Over the period of September 22nd and October 7th I have completed two Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills challenges. I have completed the Azure Apps and Infrastructure and the Azure Data and AI challenges. These are my 7 lessons learned from these two Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenges.
FYI – Microsoft gives me only 1 free certification exam voucher for completing my first challenge. I only receive an additional sweepstake entry for completing my second challenge. Here’s Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge
Why Did I Select These Two Challenges?
Initially I was only going to do the Azure Apps and Infrastructure challenge. However, after finishing it within 24 hours, learning that I can add these challenges on my resume and seeing that I was interested in passing both the Azure Data Fundamentals and Azure AI certifications, I decided to go ahead and do the Azure Data and AI challenge.
Have the right account/read the instructions
Read the instructions and use the right account. If you are taking the Azure Apps and Infrastructure challenge, you will use the sandbox and need to access the concierge subscription in order to complete the exercises. You cannot access the concierge subscription without using the account tied to the email that you’ve registered with the Microsoft Ignite.
Have some SSH experience/Azure experience
The Azure Apps and Infrastructure challenge is not for beginners. It requires some command line interface (CLI) and prior Azure experience (I have passed my Azure Fundamentals in August 2020.). I would recommend the Azure Data and AI challenge since it does not require CLI skills so this is easier.
The challenge is over a 2-week period. You do not have to finish all 6-10 modules (depending upon challenge) in one sitting. Absorbing the knowledge and learning about the different Azure services are the goal.
Deepen my Azure experience
This Azure Apps and Infrastructure challenge has me get deep into Azure Monitor, load balancer and Azure backups. These services are important parts of what I will be doing on a daily basis as an administrator. The Azure Data and AI challenge lets me learn more about the different SQL databases and data disks.
I’ve developed stamina/energy
Confession – I delayed taking my first challenge for one week because even with my Azure Fundamentals certification, I did not think that I had enough Azure skills to successfully complete this challenge. I have never done a coding challenge before and this is a unique opportunity for me to develop stamina. The Azure Apps and Infrastructure has 8 modules spanning in between 45-60 minutes.
Pick the challenge that you like
View these challenges as opportunities to grow and learn more about the program. This is the approach that I have taken. True, I have already passed my Azure Fundamentals but I want to learn more about applications and infrastructure development. Completing the Azure Apps and Infrastructure has helped me achieve my goal. In addition, it has laid the foundation for me to see what I would be doing if I consider the AZ-104 Azure Administrator.
Build upon your skills experience
This is a chance to learn new things and apply them towards my work. I am very happy to have completed both the Azure Apps and Infrastructure and Azure Data and AI Challenges because they have given me a better understanding of Azure cloud.