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With effect from 30th September 2020, Microsoft made two updates to the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification exams. Exam AZ-300: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies stand retired and replaced by the Exam AZ-303: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies and the Exam AZ-301: Microsoft Azure Architect Design is stand retired and replaced by the Exam AZ-304 Microsoft Azure Architect Design. The Name of the certification and the titles of exams remained the same whereas the exam codes are changed to show the changed contents. There are few major changes as well as many minor changes in the course content which can be checked from the Microsoft site.

I’m an IT professional working in a large enterprise. I have been working as an Azure Administrator. I’m a strong believer in IT certification as they helped me throughout my career. I have gained both financial and professional advantages with the help of relevant certifications. I don’t believe in stuffing my resume with unnecessary and irrelevant certifications. I believe that one should get certifications relevant to their job-roles or career path but I also believe that if you want to change the nature of the job, certifications help you out. A certification backed by relevant experience is the most effective tool in career development. Last year I decided that I need to go beyond the role of cloud administrator as my job was becoming too stagnant. After thorough research I found the Azure Solutions Architect Expert to be close to my aptitude. After a hands-on experience on the Azure platform and a solid background in cloud security, I found it to be a career worth seeking. The most decisive factor of all was the fact that all my previous experience was not getting wasted, it rather helped me a lot afterward. After making a final decision about my new career path, I started preparing for the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert. I started preparation for the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification by the end of the year 2019 but then I came across the updates for expected changes in 2020. Being an experienced IT professional, I have learned over years that no matter how does it look like in the first place, updates are always there to stay (with very very little exception). At the beginning of my career, I too was always skeptical about the changes. Like an OS upgrade, A software release thinking of those being unreliable, unstable, or useless. But very soon I realized that IT is a dynamic field, those who resist the changes become irrelevant soon whereas those who adopt the updates and changes always stay ahead of the competition.  Keeping it short let’s get back to the story. As soon as I heard of the updated exams, I decided to defer my exam till the new exams become available. By the end of June 2020, Beta exams AZ-303 and AZ-304 became available. As I was already preparing for the exam: AZ-300 and AZ-301 so I was already on track. For the training material, I was using ExamOut which is my favorite training provider for the certification training resources. I always found ExamOut to be updated and innovative in its training material. As expected the new course contents for the beta exam became available within a few days of the official announcement. That’s exactly what I expected from ExamOut. I opted for both PDF + Testing Engine from ExamOut as I found this combo to be the most comprehensive way of preparing for a certification exam. Without getting into the real exam like scenario, you can’t do well later in the real exam. With the practice questions and answers and tests, it becomes very easy to prepare for the exam without indulging in irrelevant stuff. As ExamOut offers a money-back guarantee for all the training material offered on their website, that adds a lot to the candidate’s confidence about the quality of training material. After comparing both the courses I identified the changes to the course content. It was so relieving for me to know that a very few topics of what I studied so far were dropped in the updated content. Almost none of my preparation done so far went wasted. Throughout the waiting time, I kept on preparing in a slow but persistent manner as through my previous certification experience, I knew that the curriculum will be updated but the older one won’t become absolutely obsolete. I focused on the newly added topics to grasp the newer concepts. The PDF dumps from ExamOut were really helpful throughout this preparation. Then came the exam day. I was confident about my preparation through extensive practice tests. It went well and I passed the exam: AZ-304 on my first attempt by securing 90% marks. The same way I passed the exam questions AZ-304 and earned my certification. I believe that good training material and dedication are the essences of success in any professional certification exam. A relevant certification always pays you off, sometimes very quickly and sometimes a little bit later but it never goes wasted.

Exam AZ-304: Microsoft Azure Architect Design

Languages: English, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), Korean

This exam measures your ability to accomplish the following technical tasks: design monitoring; design identity and security; design data storage; design business continuity; and design infrastructure.

Skills measured

  • Design monitoring (10-15%)
  • Design identity and security (25-30%)
  • Design data storage (15-20%)
  • Design business continuity (10-15%)
  • Design infrastructure (25-30%)

Conclusion

Cloud computing is one of the most rewarding career platform for those who want to remain relevant in the dynamically changing field of IT. Microsoft Azure is one of the most promising cloud platforms with better job prospects. For those seeking a career in Azure Solutions, Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert is a great certification that opens new doors for you whether you want to work in an enterprise or looking for a career as an independent consultant for the Azure platform.