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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 โ€“ 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!

 612 Reads

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 ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘

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.

 889 Reads

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.ย 
This journey brings along a new credential inย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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!

 576 Reads

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

For all Microsoft SQL server admin and developer friends ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Œ

DP-300 examย 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 ๐Ÿ‘‰ https://lnkd.in/e-H-hNG

2. Check Ravikiran Srinivasulu’s guide ๐Ÿ‘‰ Study Guide for DP-300

3. Check Gonzalo Juan Jose Bissio guide ๐Ÿ‘‰ DP 300 My experience ๐Ÿ™‚

4. Free e-book from Microsoft onย 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 #SharingIsCaringโค๏ธ

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

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

 479 Reads

#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!

 274 Reads

KEY 30+ free training materials for everyone

Hello my friends!

I have been asked about free, online training resources. I have compiled, to my best knowledge, all recent training resources in this post. However, please feel free to add your comments (aka, 2 cents ๐Ÿ’ฐ) and extend this list together ๐Ÿ™‚

All the training resources could be used by anyone around the glob 24/7. Note that few training resources are geared toward certain US state learning programs.

I truly hope, you could share these resources with your friends, who might be looking for affordable training, and prepare themselves for a better future.

  1. Microsoft Learn: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/
  2. Google Cloud Training: https://cloud.google.com/training
  3. Oracle OCI training with free exam till May 15, from Raghu Viswanathan: https://www.oracle.com/corporate/blog/free-certifications-oracle-oci-autonomous-033020.html
  4. IBM AI training: https://cognitiveclass.ai/
  5. Pluralsight – free April month: https://www.pluralsight.com/
  6. Harvard University. Pay for official certificate only: https://harvardx.link/sz4ck
  7. Tableau (90 days with code 2020elearning): https://www.tableau.com/learn/training/elearning
  8. Qlik (online training): https://www.qlik.com/us/announcements/covid-19-response
  9. Databricks: https://www.databricks.training/learn-from-home/index.html
  10. Looker: https://training.looker.com/
  11. Coursera: https://blog.coursera.org/coursera-together-free-online-learning-during-covid-19
  12. Atlassian: https://www.atlassian.com/software/free
  13. MicroStrategy (45 days till May 15th 2020): https://www.microstrategy.com/us/free-education
  14. Free Training from BMCC/ NY-Cisco, A+, EMT, Medical Assistant, etc. https://www.bmcc.cuny.edu/ce/
  15. New York Mechanic’s Apprenticeship Program: https://www.nyatlas.org
  16. Web Development training at LaGuardia Community College: https://www.laguardia.edu/Open-Code-Information/
  17. OSHA Training, and several other Free Training – New York: http://www.cb14brooklyn.com
  18. SUNY Bronx- Free Training- GED, Master Barber, Medical Assistant, EMT, etc. http://www.bronxeoc.org/index.html
  19. Learn to code: https://www.freecodecamp.org/
  20. Training in programming and IT : https://www.npower.org/
  21. Training in Cyber Security, Net +, A+, System Admin, etc: https://perscholas.org/
  22. Year Up for 18-24 years old offered in several states in the US. 12 months program with internship: https://www.yearup.org/
  23. Training in IT, Construction, Medical Admin Assistant: usa.generation.org/regeneration
  24. Free IT Training with Certificate: https://thegymnasium.com
  25. Training in several states and online for CompTIA A+ : https://www.creatingitfutures.org
  26. Salesforce training : https://trailhead.salesforce.com/
  27. Sign up for Free trial to take cert exams like: A+, Net, CySa+, Cisco, PMP : https://www.ucertify.com/
  28. Python training from Google: https://www.udacity.com/course/programming-for-data-science-nanodegree–nd104
  29. University of the People- Free degree program in Computer Science, Business Administration, Health Services: https://www.uopeople.edu
  30. Much more online training from @Rajanand’s post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/free-learning-resources-rajanand-ilangovan/
  31. Atlassian free product training catalog: https://training.atlassian.com/free-training-catalog

These list is not complete and I look forward for your contributionsย #linkedinfamily ย to keep this post updated #SharingIsCaringโค๏ธ

 504 Reads

Setting up Microsoft FHIR Server on your laptop & FHIR-ing up…

Hello my FHIR-ly friends, and welcome to my first post on Microsoft FHIR server!

Over the last few months, i worked with Microsoft Open Source FHIR Server (OSS) and wanted to share my experience on setting it up and running locally. Yes, you may run it locally without internet ๐Ÿ™‚

This might be helpful, if you just starting to learn HL7 FHIR (https://www.hl7.org/fhir/) and don’t / can’t spin one on your cloud environment of choice. You might also use any publicly available FHIR endpoints, discover-able from the link above.

Following steps will assist you in spinning it with a Cosmos DB (emulator flavor) or a more traditional SQL Server instance. Well, let’s start right away!

  • In VS openย Microsoft.Health.Fhir.slnย & restore the packages
  • Run the build process & setย Microsoft.Health.Fhir.Stu3.Webย ย as a start-up project
  • Note: You could also useย Microsoft.Health.Fhir.R4.Webย ย – based on fhir resource versions that you are planning to load.
  • Made following changes inย appsettings.json
"Security": {
      "Enabled": true,
      "EnableAadSmartOnFhirProxy": false,
        "Authentication": {
            "Audience": "fhir-api",
            "Authority": "https://localhost:44348"
        },
      "PrincipalClaims": [
        "iss",
        "oid"
      ],
      "Authorization": {
        "Enabled": true
      }
    },

Option 1: Selectingย Cosmos DBย data layer

Option 2: Select SQL data layer & start project (aka Press F5)

Lunch the FHIR server locally by pressing F5 – should look like following screen:

  • Run postman Query for Server CapabilityStatement: https://localhost:44348/metadata?_format=json 
  • Check the Postman SSL certification verification is off, or accept the dotnet development certificate.
  • Retrieve token to access the FHIR Server resources:
POST https://localhost:44348/connect/token
BODY: client_id=serviceclient&client_secret=serviceclient&grant_type=client_credentials&scope=fhir-api

Hope you got so far & starting your celebration… Yes, my friend, you did it! Congratulations!!!

You are ready to play with FHIR ๐Ÿ”ฅ … Just remember, to follow the FHIR safety rules that we will cover on next post ๐Ÿ™‚ Stay tuned and let me know what are you thoughts in the comments. Thanks!

 440 Reads

How to start Cloud Journey in your organization?

Hi Cloud Marathoners!

It is usually hard to start a new initiative within a company due to a myriad of reasons. ๐Ÿค”
Thus, this post will focus on how to follow some descriptive steps in starting a new Cloud Journey whereever you are in your life ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s check a simple approach ๐Ÿ’ก below that could guide us on cloud โ˜๏ธ (AWS, Azure, GCP, Oracle Cloud) adoption journey ๐Ÿ—บ

Choosing the right cloud solution provider for your customers?

1๏ธโƒฃ Step: Check on Team Alignment with cloud fundamentals
โœ”๏ธ Every team member should have a basic understand of how specific cloud works
โœ”๏ธ Portfolio of candidate workloads should be available to all team members to be used during strategic, release planning and completion of technical tasks 
โœ”๏ธ The technical strategy should include clarity on which levels of the hosting hierarchy will be used and what those terms mean in our business
โœ”๏ธ A naming and tagging standard should be established, maintained, and enforced to guide implementation and resource organization
โœ”๏ธ The hosting hierarchy should be reflected in a resource organization design (account or subscription design)
โœ”๏ธ Align cloud capabilities, teams, and RACI structure to the fundamental concepts above

As an addition, what would you add into first checklist ? ๐Ÿค”

Please, share your thoughts in comments section ๐Ÿ‘ย #SharingIsCaringโค๏ธ๏ธ

Looking ๐Ÿ‘€ for more?
Follow the #cloudmarathoner tag on LinkedIn and via blog postsย ๐Ÿ’ก

FแดสŸสŸแดแดก แดแด‡ ๐ŸŽฏ แด€ษดแด… become แด€ #cloudmarathoner โ›…๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ – ๐‹๐„๐“’๐’ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐๐„๐‚๐“ ๐Ÿ‘

#cloudjourney
#cloudskills
#firststeps
#cloudadoption
#continuouslearning

 511 Reads

Welcome to the cloud journey blog!

Welcome friends!

I will use this platform to blog intresting stuff on my cloud journey and help other friends in the community to succeed.
Every opinion expressed here belongs to me and not to my employer company.


Please be patient with me; while I will be migrating my posts into this blogging platform. Thanks!

 861 Reads