How I passed Google’s TensorFlow certificate

Motivation

As an engineering manager, my own or my team’s daily job does not involve machine learning per se, so learning TensorFlow and deep learning in general is purely motivated by my personal interest. Throughout my career so far, I have not yet been in a position where I have to personally train a model to tackle a problem, but I’ve done some work with Kubernetes that empowers TensorFlow, as well as Coursera courses that involves using deep learning to empower self-driving cars, so that can explain where my interest comes from.

Preparation

Since this is a test, like all other types of test in life, getting prepared is important. The most relevant information is on the official website, specifically the public FAQ document, and you should read it at least twice, because it basically covers what’s to be expected in the exam, and also a major hint on the shape and form (e.g. number of questions).

Taking the test

The test is taken on your own computer (i.e. remote) with PyCharm and a plugin. I cannot go too much into the details, but an important tip is: basically all the rules on taking tests and interviews apply here: find a quite and comfortable place with AC power and easy access to water and toilet, etc.

  1. Failing to supply the correct combination of params to model.fit with image data generator so each epoch takes too much time (I am using my MacBook Pro so there’s no GPU)
  2. Trying to upgrade my model from a single layer of LSTM to two, but then my score went down from 3/5 to 2/5 (there’s no other feedback during tests so you can’t do error analysis), after which I can never get back to the original score for some reason

What’s next

After finishing the test, the result came in one or two hours, and you are then prompted to list your information on the developer directory. I imagine this would be useful for people doing ML job hunting but for me it is more of a social purpose. The certificate came in after more than two weeks later, but then there’s no other meaning than just a reminder to yourself.

So, is it really worth it?

To wrap up, I want to explore the question of whether it is really worth it, after all there’s a 100 US$ fee.

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Jiayu Liu

Jiayu Liu

Hi there! I’m Jiayu Liu, currently an engineering manager at Airbnb China, located in Beijing.