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!

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

All 10/10 GCP Certifications achieved!

So the 1,5-year GCP Certification journey ends (for today 😛 ) with the last certificate achieved on 11th of March! According to official Google Certified Directory it seems that it is a first collection like this in the world 🙂 https://googlecloudcertified.credential.net/profile/0eed9d9cc08925ef82da33ed914f0dab017590e4

If you are interested in starting your certification journey follow the blog for posts where I will explain what is the best path to get fully certified. It is coming soon!

If you want to start your journey today try our book at Amazon!

For my experience with various exams have a look at the certifications section!

Google Cloud Certified Fellow

Today the Google Cloud Certified Fellow program was lunch. I am happy to announce that I am recognised as Fellow #5.

It is a certification outside of standard Professional program and is directed at Technial Leaders working with Anthos. This is how Google describes it.:

The Google Cloud Certified Fellow program is for elite cloud architects and technical leaders who are experts in designing enterprise solutions. This certification program recognizes individuals with deep technical expertise who can translate business requirements into technical solutions using Anthos and Google Cloud.

The Hybrid Multi-cloud Certification is the first certification in this program and assesses both technical skills and business expertise. Achieving this certification demonstrates your leadership, business impact, and technical acumen, as well as your ability to:

Design hybrid and multi-cloud solution architectures with Anthos
• Design for security and compliance
• Provision a solution infrastructure
• Optimize technical and business processes
• Ensure solution and operations reliability”

I will post more information on the program soon. In the meantime you can get more info here: https://cloud.google.com/certification/hybrid-multi-cloud

Anthos 1.2 Time Sync issues on GKE On-Prem nodes

When you login into your GKE-OP nodes you might find out the time is synced with your ESXi host rather then with the Timeserver configured in you DHCP Options or Static IP files used for GKE-OP clusters provisioning.

This issue is actually related to Ubuntu 18 and is connected with settings of timesyncd service.

To see if you are experiencing the issue run

sudo SYSTEMD_LOG_LEVEL=debug /lib/systemd/systemd-timesyncd

ubuntu@gke-03-user0103:~$ sudo SYSTEMD_LOG_LEVEL=debug /lib/systemd/systemd-timesyncd
Failed to create state directory: Permission denied
ubuntu@gke-03-user0103:~$ sudo SYSTEMD_LOG_LEVEL=debug /lib/systemd/systemd-timesyncd
Added new server 172.20.101.25.
Added new server ntp.ubuntu.com.
Selected server 172.20.101.25.
Resolving 172.20.101.25…
Resolved address 172.20.101.25:123 for 172.20.101.25.
Selected address 172.20.101.25:123 of server 172.20.101.25.
Connecting to time server 172.20.101.25:123 (172.20.101.25).
Sent NTP request to 172.20.101.25:123 (172.20.101.25).
Server has too large root distance. Disconnecting.
Waiting after exhausting servers.

Root cause: there is network delay that causes timeout for the response from NTP

Solution: There is no permanent solution for this issue as the settings of NTP are created when Nodes are deployed using the DHCP or StaticIP files. You can only fix this issue after your nodes are deployed. The settings will be lost when you redeploy.

To workaround this issue set edit the timesyncd.conf file and set RootDistanceMaxSec=20 (you might need to find our the honey spot)

sudo cat /etc/systemd/timesyncd.conf

[Time]

#NTP=

#FallbackNTP=ntp.ubuntu.com

RootDistanceMaxSec=20

#PollIntervalMinSec=32

#PollIntervalMaxSec=2048

Now you should check if connection works fine

ubuntu@gke-03-user0103:~$ sudo SYSTEMD_LOG_LEVEL=debug /lib/systemd/systemd-timesyncd
Added new server 172.20.101.25.

freq offset : +0 (0 ppm)
interval/delta/delay/jitter/drift 64s/+0.033s/0.001s/0.000s/+0ppm
Synchronized to time server 172.20.101.25:123 (172.20.101.25).

Summary of 2019

It has been a great year for me with some major goals achieved. I am very thankful for all that have made this come true!

Book – special thanks to @Brian Gerrad co-author. Only you know what was the true cost of writing this book 🙂

Certificationstranscript

  • Professional Cloud Architect ’18
  • Professional Data Engineer ’18
  • Associate Cloud Engineer 
  • Professional Cloud Developer 
  • Professional Cloud Network Engineer
  • Professional Cloud Security Engineer 
  • Professional DevOps Engineer (Beta results pending)
  • There is one more that will be announced in January… cannot wait!

Conferences

  • BitConf Speaker – link
  • vBrownBags Speaker – link
  • Google Next San Francisco ’19
  • Goole Next London ’19
  • Google Developer Group Leads Lisbon
  • GSI Champions Conference in Sunnyvale

Google Developer Group Cloud Bydgoszcz

5 Meetups this year with around 50 participants each!

  • 4 Onsite Meetups
  • 1 Online Meetup

AtoS

  • GSI Champion
  • Google Cloud Platform Learning Ambassador
  • Start developing Anthos on DPC/DHC
  • Decided to stay with the company having a proposal to work in one of my top 5 companies to work for.

Missed goals

  • GCP Certified Trainer – lack of time
  • Google Developer Expert – builiding protfolio
  • Cloud Guru Instructor – lack of time

Goals 2020

Problems creating pre-check VM in Anthos 1.2 GKE-OP

With Anthos 1.2 there is a new feature that creates a test VM to check connectivities before you deploy your GKE-OP clusters. It helps to avoid issues during the installation.

When installing you GKE On-Prem using the following documentation: https://cloud.google.com/gke-on-prem/docs/how-to/install-dhcp you perform checks with the following commands

gkectl check-config --config [PATH_TO_CONFIG]

you will get an error as bellow:

  • Validation Category: F5 BIG-IP
    • [FAILURE] Admin Cluster VIP and NodeIP: Failed to create VM: failed to create VM (not retriable): failed to find VM template "gke-on-prem-osimage-1.14.7-gke.24mage-1.14.7-gke.24-20191120-f71f9a709b' not found
    • [FAILURE] User Cluster VIP and NodeIP: Failed to create VM: failed to create VM (not retriable): failed to find VM template "gke-on-prem-osimage-1.14.7-gke.24-age-1.14.7-gke.24-20191120-f71f9a709b' not found

Root cause: This is cause by the image not being present on the datastore. The installation steps in the GCP docs have wrong sequence.

Solution: run

gkectl prepare --config [CONFIG_FILE] --validate-attestations

After that the VMs get created and connectivity checks can be performed