Professional Data Engineer

Certification Exam Guide

Professional Data Engineer

Job Role Description

A Professional Data Engineer enables data-driven decision making by collecting, transforming, and publishing data. A data engineer should be able to design, build, operationalize, secure, and monitor data processing systems with a particular emphasis on security and compliance; scalability and efficiency; reliability and fidelity; and flexibility and portability. A data engineer should also be able to leverage, deploy, and continuously train pre-existing machine learning models.

Certification Exam Guide

Section 1: Designing data processing systems

1.1 Selecting the appropriate storage technologies. Considerations include:

  • Mapping storage systems to business requirements
  • Data modeling
  • Tradeoffs involving latency, throughput, transactions
  • Distributed systems
  • Schema design

1.2 Designing data pipelines. Considerations include:

  • Data publishing and visualization (e.g., BigQuery)
  • Batch and streaming data (e.g., Cloud Dataflow, Cloud Dataproc, Apache Beam, Apache Spark and Hadoop ecosystem, Cloud Pub/Sub, Apache Kafka)
  • Online (interactive) vs. batch predictions
  • Job automation and orchestration (e.g., Cloud Composer)

1.3 Designing a data processing solution. Considerations include:

  • Choice of infrastructure
  • System availability and fault tolerance
  • Use of distributed systems
  • Capacity planning
  • Hybrid cloud and edge computing
  • Architecture options (e.g., message brokers, message queues, middleware, service-oriented architecture, serverless functions)
  • At least once, in-order, and exactly once, etc., event processing

1.4 Migrating data warehousing and data processing. Considerations include:

  • Awareness of current state and how to migrate a design to a future state
  • Migrating from on-premises to cloud (Data Transfer Service, Transfer Appliance, Cloud Networking)
  • Validating a migration

Section 2: Building and Operationalizing Data Processing Systems

2.1 Building and operationalizing storage systems. Considerations include:

  • effective use of managed services (Cloud Bigtable, Cloud Spanner, Cloud SQL, BigQuery, Cloud Storage, Cloud Datastore, Cloud Memorystore)
  • storage costs and performance
  • lifecycle management of data

2.2 Building and operationalizing pipelines. Considerations include:

  • data cleansing
  • batch and streaming
  • transformation
  • data acquisition and import
  • Integrating with new data sources

2.3 Building and operationalizing processing infrastructure. Considerations include:

  • provisioning resources
  • monitoring pipelines
  • adjusting pipelines
  • testing and quality control

Section 3: Operationalizing Machine Learning Models

3.1 Leveraging pre-built ML models as a service. Considerations include:

  • ML APIs (e.g., Vision API, Speech API)
  • customizing ML APIs (e.g., AutoML Vision, Auto ML text)
  • conversational experiences (e.g., Dialogflow)

3.2 Deploying an ML pipeline. Considerations include:

  • ingesting appropriate data
  • retraining of machine learning models (Cloud Machine Learning Engine, BigQuery ML, Kubeflow, Spark ML)
  • continuous evaluation

3.3 Choosing the appropriate training and serving infrastructure. Considerations include:

  • distributed vs. single machine
  • use of edge compute
  • hardware accelerators (e.g., GPU, TPU)

3.4 Measuring, monitoring, and troubleshooting machine learning models. Considerations include:

  • Machine Learning terminology (e.g., features, labels, models, regression, classification, recommendation, supervised and unsupervised learning, evaluation metrics)
  • Impact of dependencies of machine learning models
  • Common sources of error (e.g., assumptions about data)

Section 4: Ensuring Solution Quality

4.1 Designing for security and compliance. Considerations include:

  • identity and access management (e.g., Cloud IAM)
  • data security (encryption, key management)
  • ensuring privacy (e.g., Data Loss Prevention API)
  • legal compliance (e.g., Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), FedRAMP, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR))

4.2 Ensuring scalability and efficiency. Considerations include:

  • building and running test suites
  • pipeline monitoring (e.g., Stackdriver)
  • assessing, troubleshooting, and improving data representations and data processing infrastructure
  • resizing and autoscaling resources

4.3 Ensuring reliability and fidelity. Considerations include:

  • performing data preparation and quality control (e.g., Cloud Dataprep)
  • verification and monitoring
  • planning, executing, and stress testing data recovery (fault tolerance, rerunning failed jobs, performing retrospective re-analysis)
  • choosing between ACID, idempotent, eventually consistent requirements

4.4 Ensuring flexibility and portability. Considerations include:

  • mapping to current and future business requirements
  • designing for data and application portability (e.g., multi-cloud, data residency requirements)
  • Data staging, cataloging and discovery