Popular DevOps Certifications

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Certification

We’ll take a quick look at some of the major DevOps certifications from Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google, Red Hat, and IBM in part three of this series of articles on DevOps certifications.

DevOps, often known as DevSecOps, is no longer a special initiative, but rather a standard practice while giving service. The cloud and DevOps are emerging as saviours for enterprises in the current pandemic. Organisations are therefore looking for qualified people with experience in using cloud platforms and DevOps practices. They are, in fact, competing for qualified employees that understand the value of procedures and can work with a variety of tools and technology.

Certification in DevOps and the cloud is one way to showcase skills in a highly competitive market. Although knowledge is king and not a piece of paper, validation from a qualified authority gives you confidence and additional opportunities to shine in your organisation or on LinkedIn. Most organisations require certifications as part of their annual appraisals too.

Microsoft Certified DevOps Engineer Expert
Figure 1: Microsoft Certified DevOps Engineer Expert

The eight certifications that are introduced in this article can be useful for different levels of skillsets.

Microsoft Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert
Microsoft Azure provides many services (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) similar to AWS and the Google Cloud.

The Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification provides a broad view of best practices for SDLC activities with diverse Azure DevOps and Microsoft Azure services for beginners, DevOps engineers, technical leads, technical architects, and managers.

Registration fees ₹ 4800 (India) / US$ 165 (USA) [price is based on currency exchange rates in various nations and regions]
Prerequisites Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator Associate certification: Azure administrators implement, manage and monitor an organisation’s Microsoft Azure environment or
Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate certification: Azure developers design, build, test, and maintain cloud applications and services
Questions and format
40-60 questions

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Build list in sequence
  • Drag and drop
  • Hot area
  • Repeated answers
  • Short answers
    • Labs (I wrote four certification exams [AZ-400, AZ-900, AZ-500, AZ-104] in December 2020 from home, and was not asked to do lab work in any exam.)
Duration 180 minutes exam time / 210 minutes seat time (associate and expert job role exams)
Passing score
700/1000 (scaled score)
The real percentage of questions that a candidate must answer correctly differs from exam to exam.
Medium of delivery
Online from your home or an authorised test centre
Open book
No
Exam content and objectives /skills measured
  • Develop an instrumentation strategy (design and implement logging, design and implement telemetry, and integrate logging and monitoring solutions); https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/ paths/az-400-develop- instrumentation-strategy/
  • Develop a site reliability engineering (SRE) strategy (develop an actionable alerting strategy, design a failure prediction strategy, and design and implement a health check); https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/ learn/paths/az-400- develop-sre-strategy/
  • Develop a security and compliance plan (design an authentication and authorisation strategy, design a sensitive information management strategy, develop security and compliance, and design governance enforcement mechanisms); https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-400-develop-security- compliance-plan/
  • Manage source control (develop a modern source control strategy, plan and implement branching strategies for the source code, configure repositories and integrate source control with tools); https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-400-manage-source-control/
  • Facilitate communication and collaboration (communicate deployment and release information with business stakeholders, generate DevOps process documentation, and automate communication with team members); https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-400-facilitate-communication-collaboration/
  • Define and implement continuous integration (design build automation, automation runbooks gallery, NuGet, JFrog, Artifactory), design an application infrastructure management strategy, implement a build strategy, maintain build strategy and design a process for standardising builds across the organisation; https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-400-define-implement-continuous-integration/
  • Define and implement a continuous delivery and release management strategy (develop deployment scripts and templates, implement an orchestration automation solution, and plan the deployment environment strategy)
Good reference books Hands-on Azure DevOps: CICD Implementation for Mobile, Hybrid, and Web Applications Using Azure DevOps and Microsoft Azure (https://www.amazon.com/ Hands-Azure-DevOps-Implementation-Applications-ebook/ dp/B08BLG5QM4/);
Agile, DevOps and Cloud Computing with Microsoft Azure: Hands-on DevOps Practices Implementation Using Azure DevOps (https://www.amazon.com/Agile-DevOps-Computing-Microsoft-Hands-ebook/dp/B07WXJ4TD9)
Benefits
There are two-way benefits for organisations and their employees who have Azure DevOps skills. It creates awareness on what needs to be improved with respect to the implementation of DevOps practices in the organisation. It also enhances the organisation’s culture and the mindset of its employees.
Free training
Yes
Schedule your exam
Exam AZ-400: Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions; https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/az-400
My view
AZ-400 covers most of the topics that a DevOps/automation engineer needs to know. Azure DevOps services such as Azure Boards, Azure Repos, Azure Pipelines, Azure Artifacts and Azure Tests cover more or less all aspects of SDLC automation activities. It helps to get knowledge about what is possible and what best practices to implement while using Azure DevOps in DevOps practice implementation. The training under this certification covers release management/continuous delivery with Azure services as well as Kubernetes. For more details, visit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/devops-engineer and https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/frequently-asked-questions

 

Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate
As a cloud administrator, your responsibility is to implement, manage, monitor and govern resources such as compute, storage and network. The AZ-104 certification helps you to understand how to manage and monitor resources in the Microsoft Azure environment.

Registration fees ₹ 4800 (India)/US$ 165 (USA) [price is based on currency exchange rates in various nations and regions]
Prerequisites
  • Azure Fundamentals Part 1: Describe core Azure concepts
  • Azure Fundamentals Part 2: Describe core Azure services
  • Azure Fundamentals Part 3: Describe core solutions and management tools on Azure
  • Azure Fundamentals Part 4: Describe general security and network security features
  • Azure Fundamentals Part 5: Describe identity, governance, privacy, and compliance features
  • Azure Fundamentals Part 6: Describe Azure cost management and service level agreements
  • Prerequisites for Azure administrators

Visit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-104-administrator-prerequisites/ for more details.

Questions and format
40-60 questions

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Build list in sequence
  • Drag and drop
  • Hot area
  • Repeated answers
  • Short answers
  • Labs (As stated under the earlier certification, I was not asked to carry out any lab work for the four certifications I studied for from my home.)
Duration 180 minutes exam time / 210 minutes seat time (associate and expert job role exams);
150 minutes exam time / 170 minutes seat time (associate and expert job role exams that contain labs)
Passing score
700/1000 (scaled score)
The real percentage of questions that a candidate must answer correctly differs from exam to exam.
Medium of delivery
Online from your home or an authorised test centre
Open book
No
Exam content and objectives
  • Manage Azure identities and governance (manage Azure AD objects, manage role based access control, manage subscriptions and governance); https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-104-manage-identities-governance/
  • Implement and manage storage, manage storage accounts, manage data in Azure Storage, configure Azure files and Azure blob storage; https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-104-manage-storage/
  • Deploy and manage Azure compute resources (configure VMs for high availability and scalability, automate deployment and configuration of VMs, create and configure VMs, create and configure containers, create and configure Web apps); https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-104-manage-compute-resources/
  • Configure and manage virtual networking (implement and manage virtual networking, configure name resolution, secure access to virtual networks, configure load balancing, monitor and troubleshoot virtual networking, integrate an on-premises network with an Azure virtual network); https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-104-manage-virtual-networks/
  • Monitor and back up Azure resources (monitor resources by using Azure Monitor, implement backup and recovery); https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/az-104-monitor-backup-resources/
Good reference books Exam Ref AZ-104 Microsoft Azure Administrator; https://www.amazon.in/Exam-AZ-104-Microsoft-Azure-Administrator/dp/0136805388
Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam Prep (AZ-104); https://www.amazon.in/Microsoft-Azure-Administrator-Exam-AZ-104/dp/9389898765
Benefits
It creates awareness on what needs to be improved with respect to managing resources effectively in Microsoft Azure.
Free training Yes
Schedule your exam
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/azure-administrator/
My view
AZ-104 is a good platform to learn the basics of administering Azure resources, and know about Azure AD as well as role based access.


Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate
Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate certification covers various areas such as Azure App Services, containerised solutions, Azure functions, storage services, identity and access management, caching and content delivery, and so on.

Registration fees ₹ 4800 INR (India)/US$ 165 (USA) [price is according to currency values in specific countries and regions]
Prerequisites Experience in designing, building, testing, and maintaining applications and services on Microsoft Azure
Questions and format 40-60 questions

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Build list in sequence
  • Drag and drop
  • Hot area
  • Repeated answers
  • Short answers
  • Labs (I was not asked to carry out any lab work for the four certifications I studied for from my home.)
Duration 180 minutes exam time/210 minutes seat time (associate and expert job role exams);
150 minutes exam time/170 minutes seat time (associate and expert job role exams that contain labs)
Passing score 700/1000 (scaled score)
The real percentage of questions that the candidate must answer correctly differs from exam to exam
Medium of delivery Online from your home or an authorised test centre
Open book No
Exam content and objectives
  • Develop Azure compute solutions (implement IaaS solutions, create Azure app service Web apps);

https://docs.microsoft.com/ en-us/learn/paths/deploy-a-website-with-azure-virtual-machines/

  • Develop for Azure storage (develop solutions that use Cosmos DB storage, develop solutions that use blob storage); https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/store-data-in-azure/
  • Implement Azure security (implement user authentication and authorisation, implement secure cloud solutions);

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/secure-your-cloud-data/

  • Monitor, troubleshoot, and optimise Azure solutions (integrate caching and content delivery within solutions, instrument solutions to support monitoring and logging); https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/manage-resources-in-azure/
  • Connect to and consume Azure services and third-party services (develop an App Service Logic App, implement API management, develop event-based solutions, develop message-based solutions); https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/connect-your-services-together/
Good reference books Exam Ref AZ-204 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure; https://www.amazon.in/AZ-204-Developing-Solutions-Microsoft-Azure/dp/0136798330
Benefits It creates awareness on what needs to be improved with respect to managing resources effectively in Microsoft Azure.
Free training Yes
Schedule your exam https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/azure-develop er/

 

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certificate holder has experience in provisioning, operating, and managing AWS environments as well as interest in the implementation of DevOps practices.

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
Figure 2: AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
Registration fees US$ 300 (Practice exam: US$ 40)
Prerequisites
  • Experience in developing code in at least one high-level programming language
  • Experience in building highly automated infrastructures
  • Experience in administering operating systems
  • Understanding of modern development and operations processes and methodologies
Questions and format 75 questions, either multiple choice or multiple response
Duration 180 minutes
Passing score Scaled score — a minimum passing score of 750
Medium of delivery Testing centre or online proctored exam
Open book No
Exam content and objectives Domain 1: SDLC Automation
Domain 2: Configuration Management and Infrastructure as Code
Domain 3: Monitoring and Logging
Domain 4: Policies and Standards Automation
Domain 5: Incident and Event Response
Domain 6: High Availability, Fault Tolerance, and Disaster Recovery
Good reference books AWS Whitepapers; https://aws.amazon.com/whitepapers/
Benefits
  • Implement and manage continuous delivery systems and methodologies on AWS
  • Implement and automate security controls, governance processes, and compliance validation

Define and deploy monitoring, metrics, and logging systems on AWS
Implement systems that are highly available, scalable, and self-healing on the AWS platform
Design, manage, and maintain tools to automate operational processes

Sample questions https://d1.awsstatic.com/training-and-certification/docs-devops-pro/AWS-Certified-DevOps-Engineer-Professional_Sample-Questions.pdf
Training https://aws.amazon.com/certification/certification-prep/;
https://www.aws.training/Details/eLearning?id=34146
Schedule your exam https://www.aws.training/certification?src=devops-pro

 

Google: Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer
A Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer certification ensures that certification holders are aware about efficient development operations that can balance service reliability, quality and faster time to market.

Google - Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer
Figure 3: Google – Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer
Registration fees US$ 200
Prerequisites Three+ years of industry experience including one+ years managing solutions on GCP
Questions and format Multiple choice and multiple select
Duration 120 minutes
Medium of delivery Online-proctored exam from a remote location or onsite-proctored exam at a testing centre
Open book No
Exam content and objectives
  • Applying site reliability engineering principles to a service
  • Building and implementing CI/CD pipelines for a service
  • Implementing service monitoring strategies
  • Optimising service performance
  • Managing service incidents
Benefits Develop skills for using Google Cloud Platform to build software delivery pipelines, deploy and monitor services, and manage and learn from incidents.
Sample questions Visit https://cloud.google.com/certification/sample-questions/cloud-devops-engineer
Training https://cloud.google.com/training/application-development#cloud-devOps-engineer-learning-path
Schedule your exam https://www.webassessor.com/googlecloud/

 

Red Hat Certified Specialist in Containers and Kubernetes
Red Hat Certified Specialist in Containers and Kubernetes certification is designed to ensure that certification holders have a basic understanding of Kubernetes, containers and Red Hat OpenShift.

Registration fees ₹ 16,500 (plus all applicable taxes) for four training units
Questions and format Hands-on, practical exam that requires real-world tasks to be undertaken
Duration 120 minutes
Passing score Exam results are reported as total scores. Red Hat does not report performance on individual items, nor will it provide additional information upon request.
Medium of delivery Individual, class, onsite
Open book No
Exam content and objectives
  • Implement images using Podman
  • Manage images
  • Run containers locally using Podman
  • Basic OpenShift knowledge
  • Creating applications in OpenShift
  • Troubleshoot applications in OpenShift
Benefits
  • Understand container and OpenShift architecture
  • Create containerised services
  • Manage containers and container images via basic diagnostic procedures
  • Create custom container images
  • Deploy containerised applications on Red Hat OpenShift
  • Deploy multi-container applications on Red Hat OpenShift
Sample questions Skills assessment; https://rhtapps.redhat.com/assessment/
Training Red Hat OpenShift I: Containers and Kubernetes; https://www.redhat.com/en/services/training/do180-red-hat-openshift-I-containers-kubernetes
Schedule your exam https://training-lms.redhat.com/lmt/clmscatalogsummary.prmain?in_sessionid=&in_portid=1&in_courseName=EX180&in_courseType=K&in_region=in;
To get more details visit, https://www.redhat.com/en/services/certification/red-hat-certified-specialist-in-containers-and-kubernetes

 

SRE and DevOps Engineer with Google Cloud Professional Certificate
The SRE and DevOps Engineer with Google Cloud Professional Certificate indicates a person’s ability to develop software delivery pipelines, deploy and monitor services, and manage and learn from incidents using Google Cloud.

Registration fees Coursera subscription
Offered by Google Cloud
Level Proficiency with command-line tools, and Linux operating system environments and systems operations experience
A basic understanding of scripting is also helpful
Prerequisites
  • Proficiency with command-line tools, and Linux operating system environments and systems operations experience
  • A basic understanding of scripting is also helpful
Duration Approximately three months
Medium of delivery Online
Exam content and objectives
  • Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure;

https://www.coursera.org/learn/gcp-fundamentals? specialization=sre-devops-engineer-google-cloud

  • Developing a Google SRE Culture; https://www.coursera.org/learn/developing-a-google-sre-culture?specialization=sre-devops-engineer-google-cloud
  • Reliable Google Cloud infrastructure: Design and Process; https://www.coursera.org/learn/cloud-infrastructure-design-process?specialization=sre-devops-engineer-google-cloud
  • Logging, monitoring and observing Google Cloud; https://www.coursera.org/learn/logging-monitoring-observability-google-cloud?specialization=sre-devops-engineer-google-cloud
Benefits
  • Learn the skills needed to be successful in a cloud DevOps engineering role
  • Prepare for the Google Cloud Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer certification exam
  • Learn techniques for monitoring, troubleshooting, and improving infrastructure and application performance in Google Cloud
  • Understand the purpose and intent of the Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer certification
  • Hands-on projects, and build a portfolio that showcases your job readiness to potential employers
Register for the course https://www.coursera.org/professional-certificates/sre-devops-engineer-google-cloud

 

Foundations of IBM DevOps V2
An IBM Certified Solution Advisor – DevOps V2 certificate holder has knowledge about benefits and underlying concepts of DevOps, has practical experience of implementing DevOps practices, and awareness about open and IBM solution offerings.

Registration fees US$ 100. This exam has an assessment exam option — A1000-040 Assessment: Foundations of IBM DevOps V2 – priced at US$ 30.
Number of questions 62
Duration 90 mins
Passing score Number of questions to pass: 43
Open book No
Exam content and objectives
  • DevOps principles
  • DevOps practices
  • Adopting DevOps
  • DevOps architecture and methods
  • DevOps toolchain
  • IBM solutions for DevOps
Good reference books
  • DevOps for Dummies; https://www.ibm.com/ibm/devops/us/en/resources/dummiesbooks/
  • Study Guide; https://www.ibm.com/certify/api/getpdf/studyguides/stuc1000_040
  • What is DevOps? Think, Code, Deploy, Run, Manage, Learn; https://www.ibm.com/blogs/bluemix/2017/06/what-is-devops-think-code-deploy-run-manage-learn/
  • What is DevSecOps? https://www.devsecops.org/blog/2015/2/15/what-is-devsecops
Benefits Demonstrate knowledge about concepts of DevOps, practical experience of implementing DevOps practices, adopt DevOps, overcome barriers, and realise the business benefits of DevOps.
Sample questions Sample for Test C1000-040 is available at https://www.ibm.com/certify/api/getpdf/sampletests/samc1000_040
Schedule your exam https://home.pearsonvue.com/ibm; For more details visit, https://www.ibm.com/certify/exam?id=C1000-040

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