Google Cloud has managed to breach the Golden Tier of Cloud Computing – the Top 3 ranks. With offerings like App Engine and one of the best managed Kubernetes Service in GKE, it’s no wonder that it’s market share in the cloud market continues to grow over the quarters.
If you have been using Google Cloud since it first entered the fray, you’d know the ease of App Engine. With crown jewels like Big Query and Cloud ML Engine, Google seems to be in a prime position to take on its immediate rival – the number 2, Microsoft Azure.
Given the facilities a customer can get on GCP, a load of customers wants to explore the cloud platform. With this need, comes need for people who know the platform and can design resilient solutions on GCP. This is what has propelled Google Cloud’s Certified Professional Cloud Architect to become one of the most sought-after cloud certifications after AWS SA Associate.
Fortunately enough, I cleared the examination and had a great time assessing the some of the services of the platform. If you are preparing to take the exam, and wondering what the exam would be like, then you certainly are in the right place. I won’t be divulging any questions though (because that puts me in the risk of certification cancellation). So, if you have come expecting that, you might as well turn back now.
About the Exam
Google Cloud’s Professional Cloud Architect does not explore the platform strictly from the perspective of a developer as opposed to Associate Cloud Engineer. It expects the candidate to have a working knowledge of the platform and its intricacies.
If you have an understanding of how GCP works, where to look in case of any problem in your developed solutions and how to correct that without effecting user experience on cloud, then you are in a pretty good position to give the exam.
The exam involves the study of 3 case studies – Mountkirk Games, Dress4win and TerramEarth. You can find them on the official exam guide page here:-
The reason that you need to study these case studies is because they help explore paradigms of cloud migration and scales of cloud adoption – from simple lift n’ shift to mapping equivalent services before migration.
Security, Budget, High-Availability and Disaster Recovery are the points you should focus on. Best practices for the implementing a solution would help you get over the challenges when implementing a solution.
Exam-wise, this would help you spot the nuances in the question and answer likely. There might be cases when there won’t be any 1 right answer (in the real world, there hardly is) but if you understand the Google recommended best practices, you should be able to select the closest correct answer.
If you are already seasoned in some other cloud platform, conquering GCP’s Professional Cloud Architect won’t be that hard for you. After all, many security best practices overlap. For instance, if you are using AWS, how would you choose to send credentials when using a Python program? The answer would be using Boto. It’s the same with Google Cloud. So, a grasp over the basic and important concepts would help you a lot.
When you sit for the examination, you would be asked to answer on a screen which would contain 2 partitions. On one side, you would get the questions and its answer. The other side is for the case studies.
Knowing the best solutions to the case studies Mountkirk Games, Dress4Win and TerramEarth is required but you need not by-heart them. You would be given access to those case studies in the second partition.
The overall exam is a bit tough to be fair but not that difficult. If you are looking for resources, you might want to browse through LinuxAcademy’s Courses. Qwiklabs is a great way to get hands-on but it’s not enough alone. There also the 1-minute videos on Google Cloud’s Services put out by Google Cloud’s official channel on YouTube. Last but not the least, “Learn GCP with Mahesh” is another YouTube channel that I found helpful. There are tons solutions to problems architected using best practices.
All the Best for the Exam!