecting for Google Cloud Platform but also ensures you’re aware of general best practices for architecting solutions for the cloud.
- Udemy course - the course provides an overview of all the services covered on the exam with a few deep dives into interesting technology like HTTP(S) load balancers and columnar datastores. (Personal favourite)
- Coursera GCP for AWS Professionals - This is a course for people who are already familiar with AWS - it’s a very high level but gives you an overview of the services that exist and how they differ from their AWS equivalent.
- Coursera - Architecting with Google Cloud Platform - only one hour longer than GCP for AWS professionals course - and gives more detail than the other Coursera offering.
- GCP for AWS Professionals documentation
- GCP Services in 4 words or less
- Read the overview documentation for each of the core services.
- Pokemon Go on Google Cloud - a case study on the power of google cloud
- Canary Releases on Google Cloud - How the Customer Reliability Team release new applications.
- Reliable releases on GCP - Google’s advice on release process best practices.
- GCP Solutions and case studies
- https://gcp.solutions - Wonderful diagrams and flow charts of how all the services can fit together.
- Designing for PCI DSS Compliance - this is useful to understand how to design for compliance.
- All the questions require a bit of lateral thinking, consider what would be the best service in the stated situation given what you know about the customers appetite for types of service and risk.
- Review the case studies, you will be provided any required case studies in the exam - but it’s worth having a handle on them before you go in. Read the questions twice before looking at the answers.
- If it's a pick 2 or 3 answers type question there'll probably be 2 or 3 requirement statements in the question - so break them down and it'll be much easier and less overwhelming.
So you think you’re ready?
- For each service consider whether you could have a discussion about it's best use cases about it with another engineer.
- Could you design a release process for a new application built on GCP, how about more generally?
- Could you describe how to perform a database migration under various networking and security constraints?
- Can you explain how you’d build an application to support scaling and load balancing in the cloud - could you write pseudo code for a basic app for this?
- Can you describe and discuss the google cloud platform services?
- Do you understand best practices for architecting in the cloud?
I hope this helps you frame what this exam is for and whether you wish to take it. If you do decide to take the exam - I wish you the best of luck!