Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate  

Time to read: 3 min | 08 October, 2020 | Will Ellis

Continuing on my path of getting certified for my knowledge of Azure, I recently passed the AZ-204 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure exam.

This certification is the first compulsory exam in the path an Azure Developer should be focused on. It covers a lot of Azure development topics including developing Azure compute solutions; developing for Azure storage; implementing Azure security; monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize Azure solutions; and connecting to and consume Azure services and third-party services. It was actually quite hard, as generally in most roles you wouldn't be using all these different tools so in depth, so you'll definitly need to study up!

There are a few different ways I'd recommend you can train for this certification. In order to learn the information and feel ready for the exam you could do all or just some of these thing, it really depends on your learning style.

  1. Formal classroom training - So an obvious first choice, especially if your company will back it is a training course. I didn't do one of these myself, but I know some that have and heard good things. QA.com, who I've linked to, is a training provider in the UK who has a good course aimed at this certification.
  2. Microsoft Learn - This free online training has very good coverage of the material and the modules can be taken one at a time, with many involving hands on labs using a sandboxed subscription in Azure. Its a great way to learn the theory and get some hands on experience with Azure.
  3. Labs on Github - A set of great lab modules on GitHub, which actually tend to be what formal training courses will run you through.
  4. Useful blog posts & links to Microsoft Docs - The Microsoft documentation for Azure is actually very good and comprehensive. This blog post gives a lot of links out to the docs for specific areas covered by the AZ-204 certification. Very useful.
  5. Pluralsight Role IQ - Created in partnership with Microsoft this Role IQ has A LOT of great training courses inside of it. So if you have a Pluralsight account I would highly recommend it, its where I've learnt alot of what I know.

    • The Role IQ is broken down into various Azure Skills, and each Skill Path has different courses for the content.
    • Its worth “measuring” your Skill IQ via the test on the website, then it will tell you where you need to continue focusing your learning.
    • After watching some of the courses you can retake the Skill IQ tests in order to see your progression.
  6. Pluralsight Certification Prep Path - Similar to the above Role IQ there is a specific path with courses in it for the Certification prep here. It says AZ-203, but thats just the previous version of the exam, most of the content of AZ-203 is the same as AZ-204 but AZ-204 has just been updated a bit. It wont be wasted time using those Pluralsight courses to.
  7. Exam Reference Book - For those of you who prefer to read your training material on a kindle or paperback book then there is an official Exam Ref book for this certification which you can buy on Amazon.

Once you feel like you’ve learnt what you need to know, you can either book the exam and go for it, or you may want to try some mock exams first. There are some very good, fairly cheap, mock exams available at Whizlabs.

If you’re getting passes on those you’ll be much better prepared for the real thing.

Ready to go? You can book the exam here.

Good luck!