Review of 70-534 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions Certification course on Udemy by Scott Duffy

As I mentioned in my earlier post that I had a good experience with Udemy’s online course while preparing for AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam.

So for preparation of Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions Certification also I wanted to buy an online course.

When I started my search for a suitable course I zeroed in on  Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions Certification  course by Scott Duffy on Udemy.

Scott himself is a certified architect and got a rich industry experience. Going through the course content I found that it covered almost all exam topics. Also Scott keeps on updating the content as the syllabus changes. And if you buy from Udemy you get free life time access to the course so I went with this one.

Now coming to the course.

After buying the course as I went through it I found the content to be good but the content delivery of Scott is not as good as Ryan of acloudguru whose AWS course I have completed.

Scott mixes many Developer course topics with this course which can be good if you are from development background but not essential for the exam.  For the exam you need the basic understanding of coding so that you can read and understand the code.

Course has many quizzes after the modules which are helpful in testing what you have learnt. It covers hands on exercises which you can follow in your own MS Azure free trial account.

It has mock exam at the end of sections but when I gave them I found that no matter how many times you give the mock exam it reflects the same score that you got when you appeared for the mock exam first time. I informed Scott about this on the forum page and he said he will get it sorted. Hope it’s fixed now.

Overall this course covers most of the exam topics and if you are a beginner in Azure it will give you a good base.  Also as of Apr-18 this is the only course on Udemy which covers most topic and get you exam ready.

If you already have background in AWS then I recommend that you also go through the course Microsoft Azure for AWS Experts by Microsoft(Update: This is now a paid course).  Few of the Azure terminologies are confusing and if you relate them to AWS it will help you understand them quickly. You can also refer to our post where we have compared the services of AWS vs Azure .

Read the post Azure exam pattern to know more about  what’s asked in exam. You can supplement your preparation with sample exam questions by Scott.

Scott also got a good course on 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions .

Do share your queries or opinion with us.

Review of acloudguru course AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

In this post we are writing a review of acloudguru course  AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate on Udemy .

When I decided to go for AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam I was confused about how to start with preparation. Syllabus of the exam is vast and covers a lot of topics. I needed someone to guide me for this exam.

After going through many forums I came to the conclusion that I’ve two options.

  1. To attend the course at one of the training institutes. The official training cost range from $800 to $1500. Even the institutes offering non-official training quoted $400 to $900. This was huge money considering that my last company was not sponsoring this course and I have to pay for it myself.
  2. Second option was to look for online courses. These course are cheap ranging from $10 to $100 but I was not sure about the quality of content and how much I can learn with just online training.

After going through multiple forums and blogs I ended up listing online courses from two vendors  Linux Academy and acloudguru.

Linux Academy has good material and people have written some good feedback for them. But the problem with them is that you have to buy their monthly subscription with plans starting from $29. I knew that with a full-time job I won’t be able to complete the course properly in 1 month.

So I checked on acloudguru course.  Many people have given good feedback for this course too. The course was listed on acloud.guru website for $29. But I found the same course on Udemy for $10 in a special offer at that time. Udemy also provides you free lifetime access to the course. I found this was most suitable for me so purchased it. Also once you buy the course from Udemy you can get free access to the same course on acloud.guru website also.

Now coming to the acloudguru  AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate course itself.

As of Apr-2018  course has around 22 hours of on-demand video.

The course is very comprehensive and it gives you a good understanding of topics. Instructor(Ryan) is very energetic and he tries to teach you the topic in a very simple way. So even if you don’t have background in AWS then also you will understand the topics with not much effort.

It covers a lot of practical labs which you can follow by creating your own AWS free tier account.  It covers almost all topics of the exam. So you don’t have to worry about the syllabus.

It also has quizzes in between the course for knowledge check and also full length mock exams to test your understanding.

One of the recommendation for the exam preparation is to go through the white papers. Each of the white paper is a big pdf of 50 to 200 pages. And for the associate level you are supposed to read around 6 to 7 of them. This can be overwhelming but Ryan cover the gist of these whitepapers in his course.

The course is very useful to get you started on the AWS journey.  But the course alone is not enough to clear the exam.  You need to have good practical knowledge of AWS for clearing the exam and this course give you the correct direction.

You can get good sample exam questions for practice from another course of acloudguru on Udemy  Exam Questions – AWS Solution Architect Associate or from Jon AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Practice Exams for which most students have written great feedback.

How to become an AWS Certified Solution Architect in 30 days ?

In this post we will be discussing on how to clear the “AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate” exam in 30 days .

AWS exams are not restricted to any version as you see in other exams like RHCSA on RHEL 6.

The syllabus is vast and keep on changing as AWS keep on adding new services. So, hard work alone won’t help. Also, your prior experience on few specific AWS services won’t help you clear the exam easily. As the questions in exam are on wide range of services.

Below I am listing a smart plan which can get you ready for the exam in 30 days.

First 7 days.

If you are looking for very quick overview of all services so  that you can sound familiar with AWS you can refer this post.

You can also refer to our free AWS Crash Course  if you want to go little deeper. It will give you good knowledge of key topics in short time.

Later go through the online training and videos. You can look at AWS re:invent videos. But if you are new to AWS it’s recommended that you buy an online course. Content of both acloudguru and linuxacademy is good but I used the acloudguru course on Udemy as it provide lifetime access to the course. You can read my complete review for the acloudguru course here .

TIP:- We found that buying the acloudguru course from  Udemy is cheaper in comparison to  acloud.guru website. It’s the same course AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate on Udemy at cheaper rate, as generally Udemy provide heavy discounts on courses.

Day 8 to 14

For the next seven days repeat the exercises in the course doing hands on in your own AWS account.

TIP:- Create a billing alert in the account. It will remind you if you are going above the free tier limits and save you from unpleasant surprises.

To see how to create a billing alert refer here.

Day 15 to 21

Online course will give you a good base. As you don’t have to worry about the syllabus. Next step is to go through the listed AWS white papers.

  • Overview of Amazon Web Services
  • Storage Options in the Cloud
  • Overview of Security Processes
  • AWS Risk & Compliance Whitepaper
  • Architecting for the AWS Cloud: Best Practices

Here you can get all the AWS Whitepapers .

Day 22 to 30

Finally go through FAQs of AWS services. Here I am listing few key services from which you can expect most questions.

  • EC2
  • S3
  • EBS
  • RDS
  • VPC
  • ELB
  • Route 53
  • Glacier
  • Cloudfront
  • Direct Connect
    Tips for the exam:-
  • You won’t get more than 3 mins per question.
  • You may find some very long questions in exam. Best strategy to tackle them is to read the answer options first and than check for relevant info in question.
  • If you find a question confusing, better to mark it for review and check it later.
  • Since it’s an AWS exam so look for AWS related options in the answers.  Chances are high that  Non-AWS related option in answer will be wrong.
  • AWS exams generally don’t focus on mugging their datasheets. So you won’t get a question like “How much RAM does a C3.xlarge offer?” .
  • For cost optimization Spot instances are best. If you are confused about option between dedicated and spot, choose spot if question talks about cost.

You can check out the exam blue print here. And can refer to sample exam questions here.

Once you are done with Associate level and you want to move to the next level check How to prepare for AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional .

Hope this post helps you in your preparation. Do let me know if you have any query.