Cloud computing is one of the fastest-growing industries in India and around the world. Being an integral part of the IT infrastructure for companies worldwide, Cloud computing is expected to generate about a million jobs by 2022. Reportedly, up to 83% of enterprise workloads have either already adopted cloud or are in the process of doing so.
Naturally, job seekers are keen on jump-starting a career in this field, which has quickly emerged as the most sought after career path for a lot of professionals. With this, many aspirants are now queuing up to get certified in cloud technologies, which is dominated by the three giants — Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. Despite AWS having the highest cloud market share, Google had a higher annual growth rate in 2019 at 87.8%, as compared to AWS with 36% and Azure with 63.9%, as per research report.
Out of these, Google Cloud certification has been one of the most prestigious ones, and here we are going to discuss how aspirants can bag these coveted certifications, particularly the Google Cloud Architect certification, to start a successful career in this field.
Exam Eligibility & Pattern
A Google Cloud Architect uses the knowledge of cloud architecture and Google technology to design, develop, and manage dynamic solutions in order to drive business objectives. While this certification is not limited to a particular role, it is generally intended for solutions or enterprise architects, system administrators, and those working in the company operations team. As per Google’s website, the recommended experience includes 3+years industry experience, of which a year may be dedicated to designing and managing solutions using Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
The total exam duration is two hours, and the exam pattern is 50 questions with multiple choice and multiple select options. Interestingly, there is no score assigned to the candidate; the result is just plain ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. The exam can either be taken remotely or at one of the designated exam centres, against registration fee of $200. The registration can be done here.
The Preparation Guide
Understanding exam syllabus thoroughly is very important before starting the preparation. It has been broadly divided into different sections, as mentioned below:
- Planning and designing cloud solution architecture
- Provisioning and managing solution architecture
- Compliance and security design
- Analysing and optimising business and technical processes
- Implementation management
- Ensuring the reliability of solution and operations.
Having understood the exam pattern, syllabus, and purpose, it all boils down to the main deed — the preparation. The points below list out the steps to take:
- Going through the exam guide and documentation: Google hosts a special Exam Guide for the Cloud on its website. This guide outlines the exam pattern and the prerequisites for appearing. Further, it lists three sample case studies — Mountkirk Games, Dress4Win, and TerramEarth. Not only do they prove to be a good resource to practice for the test cases section of the exam, but these sample test cases can also give a glimpse on how to use the certification in real life.
For an in-depth overview of the concepts and critical concepts of the Google Cloud Platform, one must go through the Documentation. It contains important information on use cases, best practices, solutions, and other cloud products. Going through the documentation can help the candidate get a fair idea of what could be accomplished with this platform.
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- Lab Practice: Getting a hands-on experience on Google Cloud Platform and Lab challenges can prove to be very beneficial. Google QwikLabs is a great platform to cover different topics and applications on real cloud platforms. CodeLabs is another such option; the difference between QwikLabs and CodeLabs is that the latter is more coding-based learning. These lab resources can guide through the process of building or upgrading small applications. Further, these applications can be designed to integrate cloud computing.
- Online Training Courses: It always helps when you have a guiding hand, especially when it comes to preparing for one of the most competitive exams. Several edtech platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Edureka.
- Offline Training Resources: There are a few good offline resources and books available for reference such as Professional Cloud Architect-Google Cloud Certification Guide by Konrad Clapa and Official Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect Study Guide by Dan Sullivan.
- Mock Tests: Taking mock tests is a great way to help students understand the exam pattern as well as ascertaining their own preparation. Google has its own repository of Cloud Architect certification exam sample papers which students can attempt on the run to the D-day.
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I am a journalist with a postgraduate degree in computer network engineering. When not reading or writing, one can find me doodling away to my heart’s content.