GCP Certification Guide
Hello, I'm Mattias. Now I want to be straight with you. No certification is any magical thing that will guarantee you success in your career. What you really want is to be effective at using the Google cloud platform or GCP in some real world role. Isn't it? Well,
I strongly believe that these certifications can help you do that. If you're smart about it, this video is about understanding how you can succeed by using Google cloud certifications. I'll Start with a general overview of the certification system and how you can use them as tools. Then I'll give you a super high level description of the certifications and how they grouped together. After that,
we'll walk through the certifications one by one, and I'll tell you a bit more about each of them. And finally, I'll give you ideas for how you can set and achieve your own personal goals. So let's dive in. Oh, and by the way, if you're only interested in some specific things and don't have time to watch the whole video, that's alright, feel free to jump to those timestamps that we've listed below. At the very highest level all of Google certifications have one purpose according to Google: to validate your expertise and show your ability. They sort of assume that your interest in certs starts after you've already gotten the skills, but the vast majority of people would likely fail the exams because they're just not ready.
Even people who've been using the platform for years. These certifications are much broader, deeper, and more varied than almost anyone's real world experience. So people, and this includes you, will usually use the certifications as a guide to learn whatever skills they're missing from their own backgrounds. Some people start with a ton of great experience.
And so the gap is fairly small, but not most people. Most people have a fair amount of stuff that they need to study to be well-rounded enough to pass the exam and get the cert regardless of what Google might've intended. That's fine. In my opinion, this is actually the primary value of certifications. Now, when Google went about creating each certification that included the hard work of doing a job task analysis to discover and catalog the most important things that affect people in those different real world roles, roles like cloud engineer, data engineer, devops engineer, network engineer, security engineer, machine learning engineer. Well,
lots of engineers obviously, but also cloud developer, which I'm not sure why they didn't just call that cloud software engineer, and also the much desired and particularly profitable role of cloud architect. Alright. So Google buckets all of these into levels of certification, foundational, associate and professional. Currently only the cloud engineer cert is considered an associate while the rest of the ones I've mentioned so far are all considered professionals. Each professional cert is all about a specific advanced role, whereas the associate is more basic and foundational, but I'm sure you can already guess that the foundational level cert is even more foundational than the associate, right? Google introduced this in 2021 with their cloud digital leader certification.
Now all of Google certifications have fairly broad scope though, some more than others, but the professional certs all go much deeper than the associate one does into both the technology and the business realities surrounding those roles. And although like all Google certs, the foundational one is no cakewalk either, it is far more accessible to non-technical people and is unquestionably the easiest GCP certification. Now, before we move on, I want to call out one more important thing about Google's cloud certifications and it's this, all of Google's certifications also require you to know non Google stuff. And I do mean all of them because even the cloud digital leader, cert dedicates a whole section of its exam guide to cloud agnostic general cloud knowledge. Anyway, what this means is that you'll very likely get exam questions that have nothing to do with Google specifically. And even the ones that do will still also include non Google things.
Remember that Google bases their certifications on real world impact and no real world job is 100% Google specific. To succeed in any role, you need to be able to work with the relevant general industry technology and best practices. And you need to be able to deal with pre-existing technology too, whether for migration or some hybrid set up.
Now, if you head over to Google's main certification page, after watching this video, of course you might notice a few extra things than the ones I cover. So let me give you a quick heads up and explanation why we've chosen to cover the things we have Instead. First, I don't recommend that you spend any of your time looking into Google's fellow program because it's niche, very advanced and invitation only. If you ever find yourself super deep into multi-cloud and thoughts though, you might reconsider. Also because the collaboration engineer cert is all about administering Google workspaces, what used to be called G suite, that doesn't much help you in any of the roles we're covering, where you're building your own systems, using the services in the Google cloud platform. One more thing to know is that Google has deprecated their Apigee certification.
So it's not on their cert page anymore, but it still shows up elsewhere like in articles or stuff like that. Anyway, Apigee is all well and good, but Google has just decided that they didn't need a special certification. Okay? So let's take a look at each cert in turn then So you get a better sense for it and how it might be valuable to you. We're going to start with a foundation, the cloud digital leader, or CDN. Now This certification may actually be the most significant thing that Google has ever done to welcome people into the GCP ecosystem.
The reason for this is because as Google says, the cloud digital leader exam is job role agnostic and does not require hands-on experience with Google cloud. This is the only GCP cert that doesn't require you to have used GCP yourself yet. Even still, this cert is quite valuable too, as Google puts it, a cloud digital leader can articulate the capabilities of Google cloud core products and services and how they benefit organizations. The cloud digital leader can also describe common business use cases and how cloud solutions support an enterprise. These.
Things are super important to pretty much every. Role that has anything to do with Google cloud and actually its value even reaches out to other clouds too. Now I will reiterate that very few people use foundational certifications like this to prove their ability. Instead, almost everyone uses them to guide their learning.
People start with some interest, whether they need it for their job, or because they're curious or something like that, and an attainable and focused certification like this is a perfect way to dive in. So regardless of whether you consider yourself a technical person, a certification like this can give you a really valuable framework for understanding how the cloud works, both the public cloud in general, and the Google cloud specifically. You'll need to understand how it can simultaneously reduce total costs and dramatically increase business agility. You'll also need to understand key trade-offs including the ones between costs versus responsibility, They say in their exam guide, and between level of management versus flexibility when comparing cloud services, it also gets into the shared responsibility between Google and us to manage security and other aspects of the systems that we build.
And you need to understand the practical aspects of what it takes to migrate to the cloud. At the same time, this certification still has some teeth and you'll need to understand many different GCP products and services and how they can work together in system architectures. This is not some exam you walk into off the street and expect to pass because you read some cloudy articles over the weekend. Nope. Okay.
Next let's look at the ACE, the associate cloud engineer. In a way, this is Google's most important certification for you to get. In Google's words, an associate cloud engineer, deploys applications, monitors operations of multiple projects and maintains enterprise solutions to ensure that they meet target performance metrics.
This individual has experienced working with public clouds and on premises solutions. They are able to use Google cloud console and the command line interface to perform common platform based tasks to maintain one or more deployed solutions that leverage Google managed or self managed services on Google cloud. Whew. The ACE is all about Being able to use the Google cloud, both through the web UI and the command line, right? GCP includes a ton of stuff, but this cert focuses on the most important practical foundation. So it includes everything from the cloud digital leader, plus all the critical building blocks for systems processing, remembering and moving data around when it comes to how your system does its processing. That means things like compute engine for running and managing as many virtual machines as you need.
And Kubernetes engine for running and managing your own clusters of containers, and app engine to enjoy a lower ongoing operations burden. Of course your system also needs to remember data. So that means getting a good handle on Google cloud storage for your objects and persistent disks for your VMs block storage.
But this also includes using cloud sql, the hand off database management to Google, or going for broken big data by having big query store and process all your terabytes, petabytes, or exabytes of, uh, um, cat videos. Meow. Disclaimer, we do not recommend storing your cat videos in big query, treat those cat videos, right, and put them in cloud storage. But what good are cat videos that just stay on Google servers, right? You need to move them around the world to wherever you and your billions of users want to watch them. So you'll need to understand the VPC, the virtual private cloud, and how it connects up the parts of your system globally, and lets you make them securely available to your users. Now,
speaking of security, that also very much applies to how you set up and manage your system internally, right? So you'll need to understand how projects in IAM identity and access management can help you keep everything organized and accessible to exactly the right people. And of course you also need to manage things both in terms of making sure that all the pieces of your system are working properly using cloud monitoring, cloud alerting, and other operations stuff that originally came from Stackdriver. And also you need to watch and analyze spending to manage costs over time with billing alerts and exports. But all of what I've just listed is still only scratching the surface.
This ACE really is a well-rounded foundation and not only for using GCP, I mean, but also for any of the professional certifications, the pro certs are all rather challenging. So it's important that you have a strong foundation before you take any of them on. So this then is why I feel so strongly that Google's associate cloud engineer certification is the most important one for people to get, Like you.
It's the combination of these two things. One: because it guides people to really competent ability to use GCP day-to-day. And two: because this certification is achievable. I mean, you can learn your way to this certification, but I want this video to give you a broader understanding of all the GCP certs. So let's move on to the professional ones. The first professional role we're going to cover is the professional cloud architect. 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. In particular, everything we're talking about, the stuff we build in GCP, is a software system. It manages the flow of some data to serve a purpose and architecting.
That system is all about optimizing that system across a whole bunch of trade-offs to increase value while reducing costs and risk want to get better at doing that. Well then this professional cloud architect cert is right up your alley. The way Google puts it, this individual can design develop and manage robust, secure, scalable, highly available and dynamic solutions to drive business objectives. Now I want to call out something very important about this certification Google's professional cloud architect exam will try to determine whether you could actually be a successful cloud architect.
And that is a massively different thing from determining whether you just understand GCP. This is not a test about the tools. Primarily it's a test about the role, and that has a lot of impact. Google describes this by adding that the cloud architect should be proficient in all aspects of enterprise cloud strategy, solution design, and architectural best practices. The cloud architect should also be experienced in software development, methodologies and approaches, including multi-tiered distributed applications, which spend multi-cloud or hybrid environments. Google's practical approach to this makes this certification more valuable achieving. It means you actually know what you're doing. And I would go so far as to say that it could even be a good indicator of whether you'd be a good cloud architect in Amazon's AWS or Microsoft Azure. Not that you really know those tools or anything,
but that you understand how to use the cloud in a professional setting, balancing trade-offs managing costs, keeping it secure, making it maintainable, yada yada, the thought process applies everywhere even though Google of course hopes that you'll use it in GCP, right? So this might be a strange thing to hear in a video all about Google cloud certifications. But I think this could be a pretty valuable cert to get, even if you never use GCP. That said as far as the scope is concerned, this cert includes every product and service in GCP. But thankfully it doesn't require you to know every last detail about every one of them. The technical depth is notably shallower than all the other professional certs because PCA's real focus is on the business and architecture. And to make sure that you're able to handle things like that.
This exam includes a number of questions about realistic case studies. Now you should definitely read and study these descriptions of these fictional companies and their cloud projects. And you should do that in advance of your exam so that you don't waste your limited testing time trying to do that.
Now let's move on to the professional cloud developer certification, which I consider to be the last of Google's general certs. The other ones we'll cover are all rather more focused. Okay. A part of why I say that this professional cloud developer cert is general is because Google as a company is a very developer focused from Google's point of view. Pretty much everyone who works in technology is a developer of some sort, just some people deal more with program code than others do a professional cloud developer.
And I quote builds scalable and highly available applications using Google recommended practices and tools. This individual has experienced with cloud native applications, developer tools, managed services, and next generation databases. A professional cloud developer also has proficiency with at least one general purpose programming language and is skilled at producing meaningful metrics and logs to debug and trace code. Alright, there's a lot to unpack there,
but I think the simplest high level summary is that a PCD makes stuff builds the actual systems that people use. Now that's definitely going to include writing some program code and some programming language. And one of the domains in this cert is all about that - Calling service API securely, writing your own service APIs and stuff like that.
But I think one of the most important call-outs here is the point about managed services. Just like how a powerful programming language means. You have to write very little actual code to get the job done, managed services, take that to the next level. The next level of abstraction, I mean, effective use of managed services, things like cloud storage, cloud pubsub and cloud run, for example, can make an enormous difference to a software project because you stop wasting your time reinventing the wheel. In this way, the professional cloud developer role overlaps with the professional cloud architect, one developers do not only need to be able to understand cloud native architectures. They also need to be able to create those system designs themselves at least to some extent, but professional cloud developer also includes proficiency with the tools of the trade tools to build and test the applications in your system tools to continuously deploy them CI/CD and tools to manage their performance longer term. Now all of these things also include the related best practices, not just the tools in isolation and functioning in a DevOps team environment.
So this professional cloud developer is expected to understand most of the things that a professional cloud DevOps engineer does to just at a more general level, then we'll cover in a minute about the DevOps cert, but actually let's not even wait a whole minute. Let's dive into the professional cloud DevOps engineer cert right now. Alright. Here's the official blurb.
A professional cloud DevOps engineer is responsible for efficient development operations that can balance service, reliability and delivery speed. They are skilled at using Google cloud platform to build software delivery, pipelines, deploy and monitor services and manage and learn from incidents. Okay. That's a lot of words and many people hear the word operations and then just tune out all the rest bad idea, this role, which is also called site reliability engineer, especially in Google's world does way more than just that. And it handles the operation stuff quite differently to at its core.
This whole SRE role is about enabling the entire team to make better software faster. And if you spend all your time just putting out fires and chasing your tail and operations, that's not going to happen. So it uses the power of software development to magnify the impact of your time.
It used to be the case that operations people would unbox hardware and set it up and configure it and set up the application dependencies and install the apps they got from the devs. Not any more instead SREs write declarative, manifest files and procedural scripts to do all of that stuff complete with error handling and logging and version control. And all of the other things that software engineers use to control chaos because SREs are software engineers, just internal ones that, like I said, enable the entire development team to make better software faster. But it also goes beyond the stuff that devs use, because it also includes intentional risk management. Now notice that I didn't say risk avoidance because this role does not fear risk. It embraces it. Yes.
Being willing to cause errors sometimes because the risk is worth the reward. You make the software better. And the overall effort actually winds up taking less time too in the end. People can be skeptical about this, but it's absolutely true. So in terms of GCP products that this role and cert focus on, they include all the observability stuff that used to be called Stackdriver stuff like cloud monitoring, cloud logging, cloud trace, cloud debugger, and cloud profiler. Also CI/CD stuff like cloud source, repositories, artifact registry, and cloud build and infrastructure as code stuff like cloud deployment manager and Terraform. Now this role is often really misunderstood, but it can definitely be an incredible part of a team when it's actually empowered to succeed. If you do want to dig deeper into this and how it could benefit you and your team, you might want to go through the course I made on the topic.
It's not too long, but it goes through both the role itself in more detail and also the context for the role. And it also happens to be a great first step towards this professional cloud DevOps engineer certification. If that interests you I'll put a link in the description below. Okay, next, let's take a look at the professional cloud security engineer. Everyone is responsible for security and has to do their part.
But this professional cloud security engineer role does spend all day, every day dealing with security stuff, just different flavors of security from task to task. And some of those flavors are available only to those security specialists. To be honest, this flavor metaphor seems pretty weird. So let's just move on. This is a good flavor.
Alright. So Google says through an understanding of security, best practices and industry security requirements, this individual designs develops and manages a secure infrastructure, leveraging Google security technologies. The cloud security professionals should be proficient in all aspects of cloud security, including managing identity and access management, defining organizational structure and policies using Google technologies to provide data protection, configuring network security, defenses, collecting and analyzing Google cloud platform logs, managing incident responses, and an understanding of regulatory concerns, regulatory concerns everyone's favorite, right? Regardless, that's only one part of this much larger role. The key really is that this person designs develops and manages a secure infrastructure like the whole thing, right? But again, they're still not working alone because this security professional leads the team on security things.
The rest of the description is all just to give more specifics. So in terms of focus areas, this does have a heavy emphasis on IAM, of course, and using the resource hierarchy to put projects into folders and organizations, and also service accounts, cloud identity groups, and directory sync get involved. And then for networking, Google strongly recommends the beyond corp zero trust network model and using identity aware proxy to avoid relying on a network perimeter to protect you.
But it's still quite reasonable to use network-based security as an additional layer of protection defense in depth, right? So VPC structures like firewalls, peering and cloud interconnect need to be set up in a way that enables safe connectivity across all of this - everything and every one must have the least privilege they need. As for the data you store, you shouldn't need any regulation to tell you that it's a bad idea to collect unnecessarily detailed information on your customers stored in securely. And then let that data fall into the wrong hands, right? Data breaches, destroy trust, and often kill companies. So it's just bad business too. So you redact sensitive info with the DLP API, you tokenize stuff. You encrypt and manage keys with cloud key management and you expire data with object lifecycle policies. It's cetera. Finally,
there's not just the passive or preparatory security stuff. You sometimes also need to take action to respond to security events like DDOS or zero day. Well, I could go on, but I hope you now feel secure in your understanding of this role. Yeah. Yeah.
Next let's dive into one of the truest specialty roles, the professional cloud network engineer. Google says that this person implements and manages network architectures in Google cloud platform and may work on networking or cloud teams with architects who designed the infrastructure by leveraging experience, implementing VPCs hybrid connectivity, network services and security for established network architectures. This individual ensures successful cloud implementations using the command line interface or the Google cloud platform console. Now, before we move on to the rest of the stuff, I want to make one comment about that very last phrase. Sure. It's important to note that the role in exam expect the ability to work via both the command line and the web console UI. But the thing I want to point out is what's missing unlike networking specialist roles of the past. This one never interacts with any hardware.
This is all about software defined networking cloud network engineer, right now, even though the overall description reads more like the, get your hands dirty and do it sort of a person instead of the sit back and figure it out kind. This role definitely does include designing, planning and prototyping networks in GCP. In fact, that's the first domain listed in the exam guide, but all of the other domains are very much more about the day-to-day implementation and management stuff, configuring and managing the virtual private cloud or VPC, a network that connects everything together, doing the same for the network aspects of the many things that connect into the VPC. But this cloud network engineer turns it up to 11 DNS, BGP, TCP IP.
SSL, HTTPS, IP sec, VPN SSH, CDN, BBQ, LOL. Okay, I added those last two, but seriously, there are a lot of details to handle and those details extend beyond the network only services because this role gets involved in some of the IAM stuff too. Remember, it's all software defined networking. So all access control is managed centrally. Alright, next,
we'll dive into what makes a professional data engineer or pde. Well to start with data, right? That's clearly the focus. But the question to ask is why, why do we care so much about all that data? Well, let's hear from Google again, a professional data engineer enables data-driven decision-making by collecting, transforming and publishing data. There it is data driven decision-making. As an industry, we've learned that there is a ton of business value locked up in data, and this role is all about coaxing it out and introducing it to the whole organization. They continue on a data engineer should be able to design, build operationalize, secure, and monitor data processing systems with a particular emphasis on security and compliance, scalability and efficiency, reliability, and fidelity, and flexibility and portability.
That's a lot of ilities. Because trade-offs are at the core of every it role. And definitely including this one, if you're dealing with data, you obviously have to respect the privacy and security concerns that it represents. So that overlaps a bit with a security engineer role. But like I mentioned, then security truly is everyone's responsibility. And there's plenty of overlap with the architecture role too.
Since this professional data engineer very much includes architecting, all big data systems for the entire data lifecycle ingesting, storing, processing, analyzing, exploring, and visualizing. So in terms of GCP products that are core to this role and cert, I would say that a few really standout - dataflow, dataproc, bigtable and bigquery, but that's not to say that the others aren't important to things like dataprep, datalab, data studio, cloud storage, cloud sql, and cloud pubsub, anything that stores and processes data really, but it's not just about setting these things up. This role also involves monitoring, maintaining debugging and overtime enhanced. These pipelines. One additional call out here is that this role will also need to be able to use industry standard, non Google stuff. Things like Hadoop for MapReduce, processing large datasets, and SQL for writing all sorts of data queries.
Now the final sentence Google uses to describe this role is a data engineer should also be able to leverage, deploy and continuously train preexisting machine learning models. So even though there's a special cert just for machine learning, this one definitely includes it too. This means you need to understand GCP's pre-trained models like vision API and translation API, but also be comfortable with training your own models through something like Vertex training, what Google used to call AI platform training. And then there's also the middle of the road auto APIs like auto ML vision and auto ML tables where Google does most of the heavy lifting, but you still get to be involved in the training. Notably missing from the scope here though is designing your own custom models from scratch to solve new problems.
That's more the realm of the specialist machine learning engineering. This role definitely includes all of the machine learning stuff from the data engineer role plus a whole lot more. So let's take a closer look at what more Google's write-up says a professional machine learning engineer designs builds and productionizing machine learning models to solve business challenges using Google cloud technologies and knowledge of proven ML models and techniques. The ML engineer is proficient in all aspects of model architecture, data pipeline interaction, and metrics interpretation. The key thing here is the inclusion of designing and building the ML models, not just training and using them like the PDE. And as it calls out this professional ML engineer is proficient in all aspects of machine learning, all aspects, not just what relates to Google cloud, right? And that is I think the very biggest thing to know about this cert it is probably the Google cert with being most non Google content.
And that also gives it excellent reach beyond GCP. Should you ever need to work multi-cloud or hybrid? The first section of the exam guide is all about framing, business problems and data in a way that could be served by ML. So that doesn't have anything to do with Google aside from their AI principles and practices that you should be following. Interestingly,
you also need to be able to recognize situations that should not use ML when it comes to designing the machine learning solution, you have to consider some more Google-y things like how to build security and privacy into your model pipeline, using things like IAM and key management. You also need to know when you should use VMs containers GPUs and or TPUs for training. You also need to be able to leverage to good effect all of Vertex AI, which is Google's new name for their AI platform.
This includes ways it can do distributed training the algorithms it has built in, and its features like Vertex, explainable AI, and Vertex model monitoring. It's also important to know when it's the right decision to use fully automatic pre-trained models like speech to text or recommendations AI, or see when the auto ML versions offer the best set of trade-offs architecting. Your ML solution is a big part of the exam because it's an important part of the role moving forward. It's important to be able to use cloud data prep, to explore and clean your data.
And then also the data engineering tools we covered to process it, of course, with less depth and emphasis here than there was in the professional data engineer cert. Just to be clear, that means things like big query, cloud data flow and data studio. Finally making all of your machine learning dreams A reality involves putting everything into practice, and this means implementing your architecture, but it also means automating and monitoring things in an ideal world. Not only are you not doing any manual training to update your model, you even have a CI/CD system in place ML ops to automatically test and deploy new models.
So the DevOps tools like cloud build and cloud monitoring are all interesting here too, throughout all of the stuff I've mentioned, everything is soaked in a generous serving of the open source TensorFlow. Okay. This may all seem like a lot to take in, but don't worry about trying to remember everything. There's no way you will, and it's not useful to memorize it. Anyway.
What matters more is that you can use the understanding to shape your own path forward. Remember, the point here is to help you succeed in your work. The certs are only tools that you can use to help you achieve that more easily and quickly. So then what's your goal? What are you driving at? Just trying to break into the cloud. You should start with a cloud digital leader, cert targeting.
This will force you to get a good foundation in how the cloud works in general and how GCP works specifically. It still won't be easy, but it will be rewarding. This will enable you to understand and make smart decisions about using the Google cloud.
It will also put you in a great position to move on to the ACE and then to a deeper role. Now, if you do already have some experience, whether with GCP, some other cloud or just it in general, you should generally still start with the cloud digital leader cert, and then target the ACE. These will identify and fill the holes in your foundation for all of this GCP stuff. And if you already know a lot of the stuff they cover, then they'll just be that much quicker and easier for you to get, but it really is still worth your time and energy to take care of your foundation before moving on to any professional level role, tons of well-meaning and super smart people have blind spots, unknown unknowns that really sabotage their effectiveness until they address them. And once you've got this ACE up,
your sleeve you'll have a well-rounded ability to use GCP, but many people or dare I say, most people do not want to stop at the associate cloud engineer level. They see the value of it and want to target deeper roles. So let's take a look at how you could target architect, developer, devops, security and data/ML.
Now whether it's because they've seen salary reports or because they want the prestige or because they just love creating awesome systems. Many of those many people, I just mentioned want to become a professional cloud architect. So after building the foundation with CDL and ACE, the obvious next target is the professional cloud architect, right? Well maybe if you already have a strong background in designing and building software systems, this could work fine because the PCA is so broad and generic. A non GCP architecture background still helps a ton. I've heard people who fit this description say that Google's PCA exam felt easier to them than some of the other clouds equivalents, because it was less about the technical details, but without a strong background in architecture, going straight from ACE to PCA could be a rather rough ride and many people in this group report that the PCA is the hardest exam that they have ever seen.
There's so much stuff to learn here that you could benefit from a stepping stone to help you bridge that gap. In particular, I'd suggest that you consider going for the professional cloud devops engineer cert next between ACE and PCA. It's still serious business, but I'd say it's pretty accessible in comparison and builds up your abilities in a narrower, but overlapping scope either way.
Once you've actually gotten your professional cloud architect certification, there's a good argument to continue developing your GCP skills, especially by one, following up with a professional cloud security engineer, to make sure you will robustly cover that critical skillset and two, looking at the professional data engineers so that you are really solid on how businesses can best leverage their data. Those would help you become an even better architect, correct? Let's consider the role of a developer like I've mentioned. You really should start with a CDL and ACE, but what next? Well, the most valuable next cert for a developer Is going to be the professional cloud developer one, Or PCD, surprise surprise Right? Now, if you want to, you can do the professional cloud DevOps engineer cert before PCD, but it's just fine if you'd rather do it after instead.
But I definitely do recommend that every developer learn and really understand DevOps and site reliability engineering seriously in this day and age, a developer who doesn't rock DevOps and SRE is completely limiting their career. Now, after these more developer certs, you can definitely still get good value from continuing forward. A good next option is the professional cloud security engineer cert because an insufficient appreciation of security is one of the biggest and riskiest problems for developers after that, because the role of a developer in particular gets so hugely magnified by adding new tools to the toolbox.
I would suggest taking a look at the professional data engineer and professional cloud architect, certs at minimum, a better understanding of those broad sets of tools would mean that you can confidently bring them to the table in team collaboration. But the truly amazing thing about the developer role is that it is becoming more independent because higher abstraction technology makes us so much more efficient. A single developer can now often accomplish what used to require a whole team of people. And if you manage to get yourself to that position, you are set. Of all the roles I'm mentioning. I believe this is the one that's been the most future looking. [Inaudible].
Now One of the things I've been harping on is about how important DevOps is, right? And there's a reason for this software development as an industry has learned through the decades, how to, and how not to do things. And one of the super important lessons is agile. If you've never read the manifesto for agile software development, you should seriously, it'll take you less than one minute. And that's even if you're a slow reader, but the key is that successful software development requires a short feedback loop. And that is what DevOps is all about.
A software development team without any DevOps expertise is like a hockey team playing every game without a goalie. Sure. You can do it, but you're putting yourself at a significant disadvantage. So to drive toward the DevOps engineer role, start with a CDL and ACE as always, and then dive straight into the professional cloud DevOps engineers, cert just this by itself is awesome. But after that to go deeper, I think you'd get a lot of value by digging into the dev side of your DevOps and targeting the professional cloud developer. Some of it may feel like a stretch at first, especially if you haven't done any programming before, but I'm sure you can do it.
And it's very valuable to elevate the development stuff that you definitely will be doing as a DevOps engineer. After that the professional cloud architect is a great way to open up the whole rest of the cloud world DevOps and site reliability engineering are all about managing risk. So a better understanding of how the cloud systems all work is very benefitial. Alright, targeting a security role is another useful option.
Unsurprisingly here, my recommendation is to start with CDL and ACE and then make a beeline for professional cloud security engineer PCSE done and dusted, right? Well maybe not sure. This is absolutely a solid achievement, no question, but security roles can also have areas of specialization. One option for going deeper than PCSE is to dig into the professional cloud network engineer. This is a cert that I would absolutely recommend as situational. If you either have a preexisting networking background or are working in an organization that makes heavy use of network-based security, then this could be an excellent add. Either you leverage your background to make yourself more valuable as a security engineer in general, or you flesh out a highly relevant skillset.
Another good addition for security engineer is the professional cloud architect. Security comes from applying your brain based on good understanding, not from doing certain activities or checking boxes, right? So driving toward the PCA is a really great way to make sure that you properly understand the breadth of products and services that will show up in the systems you need to help. [inaudible] Alright. Now, if you want to focus on data and I'm not talking about Brent Spiner, then you will be right at home in the Google cloud data is where GCP really shines. Now, if you thought that I was going to, once again,
start with a CDL and ACE, then you'd be right. Of course, these two are always the critical foundation, but for data, I think your next step should be the professional data engineer. And then after that, the professional machine learning engineer. Now, if you're in a situation where you do almost exclusively machine learning or absolutely none at all, then Hey, you might well want to tweak that and just do one of those two certs. But if you're not really. Sure about some better plan or.
Maybe even if you are, then this is a very reasonable one. PDE makes sure that you have a very solid handle on the broader data life cycle and how to take advantage of it. And then PMLE deepens that in what is undoubtedly the most important way of leveraging data going forward. After you take care of the data focus stuff, it could be a good idea to either focus on rounding out your developer side with a professional cloud developer cert, or go broader into architecture with a professional cloud architect with either choice.
You'll learn a lot more about how to make good trade-offs in two critical arms of data engineering, designing the systems and implementing them. This has been a lot to cover, but okay. Now what kind of a guide would I be if I stopped the video before offering you some ideas for how you personally can move forward with all of this, right? I don't want you to just watch this video and it's not about getting your license subscribes either though. Of course, I do appreciate them. I honestly want you to succeed to that end.
We at a cloud guru have put together a ton of training material and support systems to help you do just that it's our mission to teach the world to cloud. And in particular, we'd like to teach you. So we have training courses for the certifications. Plus other courses, standalone videos, practice, exams, guides, discussion forums, and official discord server, regular GCP this month episodes to keep you up to date.
And on and on! All of that stuff is great. But the thing that I think will make the biggest difference, the thing that I think is the most useful to you is what ties all of those things together, learning paths. For each of these roles that I've described, our platform shows you an ordered path of all the different stuff you can use to learn it, including courses, certifications and lots of optional stuff too. Oh,
and because it's critical that you get your hands dirty and actually use the cloud, an a cloud guru membership includes tons of hands-on labs too, which let you dive straight into the cloud and do real stuff, but without the all too real risk to your wallet, but in any case, the learning paths lead you through all these things in a progression. Because that's how you do it. You get. Started first and then you just keep going. Now I've made some of the courses and videos on our platform. So you might see some of those on your learning path, but we have a whole team of people, training architects who spent copious amounts of time synthesizing information so that you don't have to spend so much time at all. We want you to learn all of what you need and as efficiently as possible because your time is valuable.
We also try to make our stuff accessible, effective, engaging, and even a bit fun. So in the description below, I've included links to the role-based learning paths that I've mentioned and to our foundational courses in case that that's where you really want to start. I do hope that this video helps you find success in the cloud, but I also hope that I'll get to interact with you again, as you go through your cloud learning journey.
Maybe you'll take one of my courses, maybe you'll connect with me on LinkedIn. Maybe we'll wind up chatting on the a cloud guru discussion boards or discord, but for right now, I'd love to read your comments on this video about where you're at and where you're going, and if you've gotten any value from it and would like to see more videos from us about the cloud, then please consider liking and subscribing, because it lets us know that we're on the right track. Thanks. Please do reach out if you have any comments or questions. Well, alright.
Take care of yourself and keep being awesome.