How hard is Microsoft Azure Exam AZ-400?

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In the digital era, cloud computing is a crucial element of every organization’s setup. Microsoft Azure stands out as a top cloud computing platform, providing various services like virtual machines, databases, analytics, and more. With the growing need for cloud experts, Microsoft Azure certifications have become a standard for employers to gauge a candidate’s skills and knowledge.

The AZ-400 exam targets DevOps professionals who have previously earned the Azure Developer Associate or Azure Administrator Associate badge. This Microsoft Azure AZ-400 exam assesses a candidate’s capacity to devise a DevOps strategy and execute DevOps development processes, dependency management, application infrastructure, as well as continuous integration, delivery, and feedback. The roles of a DevOps professional encompass:

  • Streamlining delivery by optimizing practice
  • Improving communications and collaboration
  • Creating automation
  • Design and implement strategies for application code and infrastructure

Among various Azure certifications, the Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions certification (AZ-400) is one of the most sought-after certifications that test the candidate’s ability to design, implement, and manage DevOps pipelines using Azure tools and technologies. In this blog, we will discuss the difficulty level of the Microsoft Azure Exam AZ-400, the exam format, and tips to prepare for the exam.

Glossary: Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions

Here is a glossary of terms related to designing and implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions:

  1. DevOps: A methodology in software development that enhances collaboration and productivity by integrating software development (Dev) with operations (Ops).
  2. Continuous Integration (CI): The practice of frequently and automatically building and testing code changes to ensure that they can be integrated into the main codebase.
  3. Continuous Delivery (CD): The practice of automatically releasing code changes into production after they have been built, tested, and approved.
  4. Continuous Deployment (CD): The practice of automatically releasing code changes into production without manual intervention.
  5. Release Management: The process of planning, scheduling, and controlling the movement of releases from development to production.
  6. Infrastructure as Code (IaC): The practice of managing and provisioning infrastructure using code, allowing for easier automation and scalability.
  7. Agile: An iterative software development methodology that emphasizes collaboration, flexibility, and customer satisfaction.
  8. Kanban: A lean methodology that emphasizes visualizing work, limiting work in progress, and delivering work as soon as it is ready.
  9. Scrum: A structure for agile software development that highlights iterative and incremental progress, placing emphasis on delivering functional software at the conclusion of each iteration.
  10. Azure DevOps: A set of tools and services provided by Microsoft to support the entire DevOps lifecycle, including source control, CI/CD, testing, and project management.
  11. Git: A distributed version control system used for source code management and collaboration.
  12. Jenkins: An open-source automation server used for CI/CD and other DevOps-related tasks.
  13. Docker: A platform for building, shipping, and running containerized applications.
  14. Kubernetes: A container orchestration platform that is open-source and employed for automating the deployment, scaling, and management of applications stored in containers.

Preparation resources for the AZ-400 exam

The Microsoft Azure Exam AZ-400 (Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions) assesses a candidate’s ability to design and implement DevOps solutions using Azure technologies. Here are some official preparation resources for the exam:

  1. Exam AZ-400: Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions (Microsoft Learning): This is the official exam page on the Microsoft Learning website. It provides an overview of the exam and its objectives, as well as links to various study resources.


  1. Microsoft Learn: Microsoft Learn is a free online learning platform that provides interactive training modules, hands-on labs, and other resources for Azure and other Microsoft technologies. There are several learning paths and modules available for Exam AZ-400.


  1. Official Microsoft Azure YouTube Channel: The Microsoft Azure YouTube channel provides a wealth of video resources on various Azure technologies, including DevOps solutions.


  1. Microsoft Azure Documentation: The Microsoft Azure Documentation provides detailed documentation and guidance on various Azure technologies, including DevOps solutions.


  1. Azure DevOps Labs: Azure DevOps Labs is a collection of hands-on labs and tutorials for Azure DevOps, which is a key component of DevOps solutions on Azure.


  1. Microsoft Azure Blog: The Microsoft Azure Blog provides the latest news, updates, and insights on Azure technologies, including DevOps solutions.


Exam Prerequisites

Below you can check the basic requirements for the AZ-400 certification exam:

  • Firstly, subject matter expertise working with people, processes, and technologies to continuously deliver business values
  • Secondly, ability to design and implementing strategies for collaboration, code, infrastructure, source control, security, compliance, continuous integration, testing, delivery, monitoring, and feedback.
  • Lastly, familiarity with both Azure administration and development and must be expert in at least one of these areas.

Exam Format

Now we move to the most important section of this article- Exam Format. You might want to know all about the exam details such as weightage, course content, exam duration and much more before your preparation. This helps you devise the right study plan. And in turn makes you ready to face the exam day. So lets understand what the Microsoft AZ-400 exam looks like

The Microsoft Azure AZ-400 exam consists of 40-60 questions. However, the AZ-400 exam questions will be of type multiple-choice/ multiple response questions which are to be finished within a time frame of 150 minutes. Talking about the AZ-400 passing score, you need to score at least 700 or more points in order to pass the exam. The cost for the AZ-400 certification exam is $165 USD including all the additional taxes. Additionally, the exam is available in four languages, namely English, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), and Korean.

Microsoft Exam AZ-400 Course Outline

Understanding the course outline of the AZ-400 exam is the next important step. It familiarises you with the exam framework. The exam course includes 7 domains. The Percentage against each domain represents its weightage in the exam. Also, these domains are divided into subtopics to provide further insights into the exam course. You should tailor your study plan around these exam topics to achieve this certification. The AZ-400 exam topics include:

1. Configure processes and communications (10—15%)

Configure activity traceability and flow of work

Configure collaboration and communication

2. Design and implement source control (15—20%)

Design and implement a source control strategy

  • Design and implement an authentication strategy (Microsoft Documentation: Design authentication and credential strategies)
  • Design a strategy for managing large files, including Git Large File Storage (LFS) and git-fat
  • Design a strategy for scaling and optimizing a Git repository, including Scalar and cross-repository sharing (Microsoft Documentation: Git limits)
  • Implement workflow hooks (Microsoft Documentation: Webhooks)

Plan and implement branching strategies for the source code

Configure and manage repositories

3. Design and implement build and release pipelines (40—45%)

Design and implement pipeline automation

  • Integrate pipelines with external tools, including dependency scanning, security scanning, and code coverage (Microsoft Documentation: Securing Azure Pipelines)
  • Design and implement quality and release gates, including security and governance (Microsoft Documentation: Deployment gates)
  • Designing integration of automated tests into a pipeline (Microsoft Documentation: Design a CI/CD pipeline using Azure DevOps)
  • Design and implement a comprehensive testing strategy (including local tests, unit tests, integration tests, and load tests)
  • Design and implement UI testing
  • Implement orchestration of tools, such as GitHub Actions and Azure Pipelines (Microsoft Documentation: Compare and contrast GitHub Actions and Azure Pipelines)

Design and implement a package management strategy

Design and implement pipelines

Design and implement deployments

Design and implement infrastructure as code (IaC)

  • Recommend a configuration management technology for application infrastructure (Microsoft Documentation: Configuration Manager)
  • Implement a configuration management strategy for application infrastructure, including IaC (Microsoft Documentation: infrastructure as code (IaC))
  • Define an IaC strategy, including source control and automation of testing and deployment (Microsoft Documentation: infrastructure as code (IaC))
  • Design and implement desired state configuration for environments, including Azure Automation State Configuration, Azure Resource Manager, Bicep, and Azure Automanage Machine Configuration
  • Design and implement Azure Deployment Environments for on-demand self-deployment

Maintain pipelines

4. Develop a security and compliance plan (10—15%)

Design and implement a strategy for managing sensitive information in automation

Automate security and compliance scanning

  • Automate analysis of source code by using GitHub code scanning, GitHub secrets scanning, pipeline-based scans, and SonarQube
  • Automate security scanning, including container scanning and OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP) (Microsoft Documentation: Develop secure applications on Azure)
  • Automate analysis of licensing, vulnerabilities, and versioning of open-source components by using Mend Bolt and GitHub Dependency Scanning
5. Implement an instrumentation strategy (10—15%)

Configure monitoring for a DevOps environment

Analyze metrics

Check out the AZ-400 Study Guide for better preparation!

How difficult is the Microsoft Azure Exam AZ-400?

Earning a Microsoft Certification is every professionals wish. It helps them command higher salaries as well as bridges the gap for their dream job. But the most important questions is how difficult is the Microsoft Azure AZ-400? Well, one thing is certain that this exam is not unattainable. While the pass rate might be low, having the correct preparation plan is key. If you already possess knowledge and a solid understanding of Azure, the exam becomes more manageable. However, for Azure beginners, it’s crucial to concentrate on the exam objectives. Align your learning with the exam course and its concepts.

However, as discussed it is not easy to clear the certification exam. It requires a lot of practice and preparation. So to ease your preparations we have just the right thing for you coming in the next section!

Preparatory Resources for Microsoft Azure AZ-400

Microsoft Azure AZ-400 exam resources

The preparatory resources you choose define how well you pass the exam. But with the wide variety available in the market it often becomes really difficult to select the right ones. Look no further as we present you the resources that will enrich your learning. Moreover, they will help you take your preparations to a next level.

Learn with Microsoft Documentation

Microsoft offers Microsoft documentation that contains different learning pages. Microsoft documentation provides a detailed understanding of the various scales of different Azure services. This ensures that you are working efficiently and learning about the latest Azure technologies directly from industry experts.

Go for Instructor Led Training

Microsoft provides you with both online as well as instructor-led training that are basically on-demand classroom sessions that you can easily arrange anywhere and anytime according to your convenience. Moreover, these training sessions help you gain an upper hand in the AZ-400 exam. The course for the AZ-400 exam includes:

Choose the Relevant Books

Books have been an age-old tradition and essential ingredient when it comes to preparing for any exam. They provide a deep understanding of the exam concepts. Also, books offer real-life scenarios that help you prepare for a practical exam. You can refer to AZ-400 book according to your level of understanding and other requirements.

  • Firstly, The DevOps Adoption Playbook: A Guide to Adopting DevOps in a Multi-Speed IT Enterprise by Sanjeev Sharma
  • Secondly, DevOps: A Software Architect’s Perspective (SEI Series in Software Engineering) by Lenn Bass, Ingo Weber, and Liming Zhu.

Online Tutorials

Online Tutorials are the easiest way to digest the exam information. They supplement your preparations and provide you the path for your exam. Learn with Online Tutorials to boost your confidence and enhance your knowledge.

Microsoft Azure AZ-400 online tutorials

Evaluate yourself with Practice Test

Errors are bound to happen, but they can certainly be minimized. In the context of exams, practice papers play a crucial role in reducing mistakes. Additionally, training your brain is essential. Practice papers provide a simulation that helps your brain get accustomed to the actual exam conditions. Therefore, after covering the entire syllabus, it’s crucial to engage with AZ-400 Sample Tests to evaluate your performance. This helps identify strengths and address weaknesses. Furthermore, attempting multiple practice tests enhances confidence. Strive to outperform yourself with each successive test. Get Ready to Self Evaluate your preparations with AZ-400 FREE PRACTICE TEST!

Microsoft Azure AZ-400 free practice tests
Your best career opportunity is just a few tests away. Start preparing to become a Microsoft Azure AZ-400 exam now!