Azure Fundamental - Az 900
Why this one?
It's a good starting point for cloud concepts for Azure. I would say for a Technical BA that's planning to understand Azure to a better depth this is a really helpful exam. For a Developer, this might be a good way to try out your first Azure Exam However a better one will always be the specific exam to match the day-to-day activity you're doing.
Where to start
The starting point for Azure is the self-paced guide. A limitation of this is you will want to handle the forgetting curve and make sure you revise concepts as needed.
Make sure you either
- Make your flashcards as you go through the self-paced guide.
Note: The mini-quiz in the self-paced Azure sections is not enough to pass the exam.
- Buy a ready-made set of practice questions that help with the mechanics of an exam.
- Scott provides lessons in each section
- Alan provides lessons in each section
Note: the reason we do flash cards first is so you know why each section is important.
Remember: Make your own flashcards as you go for any content or concepts that are new or slightly different from other cloud providers.
Cloud Exam Concepts
Keep in mind you will be tested in part on:
Pattern recognition: It isn't about memorizing the exact service and exact options. If you can recognize the Well-Architected Framework pillar you are optimizing for and what services are associated with the trade-off, then the implementation details will flow.
Feature matching: most products are similar. Feature sets are where they differ the most. Given a set of requirements, we can pick the top services that provide the right features. Building off very common patterns is a good starting point and offloading the majority of hosting issues to AWS frees up the Developer to concentrate on what the business cares about. The business value from the business logic you're writing.
Standard testing limits: all tests that are closed book is limited. In the real world, a closed book isn't a reality. What is a reality is elevator pitches. This will give you a level of confidence if you study well and get your hands dirty that will allow you to do various architectures, question them and potentially implement them.
In order to do any of the above you need to make a commitment to do at least some revision each day to avoid forgetting what you've learned. A great place is on the commute to work.
1 - Identify gaps
By Blurting, we can see what we know on a given topic. Blurt on each section of the exam, each service and how they work together based on optimizing for a pillar.
2 -Get some hands-on practice
Note: Set up a budget to limit the costly services.
Go learn and take notes (convert them to flash cards/cheat sheets)
Tarun has a Azure Basic Series which is worth understanding
3 - We battle the forgetting curve
While you can skip step two, you will suffer on the job.
Open your flashcards and practice as your memory will improve with each repetition of the content.
Every day for 10 minutes
Learn why it was the right answer.
Learn why it was not the right answer. Answer elimination will turn a 25% chance of passing into a 50% chance for a question set of 4.
Practice timing yourself. Let's say there are 70 questions/160 minutes = approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds for each question. Flag essay questions and get quick wins.
Blurt what you know. Find those gaps. Try out a concept map.
When you're consistently getting 80-90% on time, go sit it.
Book the exam
You can rebook!
You cannot get the time you spend preparing back.
Give yourself the minimum amount of time + 2 days buffer to rebook.
When you have your lead indicator (flashcards/blurting/timing) set up to identify if you're ready, the lag indicator will follow (certificate).
I've delayed every exam without fail by a week or more. It gives you that sense of urgency, that last-minute cram feeling.
I am not guaranteeing:
You will pass with the steps above. You have to do the work. Setup good habits and the certificate will be a side effect of them.
A job. This forms a portion of your T-shaped skills.
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