Professional Cloud Architect (PCA)
As a starting point, we’ll focus on the Professional Cloud Architect Google Cloud certification since it’s the broadest and sought-after and because it’s a good way to put the rest of the certifications and positions into perspective.
Is it possible to work as a cloud architect professionally?
Everything we’re talking about is a software system—the things we construct in GCP. It regulates the flow of data to accomplish a certain goal. And the architecting of that system is all about making compromises to maximize value while minimizing costs and risks. Is it anything you’d want to improve on? The Professional Cloud Architect credential is exactly what you’re looking for.
Google says that this person is capable of “designing and developing strong and secure systems that are highly available, scalable, and dynamic in order to achieve business goals.”
Do you know how to pass the certification exam?
This exam is designed to see whether you have what it takes to be a successful Cloud Architect by testing your knowledge of Google’s cloud computing platform and services. And that’s a far cry from assessing whether or not you merely know about GCP, which is a whole separate matter. In other words, this is not a test of the tools but rather a test of the job. And this has a significant influence.
For starters, it increases the value of this credential. we would even add that passing this exam is a solid indicator of whether or not you’d become a competent Cloud Architect for either Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform!
The fact that you understand how to utilize the cloud effectively in a professional context is more important than being familiar with the technologies themselves. A similar thinking process may be used for any service or product, including Google Cloud Platform (GCP). As bizarre as it may seem, we believe this certification might be useful even if you don’t utilize Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
This is how Google explains it:
“This person creates, develops, and maintains resilient, secure, scalable, highly available, and dynamic solutions that achieve business goals via a grasp of cloud architecture and Google technologies. The Cloud Architect must be well-versed in all elements of cloud computing, including cloud strategy, solution architecture, and best architectural practices. Software development processes and practices, including multi-tiered distributed systems that span many cloud or hybrid environments, should be familiar to the Cloud Architect.
Preparation advise for the Professional Cloud Architect certification exam
The test for this will involve a lot of questions based on real-world scenarios. As a result, you should read and understand these descriptions of the fictional organizations and their cloud projects—and you should do that in advance of the exam so that you don’t spend your limited testing time doing that.
This certification covers every GCP product and service under the sun as far as scope is concerned! The good news is that you don’t need to know all the ins and outs of each one. Because PCA’s primary emphasis is on business and architecture, the technical level is noticeably lower than other Professional certifications.
Professional Cloud Developer (PCD)
The Professional Cloud Developer certification, which we regard as the last of Google’s broad certifications, is next on the list; the rest are more specific.
To a degree, Google’s concentration on developers explains why we believe the Professional Cloud Developer certification is broad in scope. Individuals in the computer industry are all considered developers from Google’s perspective; the only difference is that some people spend more time coding than others. They have begun to comprehend how different organizations build themselves, but Google still places development at its heart.
In Google’s view, architects are lead programmers who do not create much of their code. Those who work in operations, such as DevOps Engineers and Site Reliability Engineers, are programmers who design software to handle the operations tasks themselves. Data engineers are software developers who specialize in data. Let’s go back to the Professional Cloud Developer certification and see what we can learn.
What does a Cloud Developer do?
According to Google, this is what the PCD is all about:
“Using Google-recommended processes and technologies, a Professional Cloud Developer creates scalable and highly available apps. Cloud-native apps, developer tools, managed services, and next-generation databases are all areas of expertise for this person. At least one general-purpose programming language is required for a Cloud Developer and the ability to produce relevant metrics and logs to debug and trace code.
How to become a Certified Professional Cloud Developer
I believe the best way to sum up what a PCD does is to say that they build things—the systems that people interact with daily. One of the domains of this certificate is devoted to securely contacting APIs provided by service providers and creating your own APIs for service providers.
Another key factor to keep in mind here is regarding using managed services. Like sophisticated programming languages, managed services allow you to write very little real code to get the job done—the next level of abstraction, to be precise. Effective usage of managed services may significantly impact a software project. Examples include Cloud Storage, Cloud Pub/Sub, and Cloud Run.
According to Fred Brooks’ seminal book No Silver Bullet:
If you really want to go all out, don’t write any software. I’m becoming better at this every day. Mass market growth is, in my opinion, the most significant long-term trend in software engineering.”
There’s ample motivation to follow his advice, given that the following portions of his book accurately foresaw the necessity for Agile software development approaches. Because of the public cloud’s excellent features, what he anticipated now encompasses far more than just packages inside a single application.
The Professional Cloud Architect and the Professional Cloud Developer roles overlap in this manner. Developers need to be able to construct cloud-native architectures themselves, at least to some level, in order to comprehend them.
However, becoming a Professional Cloud Developer also means knowing how to use the necessary equipment. Build and test your system’s apps using these tools. Constantly deploy them using CI and CD software tools. Longer-term, there are techniques to manage their performance.
In addition to the technologies themselves and the DevOps team environment, these elements also involve the corresponding best practices. Consequently, this professional cloud developer should be able to perform everything a professional cloud DevOps engineer can do, but at a more broad level than what we’ll cover for the DevOps certification down the line.