The path to 11/11 GCP certificates

Note: This is updated article „Getting all the 10/10 GCP certificates – how do I start?”

So I finally made it all 11/11 ACTIVE GCP certs achieved!

DISCLAIMER: Note this is not an official Google Guide how to get certified and I am explaining my own study path.

I am receiving multiple questions on how to start GCP certification. I am not able to answer all of the queries, so I decided to put together info on the resources and methodologies I use. Enjoy!

GCP certification seems to be on a massive demand these days! The Cloud Architect certificate was reported to be the best-paid certificate in the cloud industry: Link. Sounds convincing?

At the beginning of 2021 I received news that I finally achieved all 11/11 ACTIVE GCP certificates. Being the first individual in the world holding all of them. Having in mind the Certified Fellow certificate is available for invited only, the chase for getting them all might be perceived unfair but what can I say – I am super happy to work for AtoS and that I have been trusted to take it. 

Frist things first – decide on your path.

I decided to divide the GCP certification into logical paths that will allow you to best prepare for either getting the certifications that best suits your role or simply getting them all :).

I would say that there are 2 main paths; GCP and G Suite (now Workspace). 

G Suite/Workspace path

The G Suite path has not much to do with GCP except the aspects related to Identity as a Service. I really enjoyed taking this path as it helped me to understand the G Suite package and it helps me with my day-to-day work! It, however, will not help you much to work with GCP itself. I suggest you either take this path in parallel or just leave it for the end of your journey.

GCP path

Note: I will create tips on passing each of the exam in separate posts. This is to show you how set your plan on passing them all!

I strongly suggest starting your journey with Cloud Architect as it gives you all the fundamentals you need to pass other exams. You will learn about all of the most important services and when to use each of them. Then you should look at the Cloud Engineer exam. It will be a quick one – just make sure you are comfortable with gcloud and gsutil commands and you should be good to go.

Next, you can choose one of the 3 paths:

  • Data Engineer and ML exams are very much targeted on Data Engineers and Scientists so you might need more time to prepare for it if you come from the infrastructure world.
  • Network and Security exams have much in common. E.g. firewalls, vpn etc. You can put them in one bucket and take them in a row.
  • Developer and DevOps exams do focus on Apps development and management they focus very much on GKE, App Engine, SRE topics.

Hybrid Multi-Cloud Fellow exam is an invitation-only and would require you to have knowledge from most all of the GCP exams. It is tests both your architectural and engineers skills. See my VLOG #4 to learn more!

In the next part of the article, we will look at all available resources to prepare for the exams.

Check my tips for passing exams here: 

Want to start straight away- check out our book!

Finally I had a great pleasure to talk about passing GCP exams strategies at GDG Cloud Thessaloniki:

Do you want to know more? Let me know in the survey!

Top 4 Google Cloud Platform certified swags

After achieving all 11 GCP certificates I finally have unlocked access to all GCP certified swag! I will be updating the Swag Alert post shortly but wanted to share with you my top 4 swags.

If you want to know how you u can get the swags check out the post: https://gcpfellow.com/2020/02/18/google-cloud-certified-swags/

NUMER 1 – Google Cloud Certified Fellow Patagonia jacket

NUMBER 2 – Google Cloud Certified jacket from NEXT conference.

NUMBER 4: Google Cloud ML Engineer vest (Marmot)

NUMBER 4: Google Cloud Certified hoodie

Let me know what is your favourite GCP certified swag!

Tips to nail the Google Cloud Certified Cloud Developer version 2.0 exam

Google has update the Google Cloud Certified Cloud Developer (PCD) to new version. I had a chance to take the beta last week and must say the scope is finally very much developer focused.

Be sure that you take first the PCA exam before you attempt this one. You need to be confident with all the GCP services to get to the next level. Have a look at my article for certification path: https://gcpfellow.com/2020/03/14/getting-all-the-10-10-gcp-certificates-how-do-i-start-part-1-x/

The PCD exam is very much focused on developer activities and includes topics like:

  • Cloud Build
  • Cloud Source Repositories
  • Cloud Artefact Registry
  • Google Compute Engine and Manages Instance Groups.
  • Kubernetes and GKE
  • Knative
  • Docker
  • Cloud Run
  • Anthos
  • Service Mesh
  • Cloud Operations
  • Deployments strategies
  • Databases
  • Cloud IAM
  • Cloud Identity
  • Data Pipelines
  • APIs

Kubernetes knowledge is absolute must as you get question beyond the GKE. I suggest you get first up to CKAD or CKA level. I took bellow courses:

https://www.udemy.com/course/certified-kubernetes-application-developer/

https://www.udemy.com/course/certified-kubernetes-administrator-with-practice-tests/

And acutally passed the CKAD exam, on second attempt (super difficult exam mainly limit to 2h).

I also suggest you take the following courses

Series on app development (20h)

https://www.pluralsight.com/paths/developing-applications-with-google-cloud-platform

Series on Kubernetes on GCP (30h)

https://www.pluralsight.com/paths/architecting-with-google-kubernetes-engine

Good luck and hope to see you certificate on LinedIn. Tag me if you feel like this post has helped you!

Tips to nail the Google Cloud Certified Machine Learning Engineer Professional exam

I took me over 4 months to nail this exam as I started from ground „Zero” 🙂 The exam is 2h with 60 questions. The exam guide can be found here: https://cloud.google.com/certification/machine-learning-engineer together with recommended materials.

I suggest you take the following path:

Make sure you are at the PCA level with strong K8s background.

  1. Start with 101 Google ML Crash course (40h)

https://developers.google.com/machine-learning/crash-course

2. Watch all the AI Adventures videos (20h)

3. Redo the with 101 Google ML Crash course (10h)

4. Go through the ML Coursera/PluralSights training

https://www.pluralsight.com/paths/machine-learning-on-google-cloud-platform

5. Read carefully the docs for Tensorflow Extended (4h)

https://www.tensorflow.org/tfx/

6. Watch carefully the TFX video series (4h)

7. Do the MLOPs trainig https://www.coursera.org/learn/mlops-fundamentals/ (15h)

8. Watch carefully the Kubeflow series (4h)

10. Read carefully the AI Platform docs https://cloud.google.com/ai-platform (5h)

11. Do as many Qwiklabs for Kubeflow/TFX as possible (20h)

12. I recommend you watch the series on ML by Luis Serrano (20h)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgBncpylJ1kiVaPyP-PZauQ

It is very much 101 on ML and covers the same material as the Crash Course but is easier to comprehend.

10 years at AtoS

Today it is my 10th anniversary of starting my career at Atos Bydgoszcz. When I was 25years old I believed I will never spend more than 2 years in one company. Now I see how wrong I was. 🙂

To make the story short I want to say don’t regret those 10 years and it has been an amazing experience working in a company with so many talented people on board! Today I don’t want to talk about my career but tell you how it started and why is stayed in one company for so long.

When on the 4th grade of the Technical University the only knowledge I found might be useful was gained from the CCNA course… Looking at the job offers for Admin I was shocked… how come can they expect all those skills… It would take me years to get to that level… Fortunately, I got an internship in Madrid and got my hands on both network equipment and servers. I even had a chance to play with VMware! Amazing year at Metrovacesa company!

After a year, I came back to Poland, and lucky enough, once I got my Master’s degree I took a chance to participate in a free MCSA course… I have learned so much in 3 months… I decided to take the entire certification track and I was MCSA at the age of 25. 🙂

Still, when I was back in Madrid I remembered I was pinged by a company in Bydgoszcz if I want to work for them… At that time I googled the city and comparing it to Madrid I thought „no I will never move there”.

This time being in Poland I reviewed the offers again and said ok… let’s apply. I really want to start my career in IT. A couple of interviews and there I go! I was a member of Atos Origin Bydgoszcz Team! Second Line Support Engineer sounded so distinguished!

I started back in 2010 and joined as a Wintel/AD admin and was dropped into a massive contract with over 100 Domain Controllers… What a playground! I literally could not wait to wake up and go to the office!

It was great days working with the senior guys really showed me what hard works mean. I am sure I would not be where I am without them! Thanks! Robert, Dawid, Maciej, Tomasz! The Wintel Engineer times were great! Lots of stressful moments but they gave ma feeling of what IT Operations is!

Through those years I was changing the projects multiple times and finally ending up being Lead Architect for Cloud Engineering team. I met so many awesome people that affected who I am now! I cannot thank them enough!

Obviously, I have been offered to work outside of Atos multiple times (like all of us working in IT). This includes companies that I always dreamed of working for including VMware, Nutanix, Google… Was it a good decision to stay? Yes, it was for me. I always make a list of pros and cons of moving to a new employee which includes:

  • Personal situation
  • Career goals
  • People I will work with
  • Future opportunities
  • Diversity of work
  • Location
  • Finances
  • Work from home capabilities

As you see this list has priorities. As an example technology, I work with will be always more important than money! It is especially tempting when you are a junior employee and you get a good financial offer. I always use this list and I am really glad it kept me with Atos.

The most valuable tip I can give you today is: Don’t think about your career as a means of getting money. Invest in it and do what you love. When you are passionate about your work the money will come!

Also remember the company is people! It is people making the decisions not the company. Get a good manager and build relations with your team it is worth it!

Anthos 1.4 is GA!

Finally, GKE-OP and Anthos 1.4 went GA today! Some super expected features came out:

  • Updated to Kubernetes 1.16
  • Simplified upgrade
  • Improved installation and cluster configuration
  • Improved disaster recovery capabilities
  • Enhanced monitoring with Cloud Monitoring (formerly Stackdriver)
    • Enables vSphere resource metrics collection by default!
  • Support for a vSphere folder (Preview) – should help with narrowing previlages needed on vSphere!
  • Improves the cluster scalability by supporting a maximum of 10

Release notes you can find here:

https://cloud.google.com/anthos/gke/docs/on-prem/release-notes

Anthos on AWS is GA!

Anthos ona AWS in now GA an Anthos on Azure is in a preview. GKE on AWS is a simplified installation of the Admin control plane. It uses AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)Elastic Block Storage (EBS), and Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) services. The bellow diagrams shows high level architecture. The deployment is done using Terraforms.

The details about architecture you can found here: https://cloud.google.com/anthos/gke/docs/aws/concepts/architecture

The installation process can be found her: https://cloud.google.com/anthos/gke/docs/aws/how-to/prerequisites

Note: the docs are still pending update as it shows „Beta”

The war between Anthos and VMware Tanzu is getting more exciting to watch :).