The world of IT is getting cloudy. Very cloudy. And that’s s not a bad thing. Cloud services enjoy a lot of popularity and they are only going to get even bigger.

Gartner for example predicts that in 2019 the global IT spending will reach $3.76 trillion. A sizeable chunk of that will go to cloud services and as-a-service models. The 2019 State of the Cloud report shows that enterprises are not only increasing their spending on cloud services. They are also starting to employ a multi-cloud approach, using more than 4 different cloud platforms.

This means there’s plenty to go about for everyone. As a result, cloud platforms will grow along with the hunger for cloud specialists. At any given moment, there are more than 10 000 open job offerings for cloud specialists on Indeed.com. And as long as cloud services continue to gain traction, the hunger for specialists will also grow.

And somebody has to train all of those people. And it could be you. While a lot of the focus falls on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, Google’s Cloud Platform is also not to be neglected. It’s in third place and has a lot of potential. And with the rise of the multi-cloud approach, Google Cloud is poised for gaining some ground in the adoption rate. So, becoming a Google Cloud Platform Authorized Trainer seems like a good plan.

So you want to teach Google Cloud Platform?

That’s the question that greets you on the Platform’s official page. It has a quick description of what you have to do. On paper the process seems pretty straightforward.

You send an application form and if approved, get to attend the classes for the track you’ve chosen. There’s also on-demand virtual trainings, too. Then you get to pass the trainer evaluation and voila!

Afterwards you can start teaching. And you have to meet certain requirements to keep your Google Cloud Authorized Trainer status. These criteria are also nothing surprising. Among them are requirements to have a certain level of satisfaction from trainees, keeping up-to-date with all new changes and lessons and more.

The catch

Of course, it’s not THAT easy. There are some things you need to do even before you apply for the Authorized Trainer program.

First, you have to be Google Cloud Certified. You have to hold at least one valid certification of Professional Architect, Professional Data Engineer or Professional Cloud Developer. Naturally, you have to hold the certification for the track you want to be able to teach.

Contrary to some reports, you CAN apply as an individual if you’re not working with one of the approved Google Authorized Training Partners (ATP). You simply have to select “Freelance” from the application form drop-down menu. Still, you probably will get better chances if you do work with one of the ATPs

The evaluation

Next, patience. Most of the communication will take place via email. Google will take its time in evaluating all applications, after you’ve covered the needed classes and tracks.

Then you will get a list of topics and questions to prepare for. This can vary based on your experience, history and desired tracks.

It’s a process which can take a few weeks. Often dates will change a couple of times as the evaluators are quite busy. So, don’t get frustrated and don’t panic. Go about your business and use the extra time to prepare some more.

When the evaluation does start, it will be via a Hangout, usually. You will have to present one of the topics for about an hour and may get different tasks and questions to do in the console and to talk about during it. The evaluation varies from candidate to candidate and it depends on their level of competence, topics and so on. Basically, it’s a lot like any typical exam. Be sure to be well prepared in the given topics, have demo stuff at the ready, as often time isn’t enough and the evaluators might change things up.

What if I fail?

Well, it certainly can happen. Just because you’ve gotten so far, it doesn’t mean that the process is a formality. The questions can vary drastically in the level of their complexity which can make you wonder whether you’re supposed to answer the simple question in depth or give the complex question a short and digested answer.

The evaluators will test your ability to switch gears, handle pressure and keep the topic of discussion relevant. You probably won’t be able to answer all of the questions, and that’s probably fine. It depends on which questions you will not answer. There’s no firm process in the evaluation.

If you do fail, you have the option to apply again. The process will basically restart, but since you already have the needed certifications and classes, you will just have to hope your application gets selected for evaluation. Maybe give it some time before you do so and don’t immediately send in another application.

Instead, take some time to re-evaluate yourself, see what you did wrong (sometimes you do get feedback from the evaluators, sometimes you don’t). And do improve your knowledge. The evaluators do put a lot of value in seeing you know your stuff. And as Sathish Vj says, speak at a slower, clear pace. Don’t rush through in an attempt to cover as much of the topic as you can. Quality over quantity. Of course, don’t drag on either, so be relevant and cover what you have to, but in detail.

So, what to do to improve my odds?

Prepare, prepare, prepare. And then prepare some more. Don’t obsess about it, but make you’ve done your homework well.

There are some nifty resources you should check out when preparing for the trainings and/or the evaluations:

“The Google Cloud Developer Cheat Sheet” by Greg Wilson

“Google Cloud – Jumpstart, Tutorials & Community!” by David das Neves

“Cloud Solutions Architecture Reference”

“GCP Building Blocks”

“FREE codes for Qwiklabs” by Sathish VJ

Also check out these courses:

Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals (CP100A)

Google Cloud Platform for Systems Operations Professionals

Developing Applications with Google Cloud Platform (GCPDEV)

Architecture Google Cloud Platform : Infrastructure

Architecting with Google Cloud Platform: Design and Process

Data Engineering on Google Cloud Platform

Getting Started with Kubernetes and Google Container Engine

And also a few nifty books to sharpen your knowledge further:

Google Cloud Platform for Architects

Google Cloud Platform Cookbook

Mastering Google App Engine

DevOps with Kubernetes

So, take your time, prepare well and you will succeed.

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