Today, I took the AZ-300 (Microsoft Azure Technologies) and passed with the best score so far in any certification exam I took.
As many of you know, AZ-300 is the first exam of the two exams required to get the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert role. After taking the exam, it seems like the AZ-300 is more focused on quickly getting a grasp on all Azure technologies while AZ-301 will be more on the concept and architectural side of things. So for everyone with the Azure Administrator role (AZ-100) this is not that much harder.
So how did I prepare?
I work with Azure on a daily basis so I am quite comfortable with the technologies I work with, mostly infrastructure and databases. But there are things like functions, Event hubs and Cosmos DBs that unfortunately I did not get to work much with …yet.
So for a quick overview for those services, I used the Linux Academy course by James Lee, it was a very helpful course to understand those technologies and I loved the Blue Shift guide that James provided, a lot of work went into preparing this course. Highly recommend it.
And that was it…. that course was my main resource but I also had previously purchased Udemy courses for Azure by Scott Duffy, I quickly went through some of the harder topics in that course and did the practice tests which were quite helpful too.
A very important note, there are now labs in this exam which naturally none of the practice tests will be able to provide, more details about that below.
So I got to my testing center 5 minutes before the exam start and I was told that I should be there 15 minutes before and he could not let me in if he wanted to, I was surprised since I always just make it on time :D.
So now I cannot share much because of the NDA as you all know but here is quick overview of the how the exam looked.
I will start with TIME, I usually finish my exams in 30 -50 minutes at worst, for this exam, I was in there for 2 hours and a bit. My wife was waiting outside for me and she was like I thought you totally broke down inside, you never took that long in your Engineering exams. So keep that in mind, no time to fool around.
Second, Most questions/sections you cannot go back to, so when you are answering due to this and due to time, make sure it is your final answer and just move on, not worth going back to any questions.
Third, the Labs, most people were complaining about labs and how they failed to load for them and stuff but I had no problems at all. The screens at my testing center were tiny so that was a bit of an issue since the tasks will be all the time on your right and the portal on your left. Important Note: you can expand and “opposite of expand” the right side bar, so make sure you do that as needed. Make sure you do not waste much time doing the labs, you can use either the portal, powershell or cli whatever you want. When you finish the lab and move on to other questions, there is a high a chance that there is another lab waiting for you so keep that in mind.
Fourth, Results, you won’t be able to see your results when you submit the exam, you will get a message stating that you will see them online on your dashboard but when I went to sign-out, the scoresheet was out and i had killed it!! :D. So another important note here, this tells me ( I am just guessing here nothing official) that Microsoft has scripts that run within your lab and see if you completed your tasks. So it is very very important that you follow the EXACT naming conventions in your tasks, they might be long and confusing but you will have to follow those or you might have done the task but the scripts might fail to confirm it.
I must say the Labs made the exams quite fun and I felt like it was a true test of my skills within Azure. Microsoft seems to be following the RHCSA and even Chef exams model now and I must say its great. Amazon might be getting on the bandwagon soon. My First exam with Microsoft was 70-533 and I must say these new exams are about 350% better. So great job Microsoft!!
Make sure you also know how to or at least understand how to do most of the tasks using Azure CLI. Azure CLI is a great tool and sometimes I feel that it is a lot simpler to use than Powershell and even the Portal for certain tasks.
So Good Luck everyone and kill this one quickly so you can move on to AZ-301. As soon as I write that one, you will see a post here.