Microsoft Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert  

Time to read: 3 min | 30 December, 2020 | Will Ellis

Completing my path of getting certified for my knowledge of Azure, I recently passed the AZ-400 Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions exam.

This certification is the second compulsory exam in the path an Azure Developer/DevOps Engineer should be focused on. It covers a lot of Azure DevOps topics including developing an instrumentation strategy; developing a Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) strategy; developing a security and compliance plan; managing source control; facilitating communication and collaboration; defining and implementing continuous integration; and defining and implementing a continuous delivery and release management strategy. If you have a number of years using Azure DevOps (or TFS) and using DevOps practices, with a little bit or study you can knock this one out of the park.

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 did do this one, but I wouldn't say its a must. QA.com, who I've linked to, is a training provider in the UK who has a good course aimed at this certification. If you're fairly new to the topic it may be of use.
  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. 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.
  5. Pluralsight Certification Prep Path - Similar to the above Role IQ there is a specific path with courses in it for the Certification prep here.
  6. Azure DevOps Book - Not an official exam reference book. But a pretty decent book for learning the content. For those of you who prefer to read your training material on a kindle or paperback book then this is the one for AZ-400.

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!