Azure seems to be cropping up everywhere these days and there are a lot of training resources out there some available free, or on a limited time trial. These resources aren’t just for Ops, a lot of training exists around development, architecture, big data and testing etc.
Visual Studio Dev Essentials
This is a free visual studio tier that is available to anyone to sign-up for.
• Azure credit ($300/year ) — $25 a Month
• Pluralsight (3-month subscription)*
• Opsgility (3-month subscription)
• Linux Academy (3-month subscription)*
$25 dollars doesn’t seem like a lot but with the basic tier PaaS resources it can actually go a long way
Visual Studio Enterprise
If you are lucky enough to have a Visual Studio Enterprise subscription (MSDN in old money) these benefits are upgraded.
• Azure credit $150 Monthly
• Pluralsight (Full annual subscription)
• Opsgility (1 year on-demand training)
I really like Opsgility it has courses targeted towards certification and also snippets of targeted training. Content is tagged from beginner to advanced and ranges from deploying Azure WebApps to deep drives into Azure networking.
I guess it shows the massive change in Microsoft’s approach when Azure’s features so heavily on the Linux Academy. The academy is a good with a very wide range of resources from basic Linux, AWS certifications, google certifications and of course Azure.
The Azure courses on Pluralsight have received a massive overhaul recently and are good and informative. Again these are focused on certifications but also include deep dives into more focused areas such as OMS.
Microsoft Learning at EDX
This is the most targeted course for Azure specialisms and covers lots of different areas. Best of all its completely free. Courses are built up of theory, practise exam, exercises and video based learning. The course list here is constantly changing.
There are a few levels of certification, MCP, MCSA and MCSE. The Azure exams are generally updated every three months so finding up to date training and have a hands-on play with the environment is a must before sitting an exam.
• 70–533 — Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions — is typically the first port of call for Ops Engineer and Architects.
• 70–532 — Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions — tends to be preferred by developers but a warning here is that with all things cloud IAAS and Storage features very heavily
• 70–534 — Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions covers a hell of a lot of terrority and although it can be taken as a standalone exam I wouldn’t recommend it due to the touch points on the knowledge required to complete the other exams.
• 70–473 — Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions covers the various implementations of SQL and NoSQL implementations on Azure and I would recommend it for anyone building data driven solution on Azure.
• 70–475 — Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions covers Azure big data offerings.
Microsoft offer various changing incentives if you fancy tackling an exam, these may include discount pricing, free resits and free practise exams. Keep an eye out for these if you are planning to book an exam.