Speaking at Microsoft Build!

Microsoft Build (https://mybuild.microsoft.com/) takes place on May 25-27, 2021 in a digital format and this year I’m delivering 2 table talks! After speaking at Microsoft Ignite for 5 editions in-a-row it’s now time to speak at Microsoft Build. Super excited for this and more for having such great co-speakers with me. It’s free, you should register today and RSVP to my 2 sessions and have the chance to interact with all of us. We want to answer your questions live! Yes, it’s going to be live, no recordings here!!!

How to build cloud-native solutions

Cloud-native technologies are used to develop applications built with services packaged in containers, deployed as microservices, and managed on elastic infrastructure through agile processes. Join our Table Topic to learn how Azure helps organizations create cloud native solutions. Our community co-hosts will share samples from their experiences building applications and helping customers build innovative world applications. Unmute yourself, turn your camera on – No presentations here! Be prepared for chat and a fun interactive discussion!

📅 Wednesday, May 26
1:30 PM – 2:00 PM WET
🔗 https://mybuild.microsoft.com/sessions/7f39ca5d-eaa1-4271-b645-c3fae76e90f4?source=sessions

How the community and certifications can help you achieve more

There are lots of resources you can tap into to help you with your professional development. Connect with the community and our experts to explore resources available to you from content, to community to certifications. Unmute yourself, turn your camera on – No presentations here! Be prepared for chat and a fun interactive discussion!

📅 Tuesday, May 25
9:30 PM – 10:00 PM WET
🔗 https://mybuild.microsoft.com/sessions/9d3582b7-4169-4b80-84fa-367dccad3d41?source=sessions

Join us online, have fun and happy learning! We I really believe that next year’s event we can all be in-person toghether! I will be there!!! For now, I just leave here some memories of past Microsoft Conferences. I miss you all!!!

Microsoft Certifications – Microsoft Exam duration and question types

Several professionals interested in Microsoft Certifications reached out and question me about Microsoft Exams and Microsoft Certifications. I think it’s time to put this in written and in an organized way. I will start a series of articles and videos about Microsoft Certifications. How to get ready, tips, exam durations … Basically all that you need to know to get that certification! I will explain all what I have learn by taking more than 70 Microsoft exams.

In this article I will focus on exam duration and question types. When teaching a class, it’s normal to get questions like:

  • How many questions the exam X, Y or Z has?
  • What is the duration of the exam?
  • Are the exam questions only multiple-choice?
  • Does my exam have labs?

Duration of Microsoft exams

Exam type/level Duration (questions) Total Duration
Fundamentals 60 minutes 80 minutes
Associate 130 minutes 150 minutes
Expert 150 minutes 170 minutes
MOS (Office) 50 minutes 60 minutes

Note: Duration (questions) is the actual time you have the answer questions when “Total Duration” includes the time to read instruction and provide feedback about the exam.

Number of questions of an exam

Microsoft doesn’t release the exact number of questions each exam has, but they share that an exam has around 40-60 questions. But please pay attention that this can change!!! And to be totally honest, I personally would not care that much about the number of questions. The important piece of information is the duration of the exam. Microsoft Learning is doing exams for many years, they will allocate an unspecified number of questions that a regular exam candidate can answer during the allocated time. In short, I will not woories that much about the number of questions your exam would have.

Question types

Always a popular topic. What kind of questions there are on the exam! These are some sample questions your exame might (or not) get on your exam:

Active screen

Best answer

Build list

Case studies

Drag and drop

Hot area

Multiple choice

Repeated answer question

Short answer

Mark review

Review screen

Hope this was interesting. What more topics do you want to read on this series? If you have questions just drop a line. Happy to help.

#GetCertified

New Microsoft Security Certification

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In today’s world, Security it’s a hot topic. More and more organization are moving workloads to the Cloud and the way we interact and move data around is changing. Data is no longer contained within corporate network perimeter; we use mobile devices, work from home and have to share the data with valuable partners. It’s more important than ever to be able to protect our workloads and data from unauthorized access. Microsoft Learning is aware of this changing world and released 4 new role-based certifications focused on Security.

Together with other amazing professionals I did a session at Microsoft Ignite 2021 just about this topic. You can watch it at: https://myignite.microsoft.com/sessions/80a523a6-0984-4aa8-aaa9-d010d62c030d?source=sessions

What are the 4 new certifications and how can you get then? It couldn’t be easier. You pass at 1 exam and you get the corresponding certification! I have compiled the list of certifications and corresponding exams:

 

Microsoft Certified: Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals

Exam SC-900: Microsoft Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals

This certification is targeted to those looking to familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of security, compliance, and identity (SCI) across cloud-based and related Microsoft services.

This is a broad audience that may include business stakeholders, new or existing IT professionals, or students who have an interest in Microsoft security, compliance, and identity solutions.

Candidates should be familiar with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 and want to understand how Microsoft security, compliance, and identity solutions can span across these solution areas to provide a holistic and end-to-end solution.

Skills measured:

  • Describe the concepts of security, compliance, and identity (5-10%)
  • Describe the capabilities of Microsoft identity and access management solutions (25-30%)
  • Describe the capabilities of Microsoft security solutions (30-35%)
  • Describe the capabilities of Microsoft compliance solutions (25-30%)

 

Microsoft Certified: Security Operations Analyst Associate

Exam SC-200: Microsoft Security Operations Analyst

The Microsoft Security Operations Analyst collaborates with organizational stakeholders to secure information technology systems for the organization. Their goal is to reduce organizational risk by rapidly remediating active attacks in the environment, advising on improvements to threat protection practices, and referring violations of organizational policies to appropriate stakeholders.

Responsibilities include threat management, monitoring, and response by using a variety of security solutions across their environment. The role primarily investigates, responds to, and hunts for threats using Microsoft Azure Sentinel, Azure Defender, Microsoft 365 Defender, and third-party security products. Since the Security Operations Analyst consumes the operational output of these tools, they are also a critical stakeholder in the configuration and deployment of these technologies.

Skills measured:

  • Mitigate threats using Microsoft 365 Defender (25-30%)
  • Mitigate threats using Azure Defender (25-30%)
  • Mitigate threats using Azure Sentinel (40-45%)

 

Microsoft Certified: Identity and Access Administrator Associate

Exam SC-300: Microsoft Identity and Access Administrator

The Microsoft Identity and Access Administrator designs, implements, and operates an organization’s identity and access management systems by using Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). They manage tasks such as providing secure authentication and authorization access to enterprise applications. The administrator provides seamless experiences and self-service management capabilities for all users. Adaptive access and governance are core elements to the role. This role is also responsible for troubleshooting, monitoring, and reporting for the identity and access environment.

The Identity and Access Administrator may be a single individual or a member of a larger team. This role collaborates with many other roles in the organization to drive strategic identity projects to modernize identity solutions, to implement hybrid identity solutions, and to implement identity governance.

Skills measured:

  • Implement an identity management solution (25-30%)
  • Implement an authentication and access management solution (25-30%)
  • Implement access management for apps (10-15%)
  • Plan and implement an identity governance strategy (25-30%)

 

Microsoft Certified: Information Protection Administrator Associate

Exam SC-400: Microsoft Information Protection Administrator

The Information Protection Administrator plans and implements controls that meet organizational compliance needs. This person is responsible for translating requirements and compliance controls into technical implementation. They assist organizational control owners to become and stay compliant.

They work with information technology (IT) personnel, business application owners, human resources, and legal stakeholders to implement technology that supports policies and controls necessary to sufficiently address regulatory requirements for their organization. They also work with the compliance and security leadership such as a Chief Compliance Officer and Security Officer to evaluate the full breadth of associated enterprise risk and partner to develop those policies.

This person defines applicable requirements and tests IT processes and operations against those policies and controls. They are responsible for creating policies and rules for content classification, data loss prevention, governance, and protection.

Skills measured:

  • Implement information protection (35-40%)
  • Implement data loss prevention (30-35%)
  • Implement information governance (25-30%)

 

 

How to prep for these exams?

In each exam page you have the Microsoft Lean learning paths. It’s free and an amazing resource to get started. I also advise candidates to take some practice exams like MeasureUp. It’s important to understand how questions are done. Allocate some time in your schedule, build a learning plan and follow it. Then just schedule the exam and seat for it! I teach hundreds of professionals every year and help then get certified. Most professional with proper preparation succeed on the exam, but sometimes that’s not the case. If that happens with you, use that experience as a learning opportunity, you have checked the format of the exam, the type of questions you struggled, … Take 1-2 weeks to study some more and give it another shoot, I’m sure you will ace it!

At the time of writing this article, these 4 exams are still in Beta. Beta exams are not scored immediately because Microsoft is gathering data on the quality of the questions and the exam. It usually takes around 2-3 weeks after the exam is out of Beta for you to take the score.

 

What does this mean for the actual AZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies and MS-500: Microsoft 365 Security Administration exams?
Well in short it means nothing. Both AZ-500 and MS-500 are generic security exams and certifications for Azure and Microsoft 365. The SC portfolio is more detailed and target at specific roles that cross the Azure and M365 space – Identity, Information Protection, …

 

Hope you enjoyed this post about the new Microsoft Security certifications and if you have questions just comment or ping me over social networks!

Got selected to the Microsoft Certifications Advisory Council

Last Friday I got an email from Microsoft Learning (or WWL – Worldwide Learning has they are called now) welcoming me to the Microsoft Certifications Advisory Council. I have no words! Literally!!! This is a super-limited to around 30 persons from the community that have been chosen across MCTs and MVPs. I have been working in the technical training industry for more than 15 years, helping thousands of students to get certified and in the last years with a focus on Azure. I have tons of feedback to provide to Microsoft!

It’s an honor to be able to provide feedback directly from the field and help Microsoft FTEs (Full time employees). I will not make any decisions, but I can help then with data then it would be easier to make awesome decisions for the market! If you have feedback about Microsoft Certifications, I’m ready and eager to hear what you have to say. Reach out to me and I promised your feedback will be sent over to Microsoft!

Super excited! Let the game begin!!!

 

Azure AI and Azure Data Fundamentals Certifications (NEW)

Microsoft announced two more Azure Fundamentals certification:

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals

Here are some specific details about the new certifications:

Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals

Exam – AI-900: Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals (beta)

Candidates for this exam should have foundational knowledge of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) concepts and related Microsoft Azure services. This exam is an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of common ML and AI workloads and how to implement them on Azure. This exam is intended for candidates with both technical and non-technical backgrounds. Data science and software engineering experience are not required; however, some general programming knowledge or experience would be beneficial.

Skills measured

  • Describe AI workloads and considerations
  • Describe fundamental principles of machine learning on Azure
  • Describe features of computer vision workloads on Azure
  • Describe features of conversational AI workloads on Azure

Full list at: https://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RE4wAEF

Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals

Exam – DP-900: Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals

Candidates for this exam should have foundational knowledge of core data concepts and how they are implemented using Microsoft Azure data services. This exam is intended for candidates beginning to work with data in the cloud. Candidates should be familiar with the concepts of relational and non-relational data, and different types of data workloads such as transactional or analytical.

Skills measured

  • Describe core data concepts
  • Describe how to work with relational data on Azure
  • Describe how to work with non-relational data on Azure
  • Describe an analytics workload on Azure

Full list at: https://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RE4wqeZ

I will create study plans for these two exams and publish then in this website. I also plan to create 2 more playlists to my YouTube channel and create content for these two certifications. You can find my Channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvP41PZ3zM4aV8Zqey5yz7w. Subscribe to my Channel today and get notified when I launch the videos.

These certifications should be available on or around June 8, 2020. I already got some space in my schedule to take this! Always excited to add two more badges to my Microsoft Transcript!

What about you? Are you going to prepare and take the challenge?