Passing AZ 900 and Passing AZ 204

How I Passed Microsoft Certification AZ 204 Azure Developer Associate Exam

Microsoft Certification AZ 204 Azure Developer Associate Exam is a current role-based Azure certification. It is an Associate Level certification exam available for developers or software engineers who are developing solutions for cloud platform Microsoft Azure. The exam is officially called EXAM AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure

In this article blog post, I will be sharing my personal journey, experience, study tips and list of guides for AZ 204 Azure Developer Associate exam. And also for AZ 900 Azure Fundamentals exam.

Summer Break Holiday - Tech Blogging about Microsoft Certification Experience

I am currently off from my full-time job for a few weeks summer break in July.  A break to enjoy summer!
Currently, I am just enjoying my free time relaxing at home doing what I want to do! 🙂
Today, I wanted to catch up with blogging and share my about my experience with Microsoft Certifications

I hope that this article will help those who are currently preparing for it for developing their skills in cloud development and software development with Azure.

Why Get Microsoft Certified?

A certification is a documented proof that you know what you are doing, in the field of expertise that you are into.

Jonah

Having certifications or being certified are not a requirement for many, especially to those who are already satisfied with their current roles and jobs. However; being certified gives you extra advantages and edge in your career.  

A certification is a documented proof that you know what you are doing, in the field of expertise that you are into.

Microsoft has different paths for certifications for different levels in different technical roles. They have certifications path for Developers, Administrators, Data Engineers, Security Engineers, AI Engineer, Solution Architects, Data Scientists, DevOps Engineers, Function Consultants and more. 

"Experience is great, but how do you demonstrate your knowledge and skills to employers and colleagues? Certification. But what kind? Microsoft Certification is based on industry-defined roles and on the skills needed to perform those roles. All the educational resources for certification at Microsoft Learn are aligned to these roles. That’s what makes Microsoft Certification so valuable. It demonstrates that you’re proficient in the specific, real-world skills associated with recognized industry roles. It verifies that you know how to apply technical knowledge to solve today’s business challenges. And it helps you keep up with industry changes, because the training is always being updated and new certifications are being added all the time."

Microsoft - Why Get Certified? https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/posts/microsoft-learn-why-get-certified

Different Microsoft Certification Paths for Different Technical Roles

Microsoft Certifications for different technical roles
Microsoft Certifications for different technical roles

If you want to learn more about the different certifications for you based on your role or the role that you plan to take, you may read more information on Microsoft Certifications official website.

My Personal Motivations for Getting Certified with Microsoft Certifications

I have been working different roles since 2006. Since I became a Software Engineer or Software Developer, I have not really thought about getting myself certified. Not until I learned more about it and its advantages. Before I started planning for taking exams for certifications this year, I usually just go on online courses on LinkedIn Learning, Pluralsight read books and follow tutorials of experts on YouTube to get started with what I wanted to learn for new technical skills. 

I studied a lot when I was in school and I thought taking exams were like being back in school again.

My perspective actually changed. I love learning – especially learning new things because they are interesting. There will always be new things to learn. We learn new things everyday. It can be technical, non-technical or just lessons in life.  I personally believe that every single day is an opportunity to grow – in order to grow, we need to learn and develop. 

I wrote an article blog on Medium about how I find continuous learning as an integral part of my development as a programmer. If you have missed reading it, you can read it – “Continuous Learning — An Integral Part of A Programmer’s Development”

So, I wanted to challenge myself . I decided to get certified through Microsoft Certifications. It is not because I want to have a collection of certifications or certification badges. I want to get certified because I like continuous learning and development with new technologies.

I think it is fascinating to learn new things! Since I am a software developer with a lot of focus in developing solutions in programming language Microsoft C# in .NET and also like Microsoft Azure, I decided to take AZ 204 Azure Developer Associate Certification. 

Passing AZ 204 - Microsoft Certified Azure Developer

On May 15th of 2021, I took the AZ 204 Azure Developer Associate certification exam. I passed it the first try!

 The month before passing it (in April 2021) I also took the AZ 900 Azure Fundamentals exam. I also passed it the first try! 🙂

I actually didn’t have a plan to take the AZ 900 Azure Fundamentals exam since I aimed on only taking AZ 204. Considering that it was not a required prerequisites, I thought it was not necessary. However, I changed my mind because I got a Microsoft Exam Voucher to take the exam for free. I received the voucher by attending one of the Microsoft Azure Virtual Training Days.  

So, if you are looking for free vouchers for one of the fundamentals Microsoft Certifications, definitely worth it to attend and learn from these free Microsoft Training Days. They have free training days for other technologies like Microsoft 365, Microsoft Security, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform. 

My Pearson VUE-Proctored Exams Experiences

I booked and scheduled my two exams online through the Microsoft Learn Certifications website.  Since it is COVID-pandemic and I live far from testing centers in Sweden. So, I decided to take the proctored exam via Pearson VUE. 

It was my first time to do a home-based exam. A lot of things to consider and to prepare but it went pretty well. 

AZ 900 Azure Fundamentals exam was an easy exam, especially that I myself have done some hands-on. I am pretty familiar with the Microsoft Azure platform. I am really glad that I did not skip this fundamentals exam, even if it was not required for AZ 204. 

I learned a  lot about the cloud computing fundamentals and the important foundations of Microsoft Azure that anybody in any technical or IT role should learn.  The exam has a duration of about 85 minutes with 40-60 random questions.  I finish my fundamentals exam in less than an hour. The passing score is 700. The cost of booking the exam is $99 USD. 

AZ 204 Azure Developer Associate exam was a tough one. Since this Microsoft Certification is designed and intended for Software developers or cloud engineers, you can definitely expect that it is  more technical and is not as easy as any fundamentals exam. This exam requires its exam-takers to be experienced in development with Microsoft Azure for 1-2 years.  

The exam has a duration of 120 minutes with random 40-60 questions in different types use-case scenarios, programming codes, true/false, and more questions related to development with Azure. The passing score is 700 out of 1000. Booking the exam costs $165 USD. 

Passed Two Certifications in April 2021 and May 2021

AzureFundamentals certification Jonah Andersson
Microsoft Certification Badge - AZ 900 Azure Fundamentals (Jonah Andersson)
AZ 204 Azure Developer Associate Jonah Andersson
Microsoft Certification Badge - AZ 204 Azure Developer Associate (Jonah Andersson)

AZ 900 Azure Fundamentals

Candidates for the Azure Fundamentals certification should have foundational knowledge of cloud services and how those services are provided with Microsoft Azure. This certification is intended for candidates who are just beginning to work with cloud-based solutions and services or are new to Azure.

Azure Fundamentals certification is an opportunity to prove knowledge of cloud concepts, Azure services, Azure workloads, security and privacy in Azure, as well as Azure pricing and support. Candidates should be familiar with the general technology concepts, including concepts of networking, storage, compute, application support, and application development.

Azure Fundamentals can be used to prepare for other Azure role-based or specialty certifications, but it is not a prerequisite for any of them.

Job roles: Administrator, Business User, Developer, Student, Technology Manager

Skills Measured: 

  • Describe cloud concepts
  • Describe core Azure services
  • Describe core solutions and management tools on Azure
  • Describe general security and network security features
  • Describe identity, governance, privacy, and compliance features
  • Describe Azure cost management and Service Level Agreements

Download AZ 900 Recent Certification Skills Outline

More details and scheduling your exam:  Microsoft Azure Fundamentals 

AZ 204 Azure Developer Associate

Candidates for the Azure Developer Associate certification should have subject matter expertise in designing, building, testing, and maintaining cloud applications and services on Microsoft Azure.

Responsibilities for this role include participating in all phases of cloud development from requirements, definition, and design; to development, deployment, and maintenance; to performance tuning and monitoring.

Azure developers partner with cloud solution architects, cloud DBAs, cloud administrators, and clients to implement solutions.

A candidate for this certification should have 1-2 years professional development experience and experience with Microsoft Azure. In addition, the candidate for this role should have the ability to program in a language supported by Azure and proficiency in Azure SDKs, Azure PowerShell, Azure CLI, data storage options, data connections, APIs, app authentication and authorization, compute and container deployment, debugging, performance tuning, and monitoring.

Job role: Developer

Skills Measured in AZ 204 Azure Developer Exam

  • Develop Azure compute solutions (25-30%)
  • Develop for Azure storage (15-20%)
  • Implement Azure security (20-25 %)
  • Monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize Azure solutions (15-20%)
  • Connect to and consume Azure services and third-party services (15-20%)

Download AZ 204 Recent Certifications Skills Outline

More details and scheduling your exam: Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate

 

Microsoft Certificates for AZ 900 & AZ 204

AZ900 Azure Fundamentals Certificate of Jonah Anderssion
Jonah Andersson Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate

Preparing for Microsoft AZ 204 Exam

Just like any exam or certifications, preparation is vital.  Preparation means planning, knowing the details of the exam, devoting spare time from your working hours to study and learn. 

The AZ 900 Azure Fundamentals exam does not really require any programming skills, but familiarization of the cloud computing basics and working in the Microsoft Azure platform are important.  

I recommend the Microsoft Learn Azure Fundamentals Path and a few YouTube tutorials for AZ 900 exam by John Savill, Azure tutorials of Ryan O’Connel, AZ 900 Full course of Adam Marczak, Exam AZ 900 Azure Fundamentals Study Guide by Tim Warner

On the other hand, AZ 204 Azure Developer Associate exam requires more of your time, not just learning the Azure Development concepts covered by the list of skills measured –  but also learning and knowing how to do. It is because the exam is focused on how you can solve your problems and develop solutions using Microsoft Azure services. 

The exam questions are focused on how you would solve any cloud-related use case scenarios as a software engineer or cloud engineer.  This is important. 

Taking the exam without preparation will give you a risk to fail. 

So be prepared to get certified! 🙂 

First Important Steps - Taking AZ 204 Azure Developer Associate Exam

  • Decide how you want to take your exam (Online – Proctored or Testing Center)
  • Check your schedule and book the exam via Microsoft Learn Certification Website 
  • Ask your Company or Employer – If your company or employer is a Microsoft Partner, you might be able to take these exams and get Microsoft training for free through the partnership
  • If your Employer is not a Microsoft Partner – Motivate them to be one. Otherwise invest money and time on your career through certifications
  • When you  have booked your exam, devote time to study.  I work full time. So I passed these exam by using my free time after work and during weekends.  As I said, i like learning so it was not hard finding time. If there is a will, there is a way is what I believe too. 
  • DO NOT USE Exam Dumps and Never Waste Your Money on It!  They don’t guarantee you passing any exams. 
  • Enjoy Studying and learning from the free resources available!
  • Find inspiration from others who have taken the exam 

Study Guide for AZ 204 Azure Developer Associate Exam Certification

Exam Ref AZ-204 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure
Exam Ref AZ-204 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure

During The Exam (Proctored at Home)

During the exam, you need to be on time based on the important instructions sent to you when you booked your Microsoft Certifications exam. There are technical requirements that you need to follow and you need to have a valid ID available too. The name on that valid ID should match the name of your Microsoft Learn profile when you signed up or booked the certification exam. 

You book, reschedule or manage your Microsoft Certifications using your Microsoft Learn account – on Certifications Dashboard.  It is also where you will take your exam on its scheduled date and time. 

To learn more about Pearson VUE + Microsoft Proctored exams, read more via PearsonVUE’s guide for test-takers
Here is also another guide for proctored exam – Pearson VUE Take Exam Online from the comfort of your home or office.

Make sure you don’t miss the preparation guide and instructions for your test environment –  what are the things that are not allowed during the exam. For example, it is not allowed to speak while taking the tests or have headphones, extra screens might not be allowed, and more! You also need to de-clutter and make sure your testing space is clean. 

After The Exam

For the proctored exams I took AZ 900 and AZ 204, I got my results right away. You will find out if you passed or failed your exams. Results are instant! 

Just right after your online proctored exam, you will also be able to access your Microsoft Azure Certification Certificates and badges that you can share on your social media like your LinkedIn profile, Twitter, website and other platforms. 

Aside from that, you can also access your score cart and transcripts after the exam. This is a good material or documentation to learn more about the details on how well you performed on your exam on its skills measured categories.

Finally, When You Pass, Be #ProudToBeCertified!

The blog is long but I hope it is full of information to help you with your Microsoft Certifications preparation! 

Remember, it takes hard work and dedication to get certified. When you have achieved your goals and passed any of your desired certifications, it will be worth it! 

When you pass, make sure you share the knowledge to others and be #ProudToBeCertified because you worked hard for it! 🙂  

Don’t stop learning and up-skilling. Continue sharpening your skills since associate exams are only valid for 2 years. In two years, you have the option to renew it. Renewing the certifications are opportunities for you to keep yourself update of the changes and updates in your field of technology.

If you feel that you need to skill up more in other technologies, plan your next certification and book it. It is a great way to motivate and challenge yourself with your career goals.  Make sure you have time to invest! 

Thank you for reading. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments.

Of course, spread the knowledge! Knowledge is power so keep learning! 

About Author:  Jonah Andersson is a Filipina-Swedish Software Engineer who codes fullstack system development in C# .NET/NET Core.  She is a Microsoft MVP for Azure, Certified Azure Developer, Founder/Organizer of Azure User Group Sundsvall Sweden. She currently works as a Software Developer Consultant at Forefront Consulting in Sweden. Jonah is passionate about learning, developing and sharing knowledge about Microsoft Azure cloud technologies. A woman who code advocating gender equality in the tech industry through mentorship and by being role model. She also loves creative technical writing her experience. 

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