How I Passed Databricks Data Engineer Associate Exam

How I Passed Databricks Data Engineer Associate Exam

3-Step Approach to Ace the Exam


5 min read

No matter if you are an experienced engineer looking to increase the visibility of your accomplishments in the field or a newbie looking to spice up your resume, this is another important certification you should obtain.

In this article, we will learn how to prepare effectively but quickly to become a Databricks Certified Data Engineer Associate. Using this simple strategy, I was able to earn a score of 90 percent in just 10 days of preparation. So without further ado, let's start!

Databrick Lakehouse Platform Assessment Criteria

To begin with, this examination is purely meant to assess your ability to use the Databrick Lakehouse Platform and its associated tools. The minimally qualified candidate must be well-off with building ETL pipelines using Apache Spark SQL and Python. It is also expected that you can incrementally process the data, and build production pipelines, while also having a good understanding of data security and its governance.

An Insight into the Examination Format

It consists of a total of 45 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and there is no negative marking. An individual is supposed to cover these questions in 90 minutes. A thing to be noted, there is not much source material available for this exam as it is quite new. These questions will be distributed covering the advanced-level topics of the subject in the following ratios:

  • Databricks Lakehouse Platform (11/45) - You must be familiar with the utility and benefits of using the platform and its associated tools.

  • ELT with Spark SQL and Python (13/45) - It’s good if you have hands-on experience in building ETL pipelines using Apache Spark SQL and Python.

  • Incremental Data Processing (10/45) - Another useful skill that will help you in this journey is to learn to process the data effectively.

  • Production Pipelines (7/45) - It is required to be able to build production pipelines for data engineering applications and Databricks SQL queries and dashboards.

  • Data Governance (4/45) - Being well aware of the best security practices in the world of data engineering is a must.

Once you understand this division based on these topics, it will be easier to put proper attention to each one of them. You can set your priorities accordingly and begin to learn and practice. It is also important to know that this examination test has a fee of $200. This certificate stays valid for 2 years since the tester passes the exam.

Importance of Obtaining the Certificate

As Lakehouse Technology is at the forefront of Data Engineering and thus, it brings a significant number of opportunities for engineers who like to keep learning and growing.

The Lakehouse platform is a breakthrough tech that merges both Data Lake and Warehouse into a single paradigm. Over time, things will turn even more inventive as a lot of medium to large-scale businesses are engaging with the Databricks platform to unify their DE, BA, and ML needs.

Further, there are various benefits that this gets you in your data engineering journey. So, having an authenticated certificate from Databricks clearly shows that you have the relevant skills, whereas, and you can quickly build your portfolio from there.

3-Step Approach to Ace the Exam

How I passed Databricks Data Engineer Associate Exam By the Author

To begin with the preparation, you must delve deeper into the variety of courses referred to by Databricks Academy on their platform.

Step 1: Preparation

  • There is an instructor-led course named “Data Engineering with Databricks and a self-paced course available in Databricks Academy. For a better understanding of the certification course, there is a detailed overview of over 40 minutes which you can surely use. As you reach the end of the module, you will get to practice some good questions from a practice exam on their website.
  • Fundamentals of the Databricks Lakehouse Platform (V2): Once you prepare for this, this portion also provides a free accreditation in place. This course assesses your ability to acquire the basic concepts of Data Lakehouse, Databricks Lakehouse Platform, Data Reliability & its Performance, Unified Governance & Security, Instant Compute & Serverless, and a variety of other key topics such as data warehousing, data engineering, data streaming, and Data Science & ML.

  • Data Engineering with Databricks V2: The main course will help in getting familiar with all the concepts of the Databricks Lakehouse platform. It covers the following topics like Delta Lake, Relational Entities, Python & ETL with Spark SQL, Databricks Lakehouse Platform, Databricks Workspace and Services, Delta Live Tables (DLT), and Multi-Hop Architecture, etc. For a better understanding of the topics, you can visit this link on GitHub.

Step2: Notes/ Documentation Portal

This is a crucial step as it makes you progress even faster and doubles the chances of success. While you are studying with discipline and dedication, it is just another requisite to make notes or document things that you learn in the process. Consequently, you must revise frequently before sitting for this examination. For more information on how to make your own notes, you can check out my note-making strategy.

Step 3: Mock Exam

In this step, it is highly suggested that you give mock tests to assess your progress while preparing for this exam. You can easily practice some of these for free on Databricks Academy or using various websites such as Udemy. The mock tests and practice exams available on both of these platforms are much similar as the question papers have a flow that is alike. Another thing, some of the questions are given variations coming from the same concept.

A Vital Reminder: Record the Incorrectly Answered Questions and Their Explanations for Effective Revision. This Practice can Help Boost Your Confidence, and Increase Your Chances of Scoring 90 or Above on the Certification Exam.

Final Thoughts on the Certification Course and Preparation Tips

For anyone who is looking for an upgrade in their career or to elevate their knowledge base, this certification course comes as another milestone for you. However, it is easier said than done. Strong preparation is needed to get a good score as they reflect your conceptual clarity and in-depth understanding.

For any further queries or guidance, you can watch my video where I elaborated on the same topic, or directly reach out to me through comments. You can also email your questions and receive a prompt response!