This guide provides information and resources to prepare for the "Azure Solutions Architect Expert" certification. It also gives you some tips and recommendations based on the experiences of other software architects who have approved and are certified in Azure.
This certification is designed and recommended for engineers who already have experience implementing applications in Azure and are able to understand the wide range of services offered by this technology, since candidates are expected to understand and apply best practices and tools to each context.
This certification is recommended if you are a software architect, or want to be, as long as you have had experience implementing services both graphically and by command line (Azure CLI and Powershell).
This certification is useful for many reasons, but the most important are:
To achieve this certification, you must pass two exams:
AZ-300 (Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies): This exam assesses your competencies in implementing applications on Azure, maintaining data security (both with relational and non-relational databases, for example CosmosDB), optimizing workloads in product environments (with virtual machines and containers), and taking advantage of the potential of the resources in Storage.
AZ-301 (Microsoft Azure Architect Design): For this exam, you must be prepared to use the best technology that Azure offers in a production architecture, so you must prepare yourself not only with the knowledge of such technologies, but also with use cases where they are applied in the best way possible.
The recommendation is that you first pass the AZ-300 exam so that you can validate your knowledge of technology, then go through the AZ-301 exam and validate your experience in the proper implementation of each tool.
Your preparation for the AZ-300 exam should look like this:
For the AZ-301 exam, in addition to what is mentioned for the AZ-300 exam, you should also:
Remember that the key is in the details, both in study and in practice.
There are no specific prerequisites, but it is ideal that people who are going to complete this certification and its associated exams have at least two to three years of experience implementing scalable applications in Azure, either through graphical interface, Azure CLI, or Powershell.
You should also have a broad understanding of the various services.
Finally, in addition to how to implement each service, make sure you also understand the best practices for these services (use virtual networks, availability groups for virtual machines, automate the scaling of services according to demand, among others).
The exams measure complementary skills between them.
The AZ-300 exam will measure your skills in:
While for the AZ-301 exam you must be prepared to:
For all of these skills, you must be able to explain and answer how to do it through the Azure portal or one of its code options (Azure CLI, Powershell and ARM Templates).
You must also understand and have experimented with the following technologies:
For each of these technologies, in addition to knowing and experimenting with them, you have to be prepared to connect them to build a robust and scalable platform.
As you are studying and preparing for the exams, if you see a detail that seems very specific and you think you'll never see it in a real project or be asked about it on the exam, think again. These exams are very specific, and as an architect, you must be prepared for any possibility.
You can enhance and accelerate your learning with the range of Pluralsight courses on each Azure technology:
You can complement the Pluralsight courses with the official Azure documentation:
The benefits of obtaining this certification are multiple, including:
This certification is the most advanced of the Azure certifications (along with DevOps Engineer), so achieving it validates you as an expert in this cloud. In addition, passing this certification by studying its contents will also serve you for other exams and certifications that you may want to take later.
Finally, some advice:
I wish you a lot of success on your way to certification as Azure Solutions Architect Expert!