Category: Certification

New Big Data and Web Dev Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) Tracks Open for Enrollment 5
CertificationTraining

New Big Data and Web Dev Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) Tracks Open for Enrollment

Last year Microsoft launched the new Microsoft Professional Program (MPP). This is the latest initiative from Microsoft to provide training and an educational platform to help fill the ever growing skills gap in IT. Initially, Microsoft launched the program with a single track; the Data Science Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) track. Due to the huge success of this initial track, Microsoft announced earlier this year they are expanding the Microsoft Professional Program to 2 more additional tracks; Big Data and Front-end Web Development.

New Big Data and Web Dev Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) Tracks Open for Enrollment 6 Read More

MCSA: Linux on Azure Certification 7
CertificationInfrastructureOpen Source

MCSA: Linux on Azure Certification

Among the various Microsoft MCSA certification, the MCSA: Linux on Azure is certainly a little of it’s own league. This is the only Microsoft certification that requires a Linux Foundation certification in order to earn. This certification will validate and test your skills in a good combination of Microsoft Azure cloud and Linux system administration.

This exam was retired December 31, 2018. Read More

LFCS: Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator Certification 8
CertificationOpen Source

LFCS: Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator Certification

LFCS: Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator Certification 9The Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) certification from The Linux Foundation is a full Linux certification for verifying and validating your Linux Operating System skills. Linux is the #1 operating system for web servers, cloud computing, smartphones and consumer electronics. It’s been growing very rapidly over the years, and even Microsoft has fully embraced Linux for running workloads in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

The IT industry is increasingly seeking out IT Professionals who have Linux Operating System management and administration skills. This certification will help you validate those skills to help advance your career. Read More

Exam Finder Helps Search Microsoft Certification Exams by Technology 10
Certification

Exam Finder Helps Search Microsoft Certification Exams by Technology

There are many different certification exams from Microsoft covering all the different technology areas. There are also many different certification paths like the newly redesigned MCSE and MCSA certifications that are made up of multiple certification exams. Unfortunately, the list of Microsoft certification exams can be a bit cumbersome and difficult to search through on the official Microsoft Learning site. For this reason, I have created a simple, open source, Microsoft certification exam finder tool.

The Build Azure Exam Finder allows you to search and filter through a list of Microsoft certification exams. It works by having all the exams in the list assigned Tags that you can easily filter on to find the exam(s) you’re looking for. You can filter on a combination of technologies or larger certifications like MCSE and MCSA to find the exams you’re looking for.

Exam Finder Helps Search Microsoft Certification Exams by Technology 11

You can access the Build Azure Exam Finder tool here: http://exams.buildazure.com

The tool currently includes 31 exams in the list, and I’m planning on adding more soon to fill it out to contain a nice list of the various Microsoft certification exams available. I hope this tool helps others discover the certification exams and larger MCSA or MCSE certification paths that fit their expertise and knowledge areas. I was inspired to build this simple tool by many of the Microsoft certification questions people have been asking me through this blog and elsewhere online, as it helped me realize that there’s a real discoverability problem in how Microsoft present the certification information on the official Microsoft Learning site.

Additionally, the Build Azure Exam Finder tool is fully Open Source and hosted on Github (https://github.com/BuildAzure/ms-cert-finder). It’s built very simply using HTML, JavaScript, and the Bootstrap CSS Framework. This keeps it simple, lightweight, and most importantly, very easily to contribute to.

MCSA: Machine Learning Certification from Microsoft 15
Big DataCertificationData Sciencemachine learning

MCSA: Machine Learning Certification from Microsoft

MCSA: Machine Learning Certification from Microsoft 16It seems there is constant news on the Microsoft certification front. Near the end of 2016, Microsoft shook up the entire MCP program with some amazing changes to how Azure certifications are integrated in the tracks, as well as the ability to renew MCSD and MCSE certifications annually with an elective exam. Now they are continuing to expand with new certification targeting the extremely popular realm of Machine Learning. The all new MCSA: Machine Learning certification is being added as an option to earn!

This exam is retired June 30, 2019.

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Renew MCSD & MCSE Annually by Retaking Certification Exams 17
CertificationTraining

Renew MCSD & MCSE Annually by Retaking Certification Exams

In the past once you passed a specific Microsoft certification exam you were not allowed to retake that exam again, ever. After all, there wasn’t really any benefit to since you passed the exam and it counted towards earning you a specific certification. Back then the exams did not undergo any major updates or restructuring until they were retired and replace with a brand new exam on the latest technology and product releases. With the recent changes and restructuring of the Microsoft certification program, the exam are now getting updated periodically and you will now be able to retake an exam after such updates have been made.

As of March 17, 2017, the necessary changes have been put into place to allow for exam to be retaken on an annual basis. After a period of 365 days from the date you pass a certification exam, you will now be able to retake that exam again. This will allow for you to retake a particular exam, or at least the most recent update of that exam, to be used as the qualifying elective exam necessary to renew an MCSD or MCSE certification and keep it active for the current year.

Currently, the exams eligible to be retaken are:

This new retake policy is a really great improvement. It was previously assumed that only a new elective needed to be passed every year to keep the MCSD or MCSE certifications current for the given year. If this were required then you would be required to keep learning new technologies and product releases to pass an exam even if they didn’t relate to you job duties. However, by allowing already passed exams to be retaken annually, you will now be able to renew and keep up-to-date by continually brushing up and maintaining the exam skills that pertain to your daily job duties over time.

This change goes along with the other improvements being made to the Microsoft certification that are really making the program much better than it was in the past by keeping the certifications relevant and useful.

70-464 Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases Certification Exam 18
Certification

70-464 Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases Certification Exam

The Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases (70-464) certification exam is one of the elective exams that counts towards the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certifications. This exam centers around objectives that cover the areas of developing Microsoft SQL Server databases.

Certification Target Audience

The focus of the 70-464 Developing Microsoft SQL Server Database certification exam is centered around SQL Server technologies. This exam was first published in 2012, with more recent updates done in 2016, so it doesn’t seem to contain the Azure SQL Database topics that other exams cover.

This exam targets those database professionals who build and implement databases across organizations and who ensure high levels of data availability. The database professionals roles would include creating database files, data types, and tables; planning, creating, and optimizing indexes; ensuring data integrity; implementing views, stored procedures, and functions; and managing transactions and locks.

Skills Measured

Here’s a high level outline of the skill objectives measured on the Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases (70-464) certification exam. The percentages next to each of the exam objectives represents the percentage of exam questions in that particular exam objective area.

  • Implement database objects (30-35%)
    • Create and alter tables
    • Design, implement, and troubleshoot security
    • Design the locking granularity level
    • Implement indexes
    • Implement data types
    • Create and modify constraints
  • Implement programming objects (15-20%)
    • Design and implement stored procedures
    • Design T-SQL table-valued and scalar functions
    • Create, use, and alter user-defined functions (UDFs)
    • Create and alter views
  • Design database objects (25-30%)
    • Design tables
    • Design for concurrency
    • Design indexes
    • Design data integrity
    • Design for implicit and explicit transactions
  • Optimize and troubleshoot queries (25-30%)
    • Optimize and tune queries
    • Troubleshoot and resolve performance problems
    • Optimize indexes
    • Capture and analyze execution plans
    • Collect performance and system information

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

Training Materials

At the time of writing this summary, the 70-464 Developing Microsoft SQL Databases exam has a limited amount of Exam preparation material available. As a result, you may need to focus primarily on Microsoft documentation surrounding the technologies and skills measured on this exam.

However, there is a bit of overlap between this exam and the 70-762 Developing SQL Databases exam. It’s unclear at this time if this new exam is meant to replace this one, but there seems to be overlap either way. As a result, you may be able to use the study materials for 70-762 when studying for the 70-464 exam. You’ll at least want to check it out.