Over the past few weeks during lockdown, I’ve decided to update some of my skills in relation to various cloud platforms. Having installed, configured and supported various private cloud platforms for enterprises over the years, one area I haven’t spent too much time in is that of Azure and AWS.
So come May, I sat down with an ex-colleague and we decided to go through some collaboration in regards to the learning path of AZ-103 – Azure Administration. This is an Associate level certification, and the first one I’ve taken for a while (best laid plans etc have always got in the way!).
A good group of people over at Cloudskills.io were running an Azure workshop over three days, and with the timing fitting well for remote learning (even though this was a US-located resource) we duly signed up and committed ourselves to gaining a new badge.
Three days of Zoom time, plus a host of guys and gals behind the scenes answering Q&A’s for all the delegates, went pretty quickly and the course was quite enjoyable. A few different presenters sharing the load over the sessions provided enough change to break up what can often be a monotonous classroom experience, and I came out of the three days with motivation to continue to prep for the exam.
It is worth mentioning that to really aid you in your understanding, I’d highly recommend either signing up to a free account in Azure (which gives you 30 days and a limited spend) – or use as I did a subscription to the Microsoft Partner Network. This proved invaluable in being able to test theories, templates, location of information etc to build, move, network, delete, protect all manner of resources.
A few other things to mention that I feel could be beneficial, were that of Pluralsight (who were thankfully offering free Azure reference training material during the lockdown), and Whizlabs. I hadn’t actually heard of Whizlabs before, but Mike and Tim at Cloudskills brought them to my attention during the Azure course when we carried out a few practice example questions.
I also proceeded to purchase a few practice exams of my own at discount, and they proved hugely valuable. Not only were they good preparation, but they follow a similar style to the exams.
I duly booked an online exam with PearsonVUE, and now that I have taken, and passed, the exam all from my own home I can thoroughly recommend that there is really nothing stopping you from grabbing the bull by the horns and gaining some experience in a field you may not feel overly familiar with.
I’ve not worn a badge since my 10th birthday, but I might wear this one now.0