It’s been three weeks since I passed the AZ-700 exam to earn the Microsoft Certified: Azure Network Engineer Associate certification. I’ve been spending increased time researching Azure Networking services due to recent customer requests, so I decided it was time to validate that knowledge.
Disclaimer: Microsoft reviews certifications regularly to help ensure that they remain relevant, technically accurate and that they assess the skills needed to thrive in a cloud-based world. Exams evolve over time and may change without notice. This post represents my best knowledge of the AZ-700 exam as of Q3 2022, but you should always consult Microsoft’s Official AZ-700 Exam Page for the contents of the exam.
What is an Azure Network Engineer Associate?
The Azure Network Engineer Associate Exam is an opportunity to demonstrate subject matter expertise in planning, implementing, and maintaining Azure networking solutions, including hybrid networking, connectivity, routing, security, and private access to Azure services.
If you plan to take this exam you should have experience recommending, planning, and implementing Azure networking solutions. You should be able to manage the solutions for performance, resiliency, scale, and security. Experience deploying networking solutions by using the Azure Portal and other methods, including PowerShell, Azure Command-Line Interface (CLI), and Azure Resource Manager templates (ARM templates) is highly recommended.
Azure network engineers work closely with solution architects, cloud administrators, security engineers, application developers, and DevOps engineers to deliver Azure solutions.
How Did I Prepare?
Networking has been part of my career from day one (going all the way back to my first internship). I have never been a network administrator so deep network knowledge still requires me to dig in and learn.
Twenty years of IT experience has provided a working knowledge on the topic of networking. I was able to use this knowledge along with the resources outlined in the next section to prepare. I spent two weeks studying two hours a night for this exam.
What Resources Did I Use to Prepare?
I used the following resources to get ready:
My knowledge of networking is not deep as I have never had to administer or support enterprise network services. I worked through all eight modules in the learning path which provided me with a greater level of confidence to move forward.
I also worked through John Savill’s AZ-700 Designing and Implement Azure Networking Study Super Guide video on YouTube to fill in some knowledge gaps.
My Challenge Area
While I cannot talk about exam specifics for obvious reasons, I do want to point out the area that I struggled with the most:
Design, Implement, and Manage Hybrid Networking related questions make up 10-15%. According to my score report this is the area where I had the most difficulty. I’ve spent much of my Azure-related career within large enterprises where a siloed team primarily handled networking. I’ve never explicitly set up or supported many of the hybrid network services which showed on my exam results.
This was my thriteenth exam taken remotely through PearsonVue due to COVID-19. As mentioned, I gave myself two weeks to prepare and study when I scheduled the exam.
I took the exam in our guest bedroom which worked out well as I did not have to take down pictures, remove paperwork, disable technology, etc. The exam launched and I spent the next 150 minutes working through questions. I finished with 30 minutes remaining.
Immediately after the test, I received my detailed score breakdown in various areas and was told that I passed (with a small buffer). An e-mail showed up no more than an hour later with details on getting my certificate, claiming it on Credly, sharing it on LinkedIn, etc.
The Azure Network Engineer Associate exam was much tougher than I expected. My exam had way more questions on the Azure Front Door service than I had expected to see.
This associate exam was a challenge. I always enjoy studying for and taking the exam (passing is on the first try is also a great feeling).
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