Tag: Microsoft Learn

Tips on how to take Microsoft Azure Certification Exams

Tips on how to take Microsoft Azure Certification Exams

As I wrote a couple of blog posts on Microsoft Azure Certification exams, like why should you become Microsoft Azure Certified, how you pick the right Azure Certification path or how you prepare for an Azure exam, I now got the questions if I have some tips to share about how to take the Microsoft Certification exams. I know that everyone takes exams differently, but I want to share what helped me to pass the exams. So here is a short list with tips on how you can be more successful when you take your Microsoft Azure Certification Exams.

Make sure you are prepared 💪

As mentioned in my blog post how you prepare and pass a Microsoft Azure Certification exam, you need to go through the topics and prepare. There are a lot of great resources to prepare for this exam. Great free resources I use usually are Microsoft Docs and Microsoft Learn, make sure you check out my blog post to get prepared.

There are also Microsoft Official Practice Tests available which are a great way to build your confidence and validate your skills, allowing you to identify gaps that you might need to resolve before you take your Microsoft Certification exam. Another resource you might find helpful is the Exam Replay offer, giving you the opportunity to retake the same exam if you failed the first time.

Empower your brain ⚡

Now it is essential to make your mind work best during the exam. Make sure you had enough sleep, and you have the right amount of sugar and caffeine in you. Depending on the exam, you will be spending quite some time on the exam, and you will read a lot, so make sure you have enough energy to get the answers out of your brain. Questions often come with a lot of different information. Parts of that information is relevant for the answer, and other parts are not. You will need to focus on sorting relevant and irrelevant information.

Plan enough time and avoid stress ⌚

If you are going to take the exam at a test center, make sure you show up early. It is not great if you have to rush into the exam room because you came late. The same applies when you are taking the exam from home. I like to be ready for the exam more-less half an hour before the exam starts. This gives me a little bit of time to get in exam mode and make my brain switch from the thing I was doing before, to the exam topic.

Get into the topic 📄

For some people switching context between different things isn’t a big deal. For me, it works best if I have some ‘stress-free’ time after the last thing I did, before getting into the exam mode. I usually do an extra round on Microsoft Docs to get my brain thinking about the right context.

Get comfortable 🛋

Make sure you are relaxed and ready for the exam at least half an hour before your exam is scheduled to start. Also, make sure you used the restroom, you had your coffee and water because you are not allowed to take a break during the exam, and you can’t have these things close to you during the exam. And again, be relaxed, if you don’t pass the exam it isn’t the end of the world, you can still retake the exam another time. That said, also make sure you take advantage of special offers, like exam replays.

Read the questions carefully 👓

Make sure you read the questions carefully, to understand what is really asked. It also helps you to navigate through the exam, usually, you can go back to specific questions later. However, in some cases, the exam will let you know that you cannot access the question later after you have clicked next.

Answer all questions and use the mark question feature ✔

Now, when you start with the exam, you will maybe find some topics you are not familiar with, and you might not be sure about the answer. In these cases, you can mark this question and come back to it later, so you don’t lose too much time on it. If you don’t know the answer, make sure you at least select an answer, it is always better to have a small chance in guessing the right answer, then not answering the question at all. If you want to know more about the different types of questions in a Microsoft exam, check out my blog, which has a couple of additional tips on how to prepare and pass the exam.

Write down what you have learned 📝

For me it doesn’t matter if I have passed the exam or not, I always write down things I didn’t know the answer to. This allows me to look them up later and learn more. Make sure you don’t share this information since that would violate the testing policies.

Do you have tips to take a Microsoft Azure Exam? 🤔

I hope this blog post gives you some useful tips on how to take a Microsoft Azure Certification exam. Do you have any suggestions and tips? Let me know in the comments!

By the way, make sure you take the 2020 IT Skills and Salary Survey from Global Knowledge and be one of the first to get the results of the report early next year.

Getting started! 🧪

Are you also interested in becoming Microsoft Azure Certified? Check out my blog posts about why you should become Microsoft Azure Certified and how to pick the right Azure exam certification path. And have a look at my Azure exam experience with the different Azure exams.



Microsoft Azure Exam Certification Path

How to pick the right Azure Exam Certification Path

In my blog, why you should become Microsoft Azure Certified, I described why it makes a lot of sense to work on your Azure skills, take the exam, and become Microsoft Azure certified. Microsoft offers a wide variety of Azure certifications exams and role-based certifications to help you keep pace in your career with today’s business requirements. In this blog post, I want to help you, how you choose the right Microsoft Azure certification, exam, and learning path.

The question which comes up a lot is what Microsoft Azure exam should I take and which certification does matter for my job. To make this decision easier, Microsoft announced a new strategy to create role-based certification at Microsoft Inspire in 2018.

Overview and summary 📚

Before you read the whole article, here is the quick rundown of how you can pick the right Azure exam and certification path for you. You can find a list of all the role-based certification here.

  1. Select the Azure solution area you want to achieve certification. This can be Azure Applications & Infrastructure or Azure Data & AI.
  2. Define if you want to get started with fundamentals or directly with the role-based certifications. The fundamental exams are optional to the certification process. However, by taking the fundamentals exam, you can make sure that you have the right base knowledge for the role-based exams, It also helps you if this is the first Microsoft certification exam you are taking, it makes you familiar with the testing process and the different types of questions.
  3. Select the role you want to achieve the certification. Depending on the solution area and type, you have different role-based certifications available.
  4. Read and verify the requirements like skills and exams for the specific certification.
  5. Select the first exam with which you want to start.
  6. Start learning 🎉

Microsoft Azure Role-based Certification 🎓

Microsoft Azure Role-based Certification Overview

Microsoft Azure Role-based Certification Overview

The new Microsoft Azure exams and certifications are role-based. That means you have different exams and certification paths, depending in which role you are working.

Azure Solution Areas

Picking the right solution area is your essential starting point. There are two main solution areas of Azure certification and exams:

  • Azure Apps and Infra (Applications and Infrastructure)
  • Azure Data and AI (Data and Artifical Intelligence)

In both solution areas, you will find different role-based certifications available.

Microsoft Azure Certification Types

Microsoft Fundamentals and Role-based certification

Microsoft Fundamentals and Role-based certification

As you might have seen, the terms MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solution Associate), MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert or formerly also known as Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer), and MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer) are going away. The new concept of certification is evolving our training and certifications away from product-focus, and more towards role-based focused.

Former NamingNew role-based certification
MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate)Fundamentals
MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate)Associate Roles
MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Engineer) or
MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer)
Expert Roles

Azure Applications and Infrastructure certifications and exams

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Azure Apps and Infra certifications are mainly designed for IT professionals and developers. There are the following role-based certifications are available in apps and infra:

Fundamentals

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals – With a focus on cloud concepts, core Azure Services, Azure pricing and support, and the fundamentals of cloud security, privacy, compliance, and trust. It builds the foundation of the Azure exams and requires the base knowledge about Microsoft Azure and cloud computing in general.

Associate and Expert roles

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate – Has a focus on implementing, monitor, and maintaining Microsoft Azure solutions, including primary services related to compute, storage, network, and security. It covers topics infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and others, which makes sure you have the technical Azure foundation. This is the certification I recommend to most people to get started with after they have done the Azure Fundamentals. It is not just for administrators, it helps everyone to understand different base Azure services.
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate – Main focus on designing, building, testing, and maintaining cloud solutions, such as applications and services, partnering with cloud solution architects, cloud DBAs, cloud administrators, and clients to implement these solutions. With this focus, the certification is great for developers to understand different Azure services.
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate – Focuses on implementing security controls and threat protection, managing identity and access, and protecting data, applications, and networks in cloud and hybrid environments as part of the end-to-end infrastructure. This certification goes through different security configuration, architectures, and services across Azure.
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert – Azure DevOps professionals combine people, process, and technologies to continuously deliver valuable products and services that meet end-user needs and business objectives. This exam not only focuses on Azure DevOps but also on different general DevOps practices, such as source control, continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD).
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert – The Azure Solution Architect exam focuses on expertise in compute, network, storage, and security so that they can design solutions that run on Azure. This exam has a strong emphasis on understanding different Azure services and architecting solutions on Azure.

This means you have to take the following exams:

LevelCertificationExams to takePrerequisites
FundamentalsAzure FundamentalsAZ-900none
AssociateAzure Administrator AssociateAZ-103none
AssociateAzure Developer AssociateAZ-203none
AssociateAzure Security Engineer AssociateAZ-500none
ExpertAzure DevOps Engineer ExpertAZ-400AZ-103 or
AZ-203
ExpertAzure Solutions Architect ExpertAZ-300 and
AZ-301
none

Azure Data & AI certifications and exams

Azure Data and AI certifications

Azure Data and AI certifications

In Data and AI, you have the following Azure Data & AI role-based certifications are available:

Fundamental

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals – With a focus on cloud concepts, core Azure Services, Azure pricing and support, and the fundamentals of cloud security, privacy, compliance, and trust. It builds the foundation of the Azure exams and requires the base knowledge about Microsoft Azure and cloud computing in general.

Associate and Expert roles

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist Associate – With the main focus on applying Azure’s machine learning techniques to train, evaluate, and deploy models that solve business problems.
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate – Focuses on designing and implementing the management, monitoring, security, and privacy of data using the full stack of Azure data services to satisfy business needs.
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer Associate – Includes a strong focus on using Cognitive Services, Machine Learning, and Knowledge Mining to architect and implement Microsoft AI solutions involving natural language processing, speech, computer vision, bots, and agents.
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert – The Azure Solution Architect exam focuses on expertise in compute, network, storage, and security so that they can design solutions that run on Azure. This exam has a strong emphasis on understanding different Azure services and architecting solutions on Azure.

This means you have to take the following exams:

LevelCertificationExams to takePrerequisites
FundamentalsAzure FundamentalsAZ-900none
AssociateAzure Data Scientist AssociateDP-100none
AssociateAzure Data Engineer AssociateDP-200 and
DP-201
none
AssociateAzure AI Engineer AssociateAI-100none
ExpertAzure Solutions Architect ExpertAZ-300 and
AZ-301
none

Conclusion 📝

As you can see, there are many different certifications and exams available depending on your job-role. If you are new to Azure, I recommend that you start with the optional Azure Fundamentals exam. If you are confident with cloud computing and Azure, you can directly go to the role-based associate and expert exams.

You can also have a look at my experience with the different Azure exam certifications:

If you want to get started, check out Microsoft Learn and your Azure Free account.

Microsoft Learn 🎓

Up your game with a module or learning path tailored to today’s IT Pro, developer, and technology masterminds and designed to prepare you for industry-recognized Microsoft certifications.

Create free Azure Account ☁

Create your Azure free account today and get started with 12 months of free services!

I hope this gives you a good overview of the available Azure certifications and exams. It should also give you an idea of where to start and pick the right Azure exam certification path. In the coming weeks, I will publish a blog on how you start learning for an Azure exam to get Azure certified. If you can’t wait until then, check out Microsoft Learn, which will provide you with different learning modules. If you want to know more about Microsoft Learn, check out my blog post called: Microsoft Learn – A Great Place To Learn!



AZ-400 Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer

Passed AZ-400 Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer

Today I manage to pass the last Azure AZ exam. This time I took exam AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions, which gives you the Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification. This exam is focused on Azure DevOps solutions, DevOps strategy, implementing DevOps development processes, implementing CI/CD, and much more.

AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions

Candidates for this exam are DevOps professionals who combine people, process, and technologies to continuously deliver valuable products and services that meet end user needs and business objectives. DevOps professionals streamline delivery by optimizing practices, improving communications and collaboration, and creating automation. They design and implement strategies for application code and infrastructure that allow for continuous integration, continuous testing, continuous delivery, and continuous monitoring and feedback.

Candidates must be proficient with Agile practices. They must be familiar with both Azure administration and Azure development and experts in at least one of these areas. Azure DevOps professionals must be able to design and implement DevOps practices for version control, compliance, infrastructure as code, configuration management, build, release, and testing by using Azure technologies

You can find more about the exam and more details on the Microsoft Learning platform. If you successfully pass the AZ-400 exam, you will get the Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification, where you can learn more about here.

How to prepare for the AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions exam

Microsoft Learn DevOps

If you want to prepare for this exam, I have a couple of recommendations for you. First of all, Microsoft Learn DevOps modules. Microsoft Learn is a fantastic learning platform to make you familiar with not just Microsoft Azure technologies, but a lot of other Microsoft products and services. Secondly, there is an excellent Microsoft Course on OpenEDX called Implementing DevOps Development Processes, created by Microsoft MVP Tarun Arora. To get some hands-on experience, I highly recommend the Azure DevOps labs on azuredevopslabs.com. Last but not least, I also recommend the AZ-400 study notes from Gregor Suttie, they will help you to find the right content and focus.

As for every exam, start working with the product and try it out, this is always the most effective learning experience. If you need some free Azure credits, check out this page.

Azure Certifications

Microsoft offers different certifications depending on various job roles. If you are just getting started with Azure, I also highly recommend that you are doing AZ-900, which is the Azure Fundamentals exam.

Are you also interested in becoming Microsoft Azure Certified? Check out my blog posts about why you should become Microsoft Azure Certified, how to pick the right Azure exam certification path and how to prepare and pass a Microsoft Azure certification exam. I hope this gives you a quick overview of the AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions exam, and if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.



AZ-203 Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate

Passed AZ-203 Microsoft Certified Azure Developer

I am happy to share that I just passed another Microsoft Azure Exam. This time I took exam AZ-203, which gives you the Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate. This exam is focused on Azure Developers building solutions using different Azure services. There are several various Azure exams and certifications depending on different job roles like the Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator Associate or the Azure Architect Expert. However, even as an architect, engineer, or administrator, it helps how to understand different Azure services and how you can implement, design, and use them. These exams are not focused on writing the perfect code; they are designed to understand how you can design and build solutions and applications on top of the Azure platform. As you can see on the exam page, the AZ-203 has different focus areas like Azure IaaS, containers, app services, serverless, databases, storage, security, and much more. If you want to prepare for the exam, I highly recommend that you check out Microsoft Learn, but more on that later.

AZ-203 Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate

Candidates for this exam are Azure Developers who design and build cloud solutions such as applications and services. They participate in all phases of development, from solution design, to development and deployment, to testing and maintenance. They partner with cloud solution architects, cloud DBAs, cloud administrators, and clients to implement the solution.

You can find more about the exam and more details on the Microsoft Learning platform.

Azure Certifications

As mentioned, Microsoft offers different certifications depending on various job roles. If you are just getting started with Azure, I also highly recommend that you are doing AZ-900, which is the Azure Fundamentals exam.

How to prepare for the AZ-203 Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate exam

Microsoft Learn Azure Modules

For every modern Microsoft exam, I recommend that you first carefully read the skills measured on the exam page. Knowing the technologies and topics which are tested in the exam is already half of the work. Next, I recommend that you have a look at Microsoft Learn. Microsoft Learn is a great learning platform with a lot of different modules on different topics and technologies, which you can search but also filter based on your role. These are not just text-based learning modules; in some cases, you have a hands-on experience using a sandbox environment. You need to work with these technologies, try out these services on Azure, read the documentation on Microsoft Docs to the specific topics and go and try out the services with the different quick starting guides and tutorials. This will not only help you learn for the exam but also provide you a lot of knowledge on Azure.

Are you also interested in becoming Microsoft Azure Certified? Check out my blog posts about why you should become Microsoft Azure Certified, how to pick the right Azure exam certification path and how to prepare and pass a Microsoft Azure certification exam. I wish you happy learning and good luck taking the AZ-302 Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate exam!



Mastering Azure with Cloud Shell

Mastering Azure with Cloud Shell

There are multiple ways to interact and manage resources in Microsoft Azure. You can use the Azure Portal or command line tools like the Azure PowerShell module or the Azure CLI, which you can install on your local machine. However, to set up a cloud management workstation for administrators and developers can be quite a lot of work. Especially if you have multiple computers, keeping consistency between these machines can be challenging. Another challenge is keeping the environment secure and all the tools up to date. The Azure Cloud Shell addresses this any many more things.

Cloud Shell is not brand new, Microsoft announced Cloud Shell at Build 2017. This blog post is about how you can master Azure with Cloud Shell and give you an overview of the possibilities of Cloud Shell.

 

What is Cloud Shell

Cloud Shell Azure Portal

Cloud Shell offers a browser-accessible, pre-configured shell experience for managing Azure resources without the overhead of installing, versioning, and maintaining a machine yourself. Azure Cloud Shell is assigned per unique user account and automatically authenticated with each session. This makes it a private and secure environment.

You get a modern web-based command line experience which can be accessed from several endpoints like the Azure Portal, shell.azure.com and the Azure mobile app, Visual Studio Code or directly in the Azure docs.

In the backend, Azure uses containers and automatically attaches an Azure File Share to the container. You can store the data on it, so your data is persistent. This persists your data across different Cloud Shell sessions.

Cloud Shell Bash and PowerShell

You can choose your preferred shell experience. Cloud Shell supports Bash and PowerShell and included your favorite third-party tools and standard tools and languages. If something like a module is missing, you can add it.



AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

Passed Exam AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

I just took a little bit of my time to do one of the latest Azure exams. The Azure exam AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals is, as the name suggests, a basic fundamental exam covering some general knowledge about Microsoft Azure. The exam covers a basic understanding of cloud concepts, core Azure services, security, privacy, compliance, and trust, as well as Azure Pricing and support.

AZ-900 is a good exam if you are starting with Azure and the cloud. It is not just a marketing and sales exam; even do it is a very light exam. You will need to have some technical know-how. If you are planning to take this exam I have some recommendations for you. Understand the benefits of cloud computing and the different cloud models. Go through the list of Azure services, make sure you know what services are available and for what you would use them. Also make sure that you understand the concepts of Azure in general and in Azure governance, like Subscriptions, Management Groups, Azure Policies, Azure Resource Groups, Role-Based Access Control, and many more.

You can find more detailed information on the Microsoft exam website. There you will find all the skills measured in this exam.

Microsoft Learn

I also highly recommend that you make an Azure free (or paid) account and try out different Azure services. But if you want to get ready for the cloud and especially for Microsoft Azure, and exam AZ-900, check out Microsoft Learn. Microsoft Learn is a great free learning platform, where you have free guides, walkthroughs, and hands-on experience. Microsoft Learn also provides you some more advanced training and guides, to get some more in-depth understandings of Microsoft services.

Are you also interested in becoming Microsoft Azure Certified? Check out my blog posts about why you should become Microsoft Azure Certified, how to pick the right Azure exam certification path and how to prepare and pass a Microsoft Azure certification exam. With that, I wish you happy learning and good luck with the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam!



Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn – A Great Place To Learn!

In a world with always evolving and fast changing technology, it can be hard to keep up with the latest innovation. However, in our just we need to keep learning and be more efficient. It can be difficult to find the right resources and the right content. This is why Microsoft launched Microsoft Learn, a new platform to learn technology and keep up with the fast pace of our industry.

Microsoft Learn

Microsoft recently switch the certification programs for Azure to role-based certifications, for example Azure Administrators, Azure Developers and Azure Architects. The new Microsoft Learn platform also gives you a training and modules based on your role selection.

Microsoft Learn Guide

Microsoft Learn Guide

The platform has a guided experience, explaining you the technology with text, videos, control questions, but also with hands-on training using sandboxes in Azure for free.

Microsoft Learn Sandbox and Hands-on

Microsoft Learn Sandbox

You cannot only read and watch videos, you also have a hands-on expierence. You can get a sandbox environment to live try code or even the portal experience to work with Azure or other Microsoft technology. In this example, I have the Microsoft Learn Guide on one site and Azure Cloud Shell on the other. I don’t even need to jump out of the learning experience, I just simply can try out the code.

Get started with Microsoft Learn

The Microsoft Learning platform is much more than I just explained. And Microsoft is working hard on adding even more content for more products and services to the page. If you want to get startet with Azure Certifications or just Azure in general, Microsoft Learn is the place to be!

And the best thing, it is free. You get amazing content guide and explained with labs to even try it out by yourself. The only thing you need is time and the willingness to learn. To try it out, just visit the Microsoft Learn homepage and let me know what you think!