| certifications | cloud - Ross Heintzkill
Is the Google Professional Cloud Developer Worth It?
A specialist is someone who knows how to do a narrow part of a job – usually far better than others. Meanwhile, one definition of a professional is someone who knows how to do each part of their job. The Google Professional Cloud Developer is a certification for developers who take that concept to heart. Imagine if you went to a restaurant and the food was really, unbelievably good but the plates were all dirty and the drinks you ordered were watered down and tasted bad. You probably wouldn't go back to that restaurant – and the same applies to other professions.
If you're a developer, it's not enough to know how to code really well, you also have to know how to get that code to interact with other tools and utilities to do incredible things. You need to know how to design, deploy, test and monitor your applications, not just write clean code.
A professional developer is someone who succeeds at developing on multiple levels. And that's precisely what the Google Professional Cloud Developer is all about – read on to see if it's worth it for you. If you're ready to dive into Google training, check out our collection of Google Associate Cloud Engineer training!
What is the Google Professional Cloud Developer?
The Google Professional Cloud Developer is a mid-level certification directly from Google meant for software and application developers. According to Google, a developer who passes the Professional Cloud Developer certification exam is capable of building scalable and highly available applications in accordance with best practices and tools. They're someone who has experience working with cloud-native applications, development tools, managed services and advanced databases to build all-around excellent apps.
But in addition to the development side of the house, someone who earns the Google Professional Cloud Developer also knows how to test, deploy, and then monitor their apps. For Google, a true professional developer knows the right tools and services to use to identify performance metrics for deployments and how to monitor those metrics and solve problems on the fly. Earning the Professional Cloud Developer certification means showing you know how to be a steward for your applications from cradle to grave – having it means you control your app throughout the entirety of its lifecycle.
The Google Professional Cloud Developer exam is the only exam you'll need to pass to earn the Professional Cloud Developer cert.
What Does the Google Professional Cloud Developer Test?
The Google Professional Cloud Developer test is two hours long and has about 50 questions. The questions are multiple choice or multiple selection (which means many potentially right answers to one prompt). There are five distinct sections that the Google Professional Cloud Developer tests you on:
- Section 1: Designing highly scalable, available, and reliable cloud-native applications
- Section 2: Building and testing applications
- Section 3: Deploying applications
- Section 4: Integrating Google Cloud services into your apps
- Section 5: Managing application performance monitoring
It's important to pay attention to the different things the Google Professional Cloud Developer exam tests you on because it's not just about the technical aspects of writing a good program. The Google Professional Cloud Developer is a certification that covers all of the additional skills that go into getting the program into the hands of its users and making sure it continues functioning properly once it's there.
How much does the Google Professional Cloud Developer Exam Cost?
The Google Professional Cloud Developer exam costs $200. Once you've passed the exam, you'll be certified for two years. After that, you'll need to recertify. You recertify by taking the exam again within 60 days of your two-year window expiring. Google offers a 50% discount on exams when you're recertifying, so functionally speaking, the total cost of the Google Professional Cloud Developer is $200 the first time and $50/year to maintain after that.
What Experience Do You Need for the Google Professional Cloud Developer?
There are no formal work experience requirements for taking the Google Professional Cloud Developer and there are no prerequisite exams or certifications to earn before you can attempt the certifying exam. But just because there are no formal requirements doesn't mean you can pass the Google Professional Cloud Developer with no experience.
Google recommends that you have three years of work experience in the industry before attempting the Google Professional Cloud Developer exam, and at least one additional year working specifically with tools and services available in Google Cloud.
If you've been coding for a long time, you might feel like you're perfectly prepared for the Google Professional Cloud Developer exam, but great code skills will only get you through the first of the five sections on the exam. The other sections on the exam deal much more with maintaining the infrastructure around application delivery and performance monitoring. You'll want to have experience troubleshooting the performance of your applications from a distance.
Before you attempt the Google Professional Cloud Developer, you'll want to feel comfortable with writing your apps so that they integrate seamlessly via API with data, storage and compute services. On top of all that, you should know how to deploy applications – containerized and otherwise.
Who Should Take the Google Professional Cloud Developer?
Obviously, developers who want to certify with Google Cloud utilities should take the Google Professional Cloud Developer. But cloud administrators who want to expand their development knowledge and even DevOps professionals who want to expand their careers into coding should take it.
Is Google Professional Cloud Developer Worth It for DevOps Professionals?
The Google Professional Cloud Developer is focused, first and foremost, on application development. If you have no coding experience, cannot write in a programming language, and don't think you'll ever need to for your job, the Google Professional Cloud Developer is probably not worth it for you.
However, DevOps professionals who know they want to augment their job responsibilities with more of the development side of the house will find a lot of value in the Google Professional Cloud Developer. If it's already your job to provide oversight or do work maintaining the deployment and monitoring of applications on your cloud network, by preparing for the Google Professional Cloud Developer you could start writing programs that do your day-to-day job for you.
Is Google Professional Cloud Developer Worth it for Cloud Administrators?
Cloud administrators should definitely consider the Google Professional Cloud Developer, but the same warning mentioned above applies here. If you don't write in any programming languages and you don't know how to develop applications, you don't want to try to figure it out on the exam.
Instead, the Google Professional Cloud Developer is worth it for cloud administrators who want to expand their level of responsibility. If you're tired of just setting up cloud services and troubleshooting their operations, you could migrate to a hybrid development/operations position after earning the Google Professional Cloud Developer. Even excellent cloud administrators will have a lot to learn about coding and developing applications – but the same is true in reverse: excellent application developers will have to learn about administering cloud services for application deployment.
Is Google Professional Cloud Developer Worth it for a Developer?
Yes, the Google Professional Cloud Developer is definitely worth it for developers. Developers are already the people building cloud applications, the cert just proves that they understand the infrastructure and trappings around making sure they're robust, scalable and highly available. And by expanding your familiarity and knowledge into the side of the house that's traditionally associated with operations, you're making yourself a more broadly capable and attractive hire.
The best application in the world isn't worth very much if it doesn't interact well with the cloud network it runs on, or if its deployment is buggy, or if there's no data lake set up to catch all its performance metrics. That's why developers should plan to earn the Google Professional Cloud Developer and make themselves a much more capable developer.
Is the Google Professional Cloud Developer Worth It?
Yes, the Google Professional Cloud Developer is a worthwhile certification for many IT professionals. It's not a necessary certification by any means, and for many professionals there will be other certifications better aligned to your existing job requirements. But if you're already looking for a way to expand your familiarity with both the development and operations portions of writing, deploying and monitoring cloud applications, there's no better cloud to work on than Google's and no better cert to start with than Google Professional Cloud Developer.
Using Google Professional Cloud Developer to Learn Skills
As we've covered, the Google Professional Cloud Developer has five distinct sections: (1) knowing the right way to design cloud-native apps that are scalable, available and reliable; (2) knowing how to build and test your apps; (3) knowing how to deploy your applications reliably; (4) knowing how to integrate your apps with existing Google Cloud tools and services; and (5) knowing how to monitor your apps' performance and analyze metrics.
Those are the five pillars of true professionalism in cloud-native application development. If you're shoddy on any of those, one of the great things about preparing for the Google Professional Cloud Developer is you're going to cover all of it. So, if you aspire to be a professional developer, use the Google Professional Cloud Developer as your benchmark for excellence and learn everything it takes to pass it.
Using Google Professional Cloud Developer to Validate Skills
Someone who earns the Google Professional Cloud Developer doesn't just prove that they can write scalable, available and reliable cloud-native apps. They also prove that they know how to handle the implementation, deployment and monitoring of that app.
Combinations of related skills tends to be much more valuable to an employer than just specializing deeply in any one skill. That means if you're a generalist who knows how to code, integrate your apps, deploy them and monitor them, all you have to do is earn the Google Professional Cloud Developer certification and prove your worth.