How to prepare for Google cloud certified Associate Cloud Engineer Exam

Hey folks,

In this blog, I will talk about my journey from a newbie in the cloud to become a Google cloud certified Associate cloud engineer. I’ll share all the resources, tips, I followed throughout the journey & hopefully, this will helpful for you to get your dream certification.

So Let’s start the journey……………

There are lots of materials(YouTube videos, blogs & courses) you found related to the ACE exam preparation, let’s start from the very beginning.

My First Step :

In May 2020, I first introduced to the cloud through a free course on Coursera, “Industrial IoT on Google cloud” & this makes me very curious about this technology, at first sight, I have done all the things in the course, but I wasn’t able to understand most of the topics in the course due to the basics which are required for the course (like basics of Linux, some terminologies like a hypervisor, virtualization, latency and all). After this course, I decided to explore more about the cloud, and luckily I heard on LinkedIn about Oracle cloud’s free certification with their own learning path from oracle university. I registered for that & started learning from there, where I get an instructor with an Indian accent (I’m from Hindi medium so at that time I was struggling with my English because it takes more time for me to understand from any other ones), which helps me a lot to understand all the basics about the cloud(VPN, Loadbalancer, storage solutions & many more) & I get introduced to lots of new interesting services & offerings.

So if you’re facing the same issues as me & you’re very new to the cloud for the link to get start your cloud journey from learning basics about it.

Follow this link to start, Welcome to the cloud also some more about it.

Note: Please don’t hesitate to learn another cloud for learning about basics because every cloud has a similar offering, terminologies & fundamental working & their architecture.

Pro Tips for this step:

Try to understand all the basic terminology about cloud-like what is cloud, why we need a cloud, their different service models like IAAS, PAAS, SAAS, about their service offering like compute, storage, networking, monitoring & operations, special services like AI/ML, etc.

Next Step :

Here we start to focus on ACE Exam, After knowing most of the basics, I switched back to google cloud & started doing some quests on Qwiklabs to get familiar with the basics I learned from my previous learnings & certifications. Then I heard about the Google cloud Readiness Program where they are offering a specialization course “Architecting with Compute Engine” to those who achieve “Ultimate Milestone” this program, I decided to achieve this & finally got my Google cloud readiness program seat and started learning from that specialization course. In this course you got -

  • To learn about the Google cloud platform from googlers, experts in a very layman way.
  • To get familiarity with each offering, this course includes lots of quizzes & hands-on labs on Qwiklabs to get real experience on using all offering with their demo use cases. (Tip: Use cases are the key elements of your ACE Exam)
  • You got one more course “Preparing for the ACE certification” through the readiness program. This will give you the strategy, overview & preparation tips & useful resources for your certification exam.

Pro Tips for this step:

Surely this course gives you more confidence about Google Cloud Platform, so Try to do all the labs many times and explore each option for every offering like in compute engine there are options to set service account, API permissions, metadata, networking, disk management, snapshot setting, preemptible vm, Shielded vm, sole tenant type with their use cases & learn each line on qwiklabs lab guide, there you found lots of useful information, also try to create services from both CLI and Cloud console.

So now you’re familiar with most of the services of the Google cloud platform with some hands-on experience.

What if you are not from Google Cloud readiness program?

Other Resources For this step, Specially for those who’re not in the Google readiness program:

Google cloud readiness program is available for college students but what you can do if you do not belong to a college or a working professional so for those

  1. Dan sullivan’s udemy course for ACE exam preparation:

You already know Dan sullivan is the author of the official study guide for the ACE Exam book, so you can imagine in this course you’ll get the explanation of each service with lab demo explanation & 50 practice questions so that you can get very familiar with all concepts.

2. Also check out these GitHub repo for your preparation.

both of these repo contents lots of learning resources so please check it out.

Exam Preparation :

So, now we are ready to get deep dive into our certification journey. In this I‘ll give some good resources from there you can test your readiness and get more clarity about different topics……….

  1. Official Practice Exam:

Google cloud offers a practice exam to candidates for their familiarity with exam patterns & level of exam. This practice exam having 20 questions, which basically a Google form & you can give the exam as many times as you want. After submitting, you get the explanation of every answer with official documentation links so try to go through all the links.

2. AwesomeGCP YouTube channel by Satish VJ:

In this resource, you’ll find a playlist for ACE certification exam, where Satish sir has explained each question of your practice & lots of common topic questions of other exams as well in a very layman way. Also, you get some tips & tricks to tackle with options in exam. I highly recommend you to go through this because you learn lots of new things if you were already knowing the right answer to a particular question.

3. Official Study Guide for ACE Exam by Dan sullivan:

This is the official study guide for the ACE exam, where Dan Sullivan has explained each topic in a very easy way and I think this book covered each topic, which is required for clearing your exam. The best thing about this book is that it has topic-wise multiple-choice questions & there is a quick review section named exam essentials, which helps you a lot to revise all the topics.

Tip from my side :

  • Try to break down the whole syllabus into services like compute service(learn about different compute offering like vm instance, GKE, app engine, cloud functions, cloud run with their use cases. For example: if your company has three applications one is containerized & second one required the company’s own custom software to run that application & in the third one you’ve instructed to minimize the cost & it is event-driven non containerized application so if you know all compute services with their use cases you’ll easily able to answer it.)
  • Same as for storage service there are lots of offerings available in google cloud platforms like cloud storage, cloud datastore, SQL, Cloud Bigtable, cloud spanner, etc. with their specific use cases so go through each with their use cases.
  • IAM(Identity & Access Management) & monitoring is the main aspect of cloud so try to get familiar with Google recommended best practices.
  • ACE Exam tests your ability to solve real-world scenarios so try to find out the best & google recommended solution for each problem. For example, you’re an IAM admin of your new GCP project & for this new project your company has recruited lots of new employees for different domain teams like developers, SRE’s, operations & you’ve tasked to create a hierarchy to manage IAM in this scenario by the following google recommended best practices.

Okay, then This is the whole experience from my Associate cloud engineer exam. This helps me to get my dream certification & hopefully you’ll also get your ACE certification.

Hope you’ll found this story helpful.

ALL THE BEST FOR YOUR EXAM

If you’ve any queries regarding this, so I’m very happy to help you, just ping me on LinkedIn

Thank you

Abhishek Sharma

Happy to make things simpler & easy to understand