Quest update: 6 and 7 out of 12 done.

4 minute read

I see I haven’t written anything since the end of February. There are reasons for that, which I’ll probably talk about in a later blog post, but for now, I’ll talk about passing certifications 6 and 7.

Microsoft Certified: Fabric Analytics Engineer Associate

On the final day of May, I passed the DP-600 exam. This isn’t the exam that I had said I would focus on, but it’s one I’ve studied for along with my wife.
We’ve been doing the Learn challenges for Fabric together since they came out last fall, and now came the time when it made sense to just take the exam. She’s the one who really knows Fabric in our household, but she needed a little bit of a push to actually book the exam. So I just booked it for myself and took it one evening. And I passed, which made the next couple of days a bit tense at home, but it was all good because that made her book an exam for herself, and she got a much higher score than I did. :)

How did I prepare for this exam?

Well, as mentioned, both my wife and I did the Fabric challenges on Microsoft Learn. And we have the badges to prove it. Other than that, I’ve played with Fabric in some of my spare time and helped with some debugging when my wife has needed someone to bounce ideas off. We also sat down and went through the assessments together. The really nice part of this was having someone to discuss the topics with. We work in complementary fields and thereby we can help each other with understanding the different parts of Fabric in different ways. My wife taught me about lots of things like PowerBI, PowerQuery, and Semantic Model, while I could help her with identities and RBAC. Without her help, I wouldn’t have passed this exam.

My thoughts about the exam

This exam was quite typical for a Microsoft exam, but the themes were ones I haven’t worked with much since I studied programming back at university. I had to brush up a bit on both SQL and Python. Other than that, learning the terminology and the product names for things within Fabric is key.
Knowing when to use which product/solution for various reasons is really the most basic question in one of these exams.
For example, how do you do a transformation in low-code/no-code? The answer with Dataflows Gen2 will always be the answer. Knowing these things will get you at least halfway there.
And then be aware that there will be questions designed to be hard to differentiate the answers. I saw a SQL question where there were four alternatives, and they all looked like they could be correct. That’s where I struggled the most. This was an “open book” exam, so I had access to Microsoft Learn during the test, and I actually used it to check at least one of the answers this time.

Microsoft Certified: Cybersecurity Architect Expert

On 16-06-2024, I passed the Cybersecurity Architect Expert (SC-100) exam.
This is the one I had set my eyes on after passing the SC-300 exam back in February.
After not having done anything in both March and April, I decided I needed to get back to it after the Fabric exam, and I got back to reading.

How did I prepare for this exam?

I prepared in what has become my regular way. I listened to prep guides on YouTube, as if they were audiobooks.
This one by John Saville is pretty good: I also did the assessment on Microsoft Learn several times and went through some of the Learn classes.
But I also relied on my years of experience in the field and understanding of how the Azure portfolio works together.

My thoughts about the exam

This was the second expert-level exam I’ve done in the current Microsoft exam system, and for some reason, I feel that they are almost easier than some of the associate-level exams.
It might be because they are more “Big Picture” exams, while the associate exams are more focused on certain products and therefore more specialized. But the SC-300 exam was a bit more difficult because it included a lab, while the SC-100 didn’t.
The key to passing, I feel like, is always knowing the terminology and the names for each product.
This exam naturally had a big focus on the different types of Defender products. So knowing when to use which product is important. It’s especially important to learn about Defender for Cloud.
If you’re planning on taking this exam, you should read up on things like SIEM, SOAR, DART, Azure ARC, and Zero Trust. This was also an “open book” exam. Knowing how to navigate Learn is super usefull when you’re unsure about the answers.


Since last time, I’ve also recertified both Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate and Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert. Recertified The recertifying process for Microsoft certifications is a fair bit easier to deal with than the ones for AWS exams. For AWS exams, you need to redo the exam every 3 years, and that means paying to do a proctored exam.

For Microsoft exams, you get an email 6 months before your certification expires, telling you that it’s time to recertify. To do it, you just log into Microsoft Learn and navigate to your credentials. There will be a new button on the certifications where you’re eligible to recertify, and you’ll get a test very similar to the exam assessments. If you fail this test, you have to wait 24 hours until you can try again. When you pass, you get another year of validity from the expiration date of your certification.

The future

Right now, I’m on vacation with my family, and therefore I don’t really have that much time to study. I’m trying to decide on which exam I should do next.