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Victor Dantas

Cloud Certifications: GC Associate Cloud Engineer

Victor Dantas

  • Jul 16, 2020
  • 8 Min read
  • 213 Views
  • Jul 16, 2020
  • 8 Min read
  • 213 Views
Cloud
Cloud Infrastructure
Operations and Management
Google Associate Cloud Engineer

Introduction

While Google Cloud’s revenue base is lower than that of Microsoft and Amazon, its growth rate is higher, according to a recent April 2020 analysis by cloudwars.co. This has put Google Cloud certifications in the spotlight lately, with employers showing increasing interest in certified GC professionals. This guide provides information and resources on the entry-level GC Associate Cloud Engineer certification.

Who This Certification Is For

This certification is for engineers beginning to work with GC to deploy apps, monitor operations, and manage enterprise solutions. You should be able to use Google Cloud Console and the command-line interface to perform common platform-based tasks to maintain deployed solutions that leverage Google-managed services (PaaS/SaaS) or self-managed services (IaaS) on Google Cloud.

If you have extensive experience with other cloud providers or on-premises solutions but are still at the early stages of deploying and managing solutions with GC, and haven't acquired a wide breadth of hands-on skills with GC yet, this certification is also a good fit for you.

What This Certification Is For

This certification provides value and confidence to both employers and employees working with GC by validating and demonstrating an individual's ability to:

  • Set up a cloud solution environment
  • Plan and configure a cloud solution
  • Deploy and implement a cloud solution
  • Ensure successful operation of a cloud solution
  • Configure access and security

Applicable Exams

To earn this certification, you need to pass a single exam:

  • Google Cloud - Associate Cloud Engineer Certification Exam

The exam's format is multiple choice and multiple select, and can be taken either remotely (online-proctored) or at a testing center (onsite-proctored).

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for taking this exam. However, it is recommended by Google that you have 6+ months hands-on experience with Google Cloud products and solutions.

Skills Measured

The following skills are within the scope of the exam:

  • Setting up a cloud solution environment
    • Setting up cloud projects and accounts
    • Managing billing configuration
    • Installing and configuring the command line interface (CLI), specifically the Cloud SDK (e.g., setting the default project)
  • Planning and configuring a cloud solution
    • Planning and estimating GC product use using the Pricing Calculator
    • Planning and configuring compute resources
    • Planning and configuring data storage options
    • Planning and configuring network resources. Tasks include:
  • Deploying and implementing a cloud solution
    • Deploying and implementing Compute Engine resources
    • Deploying and implementing Google Kubernetes Engine resources
    • Deploying and implementing App Engine, Cloud Run, and Cloud Functions resources
    • Deploying and implementing data solutions
    • Deploying and implementing networking resources
    • Deploying a solution using Cloud Marketplace
    • Deploying application infrastructure using Cloud Deployment Manager
  • Ensuring successful operation of a cloud solution
    • Managing Compute Engine resources
    • Managing Google Kubernetes Engine resources
    • Managing App Engine and Cloud Run resources
    • Managing storage and database solutions
    • Managing networking resources
    • Monitoring and logging
  • Configuring access and security
    • Managing identity and access management (IAM)
    • Managing service accounts
    • Viewing audit logs for project and managed services

Helpful Resources

Below are some resources to help you prepare for the exam:

Compensation and Employment Outlook

In a 2020 Tech Salary Report by tech career website Dice, Cloud Engineer was the third highest paying occupation in 2019 with an average salary of US$128,347, an increase of 5.2% from the previous year.

When it comes to the career prospects and impact of getting certified with GC, survey responses from Google's own 2020 Google Cloud Certification Impact Report indicate that:

  • 87% of Google Cloud certified individuals are more confident about their cloud skills
  • 71% of Google Cloud certified individuals report that becoming certified enabled or will enable their employer to get more business, increase work with existing customers, or help scale up their business
  • 30% of Google Cloud certified individuals applied for a new role.
  • 70% of those applicants received at least one job offer

The Certification Path

As of this writing this certification is the only GC associate-level certification, which is described by Google as "focused on the fundamental skills of deploying, monitoring, and maintaining projects on Google Cloud", and that it is "a good starting point for those new to cloud and can be used as a path to professional level certifications". It isn't, however, a prerequisite for any of the professional certifications.

Since there are no prerequisites for taking the certification exam, and since it is not itself a prerequisite for any others, this certification is not part of a larger certification path.

Conclusion

The GC Associate Cloud Engineer certification is an entry-level certification for engineers beginning to work with Google Cloud. Ideally, you would take it with the recommended six months (or more) of experience working with GC. With Google Cloud's growth paired with growing demand for cloud engineers--one of the top-paying tech occupations currently--this certification can be of great value by boosting your credibility and impacting your career prospects in a positive way.

With no prerequisites for the exam and with all the great training resources available (listed above), passing the exam and earning the certification shouldn't be a very difficult achievement. That being said, here are a few tips that will help guarantee your success:

  • Do at least a few of the available hands-on labs and/or quests as they will provide you with valuable hands-on practice. As a role-based certification targeted at cloud engineers, you will certainly be tested on your hands-on knowledge and skills.
  • Do the official practice exam (listed in the resources section) to familiarize yourself with the exam format and types of questions.
  • Review the list of skills measured and identify what your weak areas are, then focus most of your studies on those areas. As a cloud engineer working for an organization, you're likely to have been assigned certain specific tasks which involve a subset of technologies and skills within GC. Therefore, there will most certainly be technologies you're not familiar with and which you will be tested on.

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