Happy New Year! Hopefully I'm not the first to wish you that, especially if you are reading this in July. A new year is associated with the chance to start fresh and resolve to change in some way for the better. Whether it’s losing weight, reading more, learning a new language, or revitalizing your career, embarking on a self-improvement journey is always a great investment. In this post, we are going to encourage you to pick a landmark occasion and invest in yourself by pursuing one of Microsoft's new Azure role-based certifications.
At Microsoft, one of our key cultural principles is to embrace a growth mindset. Our CEO, Satya Nadella, encourages the importance of being a "learn-it-all" as opposed to being a "know-it-all". In the technology field of the future, it is estimated that 65% of current students will work in jobs that don't exist today. Quickly and continually learning how to learn will be a key differentiator in career evolution and advancement.
While learning is a reward unto itself, taking things a step further and validating your learning with a certification can yield tangible benefits. Upon earning a certification, 23% of Microsoft certified technologists report receiving salary increases, some of up to a 20%. In addition, certified employees are often entrusted with supervising or mentoring their peers, included in strategic discussions, and/or promoted.
Convinced? Great! With Microsoft recent revamping of its Azure certifications to focus on specific roles, now is the time to flex those learning muscles. If you've caught the "learn-it-all" bug, by all means pursue any of the role-based certifications that interest you. However, if you work in application development, I recommend pursuing the Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate or Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certifications.
The path for earning the Azure Developer Associate certification has recently changed, based on AZ-200 and AZ-201 beta exam feedback and lessons learned. The new exam, AZ-203: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure, will be the only exam necessary. Candidates for the Azure Developer Associate certification will be tested on developing Azure infrastructures and platform as Service Compute Solutions, developing for Azure storage, implementing Azure security, connecting to and consuming Azure Services and third-party services, and monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimizing Azure solutions.
The Azure DevOps Engineer certification can be earned by candidates who earn the Azure Developer Associate or Azure Administrator Associate certifications and also pass the AZ-400: Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions exam. AZ-400 is the first Microsoft exam to focus exclusively on DevOps. This exam measures the candidate’s knowledge of DevOps practices which combine people, process, and technologies to continuously deliver valuable products and services that meet end user needs and business objectives. This exam recently completed its beta phase and is being prepared for release. It should be generally available by the end of January.
Once you’ve selected your certification path, how do you get ready? The following are a few of many options and resources to aid your preparation
- Microsoft Learning: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/azure-training.aspx
- Microsoft Learn: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/
- Microsoft Professional Programs: https://academy.microsoft.com/en-us/professional-program/tracks/
- Lynda: https://www.lynda.com/Microsoft-training-tutorials/
- Pluralsight: https://www.pluralsight.com/
- Udemy: https://www.udemy.com/
- edX: https://www.edx.com/
Whether it's New Year’s Day, your birthday, or just a Monday, start fresh and become a "learn-it-all" by earning a Microsoft Azure role-based certification!