AzureCertification

The Azure certifications for 2019

By 11th April 2019 July 9th, 2019 No Comments

With the first full set of revised Azure certifications now coming out of beta, I figured now would be a good time to summarise what is available if you are looking to get your Azure skills certified.

Microsoft announced at Ignite 2018 that they would be introducing new role-based certifications and by the end of the year they have delivered on the first step of this journey with lots more to come in 2019.  The idea of the new certifications is that they should map to job roles and that you should be able to see a route from Foundation to Associate then on to Expert. I’ve put together a quick graphic showing how this flows together.

The Changes

Microsoft took this opportunity to revamp the way that the questions are asked focusing more on familiarisation than memorisation. For Azure exams this means that to be proficient enough to pass the exam you’ll need to know how to do tasks via the Azure Portal, Azure CLI and PowerShell.

The first thing I noticed was a mix of how the questions are asked, some were presented with a case study giving lots of detail around current configuration, requirements and deliverables and then a series of questions were asked in relation to that case study, which you had to ensure your solution dealt with all of the requirements and deliverables. Once you had answered those questions you had an opportunity to review them then but you cant go back to them once you move on to the next case study. The exam does warn you before hand.

The second thing was not all the questions are multiple choice anymore, some were put these tasks in the correct order, others were drop downs with CLI or PowerShell examples which you had to complete. In one exam I was even presented with a live Azure Portal and asked to complete a series of tasks.

The third thing is that each exam will have between 40-60 questions, some being worth more than 1 point and Microsoft will be rotating the pool of questions regularly to ensure that the questions are always fresh and cover the latest features!

Each exam has a “cut score” set at 700 out of a maximum 1000, the thing to remember here is that it is a scaled score and NOT 70%

Azure Fundamentals

I wasn’t able to sit the AZ-900 exam in beta because it was released straight to the public in January 2019.

This exam is listed as optional for each certification path, and covers the core understanding of Azure. The guidance on this exam is that its for both technical and non-technical people looking to validate their foundation knowledge of Microsoft Azure services.

  • Understanding Cloud Concepts (15-20%)
  • Understanding Core Azure Services (30-35%)
  • Understanding Security, Privacy, Compliance and Trust (25-30%)
  • Understanding Azure Pricing and Support (25-30%)

Azure Administrator Associate

This certification used to require you to sit and pass two exams (AZ-100 Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment  and AZ-101 Microsoft Azure Integration and Security) however after much feedback from the community Microsoft has changed this to be just one exam (AZ-103 Microsoft Azure Administrator ). For all of the details for whats been merged from each exam check out the AZ-103 Exam design document. As this is a replacement for the old 70-533 exam if you have already passed it you can sit the transition exam (AZ-102 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Transition) but be quick as this exam is only available until June 2019.

To earn the Azure Administrator Associate certification you have to be able to demonstrate an understanding of services across the IT life-cycle, and ability to take requests for infrastructure services, applications, and environments. Candidates for this certification are typically Azure Administrators who manage cloud services spanning storage, security, networking, and compute cloud capabilities. They recommend services to use for optimal performance and scale, as well as provision, size, monitor, and adjust resources.

Each exam measures the candidates ability to accomplish the tasks listed below, please use the tabs to navigate through each exam’s learning objectives.

  • Manage Azure subscriptions and resources (15-20%)
  • Implement and manage storage (20-25%)
  • Deploy and manage virtual machines (VMs) (20-25%)
  • Configure and manage virtual networks (20-25%)
  • Manage identities (15-20%)
  • Manage Azure subscriptions and resources (5-10%)
  • Implement and manage storage (5-10%)
  • Configure and manage virtual networks (15-20%)
  • Manage identities (15-20%)

This transition exam is only available until June 2019 and candidates must have also passed the 70-533 certification.

Azure Developer Associate

This certification originally was two exams just like the AZ-100/101 however after reviewing feedback provided during the beta tests Microsoft removed some of the learning objectives and consolidated it in to one exam (AZ-203 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure). Whilst this is the replacement for the 70-532 certification there is no transition exam so anyone with that and looking to obtain the new Associate certification must take the whole exam again.

To earn the Azure Developer Associate certification you have to be able to demonstrate an understanding of services offered in Azure and how to design & build solutions using Azure tools and technologies such as storage, security, compute and communications.

Its expected that people looking to take this certification will have at least one year’s experience developing scalable solutions though all phases of software development.

The AZ-203 exam measures the candidates ability to accomplish the tasks listed below:

  • Develop Azure Infrastructure as a Service Compute Solutions (10-15%)
  • Develop Azure Platform as a Service Compute Solutions (20-25%)
  • Develop for Azure storage (15-20%)
  • Implement Azure security (10-15%)
  • Monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize Azure solutions (15-20%)
  • Connect to and Consume Azure Services and Third-party Services (20-25%)

Azure Solution Architect Expert

This certification requires you to sit and pass two exams (AZ-300 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies and AZ-301 Microsoft Azure Architect Design). As this is a replacement for the old 70-535 exam if you have already passed that you can sit the transition exam (AZ-302 Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Certification Transition). As with the AZ-102 transition exam this one will also expire in June 2019.

If you advise stakeholders or senior management and translate businesses requirements in to secure, reliable and scalable solutions then this certification is for you.

These exams are aimed at people with advanced experience and knowledge across various aspects of IT operations including networking, virtualisation, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data management, budgeting and governance.

I found the AZ-300 exam to be more focused on implementing and developing and AZ-301 to be more design and governance focused

Each exam measures the candidates ability to accomplish the tasks listed below, please use the tabs to navigate through each exam’s learning objectives.

  • Deploy and Configure Infrastructure (25-30%)
  • Implement Workloads and Security (20-25%)
  • Create and Deploy Apps (5-10%)
  • Implement Authentication and Secure Data (5-10%)
  • Develop for the Cloud (20-25%)
  • Determine Workload Requirements (10-15%)
  • Design for Identity and Security (20-25%)
  • Design a Data Platform Solution (15-20%)
  • Design a Business Continuity Strategy (15-20%)
  • Design for Deployment, Migration, and Integration (10-15%)
  • Design an Infrastructure Strategy (15-20%)
  • Determine Workload Requirements (15-20%)
  • Design for Identity and Security (5-10%)
  • Design a Business Continuity Strategy (15-20%)
  • Implement Workloads and Security (5-10%)
  • Implement Authentication and Secure Data (5-10%)
  • Develop for the Cloud (45-50%)

This transition exam is only available until June 2019 and candidates must have also passed the 70-535 certification.

Azure Dev-Ops Engineer Expert

To attain this certification you have to sit one additional exam on-top of either Associate certification – (AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions)

This certification is a new domain for Microsoft, and is for those Azure Administrator Associates or Azure Developer Associates who wish to take their roles to the “expert” level. Not only does it focus on Microsoft Azure solutions but how certain OpenSource tools complement it. As this is a new domain there is no transition exam.

Expect this exam to be pretty hard and those wishing to attempt it should be up on their Agile & DevOps practices for version control, compliance, infrastructure as code, configuration management, build & release along with testing by using Azure technologies.

  • Design a DevOps Strategy (20-25%)
  • Implement DevOps Development Processes (20-25%)
  • Implement Continuous Integration (10-15%)
  • Implement Continuous Delivery (10-15%)
  • Implement Dependency Management (5-10%)
  • Implement Application Infrastructure (15-20%)
  • Implement Continuous Feedback (10-15%)

Azure Security Engineer Asscociate

To attain this certification Associate certification its a single exam  (AZ-500 Azure Security Engineer Associate) and is designed for for people who are focused on all things Azure Security. Its in Beta at the moment but we’ll get more details once it goes in to General Availablity.

Here are the general learning for this exam

  • Manage Identity and Access
  • Implement platform protection
  • Manage Security operations
  • Secure data and applications

Kudos to Microsoft as all these changes bring a fresh look to the certifications. ✔👍

Categories