Saturday 11 June 2022

Looking at the azure skies of success

Passing the test

I have just returned from a Pearson Vue Computer-based testing centre which is just about a 25-minute walk from my home, and I am happy to say I passed the test I took.

Last month, I attended two 2-hour sessions of a Microsoft Azure Training Day: Azure Fundamentals, training day, it was the first time, I had the opportunity to follow the sessions fully. I had been thinking of getting certifications for the Microsoft Azure track for quite a while but could not get myself motivated enough to engage.

This time, after attending the training day which came with a free voucher for the AZ-900: Azure Fundamentals examination which I decided to use. The voucher was to expire at the end of June, I had the feeling I knew just about enough to pass the test, yet I could not afford to be over-confident.

Materials and practice

There is a lot of study material at my disposal, and this was one I did not think required instructor-led guidance like I required for my PRINCE2 and TOGAF certifications, in late 2019. The Microsoft Learn site is quite useful though it is mostly text-based interspersed with video snippets. I got to Level 7 and completed about 60% of the modules, but it was drudgery all through.

A better resource was John Savill’s AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals Certification Course of a library of YouTube videos of just over 9 hours of material. Thankfully, John has not entirely lost his English accent even if he has acquired some American mannerisms apart from the possibility of being distracted by his bulging biceps, the instructions, demonstrations, and whiteboard depictions are easy to follow to grasp the detail of the course.

I committed time to that, playing back elements that weren’t all that clear to me at first viewing and over 4 days, I had gone through the course enough to have some confidence that I will pass the test. After which I attempted two separate free mock tests and set out for the examination this morning.

Keeping up and current

Thinking about it, I did my first vendor certification just over 28 years ago, then, I acquired the Certified Netware Engineer certification after some weeks of self-study, having paid £140 for two volumes of study material. That was a lot of money for my 1994 salary, but that set my career off on an exciting, fulfilling and rewarding experience.

It is funny that I am still doing vendor certifications in my mid-50s, not that is matters that much, but the sense of self-affirmation and the confirmation of knowledge and understanding is a good fillip to proving you can still keep up with technologies and new developments. I love what I do, and I will continue to challenge myself as much as I intend to improve myself and remain relevant in my industry and career, for as long as I can.

As I left the test centre, I called Brian who constantly informs me that I am more than capable to meet any situation; I can’t distinguish between truth and bias, but I am always encouraged and motivated by him, then on getting home, I called my mum because we had discussed this and there was my concern that I might be tripped by the nuances of reading the context of US English with a British mindset. I got by and that is all that matters.

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