Why I Got the Azure Fundamentals Certification
I recently earned my Azure Fundaments Microsoft certification. As a software developer who is just getting started with cloud computing, I found that all the concepts that the certification covered were very helpful in getting my feet wet with Azure and the cloud in general. If you’re new to Azure and want to use it for your IT workloads, then I highly recommend considering getting the Azure Fundamentals Microsoft Certification.
What does the certification cover?
The Azure Fundamentals certification covers a broad spectrum of Azure services at a high level and provides knowledge on general cloud concepts that are applicable to all cloud platforms. The content is geared towards a broad range of audiences ranging from business users to developers, so it doesn’t go deep into any one technology. However, while it doesn’t go deep into each Azure service, it does give you a fundamental understanding of them and provides an excellent starting point to start going deeper. When you’re just starting out like I am, this is very useful because Azure is a gigantic platform, with over 200 products and services. To even start using it, you need to understand what it offers and how to narrow down its services to the ones that are applicable to you.
While a great starting point from a knowledge perspective, the certification is a nice perk to add to a resume to demonstrate to employers that you have some Azure knowledge. But I wouldn’t count on it to influence a hiring manager’s decision by much if you use it to try to get a developer job. It only covers cloud topics at a high level, so you’re not going to be an expert in Azure at the end of it. But for me, the main benefit of the certification is that you can use it as a pre-requisite to get more role-based certifications that demonstrate Azure expertise, such as the Azure Developer Associate. It's not required to get those certifications, but if you’re new to Azure, it's an excellent starting point.
Where to get the certification
If you decide that getting the certification is right for you, then you need to pass the AZ-900 exam. It costs $99 US dollars if you schedule your exam directly from the Microsoft Learn page. However, there is a free way to schedule an exam; one I wish I knew about earlier. Microsoft has something called Azure Virtual Training Days, which are free online training webinars. Keep an eye out for an event called “Microsoft Azure Virtual Training Day: Azure Fundamentals” and sign up for it. The course covers all the major topics of the exam and gives you an exam voucher all for free. You can’t get a certification for much cheaper than free!
Studying for the exam
To study for the exam, the resources I used were Microsoft Learn and Pluralsight because I had a subscription through my employer. The free Microsoft Learn content was very helpful and I recommend it as the starting point for your studies as it hits on all the exam subjects. However, I also recommend supplementing it with other study resources as I found that it didn’t cover some of the deeper technology questions asked by the exam. Pluralsight was great for me because I already had a subscription and the videos were a great supplement to the Microsoft Learn content. It also includes a free practice test that I found helpful for studying, but I will caveat that the test was much harder than the actual exam. If you don’t have a Pluralsight subscription or want to use alternative resources, I’ve heard that Whizlabs and Udemy offer similar content from colleagues who have taken the exam.
In all, I’m happy that I took the time to study and take the Azure Fundamentals certification. I feel that going through the process of preparing for the exam has helped me immensely in starting to get familiar with the Azure platform. If you're just getting started with Azure like me, then I highly recommend checking it out to see if it's right for you.
Have you or are you planning to take the Azure Fundamentals exam? I’d love to know your plans or experience with the exam, so please leave a comment below!