DevOps practitioners are recently in high demand in the IT business since organizations that use these practices are overwhelmingly high functioning. Azure DevOps engineer capable of merging processes, people, and technology to produce services and solutions that satisfy corporate objectives was required for the Microsoft AZ-400 exam.
The topics covered in this blog are:
- AZ-400 Certification Overview
- Who is Azure DevOps Engineer?
- Who is this Certification for?
- Benefits of AZ-400 Certification
- AZ-400 Exam Details
- AZ-400 Exam Skills Measured
- How to Register for Azure AZ 400 Exam
- Pre-requisites for AZ-400 Certification
- AZ 400 Study Guide
- AZ-400 Exam Day Tips
- AZ 400 Exam Retake Policy
AZ-400 Certification Overview
The Azure DevOps engineer certification (Microsoft AZ-400) is an expert-level exam that certifies subject matter experts’ ability to work with processes and technology while also incorporating people skills to bring commercial value to clients.
Are you new to Azure Cloud? Do check out our blog post on the Microsoft Azure Certification Path 2023 and choose the best certification for you.
Who Is Azure DevOps Engineer?
Professionals who work as Azure DevOps Engineers are in charge of creating systems that control code releases and development cycle management. A well-known IT position ensures an organization’s continual supply of business value.
These IT experts know how to use Microsoft’s Azure DevOps SaaS and have experience with the Software Development Lifecycle and application development.
Who Is This Certification For?
- If you want to learn how Azure solutions are firmly integrated with the DevOps platform.
- If your firm uses Azure for development or deployment, you can give azure DevOps engineer certification.
- If you want to study and grasp DevOps and Agile principles and establish yourself in the market for success, this is the place to be.
- If you’re hoping to move into the DevOps area and work in administration, software development, lead engineering, or project management, the Microsoft AZ 400 exam is for you.
- If you want to improve your development abilities and learn more about version control, development, and deployments, Microsoft AZ-400 is the place.
Benefits of AZ-400 Certification
- The Azure DevOps engineer certification is critical for individuals wishing to establish their reputation and market worth as experienced DevOps practitioners, agile practitioners, and cloud computing professionals.
- Microsoft AZ 400 also assists system administrators, software developers, project managers, and technical leads who want to be DevOps leaders.
- The IT industry’s DevOps sector will explode, and AZ-400 certification professionals will immediately qualify for high-paying roles as Azure DevOps engineers at most MNCs.
AZ-400 Exam Details
Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert
Multiple Choice Examination
Number of Questions
40 - 60
Azure Administrator Associate or Azure Developer Associate certification
English, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese
AZ-400 Exam Skills Measured
Define and implement continuous integration
Develop a security and compliance plan
Manage source control
Facilitate communication and collaboration
Implement release management strategy and continuous delivery
Develop an instrumentation strategy
Develop Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) strategy
Also Check: ADF Interview Questions
How to Register for Azure AZ 400 Exam
You can register for the Azure DevOps Engineer Certification (AZ-400 Exam) by going to the Official Microsoft Page.
Pre-requisites for AZ-400 Certification
- Candidates must understand either Microsoft Azure Administration AZ-104 Certification or Microsoft Azure Developer AZ-204 Certification and be an expert in at least one of these areas before taking this test.
- For AZ-400 certification exam candidates, proficiency in designing and deploying Azure DevOps practices for version control, configuration management, build compliance, release, and testing using Azure technologies are highly encouraged.
- Agile knowledge is a plus.
- Expertise in expediting delivery through optimizing techniques, automating processes, and deploying application code and infrastructure solutions.
AZ-400 Study Guide
Develop an instrumentation strategy (5-10%)
Design and implement logging
- Assess and configure a logging framework
- Design a log aggregation and storage strategy (e.g., Azure storage)
- Design a log aggregation and query strategy (e.g., Azure Monitor, Splunk, Exabeam, LogRhythm)
- Manage access control to logs (workspace-centric/resource-centric)
- Integrate crash analytics (App Center Crashes, Crashlytics)
Design and implement telemetry
- Design and implement distributed tracing
- Inspect application performance indicators
- Inspect infrastructure performance indicators
- Define and measure key metrics (CPU, memory, disk, network)
- Implement alerts on key metrics (email, SMS, webhooks, Teams/Slack)
- Integrate user analytics (e.g., Application Insights funnels, Visual Studio App Center, TestFlight, Google Analytics)
Integrate logging and monitoring solutions
- Configure and integrate container monitoring (Azure Monitor, Prometheus, etc.)
- Configure and integrate with monitoring tools (Azure Monitor Application Insights, Dynatrace, New Relic, Naggios, Zabbix)
- Create feedback loop from platform monitoring tools (e.g., Azure Diagnostics extension, Log Analytics agent, Azure Platform Logs, Event Grid)
- Manage Access control to the monitoring platform
Develop a Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) strategy (5-10%)
Develop an actionable alerting strategy
- Identify and recommend metrics on which to base alerts
- Implement alerts using appropriate metrics
- Implement alerts based on appropriate log messages
- Implement alerts based on application health checks
- Analyze combinations of metrics
- Develop communication mechanism to notify users of degraded systems
- Implement alerts for self-healing activities (e.g., scaling, failovers)
Design a failure prediction strategy
- Analyze behavior of system with regards to load and failure conditions
- Calculate when a system will fail under various conditions
- Measure baseline metrics for system
- Leverage Application Insights Smart Detection and Dynamic thresholds in Azure Monitor
Design and implement a health check
- Analyze system dependencies to determine which dependency should be included in health check
- Calculate healthy response timeouts based on SLO for the service
- Design approach for partial health situations
- Integrate health check with compute environment
- Implement different types of health checks (container liveness, startup, shutdown)
Develop a security and compliance plan (10-15%)
Design an authentication and authorization strategy
- Design an access solution (Azure AD Privileged Identity Management (PIM), Azure AD Conditional Access, MFA, Azure AD B2B, etc.)
- Implement Service Principals and Managed Identity
- Design an application access solution using Azure AD B2C
- Configure service connections
Design a sensitive information management strategy
- Evaluate and configure vault solution (Azure Key Vault, Hashicorp Vault)
- Manage security certificates
- Design a secrets storage and retrieval strategy (KeyVault secrets, GitHub secrets, Azure Pipelines secrets)
- Formulate a plan for deploying secret files as part of a release
Develop security and compliance
- Automate dependencies scanning for security (container scanning, OWASP)
- Automate dependencies scanning for compliance (licenses: MIT, GPL)
- Assess and report risks
- Design a source code compliance solution (e.g., GitHub Code scanning, GitHub Secret scanning, pipeline-based scans, Git hooks, SonarQube, Dependabot, etc.)
Design governance enforcement mechanisms
- Implement Azure policies to enforce organizational requirements
- Implement container scanning (e.g., static scanning, malware, crypto mining)
- Design and implement Azure Container Registry Tasks
- Design break-the-glass strategy for responding to security incidents
Manage source control (10-15%)
Develop a modern source control strategy
- Integrate/migrate disparate source control systems (e.g., GitHub, Azure Repos)
- Design authentication strategies
- Design approach for managing large binary files (e.g., Git LFS)
- Design approach for cross repository sharing (e.g., Git sub-modules, packages)
- Implement workflow hooks
Plan and implement branching strategies for the source code
- Define Pull Requests (PR) guidelines to enforce work item correlation
- Implement branch merging restrictions (e.g., branch policies, branch protections, manual, etc.)
- Define branch strategy (e.g., trunk based, feature branch, release branch, GitHub flow)
- Design and implement a PR workflow (code reviews, approvals)
- Enforce static code analysis for code-quality consistency on PR
- Configure permissions in the source control repository
- Organize the repository with git-tags
- Plan for handling oversized repositories
- Plan for content recovery in all repository states
- Purge data from source control
Integrate source control with tools
- Integrate GitHub with DevOps pipelines
- Integrate GitHub with identity management solutions (Azure AD)
- Design for GitOps
- Design for ChatOps
- Integrate source control artifacts for human consumption (e.g., Git changelog)
Facilitate communication and collaboration (10-15%)
Communicate deployment and release information with business stakeholders
- Create dashboards combining boards, pipelines (custom dashboards on Azure DevOps)
- Design a cost management communication strategy
- Integrate release pipeline with work item tracking (e.g., AZ DevOps, Jira, ServiceNow)
- Integrate GitHub as repository with Azure Boards
- Communicate user analytics
Generate DevOps process documentation
- Design onboarding process for new employees
- Assess and document external dependencies (e.g., integrations, packages)
- Assess and document artifacts (version, release notes)
Automate communication with team members
- Integrate monitoring tools with communication platforms (e.g., Teams, Slack, dashboards)
- Notify stakeholders about key metrics, alerts, severity using communication and project management platforms (e.g., Email, SMS, Slack, Teams, ServiceNow, etc.)
- Integrate build and release with communication platforms (e.g., build fails, release fails)
Define and implement continuous integration (20-25%)
Design build automation
- Integrate the build pipeline with external tools (e.g., Dependency and security scanning, Code coverage)
- Implement quality gates (e.g., code coverage, internationalization, peer review)
- Design a testing strategy (e.g., integration, load, fuzz, API, chaos)
- Integrate multiple tools (e.g., GitHub Actions, Azure Pipeline, Jenkins)
Design a package management strategy
- Recommend package management tools (e.g., GitHub Packages, Azure Artifacts, Azure Automation Runbooks Gallery, Nuget, Jfrog, Artifactory)
- Design an Azure Artifacts implementation including linked feeds
- Design versioning strategy for code assets (e.g., SemVer, date based)
- Plan for assessing and updating and reporting package dependencies (GitHub Automated Security Updates, NuKeeper, GreenKeeper)
- Design a versioning strategy for packages (e.g., SemVer, date based)
- Design a versioning strategy for deployment artifacts
Design an application infrastructure management strategy
- Assess a configuration management mechanism for application infrastructure
- Define and enforce desired state configuration for environments
Implement a build strategy
- Design and implement build agent infrastructure (include cost, tool selection, licenses, maintainability)
- Develop and implement build trigger rules
- Develop build pipelines
- Design build orchestration (products that are composed of multiple builds)
- Integrate configuration into build process
- Develop complex build scenarios (e.g., containerized agents, hybrid, GPU)
Maintain build strategy
- Monitor pipeline health (failure rate, duration, flaky tests)
- Optimize build (cost, time, performance, reliability)
- Analyze CI load to determine build agent configuration and capacity
- Manage pipeline health
- Identify the number of agents and jobs to run in parallel
- Investigate test failures
Design a process for standardizing builds across organization
- Manage self-hosted build agents (VM templates, containerization, etc.)
- Create reuseable build subsystems (YAML templates, Task Groups, Variable Groups, etc.)
Define and implement a continuous delivery and release management strategy (10-15%)
Develop deployment scripts and templates
- Recommend a deployment solution (e.g., GitHub Actions, Azure Pipelines, Jenkins, CircleCI, etc.)
- Design and implement Infrastructure as code (ARM, Terraform, PowerShell, CLI)
- Develop application deployment process (container, binary, scripts)
- Develop database deployment process (migrations, data movement, ETL)
- Integrate configuration management as part of the release process
- Develop complex deployments (IoT, Azure IoT Edge, mobile, App Center, DR, multiregion, CDN, sovereign cloud, Azure Stack, etc.)
- Deploy IoT Edge modules at scale using the Azure portal
- Setup Azure DevOps and App Center to deploy your application
- Multi regional deployment with Azure DevOps and Azure App Services
- End to End Azure CDN Deployment with Self-Managed CA Signed Certificates
- Deploy to Azure Stack Hub App Service using Azure Pipelines
Implement an orchestration automation solution
- Combine release targets depending on release deliverable (e.g., Infrastructure, code, assets, etc.)
- Design the release pipeline to ensure reliable order of dependency deployments
- Organize shared release configurations and process (YAML templates, variable groups, Azure App Configuration)
- Design and implement release gates and approval processes
Plan the deployment environment strategy
- Design a release strategy (blue/green, canary, ring)
- Implement the release strategy (using deployment slots, load balancer configurations, Azure Traffic Manager, feature toggle, etc.)
- Select the appropriate desired state solution for a deployment environment (PowerShell DSC, Chef, Puppet, etc.)
- Plan for minimizing downtime during deployments (VIP Swap, Load balancer, rolling deployments, etc.)
- Design a hotfix path plan for responding to high priority code fixes
AZ-400 Exam Day Tips
Below are some of the Microsoft AZ-400 exam strategies and some recommendations that will help you.
- You can take the AZ-104 and AZ-900 examinations to accustom yourself to the Azure offerings’ services.
- Schedule the azure DevOps engineer certification exam at least 60-90 days in advance. If you have coupons from a learning partner, try to use them or keep an eye out for Microsoft’s open Cloud Skill Challenges.
- If you are giving a Virtual Exam for the first time, read the exam information provided by PearsonVUE to verify that your desk and workspace are clean before beginning the exam.
- The best time to schedule the AZ 400 certification exam is always a question. You can suit it according to you. If you’re an early bird, and your mind is free of the stresses of the day, give it in the morning. If you’re having trouble with wait times, you can make scheduling in the evenings or afternoons PST time zones.
- You will have access to a whiteboard where you can jot down exam-related ideas.
- Before the AZ 400 exam starts, you can adjust the brightness of your screen or go to Dark Mode according to your choice. Staring at a white screen can make it very challenging to focus. You can consider switching to dark mode from near the bottom left when you start.
- Use the AZ 400 certification Exam Outline to write down your target dates for each module and part to stay on track. For instance, you can choose a deadline and work backward to determine how much time you need to devote to each module and section.
AZ 400 Exam Retake Policy
The AZ-400 Exam Retake Policy is as follows:
- If a candidate fails on the first attempt, they must wait for 24 hours before retaking the exam.
- If a candidate again fails on the second attempt, then the candidate will have to wait for 14 days.
- A candidate will be given a maximum of five attempts to retake an exam in a year.
One of the new role-based Azure certifications, Azure DevOps Solutions, validates the competencies of Azure DevOps Professionals. AZ-400 exam can help you pave the way in your career and learn a new set of skills to hike your salary as well.
Q1. Is AZ 400 certification worth it?
Yes, the AZ-400 certification is worth it for those who want to advance their career in the field of DevOps and demonstrate their proficiency in the design and implementation of DevOps practices using Microsoft Azure technologies.
Q2. What is the salary of Azure DevOps engineer?
The salary of an Azure DevOps Engineer can vary depending on several factors such as location, industry, years of experience, and job role. According to data from various job search websites, the average salary for an Azure DevOps Engineer is around $130,000 per year in the United States.
Q3. How long is AZ-400 valid for?
AZ-400: Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions Certification will remain valid for two years.
Q4. How long is the AZ-400 exam?
AZ-400 exam is 140 minutes long.
Q5. How many questions are on the AZ-400?
The Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions AZ-400 exam has 40-60 questions.
Q6. What is passing score AZ-400?
The passing score for the Microsoft AZ400 exam is 700 out of 1000 marks.
Q7. How much does it cost to take the AZ 400 exam?
The AZ 400 exam costs $165 USD.
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