Google Cloud Platform is one of the leading cloud providers. This exam can be taken as a first step in learning about cloud services and how those concepts are exemplified by Google. Whether your business is early in its journey or well on its way to digital transformation, Google Cloud’s solutions and technologies help chart a path to success. If you are familiar with Azure or AWS its time to take your cloud journey to the next level by getting used to a multi-cloud environment. If you are not familiar with those, it is best to start with Google Cloud.
- Why should you take this exam
- Any Prerequisites
- About the exam
- Where to register
- How to train
- Useful Tips and Tricks
- Before the exam
- During the exam
- After the exam
- Other Certifications To Consider
Why should you take this exam
An Associate Cloud Engineer deploys applications, monitors operations, and manages enterprise solutions. This individual is able to use Google Cloud Console and the command-line interface to perform common platform-based tasks to maintain one or more deployed solutions that leverage Google-managed or self-managed services on Google Cloud.
The future is multi-cloud as no single Cloud provider satisfies our needs and number of provisioning tools like terraform floating around the market. It’s very important to skill up and make yourself comfortable with multiple cloud environments.
According to their Google website, There are three main points you would consider
- 87% of Google Cloud certified users feel more confident in cloud skills.
- Professional Cloud Architect is the highest-paying certification of 2019.
- 30% of Google Cloud certified users took on more responsibility or leadership roles at work
Before attempting the ACE exam, it’s recommended that you have 6+ months of hands-on experience with Google Cloud products and solutions. This is the first exam you would consider taking if you want to go into the Google Cloud certification path.
About the exam
There are two types of questions in the exam: Multiple-choice which has one correct answer and three incorrect answers and Multiple- answers which have multiple correct answers. I think you would get very few Multiple-answer questions. There are 50 questions in the exam and there is some unscored content on the exam as well which will be used for statistical purposes. You have 120 minutes to complete and cost you $125. Google only tells you whether you failed or passed the exam, it doesn’t provide any score. This exam tests on these topics based on the study guide here.
- Setting up a cloud solution environment
- Planning and configuring a cloud solution
- Deploying and implementing a cloud solution
- Ensuring successful operation of a cloud solution
- Configuring access and security
Where to register
You need to create a web assessor account here directly or you can go from this page. This is the place where you can schedule and manage your exam, certification history, access your digital badges, download your certificate and certificate benefits, etc.
How to train
There are a number of online platforms where you can take training for this exam. For videos training:
- Linux Academy
For Exam Dumps:
If you are completely new to the cloud you can get trained in one of the above mentioned online platforms. Whatever the training you take those are only to get you familiar with the GCP platform because new services are being added to the platform all the time. The best way to prepare is to go through the exam study guide and read the docs accordingly.
Useful Tips and Tricks
Understand different storage options such as Cloud SQL, Cloud spanner, BigTable and Bigquery. You don’t have to know in depth for this certification. All you need is how and when to use these options and what they offer.
- Monitoring is one except you get more questions. Understand how different services uses and this service collects performance metrics, logs, event data from the resources.
- When it comes to Compute Engine VMs there is a concept called preemptible VMs. You need to understand when to use these type of VMs. If you use preemptible VMs you can reduce cost up to 80 percent.
- Understand all GCP services have APIs associated with them and these should be enabled before you use those. All the API services are disabled by default.
- When it comes to computing services, you need to understand different services GCP offers and you might have one or two questions on these concepts. Compute Engine is Google VM service, you can choose CPU, memory, operating systems, etc. Kubernetes Engine is a managed Kubernetes service from Google, you can deploy containerized applications and deploy and orchestrate it in a large scale. Cloud Functions are a serverless option where you are billed only for the runtime of the code.
- You might get questions on static web hosting with cloud storage and Cloud CDN. Make sure you go through these links on how to host a static web site and overview of cloud CDN.
- Understand service accounts and when to use these. Go through this link.
- You have standard and flexible environment in App Engine. Standard environment uses a language specific platform whereas the flexible environment runs containers. You need to understand how to choose between these environments. For example, if you need to run dockerized webapp you need to select flexible environment.
- Understand the App Engine very well. Know that you cant create more than 1 App Engine in one project. You can create multiple versions of the same application under one App Engine with versions. You can migrate your application from one version to another version with — migrate command. You can split the traffic between versions with — splits command. You would definitely encounter a couple of questions on this.
- There are four storage types: Object Storage, File Storage, Block Storage, and Caches. You need to understand them well and make sure you know what are the offerings from the GCP for these storage types.
- The first topic you need to concentrate on is how you can create projects. Understand that you have organizations, folders, and projects. Understand the hierarchy and how you can transfer resources from one project to another project, one organization to another organization, and what are the permissions you need for doing that.
- Download the study guide from here and go through all the Google documentation on your own. This makes you remember things and important concepts.
- You can take online courses but nothing beats self-exploration so take the free tier and start practicing based on the study guide from here
Before the exam
You can cancel or reschedule your exam until before you hit the launch button without any additional fee. This exam is available through online proctoring so that you don’t have to travel to the nearby testing center to take this exam. You need to install the Sentinel tool and complete the biometric profile before the exam. You just need to download this tool and launch it so that it would take your face as login so that when you launch the exam it will automatically redirect to the next steps. Go through all the concepts once again before the exam.
During the exam
Since it’s an online proctoring exam you need to provide your identity before the exam. Your identity is verified through a video call using the Sentinel tool. You will have 120 minutes to complete this exam. It’s a lot of time so you don’t have to rush and take some time to verify your answers. If you are not familiar with the question or not sure about the answer just mark for review and come back later. You can also see all the questions and navigate to whatever the question you want before you submit your exam.
After the exam
You would see your result immediately after you complete the exam. But, it takes some time for google to confirm it. You can actually see the below screen once completed the exam. Once you click on the link pass you will be redirected to another page which says Your exam result must be confirmed by Google before being considered final. I think I received a confirmation form Google after a week.