My thoughts on “Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions AZ-400 Exam Guide” Book
Last year, I passed the very first Azure certification with the support of some excellent online courses I used.
This year I plan to pass another Azure certification. I am working in parallel on two different Azure certifications; the DevOps one is one of them. In addition to the online courses I follow, I also took the “Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions AZ-400 Exam Guide” (I think every resource is useful).
Even though I have not already taken the exam, I have a feeling that this book is a good read. Personally, I bypassed almost rapidly the first 3 chapters which describe digital transformation through DevOps and then an introduction to DevOps and SRE.
I would say for the other chapters it is better if the reader is familiar with CI/CD, pipelines, source control management, and dependency management but it is not a “must know” thing because the book walks through all these concepts with diagrams which help to understand the subjects (in my case I’m very familiar with IBM Cloud DevOps/DevSecOps tools (well I work at IBM, it helps :D ). And precisely for this particular reason that I don’t use Azure cloud in my day-to-day work, this book comes in quite handy. Following online courses is great, but having this book and going back and forth to look at the screen captures of the DevOps built-in features in Azure is great.
Besides that, I find that the book is well written, I had already read publications from two of the writers and quite frankly I would say it is easy to read and understand.
In the advanced topics chapters, I found it really helpful to gain knowledge on how container images and Kubernetes clusters are handled through Azure interface and CLI, these two topics became my favorites in this book.
Chapter 17 describes planning your Azure DevOps organization, I strongly recommend for those who will try to pass this exam (as I want myself) and do not have a lot of practice with Azure (again as myself) read and understand/memorize well from the paragraph “How Azure DevOps is organized” till the end of the chapter.
There is also a mock exam section which is nice, but personally, I would not bet a lot on that chapter to prepare myself, though I went through the questions and again, it was very helpful.
Besides the mock exam, at the end of each chapter, there is a mini-assessment which is quite nice, and it helps to well memorize the chapters’ key elements.
There is a public GitHub repository for the book, almost always with Packt books. It is nice but very minimalist. I would have liked more samples/examples, but again it is just enough for the purpose and content of this book.
So in the end, I would say I appreciated (a lot) reading this book and I recommend it to anyone wanting to pass the AZ-400 certification as “one” of the different sources they may use to be well prepared.