I passed the GCP Certified Associate Cloud Engineer yesterday – hurray! It was quite a bit tricker than expected and it felt very slow going. Massive thanks and kudos to Mattias Andersson, Nigel Poulton and Matthew Ulasien for all their help and amazing training courses. You guys rock.
In case it helps anyone, my training approach comprised:
• “Google Certified Associate Cloud Engineer” online course by Mattias Andersson through ACG or Udemy. This is my go-to resource and I went through it 3 times. Once at speed 1x, again at 1.5x, and 2x the day before the exam!
• The above course includes Nigel Poulton’s legendary “Kubernetes Deep Dive” which is first class.
• “Google Cloud Security Essentials” online course from Matthew Ulasien (free on ACG!!). I felt I had some gaps in Security, IAM, ACL and this helped nicely.
• The official book ‘Associate Cloud Engineer Study Guide’ by Dan Sullivan. This really helps supplement the above courses as a quick reference and helps you learn gcloud commands. The best thing is the online ‘Test Bank’ with over 400 questions. It is worth buying the book alone to access the test bank.
• Use the certificate exam guide as your benchmark and make sure your knowledge fully covers every topic. I felt there were some areas in the exam guide not really covered in any of the above training (hybrid connectivity, VPC peering, Spanner, Dataproc).
• The ‘Associate Cloud Engineer’ Sample Questions – 20 question in the same format as the exam.
• Read the best practices recommended by Mattias. Yes, really, read them 😉
The hardest thing about studying for this exam is knowing where to stop. There is just so much ground to cover, but sticking to the exam guide proved invaluable
My overall tips:
• Listen to and digest every word from Mattias, Nigel and Matthew. They are telling you this stuff for a reason 😉 If you think something is too low level, it isn’t. Unlike the AWS Associate exam, the ACE exam is all about detail.
• Keep a printed copy of the exam guide out at all times to keep you focused. It’s all too easy to lose focus and dig deep into one cool product out of interest.
• Use the ‘Test Bank’ from the book to repeatedly solidify your knowledge. There is so much ground to cover for this exam I found myself forgetting some areas I’d learned previously – my "Out of memory exception’ – but, perhaps that’s just me. 😉
• Learn as many gcloud commands as you can remember, know how commands are structured and why. Try to link the gcloud command structure to what you see in the console. Once I understood the overall structure of gCloud, I found myself successfully ‘guessing’ the ones I didn’t know.
• As Mattias says it’s important to develop ‘Mental Models’. Many of the questions I felt could only be answered by forming a mental model of the data flow.
• Many questions are asking about the ‘google way’ so definitely look at ‘Best Practices for the Enterprise Organisation’ and ‘Best Practices for Operating Containers’.
There were a couple of areas I felt exposed (Cloud Run, Spanner, Hybrid connectivity, Dataproc, VPC peering, Snapshots), but other than I was quite well prepared.
Thanks again Mattias, Nigel and Matthew and of course the ‘Kroonenburg brothers’ for providing the amazing ACG platform!