Certifications / Cloud

Is the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer Worth It?

by Ross Heintzkill
Is the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer Worth It? picture: A
Published on June 1, 2022

One of the first things you have to understand about providing great cloud services to users or clients is three acronyms: SLA, SLO, and SLI. A Service Level Agreement is a commitment you and your company make to your clients and customers about what services you'll provide to them. A Service Level Objective defines the steps you and your team have to take to provide that service. A Service Level Indicator is how you measure progress and make sure you're actually working toward those objectives. DevOps engineers are valuable to networks because they totally master those three acronyms.

They're also at the heart of why the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer is such a good certification. Someone who earns it can say with confidence they know how to deliver crucial cloud services to clients and how to get a team on track when they're failing to do so. Ready to dive into learning the Google Cloud platform? Check out our library of Google-based training!

The Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer doesn't just stand for the technical knowledge necessary to deliver cloud services, it also says that you know how to ask the right questions (and find the right answers!) necessary for providing the right services.

What is the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer?

The Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer is an advanced Google certification for cloud engineers. Earning the Cloud DevOps Engineer proves that you know how to maintain efficient development operations that balance service reliability and delivery speed. Earning the Google Cloud DevOps Engineer also requires proving you have a deep technical understanding of the Google Cloud tools that exist to build software delivery pipelines while deploying and monitoring services.

The Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer certification exam is unique in that its balanced technical knowledge of actually implementing Google Cloud DevOps tools and maintaining the right mindset for both development and operations teams. The certification captures all the different elements that go into providing cloud services to clients — and that includes knowing how to plan for success but also how to handle mistakes when they come up without any blame.

Earning the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer certification requires passing only one exam, which is called — helpfully — the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer.

What Does the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer Test?

The Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer is a 2-hour long exam. Google doesn't officially advertise how many questions are on the exam, but there are probably about 50. The answers are either multiple-choice or multiple selections (meaning some questions have more than one right answer in a list of several responses). The Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer exam tests you on five separate topics:

  • Section 1: Applying site reliability engineering principles to a service

  • Section 2: Building and implementing CI/CD pipelines for a service

  • Section 3: Implementing service monitoring strategies

  • Section 4: Optimizing service performance

  • Section 5: Managing service incidents

Dig into those sections and you can quickly see that the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer tests both technical and non-technical skills. For example, one of the learning objectives of Section 3 is "to set ACL to restrict access to audit logs with IAM, Cloud Logging." Meanwhile, one of the learning objectives of Section 1 is to "foster a culture of blamelessness.” The Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer tests all aspects of what it takes to be a well-rounded DevOps engineer.

How much does the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer Exam Cost?

It costs $200 to attempt the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer exam (and you don't get a refund if you don't pass!). Once you earn the certification, you do have to recertify every two years. Fortunately, Google offers a 50% discount for recertification exams, so once you earn it, it will only cost $100 every two years to maintain. That basically means that the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer costs $200 to take and then $50 a year to maintain.

What Experience Do You Need for the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer?

Officially, there are no formal prerequisites for the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer. Unlike certifications you might try for from professional associations or trade groups, Google doesn't require any documented work experience before attempting the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer — and you don't need any prior certifications either.

Google recommends that you have at least three years of industry experience before attempting the exam — preferably that's experience in the cloud, providing cloud solutions to diverse clients. Plus, the more of that time spent in large service provider networks, the better. In addition to that, Google recommends at least one year of managing cloud solutions specifically on Google Cloud before attempting the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer exam.

That balance of recommended experience should suggest that the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer is first and foremost about professional management and delivery of cloud service solutions and additionally about doing it with the Google Cloud. It's important to know the Google Cloud tools and utilities, and how to implement and configure them, but it's arguably more important that you have experience navigating enterprise networks, understanding service provider clients and getting your hands dirty with SLAs, SLOs and SLIs.

Who Should Take the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer?

Most cloud professionals who are a few years into their career should aim for the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer. Cloud engineers, solutions architects, and experienced cloud administrators should plan to eventually earn the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer.

Is Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer Worth it for Cloud Administrators?

Generally speaking, yes, the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer is worth it for cloud administrators. But that comes with some caveats: first, it's focused on Google Cloud, so it's not a universal certification. Also, it's advanced and won't be especially worth it for new or inexperienced cloud administrators.

The Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer covers a lot of information and a lot of it is fairly advanced. If you're new to the career field, there are other cloud administration certifications that will be more worth it for you. And even if you're very experienced, if your experience isn't with Google Cloud and you don't foresee working on Google Cloud, the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer probably won't be worth it for you.

Is Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer Worth it for Solutions Architects?

Yes, the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer is worth it for solutions architects or for anyone who wants to eventually become one. Earning it tells current and future employers two very important things. First, it establishes that you know how to use the tools and utilities that Google Cloud makes available to service providers. It means you're comfortable planning, deploying, configuring and troubleshooting technical aspects of your cloud network and can get your hands dirty actually working with cloud technologies.

Second, it proves that you know how to establish a good culture of DevOps in the teams you work with and those you lead. That's because the certification isn't just in Google Cloud engineering, it's also in DevOps engineering, and great DevOps depends on the right cultural choices as much as good technical ones. And since that's also the mindset that most solutions architects should have in their jobs, the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer is worth it.

Is Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer Worth it for a DevOps Engineer?

It's probably not surprising, considering its name, that the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer is definitely worth it for a DevOps engineer. It's also worth it for IT professionals who want to get promoted to DevOps engineer or get a new job in that role.

The Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer is a great certification for advancing your career from a merely technical one to a broader, holistic one. If you're already familiar with cloud technologies and how to implement Google Cloud tools, you can accelerate your career by also learning great DevOps strategies – both the technical ones and the non-technical ones.

Is the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer Worth It?

The Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer certification is far from an entry-level certification, so although it's a great way for experienced DevOps professionals and cloud administrators to prove their expertise, it might be too high a hurdle for newcomers to the career. But for experienced cloud administrators and knowledgeable DevOps professionals, yes, the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer is definitely worth it.

Using Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer to Learn Skills

The great thing about certifications is that they can be your mountaintop in the distance. If you work in cloud administration, development, or ops and want to make your way toward becoming a DevOps engineer, the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer is a great way to learn how much you need to know to be successful.

Read up on the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer learning objectives, take the practice exams, and learn how far you have to go to become a certified DevOps engineer. After that, it's a short trip to finding find online courses and training that closes that gap.

If you know you want to work in the cloud, with Google technologies, and run DevOps teams with clarity, efficiency and knowledge, start preparing for the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer to learn all those skills.

Using Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer to Validate Skills

There's another possibility of course, and that's that you'll look into the Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer exam objectives and realize you could pass the exam tomorrow. If that's true, don't hesitate! The Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer stands for DevOps excellent throughout the IT community. Earning it can fast-track your career because it stands for all the skills enterprise networks want in their cloud service teams.


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