Here’s some brand new content from the SoftwareArchitect.ca YouTube channel that you might find interesting.
Thinking today about the coming changes to the Azure exams. “Don’t panic!”, I say.
In this video, I talk about what Microsoft is doing to the Azure exams, and how it’s actually a good thing to break up huge topics into two smaller and easier to study for exams.
Quickstart Series: Windows Web App in Azure
In this video, I show you how to create a Windows Web App in Microsoft Azure. Windows Web App. We go through the Azure Portal, and see how form fields get filled in. If you can’t afford to create resources in Azure, but want to see how it’s done in 2018, this is the video for you.
Or you can see the video directly on YouTube.
Hi there. This is Scott from softwarearchitect.ca, and I want to talk to you today about the changes to the Microsoft Azure certification exams that are coming likely in the beginning of 2019, or as early as the end of 2018. Now, these changes are coming, I want you to know that you do not need to panic. If you’re at all familiar with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, that amazing series of books by Douglas Adams, don’t panic is one of the central themes. So please, don’t need to panic about these changes that are coming.
It’s actually been the case that Microsoft has changed the Microsoft Azure exams every three months in the last few years that I’ve been associated and been working with these exams, okay? So every three months, they add some topics, new features get added to Azure, they drop document DB, they add Cosmos DB, they do this, do that. And so the exams are actually changing quite frequently. And then once a year, they likely introduce some bigger changes. So last year they deprecated 70-534 and they introduced 70-535. And so already, 70-535 hasn’t even been out for a year, and I hate to say it, but it’s already going to be deprecated and there’s going to be some new exams coming up.
Now, Microsoft makes these announcements every year at the Microsoft Ignite Conference. This year, it’s in Orlando. I’m going to be there, hopefully, you’re going to be there. And if you are, look me up and we’ll grab a coffee or we’ll have a quick chat. But anyways, I’m going to be there for these announcements, and Microsoft has put out the schedule for the conference, and I’m able to see some of these breakouts in terms of the way the exams are being released. So you can see the Azure Solutions Architect exam, there’s actually an exam one and exam two. So they are basically splitting up 70-535 into two exams.
The same is true for the Administrator exam. We already know that AZ-100 and AZ-101 went into a brief period of beta. So some of us went into take the beta tests for this. But if you haven’t, they’re now going to go and look at those results, and they’re going to come up with two exams for what used to be the 70-533 exam, 100 and 101 now. And even the Developer exam, 70-532 is being split into two, exam one and exam two, okay? So we can see here that there are six exams where there used to be only the three exams. Maybe there’s a little bit of like, “Oh, my God, what are they doing now?”
Now, it’s not entirely clear what the upgrade path is from the current 533, 535, 532 into the new AZ-100, 101, and all the other numbers that are going to come. So they haven’t quite defined what that upgrade path is going to be like. But if you’ve earned your MCSA, or MCSE, then you’re going to be able to keep those certifications, right? The exams leaves a certification, so the certifications don’t get taken from you so quickly. Think about the AWS. Now, you may or may not be familiar with the way AWS does certifications, but they actually do associate and pro levels for each of the Architecture, Developer, and Administrator certification types. And so I don’t know if Microsoft is going to call them associate and pro, but it’s going to be very similar to the way that AWS does it in my view.
So if we look at the requirements for AZ-100, which are already out, and the beta at least, you can see that the exam 100 is actually the basic level of the Administrator. It deals with the overall managing subscription at the Azure level, storage virtual machines, virtual networks, and the basics of active directory and identities. So it’s all pretty basic standard stuff in terms of managing Microsoft Azure. When you go to the AZ-101 exam, which is level two, then you get into more advanced topics such as migration, web apps, and serverless, and microservices, there’s some of the advanced networking like load balancing and advanced identities like multifactor authentication, for instance.
So Microsoft is clearly creating two tiers of exams. One is sort of the core, the basics, that basic level knowledge, and the other is an advanced level of knowledge. To me, this is starting to make sense. I can actually see what they’re doing and I actually don’t mind that they’re splitting them out. Some of these exams are quite overwhelming, they can be overwhelming. If you look at the Azure Architect 70-535 exam, I counted 120 individual topics on that exam, and you basically just have to know a little bit about everything, literally everything that Microsoft has within Azure. That’s a very hard test and it’s a very overwhelming test for some people. If they split that examine into two sort of the basics of Azure Architecture and the advanced stuff, that’s more approachable. Some people might just get the basic level and be happy with that, and some people like want that Azure advanced level, and that they feel like that gives them the standout.
So you’re going to be able to choose your level. You do not need to be expert developer to have the developer cert if you … The same with the Architects and the same with Administrator. So I get that. You’re looking at my 70-535 course. At the current time, we’ve just taught past 20 hours of learning. And so to be able to take that and make that a lot less, I think that makes sense.
Now, how does this change to the exam relate to the changes required for the courses? Now, as you might know, I’ve been going through the 70-535 exam course and I’ve been rerecording everything. So it takes me a while, but I sit down and I go through every topic, and I start from scratch, and we record everything. That’s going to continue, I’m going to continue improving these courses between now and when the official announcements are made, or just beyond that. And I think what’s going to basically have to happen is instead of selling you the 70-535 course, you’re going to have to get two Administrator courses, Administrator one and Administrator two.
So it’s easier to maintain separate courses, maybe the basics level doesn’t change, and the advanced level changes more. It’s easier for you to learn. So instead of sitting down in front of a 20 hour course and having to study for six weeks, or eight weeks, or three months in order to take that one test, you can actually study for less and take two tests. So I think it’s sort of easier all around.
So finally, I want to mention there is probably some prerequisite knowledge before you even take the Azure level one test. There’s probably some group of knowledge that I can put together that’s the basics of Azure that everyone needs to understand. I don’t know what I’ll do about that, maybe I’ll just include that in every course. But I’m thinking now that there’s prerequisites as well as the exam requirements, and so that’s the way I’m looking at courses.
So, again, I don’t want you to panic, but we are looking at within the next five months or six months, some changes to the exams. What that means is if you want to take the one test, if you’ve already started studying, you’re pretty far along, and you just want to take the one test, take the one test, get the MCSA, get the MCSD, or the MCSE, whatever it is you’re going for, and don’t wait until Microsoft introduces two tests to replace the one test. If you have always wanted your 70-535 and you think that test is too hard, and you think it’s just going to be too difficult, well, maybe going for the associate level exam is probably better for you, so you might want to wait in that case.
So in any event, I’m going to play by ear, I’m going to go to the Microsoft Ignite Conference. You will hear from me, I’ll let you know my thoughts, I’ll talk to as many people as I can and find out what the changes are. But this is the place, this is the YouTube channel, this is the group, this is where you’re going to learn all about the changes to the exam and how it impacts you.
So my name is Scott. This is softwarearchitect.ca. Hit subscribe on the YouTube channel, if you’re on YouTube. Thank you for being part of the group, if you’re on the group. If you’re in my courses, this is what’s going to happen. I’ll keep you guys all up to date as much as I can, as soon as there’s information that gets out. Looking forward to talking to you again. Thank you so much for listening, and have a great day.