#86: Huy Dang

“The 4-year journey of building a community is a big stepping stone for me to become a Google Developer Expert.”

Huy Dang -Solutions Architect at BIDV

I graduated in IT from Hanoi University of Science and Technology. In 2017, while working at Gimasys, I just started to explore Cloud Computing. Luckily, working there allowed me to be involved in numerous projects deploying Cloud services for customers, as well as participate in important projects with Google, our company partner. At that time, Cloud was becoming a big trend, but in Vietnam, it was still new and not widely adopted. This made me even more curious, and I focused my research on Cloud and delved into the world of Oracle Cloud.

In 2021, I made the decision to achieve 30 certifications before turning 30, which meant I had to complete an additional 24 certifications in 2 years. Calculating the costs of exams, purchasing courses, and the time commitment, it seemed quite challenging. But I believe in the saying ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way,’ so I had to try to find out.

Thus, every evening after work, around 6 PM, I diligently studied online courses on platforms like Coursera and Udemy until 1-2AM. I had my lunch at the company to save commuting time and took a nap in the afternoon to ensure I was alert and ready to study late into the night. I refrained from going out or taking long breaks because even a week of leisure could lead to a month of stagnation in my exam preparations.

Looking back, I feel grateful to my boss for providing me with the opportunity to learn more about Cloud Computing. Since he sponsored the exam costs, I studied hard and tried my best to pass. Although I failed in my first time, my boss arranged for me to be mentored by a bro who had already passed the exam, and he guided me for an entire month. Therefore, my boss and everyone in my company had high expectations of me. Well, life goes on, and I continued to experience failures in my exams (^^). Although no one explicitly expressed it, I could sense the disappointment from everyone, and I was disappointed in myself as well.

I remember that time when I failed the certification exam, and to take it again, I had to wait for 2 weeks. If I failed again, I would have to wait for 1 year to retake it. Luckily, I managed to pass the certification on my third attempt. The moment I left the exam room, I called my department, and everyone was overjoyed. I still cherish that feeling of victory until now.

If any of you are aiming to “conquer” certifications, my advice is to “stay calm and take the exam.” Especially in the first two years without much experience, failing multiple times can be discouraging. The longest time I spent preparing for a certification was 1.5 to 2 years, while the shortest was just a few months. However, after several attempts and gaining a solid foundation of knowledge, subsequent certifications become much smoother. Another tip to pass the exams is to consolidate your knowledge by writing or creating videos to review on platforms like YouTube or TikTok. I also attend Cloud-related events to update my knowledge and connect with like-minded individuals.

If you’re in Hanoi, you can join Google Developer Group (GDG) Cloud Hanoi community. This Cloud community has been very helpful to me. Initially, I was an active member participating in online and offline events, as well as engaging in discussions with others. Gradually, I caught the attention of the community organizers, and they invited me to guide the community on using Google Cloud Platform tools. Now, I’m a member of the organizing team for GDG Cloud Hanoi events.

The 4-year journey of contributing to and building the community has been a significant milestone for me to become a Google Developer Expert (GDE). For programs like GDE, the certification process is also quite challenging. I went through several rounds of interviews, including two community interviews and an interview with a representative from Google. The questions focused not only on work experience but also presented challenges and required in-depth knowledge of Google Cloud Platform (GCP) products and services. As an official GDE, I have the opportunity to speak at events and interact with the Google technology community in other countries, where I meet many talented and passionate tech people in the field of Cloud. It motivates me to continuously learn and improve.

Because I had to “swim on my own” for a long time to achieve my goals, I’m always ready to advise and share my experiences with anyone who wants to pursue certifications or become a GDE. Choose any community you like, enjoy sharing and learning with others. This is a way to help you go further and faster instead of going alone.

Techie Story is a digital magazine about inspiring tech people who have contributed continuously to Science, Technology, and Innovation. Please contact us at team@techiestory.net if you want to contribute your inspiring story.
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