One more GCP certification on the list! This one was by far the most interesting one in a while as it gave me a chance to review topics that I don’t work with every day: Machine learning and Big data.
Let’s dive right in, here is the preparation I followed. To begin with the online classes:
Read Google official documentation about the services in the scope of this exam:
- Cloud Storage, Google Transfer appliance
- Cloud SQL, Cloud Bigtable, Cloud Bigquery, Datastore
- Pub/Sub, Dataflow, Dataprep, Datastudio, Datalab
- Stackdriver, KMS, Machine Learning and its API
Then jump on the Google Next videos:
You can review case studies but don’t spend too much time on them. There is now a practice exam for the Data Engineer, quite similar to the type of questions you can find in the real exam:
My feedback on the exam:
- Check the scope of this exam, be prepared for design questions on database models, optimization and troubleshooting
- Know Bigquery VS Bigtable VS Datastore VS Cloud SQL
- Dataflow and how to deal with batch and stream processing
- Read as much as you can and play with machine learning!
- How to share datasets, queries, reports is really something that comes often, don’t underestimate security aspects
- Understand Hadoop ecosystem, learn about the typical big data lifecycle on GCP
Good luck to everyone taking this exam!
Taking the GCP Architect exam is quite a challenge as there is very little study material or practice questions available at the time of writing this post.
To sum up the exam without saying too much, it was 50 questions for a total of 120 minutes. Timing is friendly, I had about 15-20 minutes left before the end. Half of the exam worked pretty easily by proceeding by elimination to remove the craziest answers. I was surprise to see a split screen with questions on the left and a listbox on the right allowing to switch between the 4 use cases available at the moment.
About 15 questions were related to use cases. They seemed more complex, even confusing sometimes. I had to use only 2 use cases out of 4, the rest of the questions is more general and seemed to be what I would categorize as medium level questions.
Important points to review
- Prepare yourself with the 4 use cases available, work on them for an hour as if they were your customer and how you would deal with each point (means which service you would use on GCP instead of what they have)
- Read about BQ, Bigtable, CloudStorage, Pub/Sub, Dataflow, Dataproc and when to use all of them
- Container engine vs Compute Engine vs App Engine
- Know cloud related business terms: capex, opex, tco, capacity planning
- Best practices regarding IAM, audit logs and how to secure them
- Know resources that are global vs regional vs zonal (some major differences with AWS)
- Know how are structured the different databases
- Learn everything about instance groups, load balancers, stress tests
- CI/CD on GCP, how to architect perfectly dev/qa/stg/prod environments
- You will have to look at Java and Python code as expected
- Cloud deployment manager is part of the exam and interesting to know in details
- Migration: how do you deal with existing DC, move data around, etc
- Network: VPN, firewall, tags
Once again, good luck to everyone taking this exam!
I passed the AWS DevOps professional exam this weekend with success after a few weeks looking at the following services: CloudFormation, Autoscaling, Beanstalk, Opsworks and Cloudwatch. The strategy for the exam was to watch all https://acloud.guru videos, then do the https://cloudacademy.com/ quizzes (there is a 7-day free trial) as well as review the following:
- Rolling Updates versus Rolling Deployments
- Blue-green strategies on Opsworks, Beanstalk and with Route 53 and AutoScaling
- A/B deployments
- AutoScaling lifecycle hooks
- Cloudwatch Logs
- Opsworks CLI commands
- CF Custom resources, cfn signals and wait conditions
- Kinesis, Cloudtrail, S3 Logging
Getting ready for the AWS Solutions Architect Professional Exam is not an easy task! It is currently one of the most difficult AWS certification to get with the DevOps one due to the number of services it covers. Plan on studying for a few months, not only AWS services but a very wide range of concepts. The level required to pass this exam is very high, nothing compared to the Associate level certification. AWS even recommends 2 years of experience on the platform.
As usual a good start is to follow the awesome https://acloud.guru/ courses.
Don’t forget to study all the AWS Reference Architectures and watch AWS Summit videos:
The exam tests your ability to answer very quickly, it’s a bit more than 2 minutes per question and very few are short ones. Sometimes answers are very similar and you will have to proceed by elimination. Best tip that helped me from Reddit: Focus on the “kicker”. This is the part of the after the fluff that tells you exactly what they want. e.g. “Which option provides the MOST COST EFFECTIVE solution.
One last thing, if English is not your first language you might be able to get an extra 30 minutes by contacting the certification team, but this request can take up to a month prior to taking the exam.
Good luck to everyone taking this exam!