In this guide, I will be telling you how I studied for, and passed, my Azure Developer Associate certification exam - and how you can too. As a part of this telling on how I passed the exam, you will be learning what to expect in the exam, and how my experience can help you pass the exam at your first go.
Going forward, I would like to give you a quick run-through of the Microsoft certification program, as this took me quite some time before I figured out how the certification works. And as such, I would like to save you the time and stress by telling you all about the Microsoft Azure certification program in just about a minute.
As an addition, I published a blog post on The Proven Way to Become a Cloud Engineer which also explains, in great details, the Microsoft Azure role-based certification.
The role-based Azure certifications and also the new role-based Azure certifications are a new and good way to become an expert in Microsoft Azure. Any of these role-based certifications' paths map to your job role in your organization and it overly depends on how many years of experience you have.
In previous times, the Microsoft certification program used to have the MCSE and MCSA kind of certifications. In order to get your MCSE certification, there are some predefined set of exams you need to pass, but this really isn't the best experience for professionals.
Right now, if you are an expert in Azure administration and your job role is to develop and deploy solutions on Microsoft Azure and hybrid environments, then the certification path for you is to get your Azure Developer Associate certification path.
By taking this exam (Microsoft Azure Developer Associate Exam), you get a step closer to being a certified Azure DevOps Expert, which is an expert-level certification in Microsoft Azure. Because after passing your exam, you only need to pass the AZ-400 exam to get the expert certification - Azure DevOps Expert.
According to the Azure Developer certification page: Azure Developers partner with cloud solution architects, cloud DBAs, cloud administrators, and clients to implement solutions.
Now let's talk about how this important certification has its exam contents organized;
The Azure Developer Associate Exam covers everything you can ever think of when it comes to monitoring and optimizing Azure solutions, implementing Azure security, and developing solutions on top of Azure. Frankly, there are a couple of things you need to know and understand, before going for the Azure Developer Associate Exam.
For the Azure Developer exam, Microsoft expects you to have a minimum of two years of experience developing solutions on Azure, while also consuming most of the services Azure offers. Ideally, you should have practical experience in at least, one or two of the four skill areas that this certification exam covers:
- Develop Azure compute solutions (25-30%)
- Develop for Azure storage (10-15%)
- Implement Azure security (15-20%)
- Monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize Azure solutions (10-15%)
- Connect to and consume Azure services and third-party services (25-30%)
When you take the Azure Developer Associate Exam, you should be expecting to have three types of questions. This, below, is the format as at the time of putting this content together.
The first question format is the lab format, which starts with a business case. Where you are provided with a real-world scenario and you sure have to read through the long business scenario, after reading through the scenario, you get a couple of questions. You can go back and forth, as long as you are still within the business case section. Once you finish these questions related to the business case section, you cannot go back anymore. So you have to go back and forth to review the questions, before proceeding.
Next up, you will get a couple more questions asking you about a business scenario and asking you if a specific solution can help solve the stated business scenario or not. This type of questions carry a YES or NO, where you get to select either to provide an answer. As an example, you might get a question telling you that a company needs to deploy a .Net application, for processing pictures, to an AKS cluster, the pictures must pass quality checks before they hit storage.
And then the exam engine asks you something like; the application gets uploaded using a dockerfile with commands for quality tests. Would this satisfy the business need? (YES or NO).
Spoiler; that wasn't a real exam question.
And finally, you get the normal questions (this question format contains the most exam questions). This is where you will have a question and you would be given four answers where you have to choose one correct answer from the list of answers. In some cases, you would have to drag and drop options to provide a solution to a question. For these questions, you will be asked to choose, say 3 out of 5 possible actions and then re-list them in the correct order. As a sample case, you will be asked how a developer would deploy a function app using helm. You would be given like 6 possible actions, three of them are correct, and you have to list them in the correct order. In this case, you might choose (Setup Azure Kubernetes Service with az aks create) then (prepare function for deployment) then (perform a deployment with helm deploy).
Note: The labs, the questions format with the fewer questions, carry more points than the ones with more questions.
My advise here would be to focus on understanding the very steps needed to implement services, checkout the exam objective for pointers.
For my preparation, I focused on the Develop Azure compute solutions and Connect to and consume Azure services and third-party services objectives, as these are where my strength - with Azure Developer services - really lies, these objectives include similar questions to the questions around Azure Functions and Helm. Focusing on these two objectives also made me understand both the Develop for Azure Storage and Implement Azure security objectives to a reasonable extent.
Focus on the weighted objectives (objectives with the higher percentage ratio), they carry your keys to success. You might also want to fully understand Azure Functions, AKS, Azure Table Storage, developing function apps with blob triggers (comes in really handy).
As a study plan, I made use of two Pluralsight free weekends, that's about 6 days - to binge most of these topics, inorder to refresh my knowledge on subject areas around those objectives.
The Microsoft Azure Developer Associate Exam does not require you to be an expert in the DevOps services within Azure, but rather requires you to know how some of these DevOps tools work and when to use what - given a business scenario.
You should also focus on what roles (RBACs) are required to accomplish specific tasks in Azure as you might have questions asking about what roles are needed to accomplish specific tasks in Azure.
Your best friend in this exam is your practical experience! And the Microsoft Learn platform would give you just that! I used this a whole lot. You should check out the Microsoft Learn contents for the Azure Developer Associate Exam here.
I do wish you the very best of luck in your Microsoft Azure Developer Associate Exam certification journey. Please do leave a comment if you find this content helpful, and share, to help others find this resource and better prepare them for the exam.
Please remember to come back and share your experience, if you eventually take this exam. At least this is what I expect you to do to help others pass the exam too. The shared positive and negative experience.
DISCLAIMER: I wrote this exam TWICE, failed the first time (and passed the second time with a score of 840!). See a screenshot of my score report below:
And you can click on this link to view my badge on Acclaim.