Completing the GCP Essentials quest on my daily commute

Everyone attending the Google Cloud OnBoard in Sydney.had got an opportunity to get the GCP Essentials badge by completing a QwikLabs quest for free.  I don’t have much time during the day or evening when at home, so I’ve decided I’ll complete the GCP Essentials quest on my daily commute to work.

The Challenge

The part of daily commute when I can actually sit and work is about  30 minutes each way and goes through areas with quite a patchy network, so I had a ping -t  constantly running to understand whether the  delay that I am getting is from Cloud Shell or Console doing any actual work or from my connectivity to the network.

Patchy Network While doing the GCP Essentials labs

I kind of lied – I did not complete all of the labs on the bus/train.

I did the first lab “Creating a Virtual Machine” at home as I didn’t know the format of the labs and whether the QwikLabs estimated duration is precise.  I also did the “Hello Node Kubernetes” at home as the estimated time was 60 minutes and I am totally new to Kubernetes. The rest of them as well as the associated posts were actually done on the daily commute.

The Journey

The quest consist of 7 or 8 (if you want to do the first lab on once for Linux and once for Windows) labs

Each lab you start will create you a temporary GCP account that you can login with to the Cloud Console and Shell, where you will spend most of the time creating and using different GCP resources. It suggested by QwikLabs to run the labs in Incognito mode, and after a few that’s how my login screen looked like 🙂

The labs are very detailed and are easy to follow. I did have a few things I got stuck with. I am not sure whether I missed something in the instructions or the labs are not up-to-date.

I’ve decided to put my “workarounds” as a separate posts for my own sake as well as for the sake of others who might have similar experience

Also wanted to mention the guys at QwikLabs support. They are very responsive and nice. For some reason when I tried to start the last lab (Set Up Network and HTTP Load Balancers) it became non free and requested me for 7 credits. I’ve emailed them and teh support team sorted everything out pretty quickly.

The Bumps Along The Way

Creating a Virtual Machine – I got stuck on 10/15 points

Compute Engine: Qwik Start – Windows – just a few tips about choosing the right image for the VM as well as what to look for in the logs while you are waiting to be able to RDP to the machine

Creating a Persistent Disk – I decided to “extend” the lab a little bit by adding a file into the persistent disk, blowing away the machine, reattaching the disk to a new machine  and verifying the file is still there

Hello Node Kubernetes – explains how to get the token required  to access the Kubernetes Dashboard

The Finish Line

All the labs are complete and I can wear my “GCP Essentials” badge with honor!

All GCP Essentials labs complete

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