For a few years now Id spent the majority of my professional experience working within the AWS cloud environment but an MS SQL project a couple of years back had made me consider the Azure platform. Now this isn't an article about which one is better than the other, I don't think there is a winner, the right cloud platform should be matched against the requirement, both have their strengths and weakness.
Anyway this year I wanted to turn some of that practical experience into certifications so I started to study Azure in more detail with a view of sitting the 70-533 (Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions) and 70-535 ( Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions)
I started with the 70-533 , did some online courses, tried the practice exams, identified where my knowledge was strong and the areas not so strong that I should focus on, I tried to use Azure as much as I could , the knowledge you have when using Azure day-day isn't the same as what Microsoft expect you to know for the exams, questions can be on anything including some of the more obscure areas that unless you specialise in those areas you simply wouldn't come into contact with. Anyway sat the exam , finished the last question and was relieved to see the Microsoft bar chart go passed the required score and the "Congratulations" appear on the screen. One step along the road!
This week was the turn of the 70-535 exam , much more focus on Architecting solutions rather than the technical how to details, you needed a high level overview of all the Azure services and be able to look at case studies and essentially match azure services to design briefs etc , preparation had been very similar to the previous exam and by sitting them close together meant the prep for that exam was also helpful for this exam.After about 2hrs Id finally made it to the last question and hit submit, again relieved to see the congratulations pop up. I thought the exam was fair, a few questions where the wording could of been better.
The 2 exams combined gave me a MCSA certification in the cloud platform . Nice badge to have for the site and a demonstration of my knowledge.
I know Microsoft have talked about some new exams this week so I may be sitting some more before very long