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Azure Architect Certification - Exam Changes

The Azure Architect certification is perhaps one of the most sought-after qualifications, certainly in Microsoft’s cloud space. For the Azure Certification accreditation, you need to have passed TWO exams – AZ300 and AZ301.

However, as Azure is an ever changing and improving platform, this means the requirements for certification must also evolve. And many of Microsoft’s certifications have been updated to reflect the ever-changing world of technology.

With this in mind the AZ300 and AZ301 exams are were updated in September 2020 and were replaced by AZ303 and AZ304.

With this in mind the question that will come to most people’s minds is ‘what’s different?’.

AZ300 versus AZ303 Differences

The actual requirements are available on the Azure Certification AZ300 page, and current show BOTH requirements.

What’s interesting is that actually there’s not much different – in fact more has been removed than added, with a focus more on Infrastructure, identity and security, and much less on programming patterns and to a certain extent networking.

Networking is perhaps the easiest to understand – configuring VPNs, Express Route, Virtual WAN and onsite connectivity have now all been removed – however VNETs, peering and routing are still there. I suspect this is more about the fact that it is harder to practice and simulate these in lab environments than any real desire to deprecate the knowledge itself.

However, I must admit, as a course creator and author this really has made things simpler!

To me though, the most notable change is the removal of message-based architecture knowledge. For AZ300 there were a number of requirements around the use of Event Hub, Service Bus, Event Grid and autoscaling patterns (such understanding singleton applications and transient state).

I don’t think for one minute that this is because Microsoft no longer feels these are important, however I believe it’s because the AZ300 exam is more about using and building components in azure, and the messaged based architecture requirements leaned much more towards software development patterns, which is why these are now covered in the associated design exam – AZ 304: Microsoft Azure Architect Design.

To help get you to prepare for the newly updated Microsoft accreditations check out this book by Packt Publishing Authored by Brett Hargreaves, Sjoukje Zaal!!

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