Google Professional Cloud Architect
September 20, 2021
After having renewed the Google Associate Cloud Engineer certification, it was the moment to renew the Google Professional Cloud Architect certification as well.
Since I wanted to keep Windows on my laptop for the smallest amount of time possible, I decided to book the Professional Cloud Architect exam the day after the Associate Cloud Engineer one.
On the exam day (18th of August), having had experience the previous day, I ensured to set up everything correctly. As I did the previous day, I decided to use my Lenovo Bluetooth Laser Mouse. The exam started without any hiccups at 15:00. At around 15:30, I moved the mouse wheel to the left, triggering a “back” signal, equivalent to press the “back” button in a browser. Kryterion Sentinel decided that the proper way to handle such a signal was to interrupt the exam. I tried to call the Kriterion call centers, but a recorded voice informed me that the fastest way to access their customer care was via chat. I opened a chat with their support and got put in a queue of about 20 people. After 40 minutes, I managed to chat with a support representative, and they managed to schedule a new exam session for me a couple of minutes later (16:15).
Trying to re-start the exam at 16:15, it failed without a clear error, if not that the exam was “in progress” and at the same time “suspended”. I started a new chat session with their support. Another 20ish people in front of me, another 40 minutes of waiting. When I managed to speak with their operator, they informed me that everything seemed ok, so they agreed to reschedule my exam session. I asked to do so the following day at 15:00 since, by that time, it was already after 17:00.
The day after, at 15:00, I was ready to sit the exam again. Kriterion Sentinel allowed me into the session. I started to talk with the operator to check the identity, as usual. After checking my identity, the operator informed me that I was not allowed to sit that exam and should have contacted Google via email to understand how to proceed. Pointless to say that I would not have done my exam that day.
I contacted Google support via email, and in five days, the situation was cleared. Google support informed me that the attempt I made would be resulting in a failure but provided me a 100% discount coupon code since the cause was a technical issue. I tried to book a new session with the coupon code, but I was not able to do so since Google Certifications can not be re-tried for 14 days after a failed test. On the 25th, the exam was marked as failed. I tried to re-book the new exam for the 5th of September but failed. The system was aware that I was not allowed to do my exam before the 5th of September but decided to be over-cautious, so it did not allow me to even book the exam for a date after the 5th of September.
On the 5th of September, I was able to book my exam, and even if there were very few slots available, I managed to find one for the 7th of September.
On the 7th of September, I sat the exam (this time with a different mouse with no back button!) and passed it without issues.
I think there are three considerations to be made out of this experience:
- Kriterion Sentinel is very fragile, so try not to do anything weird such as doing anything that could emit a “back” signal.
- If you exit the happy path, the experience can be very frustrating.
- In the end, helpful people managed to fix the issues caused by a very fragile system and process.
I hope next time around I’ll be able to go to a test center to renew the certifications so that I will not have to deal with possible unhappy paths!