Your path to Google Cloud Certification: Start with a lab

Try answering this question:

Your company’s architecture is shown in the diagram. You want to keep data in sync across Region 1 and Region 2. Which product will enable you to do so?

  1. Google Cloud SQL

  2. Google Cloud Bigtable

  3. Google Cloud Storage

  4. Google Cloud Datastore

Google Cloud Certification practice exam

Do you know the answer?

That’s one of the questions on the Professional Cloud Architect certification practice exam. “Lack of cloud expertise is one of the top challenges enterprise companies face” according to this late 2017 report on moving to the public cloud. “Nearly three quarters of IT decision makers (71%) believe their organizations have lost revenue due to a lack of cloud expertise. On average, this accounts for 5% of total global revenue, or $258,188,279 per organization.”

Enterprise companies are looking for cloud experts. And being a Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect makes it easy to identify you as a person who can help with $258 million in lost revenue. But when it comes to earning a Google Cloud certification, where should you start?

The certification exam is designed to test your ability to build solutions with the Google Cloud Platform. The best way to prepare for a Google Cloud certification exam is experience. While there is no replacement for real world experience, hands-on labs can help you practice solving problem scenarios and learning to use GCP tools.

Enroll in the Cloud Architecture Certification Practice Quest and get 10 hands-on labs aligned with topics you’ll find in the certification exam outline. Use this link to enroll by April 9 EOD and get 5 credits free of charge to help you get started!

This Quest is designed to help you practice with tools and scenarios that will help you practice topics covered in the certification exam. Complete the labs and you’ll earn this Cloud Architecture badge, a cloud credential you can add to your CV.

Google Cloud badge

Here’s some of what you will do:

It’s a great day to take the next step in your career by adding a Google Cloud badge to your resume, and start your journey to certification!

Get started with Google BigQuery: Your first lab is on us

You want to get the most out of your data. But when you hear words like “public datasets”, “training data models”, and “correlation percentage”, your eyes glaze over. So how do you start taking advantage of Google Cloud’s data tools?

Here are some easy ways to get started.

  1. Watch and learn. Join Priyanka and Heather to learn how to get meaningful insights with Google BigQuery (4:39).

  2. Then, get hands-on practice with a hands-on lab for yourself. Just click the link below the YouTube video and follow instructions. Did you get your free Qwiklabs credits, to take your first BigQuery lab on us? Just be sure to click before April 2. And if you want to double-check your work, go back to the video and follow along with the demo, starting at 3:45.

  3. Ready for a little more of a challenge? Try the Weather Data and BigQuery lab, and practice correlating diverse data sets. And today only, this lab is featured for #1creditwednesday, which means this lab is available for 1 credit (normally priced at 5 credits).

In this lab, you will take a look at analyzing public data with BigQuery – starting with weather data from NOAA and citizen complaints data from New York City. 

Using public datasets, you will find what types of municipal complaints are correlated with weather. For example, you will find (not surprisingly) that complaints about residential furnaces are most common when it is cold outside:

Weather Data in BigQuery

What types of big data do you think you might correlate?

  • Weather and traffic volume on your retail website

  • Daily temperature in your town and foot traffic on your business’s street

  • NCAA winning percentages and uniform colors (there’s a lab for that!)

You can find the Weather Data and BigQuery lab here. Special today, the lab is available for 1 credit only (usually priced at 5 credits), so now’s the perfect time to check it out. Click the green button to start the lab. You’ll see a lower price than the screenshot below, today only.

Start the lab

See how the left panel changes? Those are your credentials to log into the Google console. Use these credentials (not your personal credentials) so Qwiklabs covers the cost of all your lab activities.

Sign into the Google Cloud Console

Next, you’ll need to accept the terms of service for the student account. Don’t worry about account recovery or emails – you won’t ever need to use this account again.

Agreements

Then you’re off on your lab! Follow the lab manual and at the end of the lab, you will have correlated two massive public datasets using BigQuery. What will you correlate next? We’d love to hear how you applied what you learned in the lab to your real-world data questions, let us know @Qwiklabs!

Bracketology: There’s a lab for that

What a weekend! How is your bracket looking? Bracketology is a science, and there’s an easy way for you to get ahead. Learn how to use BigQuery to analyze NCAA data going back as far as the 1984-85 season with the newest lab in the catalog, Exploring NCAA Data with BigQuery. Pick up a new skill between now and Thursday!

You might have heard about Google’s partnership with the NCAA — and just last month, we launched the Google Cloud and NCAA® Machine Learning Competition on Kaggle and opened it to data analysts of all skill levels.

As part of our relationship with the NCAA, we’ve made this dataset publicly available to explore, and this new lab helps you dig into its massive datasets. Learn to write queries to analyze missed shots versus rebounds and the highest scoring teams. When your bracket gets busted, use BigQuery to identify which teams play the closest games, so you can pick the most exciting games to watch! And maybe do a little digging to figure out whose jerseys are blue….

Fun Queries to run on public datasets

Click here to check out the new lab.

Don’t forget the nachos…

Fasten your armor, a new Quest is here

A new Quest from Qwiklabs, just released: Scaling Your Infrastructure. This Quest is not for the faint of heart. Dig deep into gnarly scenarios that exercise your ability to work with advanced scenarios like building dedicated gaming servers and setting up a Microsoft Active Directory environment. 

This is the first of several Solutions Quests. These advanced Quests, developed by Google experts, are meant to push your skills to the next level and enable you to face challenging real-world projects. Complete this Quest and proudly display your badge, a Google Cloud credential that demonstrates your ability to dig deep into the cloud for advanced solutions.

Ready to earn your next Qwiklabs badge? Click here to accept your challenge!

Here’s some of what you’ll do in this Quest:

Building High Availability and High Bandwidth NAT Gateways: Learn to set up multiple NAT gateways with Equal Cost Multi-Path (ECMP) routing and autohealing enabled for a resilient and high-bandwidth deployment.

Autoscaling an Instance Group with Stackdriver Custom Metrics: Deploy an autoscaling Compute Engine instance group that is automatically scaled using a custom Stackdriver metric. This lab is a 2-for-1, it counts for this and for the Stackdriver Quest!

Customizing Stackdriver Logs for Kubernetes Engine with Fluentd: Another 2-for-1 with the Stackdriver Quest, this lab, gets you hands-on experience with custom Stackdriver logging using Fluentd for a Google Kubernetes Engine cluster.

Setting up Jenkins on Kubernetes Engine: Set up Jenkins on Google Kubernetes Engine to help orchestrate your software delivery pipeline.

Continuous Delivery Pipelines with Spinnaker and Kubernetes Engine: Create a Kubernetes Engine cluster, deploy an application, and use Spinnaker to continuously deploy the application when changes are made.

Does this sound like a challenge you want to accept? Enroll now.

Not quite ready to tackle this one, but want to prepare yourself so you can try it soon? I suggest checking out the Kubernetes in the Google Cloud Quest to get familiar with some of the tools you’ll use for this Solutions Quest.

Seeking Cloud training? Start here.

Suddenly it’s February 2018 – how is your resume looking these days? Learning something new like cloud computing can be intimidating. Especially when you’re learning vital career skills that can impact your future. 

That’s why we released 2 brand new Quests, designed to get you up and running in the cloud. That’s 18 new labs, the perfect way to introduce yourself to the cloud. At the end of each lab in these Quests, you have gained a basic understanding of the tool being introduced and how to use it.

Here are the new Quests:

  • Baseline: Infrastructure Quest: In these ten short hands-on labs, you will get your first-touch experiences with the Google Cloud services. Get training on basic infrastructure building blocks that make up core components of any production cloud environment. Labs like Kubernetes Engine: Qwikstart are meant to give you a “baseline” understanding of what each set of tools can do for you. Perfect if you’re just getting started with Google Cloud, or with the cloud in general! Enroll now.

  • Baseline: Data, ML & AI Quest: Another “baseline”, you will get your first-touch experiences with a subset of the Google Cloud services that provide tools for working with big (and small!) data and machine learning / artificial intelligence services in Google Cloud, like Dataproc and Bigtable. For some labs (including these two!), you can choose to use either the console or command line – your choice, and either option fulfills the Quest’s requirement. Enroll now.

Big reveal: Your new learning dashboard

Been to Qwiklabs.com lately? Next time you log in, you’ll notice a few changes to the “My Learning” page. Here’s what you’ll see:

  1. Quests in-progress: Front and center, you’ll see your ongoing Quests. It’s quick and easy to pick up where you left off!
  2. Your 10 most recent completed Quests. Got more than 10 badges? There’s a link to view “more”. You may also see classes here, if you have taken any with us.
  3. Your 10 most recent labs, again with a link to view “more”.
  4. Want to share your badges on your resume or on your social profiles? The link to your Qwiklabs badges is still on the “My Learning” page. You can control whether or not your profile is published.

Qwiklabs My Learning

… That’s it! Log in now and let us know what you think.

GCP Challenge: Accepted

Your company has decided to deploy a new website as part of a product launch. The new site is ready to go, but unfortunately the person who built the site left before they deployed it. No one else knows how to deploy the site, and the launch date is approaching fast. What now?

Does this sound familiar? Perhaps this is similar to a situation you have encountered on the job. Day to day life can be challenging and unexpected. How can you prepare yourself to meet these challenges? Would you be able to save the day and deploy the new website in time for the product launch?

See for yourself! Introducing a new concept for hands-on labs, The Challenge Lab. In this lab, you are presented with this scenario, and a GCP environment. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to fix the hypothetical scenario. This lab is totally different from other labs you may have taken. You are not given steps to follow. Instead, you must solve the scenario as best you can. Real-time scoring tells you whether or not you have successfully completed the challenge.

Google Cloud Training: Challenge lab

Ready to save the day and ensure the new website is ready on launch day? Click here to start your challenge.

If you get stuck or if you want more, here are some resources you might find helpful:

– Using Firewall Rules

– Adding and Removing Network Tags

 – Getting the perfect VM configuration (if you’re interested in cryptocurrency, check this one out!)

What do you think of this lab? Want to see more labs like this, to challenge your abilities? Let us know @Qwiklabs and stay tuned for more challenges!

Google Cloud training in your own words

How do you learn best? Lectures, videos, hands-on experience, maybe all of the above? 

Today, we’re asking a different question. Do you prefer to learn in English? Español? 日本語? Qwiklabs can meet you where you are with hands-on training in your own words. Lab manuals are now available in multiple languages, including Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, and more.

To see which languages are available, click the globe icon by the lab title. You will see all the languages available for that lab.

Qwiklabs google cloud training language options

You can set your preferred language in your Qwiklabs profile. You will see lab manuals in your preferred language by default, if it is available.

Click here to open your profile settings.

Qwiklabs profile info

You will notice that only some labs are available in multiple languages, and in some cases you may not see the language you’re looking for. Adding new languages and translating more labs is an ongoing project, so you can expect to see more over the coming weeks and months.

Don’t see the language you’re looking for? Let us know at Support@Qwiklabs.com!

Start 2018 strong: New Google Cloud hands-on labs

Happy New Year from Qwiklabs!

What are your goals for 2018? Now’s the time to think about your career: where you are, and where you want to be. In 2018, our goal at Qwiklabs is to help you get and stay up-to-speed on cloud computing. It’s always changing! So to help you get the training you need, we are thrilled to release a brand new set of Qwik Start labs.

Qwik Start labs are designed to introduce you to new topics and service areas. Maybe you are curious about something you have never used before, like Google’s Internet of Things Core Service or Google’s Cloud Machine Learning (ML) Engine. Each Qwik Start guides you through the basics of a Google Cloud service and gives you a starting point for understanding what the service can do for you.

See all the new Qwik Starts here.

You can expect this list to grow. Did we mention that our catalog has grown to more than 200 labs? If you’re an Advantage subscriber, you have unlimited access to these and 200+ more hands-on labs to help you reach your career goals. Cloud computing skills are in demand, and labs are an excellent way to get hands-on experience with the live, production Google and AWS cloud consoles.

Here are some of our favorite new Qwik Start labs:

Cloud Spanner: Qwik Start. Thinking about building a new bank this year? Shine did, and they used Spanner. Take this lab to see what Spanner can do for your business. You will create a Cloud Spanner instance, database, and table, then add a schema, write and modify data, and run a query. Also available in Spanish!

Cloud IAM: Qwik Start. Identity Access Management is an important concept whether you use Google’s cloud or any other public cloud options. This lab walks you through granting and revoking a user’s permissions in the GCP Console. And check it out, this lab gives you two sets of credentials – one of the first labs ever to do so.

Google Cloud IAM training

App Engine: Qwik Starts. In the high-rated “Go” flavor of this lab, create a small App Engine application and experiment with how the server watches for changes in your project files and reloads them if necessary. Developers, rejoice!

So what are you waiting for? Get a Qwik Start on your 2018 career growth today!

Machine Learning APIs: This is the Quest you’ve been looking for

There’s lots of buzz about Machine Learning and what it can do: on land, at sea, in hospitals, on the chessboard, even extraterrestrial applications. How can you take advantage of ML for your project, here on planet earth? To get the most out of Google Cloud, you want to know how to use ML tools. Not just a high-level understanding of what ML is (though that’s helpful too) – you want to know how ML can help you meet your goals.

And there’s a lab for that! The new 7-lab Machine Learning APIs Quest walks you through use cases and scenarios with Google ML tools. Use these labs to help you understand what ML can do for you. Then, try using ML for your own projects.

Here are some of the labs in the new Quest:

  • Cloud ML Engine: Qwik start – Train a TensorFlow model to predict income category of a person using the United States Census Income Dataset, both locally and on Cloud ML Engine. To build your model, you’ll use TensorFlow’s prebuilt DNNCombinedLinearClassifier Estimator (this model is sometimes called ‘Wide & Deep’).

  • AI Chatbot: OK Google! I want to change my password – Build an application to submit tickets with a network and 3 subnetworks that you will use throughout the lab.

Life of a conversation: Google Machine Learning lab

  • Awwvision: Cloud Vision API from a Kubernetes Cluster – With a 4+ star rating already, the Awwvision lab uses Kubernetes and Cloud Vision API to demonstrate how to use the Vision API to classify Reddit’s /r/aww subreddit images and display the labelled results in a web app. 

Hundreds of companies are hiring Machine Learning engineering roles. Set yourself apart with a Google Cloud ML credential. Complete the Quest and add the Machine Learning APIs badge to your online profiles and your resume, to show your experience with in-demand ML skills.

Machine Learning APIs Qwiklabs quest badge