Thoughts on the Snowflake Advanced Architect Exam

It's been a couple of months since I sat the above exam and I've had a few people asking me about it, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on it in a blog.  I can’t go into specific areas of the exam for obvious reasons.

Being a relatively new exam there is not a lot of information about on the internet and not much content dedicated to the exam on the usual Snowflake resources to date, so I felt I was going into the exam a little blind and less prepared than I would've liked, which wasn't ideal but was still pretty confident, how hard can it be, right?

While the Snowpro Core exam is more of a broad-brush of general understanding of the Snowflake Platform, the Advanced Architect exam, examines a far greater breadth and depth of technical architect level understanding. 
As a reference point, 12 months earlier I achieved a pass mark of greater than 90% for the Snowpro Core exam, and in those 12 months between sitting the Snowpro Core exam and the Advanced Architect exam, I’ve been working solely on Snowflake projects, I passed the Advanced Architect exam…..but not by much.

Snowflake recommends a prerequisite of at least 2 years of hands-on Snowflake experience before attempting the exam and unless you have a photographic memory and have read the Snowflake docs cover to cover I'd not recommend anyone to sit the exam without that prerequisite experience unless you have deep pockets (see pricing below).

Overall I enjoyed sitting the exam, I enjoy testing my knowledge and these proctored exams have come a long way from the ‘multi-guess’ A,B,C or D exams of yester-year.  I found the timeframe given to complete the exam was about right, although I thought it could've been about 10 - 15 mins shorter.
One thing I was disappointed with was the number of questions relating to other services and how they integrate with Snowflake.  While they are a key part of the overall Cloud ecosystem, I don't consider them to be core to the platform, great to know for sure, but not core.  One integration point in particular was, in my view, heavily over represented in the questions I had and unfortunately for me not one I've worked with previously and although I knew it was a thing I hadn't had the need to spent any time with this particular service.  
While I probably got most of those questions wrong it gave me a pointer to where I could improve which is valuable in itself and since taking the exam, I have taken some time to fully understanding that particular integration service feature.
However, I would've been hugely disappointed if I had failed the exam as a result of not having had a need for that integration service in the past.  I guess I answered most of the other questions correctly as there is not much margin for error here which is equally comforting and frustrating and highlights the breath of knowledge needed for this exam.

At $US375 ($550 NZD) the exam isn't overly expensive but not exactly cheap either.  The kicker here is that the fee is per attempt and with no 'free resits', so if you fail the exam you need to stump up the fee again to resit.  I quite like this as it discourages 'chancers' and maintains a level of credibility for the badge.
The Advanced Architect badge is a real differentiator between those who has taken a 3-day course and passed the Snowpro Core exam and someone who has years of experience and a deeper technical understanding of the Snowflake platform and I'm glad Snowflake have recognised this by developing these advanced exams.

If you're looking for your next opportunity in this growing market or looking to further your career then the Snowpro Advanced Architect badge, as they say, really does separate the men from the boys. (Can I say that these days?  No offence to the ladies intended!).  As an employer, I would value this accreditation very highly in any candidates applying for a position here at Data Engineers.

In conclusion

if you've been using Snowflake for 2 years or more and have the Snowpro Core accreditation (or have a photographic memory, read the Snowflake Docs and have deep pockets) then I would certainly encourage you to go for it.  Snowflake is an awesome Data Cloud Platform and having more demonstrably, highly skilled professionals in the market delivering solutions that maximise the potential of the platform can only be a good thing, right?

The time that elapses between pressing the Submit button on the exam and getting the result feels like an eternity, oh and good luck.

Share this Post

2024 © Data Engineers Ltd - All Rights Reserved