I have been using Microsoft Azure with credit from MSDN subscription (Free credit! See the MSDN subscription section on this post) for sometimes now. Mostly for VMs and SQL Database (Microsoft Azure SQL Database). Recently I have also started exploring other Azure services like Azure Active Directory for cloud identity and access management, as well as deploying and implementing .NET web application to Azure Websites along with Visual Studio Online.
Back in October 2014, Born To Learn (Microsoft Training and Certification Community) blogged about some free voucher to get certified for Microsoft Azure (The offer has ended). I was lucky enough to get the free voucher. In addition, there was a week long Azure IaaS for IT Pros Online Event on the first week on December 2014. There were multiple experts sharing some technical insights which could be helpful on this particular certification. If you missed the live event, the videos are also available here.
Below are the technical tasks measured for the Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions certification,
With all these great incentive, I thought this might be the great opportunity for me to widen / deepen my understanding on the Microsoft Azure platform like the details of how virtual network is being implemented and different type of storage and its relevant performance.
Although some times I have people downplayed the benefit and validity of certification, I encourage people to get certified. Out of many benefits as listed on this Microsoft learning page, personally, one of the main reason is while preparing for the exam, I am often exposed to part and piece of some feature of a technology I don't usually work on, and sometimes not aware of. This give me an opportunity to verify my skills as well as to learn new knowledge in depth while exploring it. I always emphasize that passing an exam is not the end, but rather a part of the journey of getting better understanding of a technology.
I passed the exam and is certified as Microsoft Specialist for Implementing Microsoft Azure Architecture Solutions. Microsoft Azure has been increasing its collection of services with new improvements and features at a very fast pace. So, learning continue, just like this.