2 weeks to get certified Google Cloud Professional Architect
1 chapter at a time
Getting Google certified can be a daunting and sometimes endless task. Nonetheless, if you’re reading this article it means that you also see the value in capitalizing on your experience on Google Cloud — and you should!
Your experience on Google Cloud is an asset that you should bank on. If you’ve been designing and building applications on GCP that fulfill a set of business requirements while operating under a set of technical constraints, then the Professional Cloud Architect certification is made for you!
Unfortunately, some arbitrary examination might discourage people from getting certified. I wrote this article to share with you the story on how I passed the exam and hope that it will get you started. For a more vanilla approach, you could start with the exam guide that Google provides on their website.
Side note about my personal story. I’ve been working at Quantiphi and building applications on Google Cloud for the past 2 years. It feels much, much longer than 2 years, though! Probably due to a combination of 2 things:
- First, the uncountable number of new products released by Google Cloud
- Second, the exposure to the plethora of industries and products that we get to work on at Quantiphi.
Long story short, I didn’t take this exam without any luggage behind me.
More seriously. About the exam.
Any experience with Google Cloud tools is a huge advantage. In fact, carrying that bias with you will allow you to relate to the business situations mentioned in the exam much more easily.
Tip: When you decide to take the exam, I recommend that you tell your friends and family. It will hold you accountable. They will be there to support you and keep you going!
When I planned to take the exam, I was looking for a challenge. I wanted to take it as soon as possible while maximizing the chances of actually passing it. The arbitrary 2 weeks time constraint is just relevant for my situation at that specific point in time.
In order to pass the exam, I equipped myself with these 2 support materials:
- This book Official Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect Study Guide ~$43
- This website: Linux Academy ~$49.
Both served me very differently but so fully! I recommend the combination of both for optimal effects!
Both are FABULOUS! If you were wondering, they both cover in-depth the 3 case studies that will be addressed in the exam and beyond. The book is particularly fantastic as it covers industry best practices when it comes to software development.
Tip: Don’t spend all of your prep time on the 3 case studies (namely, Dress4Win, TerramEarth, Mountkirk). A safer allocation would be something around ~20% (which corresponds approximately to the number of questions I got about them).
But hey, these questions are freebies! Don’t miss out!
I know the companies’ needs by heart now (It’s also what I do for a living).
Here is the plan that I followed:
- Every day after work, I would read 1 chapter, summarize the important details and answer the chapter knowledge assessment questions.
- During the weekend, I would focus on getting some hands-on time with labs from Linux Academy and try to build mini-applications.
(PS: I will be posting an article about one of the applications that I’ve built — stay tuned)
- The last few days prior to my exam [11/21/2019], I retook the knowledge assessment questions of all the chapters that I read.
No magic, no tricks. Just practice.
Last tip, there are a few chapters that are less dense than others. I recommend that you spend more time on the denser ones. Networking, Storage and Compute are definitely much denser than the rest for a reason (wink, wink, they are much more covered in the exam)!
Your time is precious, choose accordingly.
Anyway, I hope my preparation gave you some ideas on how to start. Keep the momentum flowing, don’t stop learning and when you feel ready, you probably will be. Good luck!