In the last couple of months, I often get asked: “Thomas, how should I get started with learning Microsoft Azure and Cloud Computing.” I think the time to learn about Microsoft Azure and Cloud Computing is absolutely right, even if you don’t have much knowledge yet. I got a couple of requests from people on how they can get started with learning Microsoft Azure and cloud computing. Here are some examples:
Im from a networking background so now want to delve into the world of Azure. HOWEVER… I don’t have any experience of any programming language, at all, and I know they we must write scripts for automation and be able to understand them.
So my question is can you please recommend, how should I start to learn ?
or for example:
I am interested in pursuing a career in Microsoft Cloud Azure. I currently have no certifications or cloud experience. Can you give me any advice on how to get started?
To be honest, the answer to these questions isn’t an easy one. It often depends on how much knowledge you already have. People who are already working with IT systems usually already have basics in, for example, networking, storage, scripting or programming languages, and other IT-related topics. But it is absolutely fair that people are switching professions and don’t have these basics or not with all technologies. In my opinion, even these basics are helping a lot; you don’t need to learn all of them before you start learning Microsoft Azure or cloud computing.
What to learn?
For most people, the challenge really is to find out what they should learn and where they should invest their time in. Luckily we have Microsoft certification exams, which are a great summary of resources to learn specific fundamentals or skills for a job role. For people who want to start learning Microsoft Azure and cloud computing, I recommend that they have a look at the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam, which is great to prove the knowledge of cloud concepts, Azure services, Azure workloads, security and privacy in Azure, as well as Azure pricing and support. I also want to highlight that it is not just about just passing the exam, but more about finding the right topics to learn. Passing the certification exam, however, gives you that extra benefit when you are applying for a job or a promotion.
Exam AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
Candidates for this exam should have foundational knowledge of cloud services and how those services are provided with Microsoft Azure. The exam is intended for candidates who are just beginning to work with cloud-based solutions and services or are new to Azure.
Azure Fundamentals exam is an opportunity to prove knowledge of cloud concepts, Azure services, Azure workloads, security and privacy in Azure, as well as Azure pricing and support. Candidates should be familiar with the general technology concepts, including concepts of networking, storage, compute, application support, and application development.
Azure Fundamentals can be used to prepare for other Azure role-based or specialty certifications, but it is not a prerequisite for any of them.
If you look at the skills measured in these exams, we see that these are some great fundamentals to learn:
- Describe cloud concepts (15-20%)
- Describe core Azure services (30-35%)
- Describe security, privacy, compliance, and trust (25-30%)
- Describe Azure pricing Service Level Agreements, and Lifecycles (20-25%)
Keep in mind there are also other fundamentals exams for different technology focus areas like:
- MB-901 Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Fundamentals Exam
- PL-900 Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Fundamentals Exam
- MS-900 Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals Exam
- DP-900 Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals Exam
- AI-900 Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals Exam
So you can also choose a different direction depending on where you want to go. In general, the AZ-900 exam is great since it covers many different cloud computing basics, and it will be very helpful even if you later move in another direction. Also, keep in mind that these fundamentals are not just for technical people. You can also benefit from learning these fundamentals in other job roles.
How to learn Microsoft Azure and Cloud Computing
Now you know what you should learn to get started with Microsoft Azure. The next question is how you can learn it and where you can find the right learning materials. Here are some great places and resources:
Microsoft Learn was introduced at Ignite 2018 as a free learning platform for many different Microsoft technologies, not just Azure. Microsoft Learn provides you with various learning paths depending on your job role or the skills you are looking for. Most of the learning paths give you a hands-on learning opportunity so that you can develop practical skills through interactive training. And it is free! You get instant in-browser access to Microsoft tools and modules; no credit card required.
Microsoft Learn also offers a learning path for the AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals exam, with the following modules:
- Azure Fundamentals part 1: Describe core Azure concepts
- Azure Fundamentals part 2: Describe core Azure services
- Azure Fundamentals part 3: Describe core solutions and management tools on Azure
- Azure Fundamentals part 4: Describe general security and network security features
- Azure Fundamentals part 5: Describe identity, governance, privacy, and compliance features
- Azure Fundamentals part 6: Describe Azure cost management and service level agreements