Got my first Cloud Certification — AZ900

Aguada Fort — Goa, India. Photo by Saurav Sahu

To be a full-stack engineer, you’ll need to know quite a few things. After spending a lot of time to understand what direction I should take, I decided I want to complete a few cloud certifications to improve my knowledge of how applications are being deployed these days.

Cloud certifications encompass knowledge about how applications can be deployed for consumption by various audiences, how these affect cost, investment on hardware and privacy compared to traditional IT.

Also, note: No paid promotion by any of the courses I’ve mentioned. That’s what I used to prepare. 🤷‍♂️

Which Cloud Provider should you go with?

Well, this is a tough one. And it really depends on you, the company you for work and the types of applications you’re creating. But the gist of it is that almost all providers come with a similar collection of services and there’d be a few services that are unique to a specific provider. The main three being — Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure (Azure) (ordered alphabetically).

So which Provider did I go with?

Having used both AWS and Azure before, I chose Microsoft Azure as the provider to go with. There isn’t any specific reason why I went with Azure, as I’ve seen all three — AWS, GCP and Azure being used very frequently, and that’s a decision you’re going to have to make. But for me, I started using Azure much before AWS and have grown to create a sense of familiarity with it over the years. There was a college project I’d created where I used Azure App Service to add social authentication with Facebook and it was fairly straight forward. Also, I primarily used to create apps in .NET and node but the framework you’re using wouldn’t tie you down to any provider, just saying.

Few ways you can choose which provider you want to learn would be -

  • one that’s frequently used at your company
  • one that you’ve already used a little bit and have grown to like
  • one that’s better in terms of cost (you’ll have to do a lot of research as the amount of services available is pretty large)

I should also mention that since this is your first certification, you would be tested on basic cloud concepts and knowledge of the sort of solutions available on a given platform. The most basic certifications available are -

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ900)

I began my preparation sometime in August last year (can’t believe it’s 2021 already 😂 ) but pretty quick, my interest died out. I was learning haphazardly, through YouTube and just plain out internet surfing. And then I just stopped.

Sometime in October however, I started a course on Cloud Academy to better prepare myself. This course has good hands on labs to help you understand what the offerings are, but I wouldn’t recommend going to that level of detail for something like AZ900. Again, stopped.

This year however, I sawr a course on Udemy. I liked this course as well, it wasn’t much detail about Azure, which was what I wanted. But if you don’t want to do a course; you can use the Azure Certification Page; there’s free learning paths available to prepare for it.

Also be sure to download the course outline from the same page — this should give you an idea about what the questions will be about.

Taking the Test

I made an appointment through the same page (through Pearson VUE). The process was fairly straightforward.

  • Enter basic details
  • Select the certification
  • Select appointment time
  • Payment

During the test, since this virtual, you have to provide photographs of your government issued identity card and your working area. Once done, you can begin the exam. And the proctor will help you in case you face any issues.

I think the passing score is 700 which is about 70% I’m assuming. The exam is 60 minutes long and has about 40 questions, which could vary.

Once done with the exam, you’ll see details about how you performed, per section, as described in the course outline.

And finally, you will get your result whether you passed or failed the exam. And momentarily, you should see an email about your badge and course completion.

Do leave comments on what certifications you’re working on or have achieved.

Ça sera tout, la fin, et bonne chance. 😊

Opinions are my own. Full Stack Engineer. CEO of “it was just working 🤷‍♂️”