Last week I concluded my first run of MOC 20535, a brand-new course by Microsoft Learning and I immidiately wanted to share my findings. This course might be a bit rough for most trainers out there, because at first the course might seem to have a little identity crisis of its’ own. After my first delivery however, it’s (in my opinion) one of the best Microsoft courses so far!

This course is one of the steps to prepare yourself for exam 70-535, Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions. Ofcourse the exam isn’t limited to what we teach from the learning material, and I’m sure you’ll get enough “out-of-the-box” questions in the exam, but it’s a good start.

Now the difficult part; why it’s hard for learning partners to get good trainers for this course… It’s neither a developer or an Sys-admin course. It has to cover the following topics:

  • Design Compute Infrastructure

  • Design Data Implementation

  • Design Networking Implementation

  • Design Security and Identity Solutions

  • Design Solutions by using Platform Services

  • Design for Operations

The exam nicely maps out to the training content, which is divided across 12 modules/chapters.

  • Module 1 – Application Architecture Patterns in Azure

  • Module 2 – Deploying Resources with Azure Resource Manager

  • Module 3 – Building Azure IaaS-Based Server Applications

  • Module 4 – Creating Managed Server Applications in Azure

  • Module 5 – Authoring Serverless Applications in Azure

  • Module 6 – Backing Azure Solutions with Azure Storage

  • Module 7 – Comparing Database Options in Azure

  • Module 8 – Networking Azure Application Components

  • Module 9 – Managing Security & Identity for Azure Solutions

  • Module 10 – Integrating SaaS Services Available on the Azure Platform

  • Module 11 – Integrating Azure Solution Components using Messaging Services

  • Module 12 – Monitoring & Automating Azure Solutions

And here’s immedietaly where you see “the issue”. Where module 1 discusses app design and resiliency patterns (developer), module 8 discusses Azure Networking. So when looking at the traditional world, you’ll need either a Development trainer with Infrastructure knowledge, or an infrastructure trainer with development experience. I have to admit, as an infrastructure guy, this course was really inspiring to deliver, with an eye-opening experience in modules 5 and 10 in the serverless space with Azure Event Grid. Highly recommended to check that technology out!

Ofcourse, since the course is brand-spanking-new there are some rough edges… No biggies, but still, rough edges…

For instance, Module 12 seems like a collection of a lot of small topics, which aren’t really handled in-depth, but it seems kind of chunked together. I think it would be better to add an additional module to spread these a little more and ensure some more coverage.

The labs are a nice, however high-level, addition to the course. There are some discussions and workshop in the course, which might work well in a full classroom of students all following the same course, but in an individual training or remote delivery really don’t work.

All and all a great course where you are inspired whether you’re a dev or admin… Keep up the good work, Microsoft Learning!

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