Consider your options regarding Google Cloud (GCP), certification paths. This article will discuss the different GCP certifications and what they mean for you as a professional, as well as how to set (and reach) your personal goals.

Let’s start by asking some questions about certifications. Then we will dive into each one one by one. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

What experience is required to become Google Cloud certified

All Google certifications are for one purpose at the highest level. Google says that certifications are meant to validate your skills and demonstrate your abilities.

Google assumes that you are interested in certifications after your skills have been acquired. The vast majority of people who use the platform for years would fail the exams.

These certifications go beyond any real-world experience. They are more extensive, deeper, and more diverse than most people’s experiences. People, and assuming that you are a person, will often use certifications to help them learn any skills that they don’t have.

Some people have a lot of experience and the gap between them is small. However, most people need to learn a lot to be able to pass the exam and receive the certification. That’s okay, regardless of what Google may have meant. This is my view of the primary benefit of certifications.

More than certified.

You can become a Cloud Guru by joining ACG and taking our cloud skills assessment.

The Cloud Dictionary of Pain

It doesn’t need to be difficult to speak cloud. We looked at millions of responses to identify the most common concepts that are confusing people. This cloud guide provides succinct definitions for the most difficult terms in Google Cloud and beyond.

What are the different Google Cloud certification roles?

Google was tasked with creating each answers for google analytics assesment certification. This included a Job Task Analysis to identify and catalog the most important aspects that impact people in real-world positions.

Roles like Cloud Engineer, Data Engineer, DevOps Engineer, Network Engineer, Security Engineer, Machine Learning Engineer — well, lots of engineers, obviously. Cloud Developer, which I don’t know why they didn’t call it Cloud Software Engineer. The Cloud Architect, which is a highly-desired and especially lucrative cloud salary.

What are the GCP certification levels?

Google buckets certifications at three levels:


Only the Digital Cloud Leader cert level is currently available. This cert validates a broad understanding of cloud concepts and Google Cloud products and services.


Cloud Engineer certification is an “Associate”. This certification is a great starting point for professionals who want to pursue professional certs. It covers “basic skills in deploying, monitoring and maintaining projects on Google Cloud.”


Each Professional-level certification focuses on a specific role. Although all certifications from Google are broad, the Professional certs go deeper than the Associate. They cover both the technology and business realities of the roles.

A Cloud Guru offers several GCP learning pathways, which are ideal for both beginners and advanced users who want to improve their skills.

  • Google Cloud Architect Learning Path
  • Google Cloud Data, Machine Learning Path
  • Google Cloud DevOps Training Path
  • Google Cloud Developer Training Path
  • Google Cloud Security Learning Path

What are the requirements to become Google Cloud certified?

Before we proceed, let me remind you of one important fact about Google Cloud certifications. Google certifications require that you know non-Google stuff.

You will most likely be asked questions about Google in your exam. Even the do ones will still include non-Google items. It’s because each certification is based upon a real-world Job Task Analysis. No real-world job can be 100% Google-specific.

You must be able and willing to learn from the best in your industry to succeed in any job. You must also be able deal with existing technology–whether it is for migration or hybrid.

What certifications does Google Cloud offer?

Let’s now take a closer look at each certificate and see if it can help you to make an informed decision about which one is best for you.

Associate Cloud Engineer (ACE)

Let’s start with the ACE The AssociateCloud Engineer certification. This certification is undoubtedly Google’s most valuable. I’ll tell you why in a moment.

What is an Associate Cloud Engineer?

Google defines Associate Cloud Engineers as “deploying applications, monitoring operations of multiple projects, maintaining enterprise solutions to meet target performance metrics.” This person has worked with both public clouds and on-premises systems. They can use Google Cloud Console and command-line interface to perform common platform tasks. This includes maintaining one or more deployed solutions that utilize Google-managed, self-managed services on Google Cloud.

How do I pass the Associate Cloud Engineer certificate

The ACE is about using the Google Cloud Platform – both through the web interface and via the command line.

This certification focuses on the most fundamental foundation of GCP. It covers all of the essential building blocks of systems: processing, remembering and moving data around.

  • Processing – This is how your system processes data. Compute Engine allows you to run and manage as many Virtual Machines (VMs) as you need. Kubernetes Engine is available to manage your own clusters. App Engine for a lower operational burden.
  • Remembering – Your system must also remember data. This means you need to have a good grasp of Google Cloud Storage for objects and Persistent disks for VMs’ block storage. Cloud SQL is also an option to give Google database management. You can also go for broke with Big Data and have BigQuery store all your Terabytes or Petabytes or Exabytes. . . Are you interested in cat videos? Meow. (DISCLAIMER) We don’t recommend that you store your cat videos in BigQuery. These cat videos should be treated with care and stored in Cloud Storage.
  • Moving – But how useful are cat videos that stay on Google’s servers? They must be moved around the globe to where you and your billions want them to go! You will need to learn about the Virtual Private Cloud and how it connects your systems globally. This allows you to make your users secure.
  • Security – This applies equally to the way you set up and manage your internal system. Understanding how Projects and Identity and Access Management can help keep your system organized and easily accessible to the right people is key.
  • Management – You also need to manage the system using Cloud Monitoring, Cloud Alerting and other operations stuff from Stackdriver. You also need to monitor and analyze your spending in order to manage costs over time. This can be done with exports and billing alerts.
  • It’s a relief! All of the above is just the beginning! The ACE is a solid foundation. Not only is it useful for GCP, but for all Professional certifications. It’s very difficult to get Pro certifications, so make sure you have a solid foundation before you start.

Why is Google’s Associate Cloud Engineer certification so important?

This is why Google’s ACE certification to me is my favorite GCP certification. Combining these two things is what makes it the best combination.

  • It helps people develop the ability to use GCP every day.
  • It is possible to obtain this certification. You can easily learn how to get this certification. This is not a hypothetical statement. I’ve taught this material to thousands of people from many backgrounds. It’s not always easy, but it is possible if one puts their mind to it. You can do it if they can.
  • Professional Cloud Architect (PCA).

The first Professional role we’re going to cover is the Professional Cloud Architect Google Cloud certification–partly because it’s the most general one, partly because it’s so highly sought-after, and partly because it’s a good way to give context to all the rest of the certs and roles.

What is a Professional Cloud Architect?

Software systems are the basis of everything we talk about, including the stuff we create in GCP. It controls the flow of data to fulfill a purpose. The art of designing a system involves optimizing it across many tradeoffs to increase value and reduce risk. Do you want to be better at this? This Professional Cloud Architect certification is for you.

Google describes this person as “can design, build, and manage robust and secure, scalable and highly available solutions to achieve business objectives.”

How do I pass the Professional Cloud Architect Certification?

Google’s Professional Cloud Architect exam will determine if you are capable to be a successful Cloud Architect. . . This is quite a different task from simply understanding GCP. This isn’t a test on the tools; it’s about the role. This has a huge impact.

It makes the certification more valuable. It shows that you are competent in your field.

You may not be able to use these tools but you do know how to use them in a professional setting. This includes managing GCP cost, maintaining it secure, and making it manageable. Even though Google hopes that you will use GCP, the thought process is applicable everywhere. This might seem odd to say in a blog post about Google Cloud certifications. However, I believe this cert could be very valuable even if you don’t use GCP.

Google describes it as:

This individual is able to design, develop, and manage secure, scalable and highly available cloud solutions that support business goals. The Cloud Architect must be skilled in enterprise cloud strategy, solution design and architectural best practices. The Cloud Architect must also have experience in software development methodologies and approaches, including multi-tiered distributed apps that span multiple-cloud environments em>


  • This exam will have a lot of questions about real-life case studies. These descriptions of fictional companies and cloud projects should be read and studied. You should also do this before the exam so you don’t waste any of your testing time.
  • This cert covers every product or service that is part of GCP. It doesn’t require that you know everything about each one. Because PCA’s main focus is on architecture and business, the technical depth of the Professional certification is significantly lower than the others.
  • Professional Cloud Developer (PCD).

Let’s not forget about all the other certifications. Let’s now move to the Professional Cloud Designer certification. I consider it the last of Google’s general certs. The others are more specific.

One reason I believe this Professional Cloud Developer certificate is general is that Google is very developer-focused. Google views almost everyone working in technology as a developer. However, some developers deal with more program code than others. While they may have realized that not all organizations structure themselves the same as Google, I will admit that Google still views development as the core of everything.

Google considers architects to be lead developers, but they don’t actually write much code. People in operations–including DevOps Engineers and Site Reliability Engineers–are developers who write software to manage the operations activities. Data Engineers are developers who, well, that’s me getting ahead of myself. Let’s return to the Professional Cloud Developer cert.

What is a Professional Cloud Developer?

Here are some comments from Google about the PCD.

“A professional cloud developer builds highly-available, scalable applications using Google-recommended tools and practices. This person has knowledge of cloud-native apps, developer tools, managed service, and next-generation database. The Professional Cloud Developer is proficient in at least one general-purpose programming languages and can produce meaningful metrics and logs to trace and debug code em>

How do you pass the Professional Cloud Developer Certification?

Although there is a lot more to the above paragraph, I believe the most important summary is that a computer programmer (or PCD) makes stuff–builds the actual systems people use. This will include writing program code in a programming language. One of the domains included in this cert is about calling secure service APIs and writing your own service APIs.

However, managed services are a key point. Managed services are like a powerful programming language that requires very little code to accomplish the task. Cloud Storage, Cloud Pub/Sub and Cloud Run are just a few of the managed services that can make a huge difference in a software project’s success.

As Fred Brooks said in his influential book No silver bullet:

“Building software is the most radical solution.” This is becoming easier every day… I believe the development of the mass marketplace is the most important long-term trend in software engineering.”

His paper’s next section correctly predicted that Agile software-development methodologies would be needed. There is good reason to follow his lead. With the advent of public cloud services that offer such incredible features, his prediction goes beyond just packages and covers large parts of the system.

The Professional Cloud Architect role is therefore overlapped with the Professional Cloud Developer role. Developers need to understand cloud architectures. They also need to create these system designs.

Proficiency with the tools is part of being a Professional Cloud Developer. Tools to test and build the applications within your system. Tools for continuously deploying them–CI/CD. Tools to monitor their performance over the long term.

All of these items also include best practices and how they are used in a DevOps environment. The Professional Cloud Developer should understand all the same things as a Professional Cloud DevOps engineer, but at a higher level than what will be covered below for the DevOps certification.

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