Azure Certifications intend to help the individuals gain clarity upon the efficacy of Azure Cloud upon organizational implementations. Azure is a cloud platform that helps organizations implement testing, building, managing, and deploying various services and applications. 

All of these cloud services are executed through the managed data center of Microsoft. And with the ideal Azure certifications, the tech giant intends to help people learn about cloud implementations. 

Moreover, Microsoft also wants more people to learn and utilize cloud knowledge and skills to pursue better career opportunities.

AZ-400 is one such Azure certification that helps you with skills for designing and implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions. 

Check out: DevOps Basics

Azure DevOps exam is one of the most preferred skillsets that young cloud aspirants are keen to learn. It is an expert-level examination that has the potential of validating the skill & expertise of individuals to work with various processes and technologies. Hence, it will eventually add value to the business.

If you intend to take up this certification, then you need an ample amount of preparation for the same. Apart from that, you also need to keep in mind the brief exam details associated with AZ-400. Therefore, this preparation guide for the AZ-400 exam intends to help you with the same!

Why Choose AZ-400 Certification?

AZ-400 opens up some career-changing opportunities for individuals who are keen to utilize cloud operations. Taking up this certification will help you enhance your knowledge of technical DevOps. 

With it, you will have the ideology upon implementing strategies for continuous delivery and integration. Not just that, but you will also be able to steer the communication and collaboration aspects.

Apart from that, you also gain the prowess to devise the security plans of your organization’s services and applications upon Azure Cloud. It will help you set up the reliability concerns to seamlessly run your business services. 

If you wish to pursue the examination, then you need to consider it as a big decision. You need to implement quite a lot of effort and patience in order to prepare for this certification exam.

AZ-400 Practice exams

With AZ-400 certification, you will eventually unlock diverse job opportunities. A large number of enterprises are gradually shifting to the utilization of DevOps and are adapting their practices. 

Therefore, the AZ-400 certification holders will have a leading edge in terms of acquiring such job roles. As the competitiveness is rising amidst the organizational premises and cloud implementations, the authorities would prefer to go with certified engineers than non-certified job seekers.

The most crucial reason for taking up AZ-400 certification is that you will be open to a good salary hike. The software development era is booming in the present age. And collective efforts are being imposed to enhance the reliability of solutions without compromising on the quality & security. 

The DevOps engineers with AZ-400 certification have the mastery of agile practices and the skillset to produce secure and fast results. Therefore, DevOps engineers are eventually the highly paid professionals within the IT Sector.

Exam Overview of AZ-400 Certification

AZ-400 certification offers you the designing & implementing strategies for coding, source control, compliance, continuous delivery, monitoring, and feedback. Apart from that, AZ-400 will brush up your potential upon:

  • Streaming the delivery with the help of optimizing practice.
  • Improving communications & collaboration.
  • Creating automation with DevOps.

If you wish to know how to become an Azure DevOps engineer by clearing the AZ-400 exam, then you need to have complete preparation for it. 

To start with, here are some certain exam details that you need to get insight into before you make your decision upon applying for it.

Exam Prerequisites

Before you approach to register for the AZ-400 certification exam, you need to complete either Azure Administrator Associate certification or Azure Developer Associate certification


Following that, you can also keep in mind to develop expertise with the subject matter by working with people, processes, technologies, and other such areas to help deliver progressive business values.

Format of the Exam

You need to understand the format of the exam to be sure of what you are approaching or deciding upon. 

The examination consists of 40 to 60 questions. You will have to answer all of the questions within 150 minutes. The question types might vary, including case study questions, single-choice questions, MCQs, True/False or Yes/No questions, and sequence arrangement questions. 

So, you need to be well-prepared to attend all of it within a limited time period.

You need to score at least 700/1000 points in the examination in order to clear or pass the certification. The exam is available in 4 languages that include English, Korean, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese.

 Cost of the AZ-400 Examination

You need to pay a registration fee of $165 for the AZ-400 certification exam.

Targeted Audience

If you are already into Azure, you definitely need some motivation to move onto DevOps and become an engineer in the field. But even if you do not have any motive, you should still take on this examination to get an idea of how Azure is blended with the DevOps platform for offering its services.

You might be asked by your organizational authority to master the DevOps utilization and deployment process, as the leading organizations are switching to DevOps practices. 

Irrespective of the type of platform you prefer to use, the DevOps knowledge that you gain from the AZ-400 certification exam will always be helpful.

To be precise, here are some points to give you a better insight into the targeted audience for the AZ-400 examination:

  1. If you intend to establish yourself in the market of Agile and DevOps practices, this examination is for you.
  2. If you are already working on software development, administration, project management, or lead engineer, then moving onto the DevOps domain will be profitable for you.
  3. If you are preferably looking for learning version control and development skills with DevOps, then AZ-400 is an ideal pick for you.

Topics or Domains Covered within AZ-400 Certification

az-400 domains

The domains specified for AZ-400 certification are more like the course outline. It is the most important factor of consideration when you are preparing for AZ-400 certification. Knowing the domains and their weightage for the exam will help you learn about the exam framework. 

The domain topics and their associated sub-topics will help you decide upon your study plan. You can schedule to pick a topic with high weightage for the exam and prepare it first. 

Moving on, you can keep the less weightage topic at the end!

The domains are as follows:

  1. Developing an Instrumentation Strategy- The weightage for this domain ranges between 5 to 10%.
  2. Developing Site Reliability Engineering Strategy- The weightage for this domain ranges between 5 to 10%.
  3. Developing Security and Compliance Plan- The weightage for this domain ranges between 10 to 15%.
  4. Managing the Source Control- The weightage for this domain ranges between 10 to 15%
  5. Facilitation of Communication & Collaboration- The weightage for this domain ranges between 10 to 15%.
  6. Defining and Implementing Continuous Integration- The weightage for this domain ranges between 20 to 25%.
  7. Defining and Implementing a Continuous Delivery & Release Management Strategy- The weightage for this domain ranges between 10 to 15%.

How to Prepare for the AZ-400 Certification Exam?

Now, you are well-versed with the efficacy of the AZ-400 certification exam and its exam details. Hence, it is now time for you to get the AZ-400 study guide you were waiting for. 

Here is the synchronized and step-wise order for you to prepare for the AZ-400 certification exam.

Learning Path

The first and the most convenient mode of preparing and mastering the AZ-400 fundamentals is to explore the learning path. There are different learning paths for all of the domains within the certification exam curriculum. You can refer to this link and scroll down to the bottom to find the learning paths of each domain.

You just have to explore the modules, take note of the important concepts and revise the fundamentals to get a brief idea about the service aspects of Azure with DevOps. Cover all of the learning paths of each domain to seek chapter or topic-wise preparation.

Explore Microsoft Documentations

The next thing that you can do is explore the complete AZ-400 documentation over the official portal of Microsoft. Refer to this link to find a few of the many documentations over the Microsoft portal for AZ-400 exam preparation

These documentations will help you get an in-depth knowledge of Azure DevOps and will clear the conceptual and technical aspects. After the learning paths, these documentations will enhance your understanding ability of the topic.

Prefer to take Instructor-Led Training

If you are not much into self-preparation and need an instructor to help you out with the preparation process, then Microsoft has its official instructor-led training program. This learning course intends to educate you about the skills and knowledge required for implementing DevOps practices and processes. The students will get clear instructions from a DevOps expert on how to use scale Git and source control for the enterprises.

It will be an overall preparation module, led by a professional trainer, to ensure the complete readiness of the students for the examination. The students or Azure professionals who intend to seriously gain knowledge upon designing & implementing DevOps processes and want to clear the AZ-400 certification exam should turn up for this paid course.

Check the Study Groups & Forums

The next step is to join some study groups or forums to enhance the knowledge gaining potential. When you implement collective learning attributes within a group, you will be able to grab on more evident concepts about DevOps and AZ-400 exam preparation

People within such communities share resources and study materials to help fellow aspirants to learn and thrive. Hence, it is one of the most crucial steps to follow while you seek AZ-400 exam preparation.

Take Help from Informative Study Materials (Books)

You can also look for some study materials, such as hard-cover books or e-books. Even though most of the preparation measures are online, but books have a different charm of conveying knowledge. You need to keep in mind that self-preparation with books or other such physical study materials is accountable to be most effective. Along with the online training and lessons, keep informative books right beside you for a strong revision.

Take the AZ-400 Practice Exam

AZ-400 Practice exams
AZ-400 Practice exams

The final step before you head out to take the examination is to take on the practice tests. You can check out the online mediums for the AZ-400 practice exam. 

You will get a real interface with the same amount of time and the same type of questions. Tally the marks you obtain in such practice exams, with your preparation level. Strengthen your weak zones, and you will be all set to take on the actual examination.

Try out one Free AZ-400 Practice exam

How to Schedule the AZ-400 Examination?

As of now, you are well versed in the preparation steps for the AZ-400 examination. Now is the time to go ahead and schedule the exam as per your desired date. The steps are as follows:

  1. Visit the Microsoft portal dedicated to the AZ-400 exam registration. Click on this link to redirect to the page right away!
  2. Click on ‘Schedule Exam,’ which you will find when you scroll down.
  3. You will be asked to log into your Microsoft account. Do the same!
  4. Now, select the exam delivery option. Choose whether you want to give an online-proctored examination or center-proctored examination.
  5. Go ahead and select the date of examination as per your preference.
  6. Now, make the payment, and your exam will be scheduled.

Pro Tips on How to pass AZ-400 in the first attempt

1. Although the Microsoft learning path is the absolute best quality, don’t rely solely on this resource for the certification. For example, in the Microsoft learning path, they discussed three different GIT branching strategies; make sure you also read about other strategies.

Also, make sure what policies are available above on GIT and who provides them: self-hosted GIT, branch security, merge policies, etc.

2. Make sure you correctly learn to create and deploy AKZ, Containers, and set up DSC. You will be able to memorize these steps if you spend time practicing this a few times in your sandbox.

3. It is important to know about all security options and when to use what, like service connection, PAT, Keyvault, and Pipeline secrets.

4. Dive deeper into the products used in Pipelines, especially Jenkins. Also, if your company uses Azure DevOps, it can be beneficial to get some real-time hands-on practice on Dashboards, Azure Pipelines. 

5. Use the process of elimination if you aren’t sure of the answer. Once you practice enough questions, you will notice that the answer choices are often made up of features or just plain incorrect.

6. You will receive at least one case study which contains five questions. Once you complete the five questions, you can not go back and review them at the end of the exam. Additionally, you may receive two sets of three questions with a given scenario. Again once completed, you can not go back to review them. If you are unsure of all other questions, mark these questions to be reviewed at the end.

Is this guide helpful?

Conclusion

This AZ-400 preparation guide is intended to help you understand the pipelines, artifacts, and variable groups of DevOps to clear this examination. Moreover, you should also learn about some of the YAML tasks that are also elaborated over the learning paths and documentations. It will help you learn about the process of copying artifacts, downloading artifacts, and publishing them for release.

AZ-400 Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions Certification exam is a demanding and high-paid qualification in today’s IT world. If your company operates within the cloud, then it is important for you to up your game with the skills of Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer. So, gain ideas upon this exam, prepare for it, and obtain the certification right away.

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