Update: Did Kevin pass Azure test 70-532?

Let me reveal my answer to you in the form of a couple of test questions:

1. Kevin found the test harder than he expected.

  • True
  • False

2. What areas did Kevin wish he had studied and understood more deeply during the test?

A.  Code.  Actual C# code against Azure web and identity services

B.  Azure Functions. I know the overview, but had to guess on some of the “fill in the blank” code snippets

C.  Programmatic use of messaging; again, you should know what the code looks like for this.

D.  All of the above.

3.  In spite of himself, Kevin passed.

  • True!
  • False

It’s not uncommon to go into a test and get a little flustered with questions that are just outside of the areas you studied, or perhaps went into depth or details you weren’t expecting.  It makes affirming that last “Are you sure (you want to exit the test and see you’re a miserable failure)?” question that much more difficult to click.  But I clicked it, and found that I had indeed passed.  So.. not so miserable! 

And there was much rejoicing...

“What’s next?  Are you going to re-do 70-533 again?”

Y’know, I actually think I might look into another track entirely.. like maybe the CISSP certification, or maybe some Amazon Web Services training and certs.  I know Azure really well, but only know the basics of AWS

So, how about you?  Are you on your own certification adventure?  Feel free to share with us in the comments!

I’m Certifiable (Azure Exam 70-532)

Windows 3.11 workspaceNot only am I absolutely full of I.T., but I’m also certifiable!  I’ve been earning Microsoft Certifications of one flavor or another since 1994, when I became an MCP on Windows 3.11 (“Windows for Workgroups”).  And recently I set myself a goal to become certified on all things Azure.

“What certifications are available for Azure?”

There are three main tests that you can take and pass to get Azure certifications; one for developers(70-532), one for implementers (70-533), and one for architects (70-534).  There are also two related tests focusing on proving your knowledge of designing and implementing cloud data platforms (70-473) and designing and implementing big data solutions (70-475).  My goal for now is to pass all of those first three, and maybe later consider the others.

“How’s it going?”

CrammingA couple of years ago I took and passed the 70-533, but that was back when Azure was all “Service Manager” style, in the old “classic” portal.  A whole lot has changed since then, so I think eventually I’d like to take that one again to prove I know the newer stuff.  And then again about 6 months later. (sigh)

A couple of weeks ago I took and passed the 70-534Smile 

Tomorrow (Tuesday 9/19/2017) I’ll be taking and passing the 70-532.  I feel pretty ready for it.

“What did you do to study for it?”

That’s why I am writing this article!  I wanted to share with you some resources I am using, in case you might want to go down this path yourselves.  There are some really good links to resources on the 70-532 page, and excellent documentation on the Azure site.  I carefully watched the provided video overviews, walked through the outline of what is on the test, and read the documentation for those area.  When applicable, of course, I tried things out in Azure directly.  I found good step-by-step guides that helped me through that process as well.

In the video overview (excellently done for Microsoft Virtual Academy by Brian Swiger), Brian shares a summary of the topics covered on the test, and in his presentation provides links to the related documentation.  You have to get the PowerPoint of his presentation to have access to the URLs, so that’s what I did.

In fact, to close out this article, and again for anyone of you interested in taking and possibly passing this exam, I’ll copy/paste those links for you here.  It’s a lot, but if you read and understand this documentation, and maybe focus on the areas you’re not as familiar with, you’ll have a good start at mastering the topic. 

Exam Topics and Details

http://aka.ms/70-532

Virtual Machines

Run a Windows VM on Azure
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/architecture/reference-architectures/virtual-machines-windows/single-vm

Create and Manage Windows VMs with the Azure PowerShell
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/tutorial-manage-vm

Create and deploy your first Azure Resource Manager template
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-resource-manager/resource-manager-create-first-template

Windows VMSS and Desired State Configuration with Azure Resource Manager templates
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/extensions-dsc-template

Upload a generalized VHD and use it to create new VMs in Azure
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/upload-generalized-managed

Manage the availability of Windows virtual machines in Azure
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/manage-availability

How to use availability sets
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/tutorial-availability-sets

Azure Storage replication
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/common/storage-redundancy

Azure Storage Scalability and Performance Targets
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/common/storage-scalability-targets

About Azure storage accounts
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/common/storage-create-storage-account

High-performance Premium Storage and managed disks for VMs
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/common/storage-premium-storage

Filter network traffic with network security groups
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-network/virtual-networks-nsg

User-defined routes and IP forwarding
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-network/virtual-networks-udr-overview

Microsoft cloud services and network security
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/best-practices-network-security#dmz-characteristics-and-requirements

What are virtual machine scale sets in Azure?
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machine-scale-sets/virtual-machine-scale-sets-overview

Storage

Understanding Block Blobs, Append Blobs, and Page Blobs
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/rest/api/storageservices/Understanding-Block-Blobs–Append-Blobs–and-Page-Blobs

Get started with Azure Queue storage using .NET
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/queues/storage-dotnet-how-to-use-queues

What are Azure SQL Database service tiers
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/sql-database/sql-database-service-tiers

Scale out databases with the shard map manager
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/sql-database/sql-database-elastic-scale-shard-map-management

Azure Storage Service Encryption for Data at Rest
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/common/storage-service-encryption

Create an Azure Search index
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/search/search-what-is-an-index

Upload data to Azure Search
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/search/search-what-is-data-import

How to page search results in Azure Search
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/search/search-pagination-page-layout

Introduction to the Azure Redis Cache Premium tier
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/redis-cache/cache-premium-tier-intro

How to configure data persistence for a Premium Azure Redis Cache
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/redis-cache/cache-how-to-premium-persistence

How to configure Redis clustering for a Premium Azure Redis Cache
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/redis-cache/cache-how-to-premium-clustering

Caching
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/architecture/best-practices/caching

Web and Mobile

What is Application Insights?
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/application-insights/app-insights-overview

An introduction to Azure Functions
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-functions/functions-overview

Identity and Networks

What is Azure Active Directory?
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/active-directory-whatis

Azure AD B2C: Focus on your app, let us worry about sign-up and sign-in
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory-b2c/active-directory-b2c-overview

What is Azure AD B2B collaboration?
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/active-directory-b2b-what-is-azure-ad-b2b

Other Resources

Study Groups
https://borntolearn.mslearn.net/

Microsoft Azure Documentation
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/index

MeasureUp (Practice Tests for Sale)
http://www.measureup.com/70-532-Developing-Microsoft-Azure-Solutions-P5566.aspx

edX Course / Labs
https://www.edx.org/course/developing-microsoft-azure-solutions-microsoft-dev233-2

Microsoft Official Curriculum Course 20532C: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/course.aspx?cid=20532

Are you certifiable like me?  Leave a comment or question.

And check back here for the update Tuesday afternoon (9/19/2017) on whether or not I passed.  Smile