Tag: Skills

How to get started learning Microsoft Azure and Cloud Computing

How to get started learning Microsoft Azure and Cloud Computing

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:

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

Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn

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:

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.

Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge 2020

Join the Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge 2020

You can join the Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge 2020 and get a free Microsoft Certification exam voucher! Were you looking to take a Microsoft Certification Exam? All participants of Microsoft Ignite 2020 who complete at least one collection in the Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge are eligible for a free certification exam (subject to Terms and Conditions). Microsoft certifications can help you continue skilling up and prove your technical expertise to employers and peers. Check out my blog post on why you should become Microsoft certified.

Choose up to six different challenges to complete on Microsoft Learn. After you’ve completed your first challenge, you’ll earn a free Microsoft Certification exam. For each challenge you complete, you’ll earn five entries into a sweepstakes. One grand prize winner will receive a chance to meet with a Microsoft leader and invite up to four friends.

Join the Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge 2020

You can join the Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge 2020 by registering for Microsoft Ignite and sinning up for the Cloud Skills Challenge in the Learning Zone. The free certification exam is available for redemption starting October 12, 2020 and is valid until March 31, 2021. If you do not schedule and take your eligible exam within that timeframe, you will not be able to redeem your offer. Details and instructions on how to redeem your free certification exam will be available starting October 12, 2020.

You can take the exam at an authorized Pearson Vue testing center or through a Pearson Vue online proctoring site.

Available Microsoft Certification Exams

Check out the list of Microsoft Exams here:


Dynamics 365 and Power Platform

Microsoft 365


The Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge 2020 is a great chance to learn more and get a free Microsoft Certification. Happy Learning!

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!