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How I passed the 70-532 : Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions exam

To give you a little background, I have been considering to learn about cloud platforms for quite a while now. A few months back I created an account in Azure and started exploring the Azure portal. Since I have an enterprise account under the visual studio enterprise subscription, I get $150 monthly credits to play around with the various offerings that Azure provides.

While I was exploring Azure, I came across the various certifications that Microsoft was offering, along with a huge discount (up to 40%), specifically on the Azure certification's, if registered on or before 30th June 2017. The cost was US $99 for one voucher / US $279 for three vouchers.
This included
- One exam with one retake (to be completed within 3 months for 1 voucher and 6 months for three vouchers)
- A Microsoft Official Practice Test

I went for the $99 Azure single pack, since the task of completing 3 certifications within 6 months seemed pretty daunting to me, considering the fact that I'm a newbie in Azure, and that this was my first ever Microsoft certification (although, I later realized that I could have gone for the trio pack 😊)
Once I brought the voucher, I started preparing for the exam and passed the exam with one and a half months of preparation.

There are plenty of resources available online to prepare for this particular exam. I will share with you the materials that I used to prepare for the exam. This exam is targeted towards the developer audience.

Before you start preparing for any Microsoft exam, do visit the exam objectives page for the respective exam. Microsoft updates the exam content from time to time, to remain relevant to the current Azure offerings. There was a major update to the 70-532 objectives in November 2016 to include the Azure Resource Manager (ARM). Check out the list of exam objectives for the Microsoft 70-532 exam.

I recommend putting together a checklist of each of the objectives and check mark each one after you have learned about it. This is to ensure that, you don't miss any topics that you're expected to know while taking the exam. I personally used OneNote for this, but you can use any tool of your choice.

I started off by reading the Microsoft Azure Essentials Fundamentals of Azure eBook. Although this book is not required to be read for the exam, it helped me gain a basic understanding of Azure, plus I was already half way through this book before I decided to take the exam. Once I was familiar with the fundamentals, I started with the 70-532 Exam Reference eBook, which is the official reference book from Microsoft. It covers all the topics that are present in the exam objectives.

By the time I completed the exam reference book, I was quite familiar with the all the exam objectives, but I didn't have any hands-on knowledge for most of the exam objectives. So, I turned to video tutorials with labs. Since I already have a plural sight subscription, I took the azure-solutions-prepare-pass-exam-70-532, azure-solutions-web-apps-70-532 and azure-solutions-virtual-machines-70-532 courses. Although these courses are based on the old ASM portal, most of the content is still relevant. These courses only cover part of the entire exam objectives, since the author of these courses has not managed to complete the rest of the objectives, probably because of a major revamp in the exam objectives in November 2016.

After this, I took the free course from edX, Developing Microsoft azure solutions. I would strongly recommend this course if you have no practical experience in Azure. The labs here are excellent. If you haven't worked on Azure before, I strongly recommend you to create a free account in Azure. Microsoft offers US $200 free credits upon sign up. With this, you can play around and explore most of the Azure offerings, required for the exam, without spending a penny.

Once I was done with all the above-mentioned materials, I scheduled the exam and cleared it in the first attempt. Yay!
Additional resources are mentioned below.

Video References

Note: The above courses were in my list of study references, however, I have not taken any of these courses


 Practice Tests

  • Do take the Measure Up Practice Test that comes along with the exam voucher. It's also important to time yourself, because most of the questions that appear on the exam are in a case study format, with long descriptions, so time management is something you need to think about and practice in order to complete all the questions in time. Also, make sure you answer all the questions even if you're not sure of the answers since there are no negative markings.

 Other References

Good Luck! I hope these references help you gain the required knowledge on Azure and earn you the Azure 70-532 certification.