Cloud Resume Challenge Step 1 – Certification

As I detailed in my last post I’m doing the Cloud Resume challenge to help me skill up on all things Cloud while I’m on a lovely long career break.

I was super excited to realise that the first step of the challenge was to study for and pass Google’s Cloud Digital Leader certification, mainly because I’ve already done it 🙂

Google offers various GCP certifications and provides a library of video tutorials and hands-on labs via the Cloud Skills Boost platform. Earlier this year I decided to work through the certs ok order starting with the foundational Digital Leader one.

The video tutorials on Cloud Skills Boost are free but the hands-on labs (which give you practical experience on the actual GCP platform) are charged either per-lab or by monthly subscription. Fortunately, the materials for Digital Leader don’t involve any labs, so you can study for the whole exam for free. There are paid courses available from third-party learning sites but I feel like these would be overkill for the foundational cert.

Once I had worked through (and made extensive notes on) all the videos (which took a couple of weeks) I felt pretty ready to take the exam. This was confirmed when I tried the practice questions and managed them all pretty easily.

There’s a $99 fee to register for the exam itself and it can be taken either at a registered testing center or remotely. I opted for the remote option. You have to book a particular date and install software that locks up your screen for the duration of the test. The exam is also very strictly monitored by a remote “proctor” who talks to you via text and watches you throughout the allocated time.

Actually, before they even allow you to begin tackling the questions, the proctor insists on a thorough inspection of the room you’re in via your webcam (including taking your laptop to a mirror so – I guess – they can ensure your screen isn’t surrounded by post-its with all the answers on.) This was all honestly kind of a pain but I was impressed by how seriously they take the cert and it’s really hard to see how anyone could cheat it. It’s a proper exam.

Long story short, I answered the questions, marked any I was unsure of for review, and then answered all those, all well within the allocated time. When I submitted the exam I almost missed an instant prompt which appeared to say that I’d passed. This was then confirmed a few days later by a email from the GCP team with a link to my certificate online. Noice!

I’d describe this cert as doing exactly what it says. As Google’s own description suggests, the required learning will allow you to “articulate the capabilities of Google Cloud core products and services and how they benefit organizations.” You won’t be able to do much on GCP but you will be able to talk intelligently about it! And that’s not a criticism; understanding the broader purpose of your tools and why they exist in the first place gives you a great foundation for further learning, This cert also gives you a great basis of understanding exactly what tools you’ll need for what job.

All this said, I am going to keep going with the more advanced certs while I do the rest of the challenge, as I feel like the more practical knowledge of the platform will be of even greater benefit.

Anyway, Cloud Resume Challenge step 1 ✅. Onto step 2: HTML…