Certifications… An often discussed topic in IT-land. My take on it is that if it suits you, do it. If not, don’t. I know people without any certification doing a better job than me.
So why do I take them then? Well, it’s a thing I’m used to doing. When I work with something and there is a certification for it I like to challenge myself to get it. It means I need to dig into it and understand it. In the old days this was MCSE, Vmware, Citrix… This time it was Azure network “stuff”.
Secondary benefit for me as a consultant is that I have proven knowledge of something at that specific time. I think this helps to convince people to hire me and easier understand what my area of expertise is.
But again, if it is not for you. don’t do it. There are other ways to show off your skills. And the most important one is simple: be nice and always put a sincere effort in your work.
Microsoft Learn modules
The place where I always start before taking a certification exam is the Microsoft Learn modules. It will give you a good idea of what the exam will focus on. The AZ-700 Learning Path contains 8 modules that will take up around 7 hours of your time.
What I do is taking one module a day. The reason for this is twofold… On one hand it’s very intensive, so learn it, digest it. On the other hand you probably have more stuff to do, so 1 hour a day for learning is a good way to keep having progress without stopping up everything else you are doing.
Don’t forget to try out the free practice assessment containing 50 questions!
John Savil’s YouTube videos
I’m a big fan of John and the way he presents and explains concepts. Explore his YouTube-channel here. This playlist is the one I watched to prepare for AZ-700. John keeps his content very up to date, so always check if he has released new content about the subject you are looking into.
Luckily, he keeps his playlists up to date. 🙂
Experience and trying things out
Like I wrote in the introduction, you will learn the most in the real world. But you probably won’t work with every service that is questioned in the exam. If you have the possibility, create a lab environment for yourself. If you don’t have one, start a dialogue with your employer about this. Even better maybe, do it together with someone else. You can help each other out and have a good time together.
Personally, I struggled the most with the “what SKU of product X do you need to choose for this scenario”. Those are things I often look up in the docs when creating a solution. I needed to memorize them especially for services around Express Route and gateways. 🙂
Another piece of advice I would like to give is to take your time for the vnet peering / vnet integration questions. Luckily I used the “Review later” option 3-4 times and found I made a mistake in 2 questions.
I hope this will help you, good luck!