Google Certified Associate Cloud Engineer 2020

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Cleared both Associate Cloud Engineer and Professional Cloud Architect in last two weeks

Hello everyone,

As the title says, I cleared both the exams in the past two weeks. I found the professional level exam bit challenging compared to the pro level exams of AWS. 

Before I go ahead, let me tell you that, I did clear all 5 AWS main certifications in the past few months and then decided to extend my footprints on Google Cloud. I have been developing serverless/cloud applications on AWS since 2016, but preparing for these certifications is another level. My goal was to learn the internals and take a better approach to future endeavors. 

Big thanks to Mattias for the extensive yet simplified coverage of all the Google Cloud services. I used the A Cloud Guru course on Udemy (for some reason I got it free, or it was free for a while, don’t remember). Mattias is also an inspiration because I checked his bio last year when I first landed on A Cloud Guru while preparing for my first AWS certification. His bio, at that time, shows 5 AWS certifications in 5 months and then both the Google Cloud Certifications as well. I have the same 5 AWS and 2 Google Cloud Certifications, so it’s a good feeling now (I am sitting for my ML/Bigdata specialty next month 😉 ).

Coming back to the course content, I would highly recommend going through the A Cloud Guru Google Associate Engineer course, along with the Coursera course. Here are the things which you must know:

  • Google Suite vs Google Cloud Platform

  • IAM, Billing Accounts, Service Accounts 

  • Roles, Permissions, Bindings

  • Google Compute Engine 

  • Google Kubernetes Engine, Pods, Nodes, Deployments, Storage Classes, Security, Services, Load Balancing, etc

  • AppEngine, Versions, Traffic Splitting, A/B Testing, Rollbacks 

  • VPC, Networking, Firewall rules, VPN

  • Cloud Storage 

  • BigQuery, BigTable

  • Cloud SQL, Cloud Spanner, Cloud Datastore

  • StackDriver Logging, Debugging, Tracing, etc

  • Export logs to BigQuery and lookup

  • Interconnect and Peering

  • Cloud Shell, Bastion Host, SSH Keys, Metadata

  • Data Migration, Transfer Appliances, Transfer scheduling, etc

  • Dataproc, Dataflow, Datalabs, etc

  • Deployment Manager and Infrastructure as a Code

  • Google Cloud Best/Recommended Practices (had few questions in Professional exams)

  • Understand the CLI commands for gcloud, gsutil and kubectl, when and where to use, different options, etc

I also read two books online with, you can signup and read with trial accounts. I finished both the books in a couple of days so didn’t have to pay for the account, but may signup in the future.

If you are new to Dockers, Containers, and Kubernetes, I would recommend spending some dedicated time and practice it properly with some example applications. Also would recommend another A Cloud Guru course Kubernetes Deep Dive by Nigel Poulton (that stuff is gold, ya). This will clear a lot of concepts and will surely help in both the exams. 

If you are preparing for the Professional exam, go through the case studies really well. There were a bunch of questions around the case studies. I would recommend going through the "Preparing for the Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect Exam" course on Coursera. 

For practice, you can signup to Qwiklabs but I would suggest to signup directly and use the $300 credits. You will not be limited with any time constraints and there are times where Qwiklabs is overloaded (happened during one of Google Cloud’s Cloud OnBoad Online Sessions). 

Overall it was a good experience, I would recommend doing a lot of practice to put the pressure off, and really understand these services for future aspect and not just to pass the exam. Also, these certifications expire in 2 years, so do it in a way so the knowledge stays with you longer.

2 Answers

Hello Dhavaln,

 That is a very good write up.  Thank you

Mattias will be very interested in your feedback.


Moderator & Coach


Thanks Rusty

Rock on, Dhaval! That’s awesome that you both took down the ACE and then built the additional momentum you needed to overcome PCA! 👏💥 Congratulations! 🎉

I really appreciate you writing up such a helpful list of topics and other advice, to help others who are also challenging themselves with these two certs. I will of course link this post into my Exam Report Mega-Thread! 😁👍

I’m glad my story could be an inspiration to you! And now you are progressing even further, as I’ve not had time to add more certs while I’ve been making all the courses. 😂

All the best to you as you continue your learning journey!  I’m very glad I could be a part of it.



Thanks Mattias 👍👍

Mattias Andersson


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