Thoughts on Google Cloud Platform Training and Certification

Google is racing to get back in the cloud services game.

Because I wrote about Google Cloud Platform (GCP) certification in late February and reported a large amount of change and ferment, I decided to return to their course catalog and see what was new and different. Not only did I discover another new certification — Google Cloud – Apigee Certified API Engineer — but I also see evidence of where the company's training and certifications might be heading.

 

To prove you can learn an awful lot from a certification-mapped version of the course catalog, here it is reduced to purely link form (with tracks specified for related certifications, except for the aforementioned Apigee Engineer item). Not only did I find a new (and, so far as I know, not yet ballyhooed) certification, I also see evidence of some interesting directions in which GCP training is heading, with certifications to follow, perchance.

 

Here's the map:

 

Google Cloud Platform Course Catalog (with Cert info, where applicable)

 

CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE

Cloud Platform Architect Track (Professional Cloud Architect)

? Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure
? Architecting with Google Cloud Platform: Infrastructure
? Introduction to Cloud Identity
? Architecting with Google Cloud Platform: Design and Process
? Preparing for the Professional Cloud Architect Examination
? Site Reliability Engineering: Measuring and Managing Reliability

Cloud Network Engineer Track (Professional Cloud Network Engineer)

? Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure
? Networking in Google Cloud Platform

Cloud Security Specialist Track (Professional Cloud Security Engineer)

? Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure
? Networking in Google Cloud Platform
? Security in Google Cloud Platform
? Cloud Architecture Quest (Start Quest on Qwiklabs)

 

DATA AND MACHINE LEARNING TRACK

Data Analyst Track

? From Data to Insights with Google Cloud Platform
? Building Conversational Experiences with Dialogflow

Data Engineering Track (Professional Data Engineer)

? Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Big Data & Machine Learning
? Data Engineering on Google Cloud Platform
? Preparing for the Professional Data Engineer Examination

Data Scientists Track

? Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Big Data & Machine Learning
? Machine Learning with TensorFlow on Google Cloud Platform
? Advanced Machine Learning on Google Cloud Platform [5 courses/5 weeks]
? Data Engineering Quest (Start Quest on Qwiklabs)

 

APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT

? Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure
? Developing Applications with Google Cloud Platform
? Building Conversational Experiences with Dialogflow
? Developing Applications Quest (Start Quest on Qwiklabs)

 

G SUITE ADMINISTRATION

? G Suite Administrator Fundamentals
? What's New for G Suite Admins (Monthly YouTube updates)

 

GATEWAY TO GCP

Business Track

? Build a Business Transformation Vision with Google Cloud
? Machine Learning for Business Professionals
? Business Transformation with Google Cloud

Technology Track

? Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals for AWS Professionals
? Getting Started with Google Kubernetes Engine
? Develop and Deploy Windows Applications on Google Cloud Platform
? Industrial IoT on Google Cloud Platform
? GCP Essentials track (Start Quest on Qwiklabs)

 

APIGEE API PLATFORM

Developing APIs Track

? API Design and Fundamentals of Google Cloud's Apigee API Platform
? API Development on Google Cloud's Apigee API Platform
? API Security on Google Cloud's Apigee API Platform

Install and Manage Apigee Track

? Install and Manage Google Cloud's Apigee API Platform
? On-Premises Management, Security and Upgrade with Google Cloud's Apigee API Platform
? On-Premises Capacity Upgrade and Monitoring with Google Cloud's Apigee API Platform
? Apigee Certification (Google Cloud – Apigee Certified API Engineer)

 

(Note: all Apigee links go straight to on-demand courses as I write this. No �More info� pages available for these offerings yet, nor any Quest.)

 

What's Interesting About this Map?

 

Track names without links (e.g. Data Analyst, Data Scientists, Business Track, Technology Track, etc.) are obvious candidates for future cert status. It's also interesting to see that Google hasn't stinted on either data analysis/machine learning or business and technology professionals, when it comes to bringing people into the GCP fold.

 

Even more interesting is that Google is clearly targeting the market leaders (Amazon/AWS and Microsoft/Azure) in its technology track under the �Gateway to GCP� heading. The emergence of an API-focused certification also tells me that Google is sensitive to the needs of those who invest in specific cloud platforms (like their own) to be able to craft and manage the APIs that they use to tie the cloud into applications and services.

 

This should have strong appeal for service and platform providers, but also for enterprises that build their own cloud-based technologies in house. In fact, I knew this expose would tell me a lot, but I had no idea that Google's vision was already so well-elaborated and as far along as it appears to be. This one's worth watching, and perhaps investing in.

 

The real question, of course, is �Can Google catch up with Amazon and/or Microsoft?� They all play the same game, but right now AWS is the undisputed king of the cloud hill, with Microsoft equally unchallenged for the No. 2 slot. Google has to contend with the likes of IBM and Oracle, who also show up in most of the �Top 5 Cloud Platform� outfits, along with the others already mentioned.

 

Often, they show up ahead of Google. The company has a lot of work to do to gain market share and mindshare. I see the preceding map as strong evidence that they know they're in a fight, and are doing their best to climb higher into a more commanding position. Funny how much a training/cert map can tell you, eh?

 

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About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at www.edtittel.com, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.