Azure Certification Updates and Announcing Microsoft Learn

We’re lucky enough to be at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando this week. Trying to wrap all of the announcements into immediate reactions is almost impossible, so I’m going to take some time to give each announcement the detail it deserves. With that said, I think the best place to start is with learning and certification.

At Inspire, Microsoft announced new learning paths for Azure, see here for previous post. Yesterday, they confirmed the new certification options. Microsoft have shifted their certification focus to be role based. This was first seen with Azure Administrator certification and is continued with Developer and Architect tracks. Azure is the first technology platform Microsoft are making this change for, 365 will follow later this year.

One interesting point to take from the announcement is that there will no longer be an MCSA or MCSE qualification, there will be individual awards for each path. This is best explained in the diagram below:

Azure Apps and Infrastructure certs

So depending on your specific, or hopeful future, job role you have some options. As you can see in the bottom right hand corner, there are Transition exams available if you have previously sat the relevant Azure exams. I’ve already sat the AZ-102 beta exam, it was very good, everything you would expect from an Administrator perspective. I am going to attempt to sit the AZ-302 exam here at Ignite as well, so watch social for thoughts on that if there are no NDAs.

The second and more impressive announcement is the introduction of Microsoft Learn. This is an entirely new platform that allows you to interactively learn right in the browser. Want to know the best thing, it’s all FREE.

If you’re trying to learn more about Azure, or you are just starting, there is an absolute wealth of learning available. The paths are accurate and beneficial, they allow you to learn at your own pace and if you’re into achievements, they offer plenty! See below for an example of some of the paths offered:

learn azure.PNG

Part of the brilliance of the platform is direct cloud shell integration, allowing you to actually deploy and test what you are learning about, again right in the browser. Genuinely, I am loving this new Learn platform, I spent some time yesterday speaking to the product team and trying out different paths myself and the service is excellent. What are you waiting for, get over there and start learning now!

There are discount codes for the beta exams Architect track here and the Developer track here.

New Azure Certifications

As many of you are probably aware, there is already a Microsoft certification path for those looking for Azure skill set recognition. Recently at the Microsoft Inspire partner conference, Microsoft announced that this would be replaced.

There will now be three roles defined with new qualification to earn.

  1. Azure Adminitstrator
  2. Azure Developer
  3. Azure Solutions Architect

new certs

These new roles and certifications are an attempt to better line-up with industry demands and standards.

overall certs

As with most current MCSA qualifications, it will take two exams to earn a certification. The Beta exams for Azure Administrator are live right now. AZ100 and AZ101 test a broad range of skills across the Azure sphere including, Compute, Networking, Identity, Storage among others.

If you already have the previous exam, 70-533, you can take a transition exam to earn an Azure Administrator certification – AZ102. Again, this is in Beta so places are limited.

timeline

The time frame for the remaining roles and certifications was also shown, so expect a follow-up post on this later this year.

Also, thanks to Microsoft MVP Thomas Maurer, here is a link to discount codes should you wish to book any of the Beta exams. The link is the Microsoft Learning blog, so I will paste it here in full in case anyone is worried about dodgy code pages! 🙂

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/community-blog-post.aspx?BlogId=8&Id=375147

If you would like to watch the announcement in full, you can do so here – https://myinspire.microsoft.com/videos/fb7c3db2-1c65-4a69-aceb-fd06c19bf971