I recently passed the certification exam for Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect. A number of people asked me for the resources I used to get through the exam, so I thought I would share them here.
One word of context. The exam is only Pass or Fail, you are given no indication of how close you were to the level required. Consequently, I do not know whether the extra effort I put in over and above attending a training course was actually necessary. Most consensus of trainers I encountered and others who have passed appears to be that it is necessary.
- Start with the exam page itself which details things such as cost, test centers etc.
- Review the exam guide . Make sure you are familiar with every topic within the guide. My experience of the exam was the broader your knowledge of the topics the better. Also not just GCP specifics are covered on the exam, it tests you as well on your general experience of public Cloud / Architecture / Automation.
- I was fortunate enough via my employer to attend three of the instructor led courses mentioned on the exam page:
The final preparing for the exam course was probably the most useful out of those. It had a very thorough (but quick) run through of all exam topics and gave you a good gauge on where further study was required. It also helped to emphasise the extra effort you would need to take to pass the exam (if you believe them 🙂 ) It is also worthwhile getting yourself into good shape before taking this class; I spent 3 days reviewing and replaying what I had learnt on the 3 day Architecting course before going to it…and was glad I had done when the instructor whizzed through the topics.
4. I took the free online ‘Preparing for the Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect Exam’ course from Coursera. I took the time to work through all of the hands-on practice labs and follow up reading of online documentation for weaker areas and those I felt I needed to know a bit more detail.
5. I read most of the Site Reliability Engineering book written by Google employees on how they run their systems at scale for public consumption. This helped to cover some of the less GCP specific questions on the exam and was a poor man’s replacement for not attending the Design and Process course.
6. Review the three case studies which are tested on the exam. Some of the questions require specific knowledge about each case study, so it is worth at least being familiar with them prior to the exam so that you do not need to spend exam time reading them. It also helps (and is covered in both of the preparing for the exam courses above) to think in advance of the exam about what GCP products and solutions you could use in each of the case studies to deal with the technical and business requirements.
7. Review the Google suggested solutions for different design scenarios here: http://gcp.solutions/ . This helps you to get familiar with which GCP products and solutions fit particular types of technical and business requirements for areas such as Finance, Media, Gaming etc
8. Take the practice exam to familiarise yourself with the types and styles of questions. It also helps (in a small way since only 20 questions I think) to gauge your strengths and weaknesses with certain topics.
9. I listened to the GCP Podcast on a few topic areas that I was not so familiar with. Also on the drive to the exam centre, since I had a 2 hour drive and it helped to focus the mind 🙂
Specifically, I listened to these episodes:
I would suggest you look through the back catalogue and see what is most relevant for you.
Hope that helps!
PS If you are quick, you may still be inline for one of these kind of freebies to pick before Google stop giving them away. They send you a link of items to choose from a couple of days after passing the exam: