A couple of weeks ago I’ve passed both the AZ-300 and AZ-301 exams. You’re required to pass both of these exams in to get the Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification. After posting a tweet I got a lot of responses asking if I had any pointers on what to learn. Instead of responding to each person individually it makes more sense to share what I’ve used to study and hopefully it’s helpful to others also.

When going through the list of `Skills measured` you quickly notice this certification covers a lot of stuff in the Azure ecosystem. Everything from Azure Active Directory to Azure App Services and from storage accounts to multi-factor authentication for users. You need to know everything!

At my day job I’m doing a lot of stuff within the Azure ecosystem but mainly focus on PaaS solutions, like App Services, Functions, Logic Apps, Service Bus, Event Grid, etc. All of the other stuff like IaaS, CaaS, security, AAD, hybrid solutions, site recovery are topics I don’t have a lot of experience with.

So while there might be stuff I didn’t know in the PaaS ecosystem, I knew I had to focus my learning on all of the other stuff as most of it is/was a black box to me.

The best tip I can offer you is to follow the dedicated, free, Pluralsight course the Microsoft Azure Solution Architect certification which has been created in partnership with Microsoft. It’s too bad I discovered this track when I was kind-off finished learning so I only skimmed through it.

Because I’m not doing a lot inside AAD, aside from registering apps, I started learning on how to secure my tenant a bit more by checking how MFA can be enabled, doing self-service password resets, access policies and enabling PIM. Of course, when going through the docs I started reading a lot more pages which seemed interesting, but this was my starting point.

For making your Azure subscription a bit more compliant I also wanted to learn more on how to manage Azure Policies. I’ve read up on Azure Monitor and discovered VM’s have an Azure Diagnostics extension which enables you to hook it up with Azure Monitor. There’s even one for Linux VM’s. Cool, right?
Oh, and have I already mentioned Azure Blueprints? While this is a rather new offering, I did hear from someone else the Azure exams are constantly being updated. Seeing security and compliance is a big topic for this certification, it makes a lot of sense to learn the basis for this.

Because a lot of the skills focus on hybrid scenario’s and creating/managing networks it made sense for me to learn a bit on how to connect Azure services to an on-premises location, for example, a Logic App.
This also brought me to creating, managing and peering VNet’s. I’ve never worked with these services (yet). My knowledge of this topic dated from what I had learned at school. Lucky for me, these concepts don’t change much over the years. The main upside from re-learning this is that I feel I should have been using this a lot more in the past couple of years.

Having some basic knowledge on Site Reliability Engineering is always useful and I learned a ton from these learning pages.
Sidenote: Even if you aren’t in for the certification path, please check out the Microsoft Learn site. It’s an awesome portal with lots of free content for you to get up-to-speed with Azure.

So, SRE is useful, but then I got triggered on how to create backups to Azure if you have lots of on-premises servers. There’s some Microsoft Azure Recovery Services (MARS) which you can use to create backups of your on-premises VM’s.

Of course, there’s a lot more stuff you should know and learn, but these were the entry links I have used to get familiar on most important topics (for me).
The Azure documentation site is an amazing resource for all information, but it’s rather scattered on all subjects. The Microsoft Learn portal is fun and educational (and you can even level up!), so be sure to check it out and if watching videos is more your type of learning, check out the Pluralsight course. Hope this helps, it at least has helped me

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