Category: Certification

Certificationdatabase

MCSE: Data Management and Analytics Certification

mcse_datamanagementandanalyticsMicrosoft continues to expand out their certification program to better fit the newly emerging “cloud-based” world of IT. As a result, the existing Microsoft Azure exams as well as new exams being published are being integrated into the broad spectrum of Microsoft certifications; such as the MCSE. The MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification has recently been introduced as part of a new redesign and restructuring of the MCSE certifications. This article explains some of the details around how you can go about earning the new MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification.

On the path to earning the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics an MCSA certification will first be earned.

The MCSA Foundation

On the path to earning the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification an MCSA certification will first be earned. It’s really good to have a milestone along the way, instead of having to take a tone of exams before claiming any single certification title / credential. Additionally, instead of just a single MCSA choice to earn, there are actually multiple tracks to choose from based on your unique combination of expertise and interests.

Here’s the list of the MCSA certification tracks, along with the exams you’ll need to pass to achieve each of them:

As you can see the MCSA foundations mostly require 2 exams to be passed; these are the newer MCSA’s. The older MCSA for SQL Server 2012/2014 requires 3 exams to be passed to earn. All these MCSA’s fill provide a solid foundation of SQL Server in the specific track that you choose.

MCSE: Data Management and Analytics

Once a qualifying MCSA certification (as listed above) has been earned, the next path to the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification is to pass only 1 more exam. Also, best of all, you get to choose which exam you would like to take from a list of elective exams.

Here’s the list of elective exams to choose from to build on top of the MCSA foundation when achieving the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification:

Even if you choose to focus on SQL Server 2012/2014 or SQL Server 2016 with the MCSA you earned, it’s up to you if you want to mix some Azure / Cloud expertise into  your certification for the MCSE, Or, you can still with SQL Server for your choice elective exam as well.

Once a qualifying MCSA certification (as listed above) is earned, the next path is to pass 1 more exam to earn the full MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification!

Happy studying!

Updated May 27, 2017: Microsoft announced a renaming of a few of the MCSA certifications and the addition of more elective exams for the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification.

Updated Apr 13, 2017: Added info about MCSA Data Science certification.

Big DataCertification

70-775 Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure HDInsight Certification Exam

On of the hottest topics and technology areas in the industry is Big Data. Azure HDInsight is one of the services within the Microsoft Azure platform that services the ability to build scalable, Big Data solutions in the cloud. In an effort to expand out the breadth of certifications and exams offered around Microsoft Azure, the cloud, and Big Data, Microsoft has added the Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure HDInsight (70-775) exam.

Certification Target Audience

The focus on the Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure HDInsight (70-775) exam is around Microsoft Azure HDInsight. The exam is designed to target candidates who are Data Engineers, Data Architects, Data Scientists, and Data Developers who implement Big Data engineering workflows on HDInsight. This exam tests your experience and familiarity with the features and capabilities of Batch data processing, Real-time processing, and Interactive processing.

Skills Measured

Here is a high level list of the skills and objectives measured on this exam:

  • Administer and Provision HDInsight Clusters
    • Deploy HDInsight clusters
    • Deploy and secure multi-user HDInsight clusters
    • Ingest data for batch and interactive processing
    • Configure HDInsight clusters
    • Manage and debug HDInsight jobs
  • Implement Big Data Batch Processing Solutions
    • Implement batch solutions with Hive and Apache Pig
    • Design batch ETL solutions for big data with Spark
    • Operationalize Hadoop and Spark
  • Implement Big Data Interactive Processing Solutions
    • Implement interactive queries for big data with Spark SQL
    • Perform exploratory data analysis by using Spark SQL
    • Implement interactive queries for big data with Interactive Hive
    • Perform exploratory data analysis by using Hive
    • Perform interactive processing by using Apache Phoenix on HBase
  • Implement Big Data Real-Time Processing Solutions
    • Create Spark streaming applications using DStream API
    • Create Spark structured streaming applications
    • Develop big data real-time processing solutions with Apache Storm
    • Build solutions that use Kafka
    • Build solutions that use HBase

When studying for this exam, you’ll definitely want to look at the official exam page from Microsoft for the full list of exam objectives. You’ll need to be sure to study every one of them that will be measured on the exam.

Training Materials

At the time of writing this summary of the 70-775 Perform data Engineering on Microsoft Azure HDInsight exam, it is still in Beta as it was just recently published. This means there aren’t any exam guide books, or practice exams available yet. To study for this exam, you’ll need to rely mostly on the Azure HDInsight documentation, as well as the documentation for any other services and technologies listed in the exam objectives.

Not specific to just this exam, there are some additional resources available from various sources that do cover the technologies and skills measured on this exam. Here’s a short list of a few of these additional resources that may help in studying for this exam:

Happy studying!

CertificationInfrastructure

70-247 Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud Certification Exam

Many of the newer certification exams from Microsoft target Azure and Public Cloud technologies. The Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud (70-247) certification exam is a little different since it will test expertise in monitoring and operating Private Cloud environments using Windows Server and Microsoft System Center 2012.

Certification Target Audience

The focus on the Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud (70-247) certification exam is centered around Microsoft System Center. The exam is designed to target candidates who have experience setting up security, high-availability, fault tolerance, and networking of enterprise environments using Windows Server, and System Center 2012. Candidates should also have basic SQL Server and PowerShell knowledge, and application configuration experience.

Skills Measured

Here is a high level list of the skills and objectives measured on the Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud (70-247) The percentages next to each of the objectives represent the percentage of the exam questions that will be focus on that specific objective.

  • Design and deploy System Center (15-20%)
    • Design a scalable System Center architecture
    • Install the System Center infrastructure
    • Upgrade System Center components
  • Configure System Center infrastructure (20-25%)
    • Configure System Center components
    • Configure portals and dashboards
  • Configure the fabric (25-30%)
    • Configure the storage fabric
    • Configure the network fabric
    • Configure and manage the deployment and update servers
    • Configure clouds and virtualization hosts
  • Configure System Center integration (15-20%)
    • Configure private cloud integration
    • Configure integration of private and public clouds
  • Configure and deploy virtual machines and services (15-20%)
    • Configure profiles
    • Create and configure server App-V packages
    • Configure and deploy a service
    • Update a service

When studying for this exam, you’ll certainly want to look at the official exam page from Microsoft for the full list of exam objectives covered. You’ll need to study each and every one of the objectives measured on the exam before attempting to take it.

Training Materials

There are a few training resources (paid and free) for preparing for the Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud (70-247) certification exam. Below is a list of a few of these resources:

Free Videos

Practice Test / Exam

Book

Exam Ref 70-247: Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud

Prepare for Microsoft Exam 70-247—and help demonstrate your real-world mastery configuring and deploying a private cloud using Microsoft System Center 2012 R2. Designed for experienced IT professionals ready to advance their status, Exam Ref focuses on the critical-thinking and decision-making acumen needed for success at the MCSE level.

CertificationInfrastructure

70-246 Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud Certification Exam

Many of the newer certification exams from Microsoft target Azure and Public Cloud technologies. The Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud (70-246) certification exam is a little different since it will test expertise in monitoring and operating Private Cloud environments using Windows Server and Microsoft System Center 2012.

Certification Target Audience

The focus on the Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud (70-246) certification exam is centered around Microsoft System Center. The exam is designed to target candidates who have experience setting up security, high-availability, fault tolerance, and networking of enterprise environments using Windows Server, and System Center 2012.

Skills Measured

Here is a high level list of the skills and objectives measured on the Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud (70-246) exam. The percentages next to each of the objectives represent the percentage of the exam questions that will be focus on that specific objective.

  • Configure data center process automation (15-20%)
    • Implement workflows
    • Implement service offerings
  • Deploy resource monitoring (20-25%)
    • Deploy end-to-end monitoring
    • Configure end-to-end monitoring
    • Create monitoring reports and dashboards
  • Monitor resources (20-25%)
    • Monitor network devices
    • Monitor servers
    • Monitor the virtualization layer
    • Monitor application health
  • Configure and maintain service management (15-20%)
    • Implement service level agreements
    • Manage problems and incidents
    • Manage cloud resources
  • Manage configuration and protection (20-25%)
    • Manage compliance and configuration
    • Manage updates
    • Implement backup and recovery

When studying for this exam, you’ll certainly want to look at the official exam page from Microsoft for the full list of exam objectives covered. You’ll need to study each and every one of the objectives measured on the exam before attempting to take it.

Training Materials

There are a few training resources (paid and free) for preparing for the Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud (70-246) certification exam. Below is a list of a few of these resources:

Free Videos

Practice Test / Exam

Book

Exam Ref 70-246: Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud

Prepare for Microsoft Exam 70-246–and help demonstrate your real-world mastery of monitoring and operating a private cloud based on Microsoft System Center 2012 R2. Designed for experienced IT professionals ready to advance their status, Exam Ref focuses on the critical-thinking and decision-making acumen needed for success at the MCSE level.

Big DataCertificationmachine learning

70-774 Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning Certification Exam

Machine Learning is one of the hottest topics and technologies in the industry right now. Machine Learning is being used to combine with Big Data to automate the processes of gaining insights and predicting future behavior of systems, devices, and people. In an effort to expand out the breadth of certifications and exams offered around Microsoft Azure and the cloud, Microsoft has added the Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning (70-774) exam.

Certification Target Audience

The focus on the Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning (70-774) exam is centered around Azure Machine Learning, Bot Framework, and Cognitive Services. The exam is designed to target candidates who are Data Scientists or Analysts using the Microsoft Azure cloud services to build and deploy intelligent solutions. This exam will test your understanding and familiarity with common data science processes such as filtering and transforming data sets, model estimation, and model evaluation.

Skills Measured

Here is a high level list of the skills and objectives measured on this exam:

  • Prepare Data and Analytics in Azure Machine Learning and Export from Azure Machine Learning
    • Import and export data to and from Azure Machine Learning
    • Explore and summarize data
    • Cleanse data for Azure Machine Learning
    • Perform feature engineering
  • Develop Machine Learning Models
    • Select an appropriate algorithm or method
    • Initialize and train appropriate models
    • Validate models
  • Operationalize and Manage Azure Machine Learning services
    • Deploy models using Azure Machine Learning
    • Manage Azure Machine Learning projects and workspaces
    • Consume Azure Machine Learning models
    • Consume exemplar Cognitive Services APIs
  • Use Other Services for Machine Learning
    • Build and use neural networks with the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit
    • Streamline development by using existing resources
    • Perform data sciences at scale by using HDInsights
    • Perform database analytics by using SQL Server R Services on Azure

When studying for this exam, you’ll definitely want to look at the official exam page from Microsoft for the full list of exam objectives. You’ll need to be sure to study every one of them that will be measured on the exam.

Training Materials

At the time of writing this summary of the 70-774 Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning, the exam is still in Beta as it was just recently published. This means there aren’t any exam guide books, or practice exams available yet. To study for this exam, you’ll need to rely mostly on the Azure Machine Learning documentation, as well as the documentation for the other Azure services and technologies listed in the exam objectives.

Not specific to just this exam, there are some additional resources available from various sources that do cover the technologies and skills measured on this exam. Here’s a short list of a few of these additional resources that may help in studying for this exam:

Happy studying!

ArchitectureCertificationDevelopmentInfrastructure

Microsoft Azure Certification Exams Get Major ARM Refresh

Over the last 2 years, since the 3 core Microsoft Azure certification exams were originally published there have been a tremendous amount of changes to the Microsoft Azure platform and ecosystem. These 3 core exams targeted towards Architecture, Infrastructure, and Developer roles were originally published before Azure Resource Manager (ARM) existed and fully covered Azure Service Manager (ASM). Not only has ARM been released since then, but also a very large number of new Microsoft Azure services have been released too! Newer services like Azure Functions, Logic Apps, DocumentDB, and others weren’t covered on these original exams.

However, these core Azure certification exams have been updated a couple times over the last 2 years. This has kept them relevant over the years, but the most recent previous update was published in March 2016, and it didn’t even full cover Azure Resource Manager (ARM) as well as a few other features and services. Since that latest update was about 8 months ago, it really is time for another refresh, and hopefully one that add much more than the last.

Luck is in our favor, as Microsoft will be publishing another new update / refresh to these 3 core Microsoft Azure certification exams on November 22, 2016. This update will include major ARM updates, including the removal of the old Azure Service Management (ASM) APIs, as well as the inclusion of Azure Functions, Logic Apps, DocumentDB, and other newer Azure services.

Microsoft will be publishing another new update / refresh to these 3 core Microsoft Azure certification exams on November 22, 2016.

For a full listing of the new exam objectives on these exams, see these links:

In addition to these 3 core Microsoft Azure exams, there have been 2 additional Big Data focused exams released. These 2 exams have been out for about a year now, and are not getting updated right now. I would expect these to be updated sometime in the next few months, perhaps. Here’s links to further information on these 2 Big Data focused exams:

Also, Microsoft recently announced some major changes to the Microsoft Certification program that greatly embeds the Azure exams into the various certification tracks. Along with these announcements was the release of the brand new Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Cloud Platform and Infrastructure certification,and a few Microsoft Certified Solution Associates (MCSA) certifications it builds on top of.

There’s been lots changing technology-wise, as well as many major certification changes lately!

Happy studying!

CertificationDevelopment

Azure Developer Exam (70-532) Gets ARM Refresh

It’s been about 2 years since the 70-532 Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam was first release. Over that time there’s been a couple updates to keep it relevant with the ever changing landscape of the Microsoft Azure platform. The previous update was released in March 2016, which is a very long time when it comes to the cloud. The good news is that another update is on it’s way, and this time it will be including a full update of adding Azure Resource Manager (ARM) to the exam, in addition to many other new features and services. This update looks to be bringing the 70-532 Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions exam back to relevancy and not so outdated as it’s been for nearly an entire year now. Read More

ArchitectureCertification

Azure Architecture Exam (70-534) Gets ARM Refresh

Spec_Arch_AzureSol_logo_BWIt’s been about 2 years since the 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam was first release. Over that time there’s been a couple updates to keep it relevant with the ever changing landscape of the Microsoft Azure platform. The previous update was released in March 2016, which is a very long time when it comes to the cloud. The good news is that another update is on it’s way, and this time it will be including a full update of adding Azure Resource Manager (ARM) to the exam, in addition to many other new features and services. This update looks to be bringing the 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions exam back to relevancy and not so outdated as it’s been for nearly an entire year now. Read More

CertificationInfrastructure

Azure Infrastructure Exam (70-533) Gets ARM Refresh

MS_Azure_Infrastructure_SolutionsIt’s been about 2 years since the 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions certification exam was first release. Over that time there’s been a couple updates to keep it relevant with the ever changing landscape of the Microsoft Azure platform. The previous update was released in March 2016, which is a very long time when it comes to the cloud. The good news is that another update is on it’s way, and this time it will be including a full update of adding Azure Resource Manager (ARM) to the exam, in addition to many other new features and services. This update looks to be bringing the 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions exam back to relevancy and not so outdated as it’s been for nearly an entire year now. Read More

Certification

MCSD: App Builder Certification

Along side the Ignite 2016 conference, Microsoft announced some changes to the Microsoft Certified Professional program. These changes outlined 5 new MCSE and MCSD certifications, along with MCSA certifications to go along with them. One of these new MCSD certifications is the new MCSD: App Builder certification. This certification requires 3 exam to be passed to earn, and it also will get you an MCSA certification on your way to earning the full MCSD: App Builder certification. This post gives a brief explanation on the exam that are required and / or qualify for the  MCSD: App Builder, as well as the MCSA certifications you can earn on your way to obtaining the full MCSD! Happy studying!

On the path to earning the MCSD: App Builder certification an MCSA certification will first be earned.

MCSA Foundation

On the path to earning the MCSD: App Builder certification an MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) certification will first be earned. It’s really good to have a milestone along the way, instead of having to pass a ton of exams before claiming any single certification title / credential. Additionally, instead of just a single MCSA to earn on the path to MCSD: App Builder, there are 2 tracks to choose from based on your unique combination of expertise and interests.

The list of both MCSA certifications and their required exams are as follows:

  • MCSA: Web Applicationspass both of the following exams:
  • MCSA: Universal Windows Platform – pass both of the following exams:
    • 70-483: Programming in C#
    • 70-357: Developing Mobile Apps

As you can see the MCSA foundations for the new MCSD: App Builder certification require you to pass 2 exams. While not an extensive set of choices, the tracks to pick are either Web Application development or UWP (Universal Windows Platform) App development.

MCSD: App Builder

Once a qualifying MCSA certification (as listed above) is earned, the next path is to pass only 1 more exam to earn the full MCSD: App Builder certification! And, the best part is that you get to choose from a fairly long list of exams to make that happen.

Here’s the current list of Elective exams that can be taken to build on an MCSA to earn the new MCSD: App Builder certification:

  • 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
  • 70-487: Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services
  • 70-488: Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions
  • 70-489: Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions
  • 70-354: Universal Windows Platform – App Architecture and UX/UI
  • 70-355: Universal Windows Platform – App Data, Services, and Coding Patterns
  • 70-496: Administering Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server
  • 70-497: Software Testing with Visual Studio
  • 70-498: Delivering Continuous Value with Visual Studio Application Lifecycle Management

Regardless of the MCSA track you choose to start with (Web Apps or UWP Apps) you can continue on with earning the MCSD: App Builder with an exam in that topic area, or any of the other elective exam options.