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Embarking on a Journey: Google Cloud Digital Leader Certification Preparation

Quick answer
freeCodeCamp Google Cloud Digital Leader Certification Course
Google Cloud Tech Youtube Channel
Sarah Walker-Leptich | Study Guide
Deeper Dives
Chat GPT, Bard, Claude.AI

Explained in more detail (SEO answer)
Also, you can see why I am doing this in my The last time I studied in earnest for any sort of certifications was when I was fresh out of school looking to upgrade my knowledge. I started by getting A+, Network+, and a few others. I don’t even remember what they were at this point. I then decided I wanted to be a developer and locked in on studying, preparing, and taking my Java certification exam. In 2004/05 I started this work and sometime in 2005 I was able to pass that exam.

A lot of my prep at that time was reading, practicing exam questions, building some small functions and mini apps that aligned with the exam guidelines.

Looking back at that, vs where I have been and where I am now, I believe the biggest reason I was able to focus and lock in at that time was simply due to motivation. To me, the way I study and prepare at this point is not about the material as much as it is about finding a reason. As I wrote here, I may or may not be bored as a standard developer. And even if I was, I would still potentially need more of a reason to focus and move through the certification process beyond just one exam.

What are my motivations
1: I want to make more money. Updating skills, and applying them is a great way to earn more.
2: I want things that take more time for me to do, to take less time so I can spend that time doing other things. Those other things may not be simply work related, but could also mean finishing work tasks quicker so I can have more time outside of work as well (at least not thinking about work)
3: Others have probably passed me in knowledge and being competitive, I want to increase my skills for that as well

For me, those 3 points are enough to align my focus to start and work through this task.

As I mentioned in that previous post, I will be focusing on cloud tech. Specifically Google Cloud Platform. Why GCP? Why not AWS or Azure? The simple answer is where I work, we recently transitioned to GCP, so it makes sense to focus on the tech that I use day to day. Since cloud is generally similar with each having their own nuance to do essentially the same things, learning one is very transferrable to being able to navigate another.

Here is the path (2023 / 24)

The Cloud Digital Leader certification is general entry level knowledge. I know most, if not all of the material in this course just from working over time. But I am still going to start with that certification just to get back into the mode of preparing for and taking an exam. The idea is, I will not struggle that much with the content, so I can focus more on my methods of study and prep. Once that is good, I can get that certification and move on to the more difficult ones.

Gathering study materials
I was never good at sitting in live lectures, but when I started to learn JavaScript, React, NodeJs around 2015/16, I got into Udemy and Youtube for video courses. I found that I really was good at taking n a lot of content and being able to learn that way. I did this for years and still continue to this day. However, I find that I now do a lot of stashing of content. Content to watch later, but I never really get to it. With my focus now on this path, I want to avoid course material hoarding and follow this simple plan.

Here are my 3 resources
Google Cloud Digital Leader Certification Course by Andrew Brown (ExamPro)
This is probably the most well known video online about this exam. I found it on the freeCodeCamp Youtube Channel. This is a very comprehensive 6+ hour walkthrough of all the topics to be covered on the exam. There are many other videos out there but this vie you just about everything you need.

Google Cloud Tech Youtube Channel
This is google cloud official channel. It’s not specific to this exam, but you can search specific topics related to the exam for more information. Also, it will come in handy as I move through the different certs

I initially started watching the Andrew Brown video I mentioned above and taking notes from which I could study. That was taking more time than I wanted so did some searching and I found someone who already did this so I could just read their doc and go on from there. The document I found is called Google Cloud Digital Leader Exam Prep Guide by Sarah Walker-Leptich (

Study Guide

Deeper Dives
When it strikes me, and I want to dive deeper into a topic, I can use ChatGPT, Bard, or

Those should be all the materials I need to study and pass the initial exam.

Timing and methods
Even though it would probably help, I have no current set deadline to take the exam. My study goal is to do a little bit each day and track that. It could be 10 minutes one day, 60 the next, or a full day on the weekend. As long as I keep moving forward, I should be fine. Again, the exam is a by product of learning the material and being able to apply it to my day to day.

Over the course of a few weeks, I will watch the video above,skim the notes at different points of the day to keep things fresh, and of course, using one of the LLM AIs if needed. With no pressure to pass by a given date, I will set a 2 month deadline to prepare. That would be December 2023.

Now, on to preparing

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