Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions, AZ-400

Undoubtedly, DevOps is the in-demand professional to begin your career with. Since the implementation of DevOps culture isn’t slowing down anytime soon. So, if you’re wondering how can you become a DevOps engineer? What does a DevOps engineer do? Certainly, Microsoft AZ-400 exam is a good option, to begin with.

If you are an Ops person and would like to explore what DevOps is all about, then AZ-400 exam is “the door” to unlock. 

In the same vein, we’re going to provide you with all the details regarding the AZ-400 exam. Also, a preparation guide to follow, making it a cakewalk to qualify for the AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions exam.  

 Microsoft AZ-400: An Overview

The Microsoft AZ-400 exam measures candidates ability to design a DevOps strategy. Further, candidate will be able to implement the following :

  • First of all, DevOps development processes 
  • Secondly, dependency management
  • Subsequently, application infrastructure 
  • Also, continuous integration, delivery, and feedback.

Keep in mind that the people taking this exam are DevOps professionals. They’re experts in bringing together people, processes, and technology to consistently provide useful products and services that meet user needs and business goals. These professionals make the delivery process smoother by improving how things are done, improving communication, working together, and using automation.

AZ-400  exam

Additionally, they design and execute strategies for application code and infrastructure. And, further leads to continuous integration, testing, delivery, monitoring, and feedback.

Audience Profile 

Whenever you wish to appear for certification, make sure you view the target audience here. This way, you’ll be doubly sure, if you’re the ideal candidate or not. So, here is the list of all the candidates who are eligible for the Microsoft AZ-400 exam.

  • Firstly, candidates taking this exam should be experts in working with people, processes, and technology to consistently provide value to businesses.
  • Secondly, this exam is suitable for those who are responsible for creating and carrying out plans related to collaboration, code, infrastructure, source control, security, compliance, continuous integration, testing, delivery, monitoring, and feedback.
  • Lastly, candidates should have a good understanding of both Azure administration and development and be experts in at least one of these areas.
Basic Details

These may seem like simple details, but they are crucial for your preparation. They give you information about how the exam is set up. So, the AZ-400 exam will have 40-60 questions. These questions can be of multiple-choice or multiple-response types. You need to finish the exam in 150 minutes. Also, the exam is offered in four languages, which are:

  • English, 
  • Japanese, 
  • Chinese (Simplified), 
  • Korean

The cost of the AZ-400 exam is $165, plus any extra taxes. Keep in mind that the fee can be different in each country, so it’s a good idea to check the exact cost for your location before registering.

AZ-400  exam details

At last, you have understood about the skills required and details of exam pattern. Now, you’re only left with course outline, also known as skills measured. 

AZ-400 Course Outline aka Skills measured

Now, let’s focus on the module list, which is incredibly important for the exam. The questions in the exam will come from this list of modules. So, we strongly recommend that you thoroughly understand each and every module. If you have a strong foundation in these modules, you’re more likely to succeed. So, don’t overlook this section under any circumstances.

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

Updated Preparation Guide for Updated AZ-400 Exam

The updated AZ-400 course outline means we need an updated preparation guide. So, here in this section, we’re offering you an exceptional preparation guide that will make your preparation incredibly easy.

Begin with Microsoft Learning Platform

Now, let’s guide you to the right place where you can study from a trusted and real source. To do this effectively, start by visiting Microsoft’s official website. To work efficiently, begin by exploring the Microsoft website to find accurate details about the AZ-400 exam. You can easily find the AZ-400 page, which contains all the essential information about the exam. This portal is incredibly useful, as it covers everything from modules to study materials.

Microsoft Documentation

Here’s an important note: Please don’t confuse Microsoft documentation with the Microsoft learning portal. These two sources have separate learning pages. When you use Microsoft documentation, you can gain a clear understanding of Microsoft Azure expert solutions and DevOps fundamentals. Additionally, you can learn about the various aspects and capabilities of different Azure services. This approach ensures that you are staying up-to-date and learning directly from experts about the latest Azure technologies.

Instructor-Led Training: the GOLD standard of education

Microsoft offers two types of training: online and instructor-led. If you have a busy schedule, the on-demand classroom sessions can be a great advantage. You can arrange these sessions at a time that suits you best. To book these training sessions, simply visit the Microsoft training partner’s website. The course covered in the AZ-400 training includes: [Course Content]. This flexibility allows you to balance your training with your other commitments.

Course AZ-400T00-A: Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps solutions

This course gives you the knowledge and abilities to create and apply DevOps methods and procedures. In this section, you’ll understand how to plan DevOps, use source control, expand Git for a big business, bring together artifacts, create a strategy for handling dependencies, manage secrets, establish continuous integration, follow a container build plan, create a release strategy, organize a release management process, apply a deployment method, and improve feedback systems.

Check out the AZ-400 Study Guide for quick Exam preparation!
Books and Periodicals for foundation knowledge

Books are a great way to learn new things, so we recommend getting books from trustworthy sources. If you want to use magazines and academic journals, be sure to double-check their reliability. Here are some recommended AZ-400 books:

  • The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations by Gene Kim, Patric Debois, John Willis, Jez Humble, and John Alspaw, 
  • The DevOps Adoption Playbook: A Guide to Adopting DevOps in a Multi-Speed IT Enterprise by Sanjeev Sharma
  • DevOps: A Software Architect’s Perspective (SEI Series in Software Engineering) by Lenn Bass, Ingo Weber, and Liming Zhu.
Join Study Groups and Forums

Joining a study group or forum is optional in your preparation. You can decide whether to join one or not. However, it can be beneficial. Study groups connect you with others on the same journey, and you can ask questions about topics you find challenging. Many people in study groups can also help you understand any query you have relating to the AZ-400 exam.

Get ahead with E-books, Analyst Reports, and White Papers

Candidates may have different preferences for resources, but it’s highly recommended to go through E-books, analyst reports, and white papers. Why? Because these materials are published by Microsoft itself. They can be incredibly helpful for your AZ-400 exam preparation, and you can access these reports using your Microsoft credentials.

Practice Tests to perfection

Now, let’s talk about the last step in preparing for the AZ-400 exam. This step helps you evaluate your readiness. Are you prepared for a self-assessment? Make sure you take AZ-400 sample tests, but only after you’ve covered the entire syllabus. These sample tests are designed to mimic the real exam environment. After completing them, you can identify areas where you need improvement and focus on them. You can find practice papers from different sources. Keep in mind that the more you test yourself, the more prepared you’ll be.

Final Words

DevOps is like a combination of two important areas in software work: development (making the software) and operations (keeping the software running). Using DevOps in software work has become very popular because it helps developers and IT people work together better. The main goal of DevOps is to make the relationship between developers and IT operations stronger. In today’s world, a DevOps engineer is a valuable person in a company. They have lots of experience and know a lot about this field.

If you want to become a DevOps engineer and don’t want to waste time, read this article. To become one, you need to know the topics in the course outline very well. Also, use the preparation guide mentioned earlier. Most importantly, practice with as many practice tests as you can.

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All the best!