A few months ago, I was discussing with a colleague regarding the SnowPro certification and whether it properly prepares you for the future. While a year ago I would answer ‘No’ to that question, I have to admit that nowadays I lean towards a ‘Yes’. Having said that, In this blog post I will try to illustrate my personal journey and spice it up with pre and post SnowPro Certification thoughts.
As a consultant in the Information Lab, Snowflake certification (like any other certification) is important as it shows partners external recognition of our knowledge and skill. It also coincides with the company’s mission to improve and create the best knowledge base support to our customers.
Most importantly, It gives me the opportunity to deep dive and try to really understand the underlying concepts. Not just to have abstract ideas but actually challenge my understanding with practical experience.
It is often said that there is quite a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. Our attempt to fill in the gap between the two, forces us to jump in and cross this vast ocean on our way to understanding.
Practically though, It is not that easy since the snowflake eco-system is quite vast, to say the least. Where do I start from? How can I ingest all that information? and how do I test my knowledge? These were just a few of the questions I was wondering about…
But How ???
Maybe counter intuitive, but my personal journey hasn’t started with the SnowPro Core Certification Exam Guide. At first I wanted to experience snowflake on my own, so I started checking YouTube for all the questions I had at the time: What is Snowflake? Why use Snowflake? What makes it unique? and why do people think of it as a game changer?
My next stop was the Snowflake community site where you can find tons of content such as concept lessons and hands on tutorials.
Enter Frosty Friday
A turn point in my journey was the launching of Frosty Friday, a series of weekly challenges, to practice and develop Snowflake skills. The main cause why I call it a turn point was the fact that each week I could work out on a single Snowflake feature. Trying to solve a challenge forced me to understand the concepts around it and I would go back and forth checking the snowflake documentation. This work concept proved very helpful because it allowed me to focus on a single feature without being overwhelmed by the vast amount of documentation. In time, the different pieces of the puzzle started to fit in to a whole.
Hands on experience and troubleshooting is crucial for understanding different concepts and for me it made a lot of difference along the way.
In order to consolidate my knowledge around each week’s topic, I started series of blog posts revolving the challenges. Although writing those blog posts seemed like a burden sometimes, diving into the documentation made me much more comfortable with snowflake syntax and terminology.
Another side effect was the fact that I had to be very clear about what I was writing about. Why to use certain functions? How on earth to find them? and how exactly they perform? I had to be clear for myself and for others reading it, so I had to REALLY understand what I was doing.
Exam Guide, Documentation and Others
After feeling a bit more comfortable, I started diving into the the exam guide and walked through the domains breakdown. Re-introducing myself with these domains again, made them even clearer and I could absorb more details without feeling totally consumed.
The SnowPro certification guide is super useful in conjunction with the snowflake documentation, and I would suggest to follow it thoroughly.
I cannot express how valuable snowflake documentation is. It is amazing! and as snowflake releases new features on a regular basis, it keeps updating… I used it over and over again, and when things got unclear I’d test it myself using the supplied examples.
I also used other available sources to better understand unclear concepts. There are plenty of free YouTube sources to enrich your snowflake knowledge base. One such source is this YouTube channel, which I found really helpful and I highly respect the effort he has done in mediating Snowflake concepts. The channel hosts videos, tutorials, hands on examples and tests to check your knowledge. Since Snowflake adds features on a regular basis, not all topics in the exam guide are there.
SnowPro Certification Exam
In general, I believe that the SnowPro certification is necessary in order to scale up my basic skillset and stay up to date with the current released features. The exam itself updates as well to include the new features.
My impression of the exam was that it followed the basic structure outlined in the exam guide. I would certainly advise others to meticulously got through the breakdown of topics. I had questions on most of them. Let’s take as an example Domain 3, dealing with Performance Concepts. I had questions regarding every single sub topic in this domain.
Some of the questions were quite specific, so I advise you not to skip the details around the SnowPro certification guide and documentation. In my exam there quite some detailed question regarding snowflake objects, data types and working with semi-structured data.
Going back to the discussion whether SnowPro certification prepares you for the future or not, I should say ‘Yes’. It does so as long as you go with careful attention through the different topics and spicing it up with a lot of hands on experience. Make sure to consolidate you knowledge either by writing about it or try to explain what know to a colleague.
I hope you found this blog post helpful and I wish you great success!
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