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Professional Data Engineer

Certification exam guide

A Professional Data Engineer makes data usable and valuable for others by collecting, transforming, and publishing data. This individual evaluates and selects products and services to meet business and regulatory requirements. A Professional Data Engineer creates and manages robust data processing systems. This includes the ability to design, build, deploy, monitor, maintain, and secure data processing workloads.

Section 1: Designing data processing systems (~22% of the exam)

1.1 Designing for security and compliance. Considerations include: 

    ●  Identity and Access Management (e.g., Cloud IAM and organization policies)

    ●  Data security (encryption and key management)

    ●  Privacy (e.g., personally identifiable information, and Cloud Data Loss Prevention API)

    ●  Regional considerations (data sovereignty) for data access and storage

    ●  Legal and regulatory compliance

1.2 Designing for reliability and fidelity. Considerations include:

    ●  Preparing and cleaning data (e.g., Dataprep, Dataflow, and Cloud Data Fusion)

    ●  Monitoring and orchestration of data pipelines

    ●  Disaster recovery and fault tolerance

    ●  Making decisions related to ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability) compliance and availability

    ●  Data validation

1.3 Designing for flexibility and portability. Considerations include:

    ●  Mapping current and future business requirements to the architecture

    ●  Designing for data and application portability (e.g., multi-cloud and data residency requirements)

    ●  Data staging, cataloging, and discovery (data governance)

1.4 Designing data migrations. Considerations include:

    ●  Analyzing current stakeholder needs, users, processes, and technologies and creating a plan to get to desired state

    ●  Planning migration to Google Cloud (e.g., BigQuery Data Transfer Service, Database Migration Service, Transfer Appliance, Google Cloud networking, Datastream)

    ●  Designing the migration validation strategy

    ●  Designing the project, dataset, and table architecture to ensure proper data governance 

Section 2: Ingesting and processing the data (~25% of the exam)

2.1 Planning the data pipelines. Considerations include:

    ●  Defining data sources and sinks

    ●  Defining data transformation logic

    ●  Networking fundamentals

    ●  Data encryption

2.2 Building the pipelines. Considerations include:

    ●  Data cleansing

    ●  Identifying the services (e.g., Dataflow, Apache Beam, Dataproc, Cloud Data Fusion, BigQuery, Pub/Sub, Apache Spark, Hadoop ecosystem, and Apache Kafka)

    ●  Transformations

        ○  Batch

        ○  Streaming (e.g., windowing, late arriving data)

        ○  Language

        ○  Ad hoc data ingestion (one-time or automated pipeline)

    ●  Data acquisition and import

    ●  Integrating with new data sources 

2.3 Deploying and operationalizing the pipelines. Considerations include:

    ●  Job automation and orchestration (e.g., Cloud Composer and Workflows)

    ●  CI/CD (Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment)

Section 3: Storing the data (~20% of the exam)

3.1 Selecting storage systems. Considerations include:

    ●  Analyzing data access patterns

    ●  Choosing managed services (e.g., Bigtable, Spanner, Cloud SQL, Cloud Storage, Firestore, Memorystore)

    ●  Planning for storage costs and performance

    ●  Lifecycle management of data

3.2 Planning for using a data warehouse. Considerations include:

    ●  Designing the data model

    ●  Deciding the degree of data normalization

    ●  Mapping business requirements

    ●  Defining architecture to support data access patterns

3.3 Using a data lake. Considerations include:

    ●  Managing the lake (configuring data discovery, access, and cost controls)

    ●  Processing data

    ●  Monitoring the data lake

3.4 Designing for a data mesh. Considerations include:

    ●  Building a data mesh based on requirements by using Google Cloud tools (e.g., Dataplex, Data Catalog, BigQuery, Cloud Storage)

    ●  Segmenting data for distributed team usage

    ●  Building a federated governance model for distributed data systems

Section 4: Preparing and using data for analysis (~15% of the exam)

4.1 Preparing data for visualization. Considerations include:

    ●  Connecting to tools

    ●  Precalculating fields

    ●  BigQuery materialized views (view logic)

    ●  Determining granularity of time data

    ●  Troubleshooting poor performing queries

    ●  Identity and Access Management (IAM) and Cloud Data Loss Prevention (Cloud DLP)

4.2 Sharing data. Considerations include:

    ●  Defining rules to share data

    ●  Publishing datasets

    ●  Publishing reports and visualizations

    ●  Analytics Hub

4.3 Exploring and analyzing data. Considerations include:

    ●  Preparing data for feature engineering (training and serving machine learning models)

    ●  Conducting data discovery

Section 5: Maintaining and automating data workloads (~18% of the exam)

5.1 Optimizing resources. Considerations include:

    ●  Minimizing costs per required business need for data

    ●  Ensuring that enough resources are available for business-critical data processes

    ●  Deciding between persistent or job-based data clusters (e.g., Dataproc)

5.2 Designing automation and repeatability. Considerations include:

    ●  Creating directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) for Cloud Composer

    ●  Scheduling jobs in a repeatable way 

5.3 Organizing workloads based on business requirements. Considerations include:

    ●  Flex, on-demand, and flat rate slot pricing (index on flexibility or fixed capacity)

    ●  Interactive or batch query jobs

5.4 Monitoring and troubleshooting processes. Considerations include:

    ●  Observability of data processes (e.g., Cloud Monitoring, Cloud Logging, BigQuery admin panel)

    ●  Monitoring planned usage

    ●  Troubleshooting error messages, billing issues, and quotas

    ●  Manage workloads, such as jobs, queries, and compute capacity (reservations)

5.5 Maintaining awareness of failures and mitigating impact. Considerations include:

    ●  Designing system for fault tolerance and managing restarts

    ●  Running jobs in multiple regions or zones

    ●  Preparing for data corruption and missing data

    ●  Data replication and failover (e.g., Cloud SQL, Redis clusters)