This is part of a series on my preparation for the DP-900 exam. This is the Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals, part of a number of certification paths. You can read various posts I’ve created as part of this learning experience.
I was asked to pursue a few Azure exams as part of Redgate’s partnership with Microsoft. I’ve been slowly studying some concepts and working towards exams in spare time, but getting more focused in January. I made this a part of my goals for 2022, and it’s been an interesting experience to work towards this exam.
I’m providing an overview of my resources, and I’ll add new posts for various detailed items I found interesting with links as well.
Overview of Preparation
The first thing I did was look over the exam page. This lets the reader know what is being covered as well as the purpose of the exam. There is a note that some things have changed as of Oct 2021, and there is a new PDF to look at with the various areas being tested.
Download the PDF.
That’s first, and then check the scope of the exam. There is a lot here, including, but not limited to:
- data workloads
- relational Azure services (including PostgreSQL and MySQL/MariaDB)
- security (firewall, auth)
- deployment options
- query tools
- DDL and DML
- non-relational data
- Azure Storage, Azure Files, Azure Tables, Azure queues
- Azure CosmosDB
- analytic workloads, including HD Insight, Databricks, ADS, and Synapse
- Power BI
I also looked over some guides from others:
- Catherine Wilhelmsen’s guide
- Guide from Bhargav Bachina
- John Savill’s Exam Cram
- Andrew Brown complete course on YouTube
This seems like a lot, but since the exam can only cover so much, I didn’t expect to be too detailed in each area. However, you do need to know quite a bit about a number of different areas.
I looked over these, trying to determine what I knew and didn’t know. These gave me hints about which places to spend a little time. I didn’t watch all of the Andrew Brown video, but I did look over the others.
I started looking for an overview of each area. Microsoft Learning has some free reading courses, and sandboxes for practice, that I used. I went through these learning paths:
- Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals: Explore core data concepts
- Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals: Explore relational data in Azure
- Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals: Explore non-relational data in Azure
- Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals: Explore modern data warehouse analytics in Azure
These each are tens of minutes, but there is a lot of information to absorb about each area. Quite a few of these areas I hadn’t spent much time working in, so I found myself dropping into the MS Docs to get a little more clarification of the area.
I also took the MS sample question test to get an idea of what I actually knew. I learned that I had quite a few holes in small areas, though overall I knew most of what was being covered.
I haven’t taken the exam yet, as I’ve been spending an hour every 2-3 days going over some concept and trying to learn a solid overview of what it consists of and how it might be used for data work. Lots to learn here, and the thing I do like is that this forces me to actually dig into topics at a slightly deeper level and helps me to understand a bit more about the options in Azure.
It also helps me to have better conversations with customers, which is important for my job. I’m not an expert, but I have an idea how of what Azure Table Storage is v. CosmosDB and can understand why someone might choose one of the other in a conversation. At least I can talk basics and know where to look for more detailed information.