Resources for Microsoft Azure AZ-900 Certification

The Microsoft Azure AZ-900 certification is for “Azure Fundamentals”. Like the similar AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner that I earned recently, it is a stand-alone certification that isn’t a prerequisite to more advanced certification paths.

My personal opinion is that these certifications are still a worthwhile credential for any certification path. Their benefit is that you learn the vendor’s cloud terminology as well as the breadth of their cloud offerings. If you’re in IT management, you probably won’t be the one setting up cloud features. However, you should be the one asking if your organization is taking advantage of the vendor’s offerings around cloud security, governance, and budgeting.

Although my employer prefers AWS, the most hands-on time that I get is with Azure, so why not get certified while I am at it. Thankfully, because all three of the major cloud vendors (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) are in a tight race for both market and mindshare, each has a lot of free training resources available.

Here are the resources that I’ve found helpful so far. For those of you who may have already obtained the AZ-900 certification, feel free to share additional resources in the comments section.

Free Resources

There are many free resources for Azure certification, including those available from Azure’s creator, Microsoft.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals

Microsoft’s training is both official and free. There are some videos, but its mostly a lot of browser-based reading with periodic quizzes. See the YouTube resource below if you’d like to be a certified couch potato.

A Cloud Guru

A Cloud Guru is a great site for AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform training. Sign up and the AZ-900 video class should be free (the hands-on labs are not, but hopefully you can practice at work). Visit the A Cloud Guru web site.

Adam Marczak – Azure for Everyone

There are so many YouTube resources related to certification that I haven’t had time to review them all, but I’ve really enjoyed Adam Marczak’s series for the AZ-900 exam.

Your access to YouTube might be blocked at the office, but I watch this playlist using my Apple TV at home. AZ-900 training is groken down into 34 shorter lessons, so it’s easy to spend 30 minutes or less per day absorbing the information.


There are many Azure-related podcasts. I recommend starting with those published by Microsoft then branching out.

Got a favorite? Share with my readers in the comments below.

Paid Resources

These resources require some cash but hopefully you can expense them with your employer.


Paid Udemy classes can cost as much as $99 but signing up for their email list then watching for sales, as courses are periodically marked down to $9.99 or $12.99. Visit the Udemy web site.

Packt Publishing

The quality of Packt’s materials can sometimes be hit or miss, but they ran a $5 ebook and video sale over Christmas. Some deals are just too good to pass up. Visit the Packt web site.

Microsoft Press Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, Exam Ref for AZ-900, Second Edition

Check out pricing on the Microsoft Press site and Amazon – sometimes Microsoft Press has discount codes. I have the first edition in print and like to read it with a highlighter. Note that I’m an Amazon affiliate and will earn a small commission if you use the link above.

Do you have any favorite Azure training resources? Let me know by adding a comment below.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

My first (but definitely not last) AWS certification.

On Friday, December 18, 2020, I began a new chapter in my career by becoming an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. I’m a little embarrassed because I said that I was starting down this path over two years ago (see related blog post, Old Dogs, New Tricks).

The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is not a requirement on the path to becoming an AWS Certified Solutions Architect, SysOps Administrator, or Developer. It’s designed to demonstrate an understanding of AWS “in any role, including technical, managerial, sales, purchasing, or financial.” Obtaining this certification was a good way to ensure I understood AWS concepts in a way that I could explain to my customers, who are often not in traditional IT roles.

I’ve obtained my first AWS certification but I doubt that it will be my last. As I look at the available AWS Certifications, I’d like to obtain the associate AWS Certified Solutions Architect and the AWS Certified Data Analytics specialty certification. But in addition to study time, hands-on experience is a necessity. Right now, I’m getting a lot of hands-on time with Azure and there’s a possibility I’ll also be learning how to set up SAP BusinessObjects on the Google Cloud Platform. So who knows what the future holds?

In the meantime, you can watch as my certifications accumulate on my YourAcclaim profile.

How are you expanding your skill set beyond SAP BusinessObjects? Share your thoughts below.

Fender Play Provides Guitar Lessons Using Amazon AWS Serverless Technologies

Is your favorite internet hangout powered by Amazon AWS?

In a previous blog, I indicated that I had a personal goal of learning to play guitar using Fender Play and a professional goal of becoming an Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect (see related article, Old Dogs, New Tricks). As part of my AWS studies, I stumbled across a YouTube video showing how Fender uses AWS serverless technologies to power Fender Play.

Learn how Fender uses AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon CloudFront and Amazon S3 by watching the video below.

OUT: Air guitar

IN: Cloud guitar

How cool is that?