Journey 2 RE-certification: AZURE SOLUTIONS ARCHITECT EXPERT

Over the weekend, I had a scheduled proctored exam AZ-301 Microsoft Azure Architect Design. Passing it would re-certify my credentials in Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert, but most importantly up-skill my knowledge in recent changes of Microsoft Azure.

Actually, the first pre-requisite Expert Architect Technologies exam which I had, earlier in May, was not easy at all. The content of exam is quite BIG, in comparison what it used to be 2 years ago. It turned out to be true underestimate from me, when i failed my first attempt. The good or bad thing about this failed exam was the score – 679. I missed it with just one correct answer. Ah…

Anyway, repetition is the mother of perfection. If there is true perfection, it’s about getting ready, and doing something over and over again. Well, on the second attempt I was able to pass AZ-300 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies much easier… If you curious about the score, it was in upper 900’s (where max is 1000).

Overall, Microsoft Expert exams are much harder (probably 3x times) to get prepared than the Associate one. Thus, I was pretty excited and nervous while going for the next exam Architect Design πŸ™‚ It turned out well this time, as I used those skills in my day-2-day work, so no surprises there…

By the way, the Microsoft also announced new exams (AZ-303 and AZ-304) for the Azure Solutions Architect certification. They are all in beta for now and there are no online training material yet. You can check these exams here Microsoft official post.

Earning the Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification demonstrates skills and knowledge to advise stakeholders and translate business requirements into secure, scalable, and reliable solutions. Candidates have advanced experience and knowledge across various aspects of IT operations, including networking, virtualization, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data management, budgeting, and governance – managing how decisions in each area affects an overall solution.

Microsoft Learn

There is an informative blog post by Chris Pietschmann, about the state of the current Microsoft Expert exams and how they are structured, if you are new to the Microsoft role based certifications i would recommend to have a look.

There is an informative blog post by Chris Pietschmann, about the state of the current Microsoft Expert exams and how they are structured, if you are new to the Microsoft role based certifications i would recommend to have a look.

Turning attention back to current Azure Architect exams, with a small detour, there are multiple overlapping topics between those two Expert exams. Completing one of them greatly help with the second one, as they share certain exam objectives.

Now, the list my study guides consisted from the followings:

Congrats to everyone, who already got the Azure Solutions Architect Expert badge and certifications! This is a good thing to accomplish.

For those who are planning to go with Azure Architect pass, I wish good luck in preparing and getting it done. It is going to be an interesting journey, a lot to learn, much more to practice and up-skill yourself to be better prepared for your next challenge!

Hopefully, my journey will be a tiny encouragement wave to start your own.

  • Feel free to comment on what exam preparation approach do you follow?
  • What challenges are you facing or already overcome?
  • What helped and what did not – in setting up yourself for a journey?

Thank you and May The 4TH Be With You!

Study Guide for Azure Security Technologies (AZ-500)

Hello friends,

Updates: This exam had a number of changes from the mid 2020 till now. I have updated exam objectives and some of the listed references to be up-t0-date..

I am back with a new study guide AZ-500: Azure Security Technologies Associate.

This is a very important exam for anyone who puts security at the core of a solution – deployed into Azure Cloud environment. In this respect, it is invaluable for any professional whose responsibilities include: maintaining the security posture, identifying, and remediating vulnerabilities by using a variety of security tools, implementing threat protection, and responding to security incident escalations.

By the way, you could also check out the following study guides, if interested πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘

By learning this topic, you as a candidate will gain strong skills in scripting and automation; a deep understanding of networking, virtualization, and cloud N-tier architecture. Your strong familiarity with cloud capabilities and products and services for Azure is very critical to succeed.

Getting AZ-500 Microsoft Azure Security Technologies Associate

In this section, you will get to know the official exam objectives, free Microsoft Learn materials and additional materials that I have used. On a high level, the skills that are measured in this exam are:

Actually, you could find this information on the official Microsoft exam website.

Useful resources that helped me along the way:

Here are the references which will serve you a way for successful digestion of the security materials. I would like to thank Pete Zerger – a Microsoft MVP & Cybersecurity Strategist for his informative content & professional support. He has really valuable posts and training courses on the LinkedIn platform.

There were many breaks in my study where I paused to search for Azure Security documentation on Microsoft Docs. However, discovering the GitHub repo from AzureMentor highly helped me to save some time, while getting familiar with exam objectives.

Thus, the @AzureMentor GitHub pages on Azure-AZ-500-Study-Guide have direct links into each high level objective as well as outlined items within it.

I would like to thank my family and kids for providing me with the opportunity to complete my journey. Big thanks to close friends and #linkedinfaily for continued support.

That’s all friends! Hope this sharing will encourage you to start your own cloud journey.

And as always, feel free to get connected and leave your comment(s). The whole LinkedIn family will benefit from your suggestions and feedback.

Journey to Azure DevOps Expert with a 3P mindset – People… Processes… Products

Hello my friends!

If you are looking to get some study tips on an Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification then you landed in a right post πŸ™‚

So why Azure DevOps as a platform for your organization’s digital transformation? Well it is build for any language, and any platform. Yes, that is 100% true statement! Run the OSS (#opensourcesoftware) tools and frameworks on it, anything you want, in addition to Microsoft stack.

This weekend, I got loaded with fresh coffee and sit to wright-down experiences and resources I have used, along the journey to become an Azure DevOps Expert.Β 
This journey brings along a new credential inΒ Microsoft Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert. However, most importantly, it refreshes your understanding of latest developments in the DevOps ecosystem on Microsoft Azure platform.

Side note: I have been actively using Microsoft DevOps pipelines for the last 2.5 years. Having this experience provided a lot of help in understanding exam objectives and focusing on areas that I never touched.

Overall, Microsoft Expert exams are harder than Azure fundamentals and associate exams. They come with test scenarios, labs and tricky questions where you have to know the order of processes – in one way testing your real-world understanding of the processes and technologies and its interconnected components.

Earning the DevOps Engineer Expert certification demonstrates the ability to 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.

Microsoft Learn

Now, as you may expect, there are tons of material out there on how to get prepared for required two exams that qualifies you to Expert certification. I took a bit stiff hill to climb πŸ™‚ First, I went head-on with AZ-400 “Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions” exam and later focused on Azure Administrator Associate exam.

As an alternative, you could choose a developer path. It applies very well for the case, where you might already have an Azure Developer Associate certification and just need to pass AZ-400 to qualify for the DevOps Expert certification.

Study Materials and references

I primarily used Microsoft Learn – an online and free starting point to cover gaps in my knowledge and skills. by complementing it with Pluralsight videos. I have combined the following list of resources that you might find handy πŸ™‚

In summary, the important once are listed on top. They are all very important, as you would like to keep your knowledge up to date with developments on DevOps world.

In a nutshell, I tried my best to walk you through the process, options and resources that will help you along the way. Hopefully, this brief guide will help you on your journey to prepare and become an Expert DevOps Engineer!

Meanwhile, feel free to answer the following questions:

  • Comment on your exam preparation approach?
  • What challenges are you facing or already overcame?
  • What helped and what did not – in setting up for a DevOps journey?

Thank you and May The 4TH Be With You!

Study Guides for DP-300 Administrating Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure

For all Microsoft SQL server admin and developer friends πŸ‘πŸ‘Œ

DP-300 examΒ is out there, and I am trilled to pieces having it next week:

Caveat is, there is no officially published study guide yet (while it is Beta). I have compiled following resources from community members and in ne place for you.

We have following study guides to get help from:

1. Check Gregor Suttie’s guide πŸ‘‰ https://lnkd.in/e-H-hNG

2. Check Ravikiran Srinivasulu’s guide πŸ‘‰ Study Guide for DP-300

3. Check Gonzalo Juan Jose Bissio guide πŸ‘‰ DP 300 My experience πŸ™‚

4. Free e-book from Microsoft onΒ Professional Azure SQL Database Administration

Please, let us know if you have other good sources for exam preparation. Feel free to share it with community by providing valuable feedback in the comments section.

Updated: I would also recommend to read this post: “Level up with Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator Associate” from Microsoft Tech Community” https://lnkd.in/eXSHbMt #SharingIsCaring❀️

Good Luck on your upcoming exam!
Keep my posted on your success & journey progress!

#azure #sqldatabase #sqldeveloper #sqlserver #certification #betaexam

#MSBuild 2020 Cloud Skills Learning Challenge and Azure exam voucher

Hello friends,

In this post, I am excited to share about – how you could use your Microsoft Build 2020 registration/account to sign-up for Cloud Skills Learning Challenge and complete at least one challenge to earn a complementary Azure exam voucher, by June 2, 2020.

Thank you @Microsoft for this generous offer. Really appreciated!

So buckle-up friends, and Let’s START!

First thing first, you would need to have following 3 things:

Once signed-in into Microsoft Build 2020 registration account, you would need to follow pdf instructions from Microsoft.

Upon successful registration with Microsoft Build Cloud Skills Challenge you would see something similar to the following screen-shot:

Clicking on first item from Challenge Collection will show-up similar to the following screen-shot:

Note: it will show 0% completed initially, however as you move forward with training items it will go up. Upon completion of at least one challenge from Collection by June 2

Official rules of the Microsoft Build Cloud Skills Challenge could be found here.

That’s it friends, buckle up to complete your challenge before June 2, 2020 to receive a complementary Azure exam voucher and maybe some other prizes from sweepstake.

Good Luck!