As I'm sure you are aware Microsoft have changed their certification paths for Azure, the main announcements came at MS Ignite in September 2018. A lot of the exams they announced have been in beta and over the Christmas holiday most of the exams were made live. A lot of changes and even a new exam was announced. If you haven't heard about the new certifications Scott Duffy (b|t) has made an excellent video explaining it all:
For those that follow my blog you will know that I have set myself some exam targets (one of which the work have said I need to pass) and the first one I ticked off the list in 2019 was the AZ-900 one. It's a standalone exam that is designed with non-technical professionals looking to demonstrate their knowledge or early in career professionals in mind.
The next exam I have ticked off the list is the AZ-302 one. This is a transition exam and it's designed to help those that had previously sat the 70-535 Azure Architecture exam and wanted to renew/update their qualification in line with the new certification paths. Passing the AZ-302 now gives me the Azure Solutions Architect Expert qualification.
The exam was in Beta for a lot of 2018 and there was a lot of feedback from those that took the Beta that it was a "developer heavy" exam, the exam is now out of Beta and although under the Microsoft Exam NDA policy I can't say much my experience of the exam is very different than that reported by those that sat the Beta.
I've worked with Azure now in my day to day job for about two years now, I've primarily focussed on the Infrastructure side of things. In previous roles I worked with Microsoft 365 and before that pretty much every technology Microsoft have developed. AZ-302, (and the AZ-300 and AZ-301) exam is new and there isn't a lot of training material specifically out there or practice tests so in order to pass I did the following:
- From this exercise I spent time reading up on the areas of weakness by using the Azure Documentation and spinning up what I could within my Azure subscription to give myself some working knowledge of the services as well.
I think having studied and passed the 70-535 in late November helped as well, as a lot of the things I learnt from that exam helped prepare me as well.
If you don't have the 70-535 exam under your belt unfortunately you aren't eligible to sit the AZ-302 exam, instead to receive the Azure Solutions Architect Expert qualification you will need to sit AZ-300 and AZ-301. Both of these exams are also out of Beta and I've heard positive experiences about both exams from colleagues who have sat them this month.
Whatever exam or certification path you are targeting this year my advice would be to go spend some time with the Azure Documentation, or deploying and using the services within Azure or utilise the Microsoft Learn material. Doing one or all three of these things will help you achieve your targets.
Go out there, Never Stop Learning and validate your skills!