How to pass the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer certification

Yesterday I passed the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer certification. In this post, I share my process to prepare for the exam and again, as a bonus, share the study guide I created for it.

Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer certification logo

About this certification exam

  • Registration fee: $200 (plus tax where applicable)
  • Language: English
  • Exam format: Multiple choice and multiple select
  • Exam Delivery Method
    1.
    Take the online-proctored exam from a remote location, review the online testing requirements.
    2. Take the onsite-proctored exam at a testing center, locate a test center near you.
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Recommended experience: Three+ years of industry experience including one+ years managing solutions on GCP.

Online-proctored exam

The strategy I followed for studying for this exam was similar to the one I followed for the Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer certification, as described previously in this post:

  1. Read the exam overview;
  2. Read the exam guide;
  3. Assess my knowledge with the sample questions. It provides an explanation for each of the questions after you finish and is very good to have an idea of the topics, the format of the questions you’ll face, and how prepared you are.
  4. After reading the exam guide and taking the practice exam, I made a list of the products and topics that I found relevant for this certification.
  5. As I started researching and reading about these topics, I found some links in the documentation that also seemed relevant and added them to my TODO list;
  6. The good thing about having created study guides for the other exams is that this time I could just copy and paste the reference links for the topics that I found relevant and re-read them to freshen up. For the products that weren't part of the other study guides, I visited its Documentation / Concepts page and started reading about each of the concepts that I considered relevant for the given product from a DevOps perspective. Check the GCE concepts page, for example.
  7. For this exam, it's also important to study concepts like SRE, DevOps, Observability, etc. Here, Google Search is always your best friend. What I found nice is that the Google Cloud documentation pages have lots of good content about these. Also, Google has made publicly available online this great book about SRE practices. This is a must for the exam, so make sure you read it!
  8. Last but not least, I took the practice exam again (you can take it as many times as you want) to check how much I improved from the beginning.

Study guides

Again, you can freely copy, change, and distribute this material. The only thing I would kindly ask you is to keep a reference to the original material and give me proper credits.

To use it, create your own copy. Once you do it, the spreadsheet will be made writable to you and you’ll be able to update the Status column, which will help you to keep track of your progress over the material:

A screenshot of my spreadsheet with reference material for the Google Cloud Professional certification exams.

Disclaimer

Tips for taking your exam

  1. Read the Google — Site Reliability Engineering book before anything else!
  2. Know what each product does, what it’s good for and what it’s not good for, as well as what are its DevOps and SRE aspects;
  3. As described before, you have 2 hours to finish the exam. Keep in mind that good time management is crucial for your success;
  4. Don’t spend too much time on questions you don’t know. If you aren’t sure about an answer, mark the question to be reviewed later and move on to the next questions.
  5. Practice as much as possible using the practice exam.
  6. If you are taking the online-proctored exam:
    1. Make sure to install Sentinel before the exam. The process is not that straightforward and doing it at the time of the exam may make you anxious :)
    2. Make sure to have a clean place before you start the exam. Your proctor will ask you to show your space through the webcam to make sure there is no risk of fraud.

Conclusion

Having some real experience helps a lot, though I don't think having three+ years of experience, as described above, is really necessary.

All the resources for studying for the exam are available for free, so it's "just" a matter of setting some time apart (I know it's a lot of effort) and putting some focus on going through the resources shared in the study guide mentioned above.

Last but not least, keep in mind this is just an exam. In my opinion, just having a certificate with your name on it doesn't certify anything :). I see certifications just as helpers to keep me focused to study topics that are of my interest or may help me to become a better professional. It's impressive how much we can learn with a month or two of focused studying. Go for it!

Photo by Samuel Clara on Unsplash

I hope this article and the referenced study guides help you in your journey to becoming a Google Cloud certified professional and wish you all the success.

A generalist software developer based in Brazil — https://www.linkedin.com/in/ivam-luz-26698617/