Cert Blitz 2/3 – AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator

So I passed AZ-104 yesterday with an 850, which as of writing this post, leaves me just over 3 hours to pass Red Hat Certified System Administrator to complete my 3 certs in 3 months blitz challenge!

…that’s obviously not going to happen, but given the recent curveballs life have thrown my way that I won’t get into, I’m happy enough with completing 2 of the 3 certs. RHCSA will just have to wait a little while longer.

A little about my experience with AZ-104 for anybody interested…

The resources I used were:

Scott Duffy’s Udemy Course

Scott Duffy’s course is an excellent overview of Azure especially if, like me, you have very little hands on experience with Azure, or aren’t exposed to it regularly at work. It’s a little lacking in content and detail in places, but it is constantly being updated and improved, and I can’t knock it for the price or for Scott’s delivery. Highly recommend starting here to get a good, broad overview of both Azure and what is expected at the exam. Certainly not enough to pass the exam on its own, but great value for money.

MicrosoftLearning Labs

Scott Duffy’s course links to the MicrosoftLearning Labs at the end of most sections, which are really excellent and detailed lab exercises. Highly recommend going through each of these and not missing any steps/exercises. This hands-on work will get you familiar with the Azure portal and the structure of PowerShell/Bash commands in a way that watching videos or studying books won’t. Also updated very regularly.

Microsoft Learning Paths

Using Whizlabs practice tests, I felt the above two resources didn’t quite get me ready for the exam. What really brought things together for me was the excellent Microsoft Learning paths. They are long, a bit dry, and cover some areas you won’t be asked in the exam. But studying these paths and following the exercises with a Pay As You Go subscription will leave you well prepared for the exam. If you want to do the exam completely free, this is the way to do it (and nab a free exam voucher at Ignite like I did!)

Whizlabs Practice Tests

And finally, as mentioned previously, I used Whizlabs practice tests. I have a few gripes about their interface (you can’t randomise questions or answers, there’s a lot of repeated questions, no option to review questions you continuously get wrong etc.), but these practice tests are an excellent gauge on how ready you are for the real exam. I’m happy to say they are not exam dumps either. I think a total of 3 questions from these practices exams actually came up in my exam, but they are still close enough to the real deal to be very beneficial.

What’s Next?

Time to enjoy the summer sun without the shadow of study, sort out a few things in life, and review my career path. It looks promising that I will be taking up a new security position at my current company, which is a move I’ve wanted to make for a while now, so I’m excited to see that come to fruition and how it will shape my study and career path in the future.

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