I recently passed the AZ 220: Microsoft Azure IoT Developer exam and thought to share my impressions and some reference material that might of use if you are pursuing this exam.
Candidates for this exam should have subject matter expertise developing cloud and edge components of an Azure IoT solution.
You implement designs for Azure IoT solutions including device topology, connectivity, debugging, and security, as well as solutions to manage, monitor, and transform IoT-related data pipelines. You also deploy Azure IoT Edge components and configure device networking on the edge.
This exam is targeted at Developers who will be building IoT solutions using Microsoft services and technologies.
You can read more about the exam here
Following are the skills you will be measured on. For detailed description, check this out
- Implement the IoT solution infrastructure (15-20%)
- Provision and manage devices (20-25%)
- Implement Edge (15-20%)
- Process and manage data (15-20%)
- Monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize IoT solutions (15-20%)
- Implement security (15-20%)
The exam frequently undergo changes so keep an eye on upcoming changes. You will find this on the exam page
The study process varies from person to person, so there is no one approach. This is what I used for this exam.
- Go through MS Learn Learning Paths and Modules
- Hands-on Labs on GitHub for Azure IoT
- Practice Exam (Mock)
- Go back and cover the gaps
These are some of the Azure services that are relevant for this exam.
- Azure IoT Hub
- Device Provisioning Service
- Azure IoT Central
- Azure IoT Edge
- Time Series Insights
- Azure Stream Analytics
- Azure Blob Storage
- Power BI
- Azure Event Hubs
- Azure Service Bus
- Azure Functions / Logic Apps
- Azure Monitor / Log Analytics
- Azure Cosmos DB
This is what I used as study material for this exam.
A good starting point, gives you links to respective sections based on exam structure. Great time saver and you have links to all relevant areas and topics.
Please check this out.
Hands-on labs related to various topics for Azure IoT that are relevant for the exam.
There are few learning paths on MS Learn that are really good. I started off with these.
- Introduction to Azure IoT
- Securely connect IoT devices to the cloud
- Build the intelligent edge with Azure IoT Edge
- Develop IoT solutions with Azure IoT Central
- Implement a Data Streaming Solution with Azure Streaming Analytics
- Remotely monitor and control devices with Azure IoT Hub
- Automate IoT devices management with Azure IoT Hub
Microsoft Docs are an invaluable resource anything Azure. There is tons of great documentation about any area and great in-depth knowledge in there. If you have found Study notes already, most of them will have links to MS Docs for relevant topics anyways. However, do dig into different topics as you are going through MS Learn paths or doing the labs to solidify the understanding. Here is the landing page for Azure IoT Docs
Courses on A Cloud Guru
I came to know about these courses quite late in my preparation so I didn't use them but they look good and could be a starting point for you, so do check them out.
As you are studying, fill-in this spreadsheet. It'll give you the overview of where you stand at any given point. You can use to track your progress and work on weak areas as you go about the studies.
Exam Experience - From Home
Due to COVID, most of us are stuck at our homes and to be honest, going to the physical centre sounds a bit risky at this time. Good thing is we have the possibility to give exams remotely and I've been using this for my last few exams. The overall experience has been positive (except once). So here are some tips:
Booking / Scheduling and Re-schedule
You can do this on Pearson VUE online. I have noticed, you can reschedule without any extra fees currently so it's quite flexible in that regards.
Make sure you run the system test before booking online. You need to be sure the system you have is fit for the test. The utility you will be downloading from Pearson's website will test it for you.
- One of the requirements is to have a clean space with closed door where no one can enter the room during the exam.
- You will be monitored continuously via webcam
- You won't be allowed to leave for any reason during the exam
- Make sure you have a comfortable environment where you are giving the exam. Put the heater or fan (depending where you are)
- You can keep water in a transparent glass or bottle
- No phone at arms length. You can keep it far away (you might receive call from proctor during the exam if any issue arises)
Day of the exam
- Start 15-30 minutes before the exam time so you have enough time to set up
- You will be running the ID check (take a picture of your identity, your space and a selfie) and system check before the exam.
- Then you simply wait for the proctor to start your exam.
- They might call you (via phone or chat) to ask few questions or make some changes
Exam Tips & Tricks
- Book the exam in advance (4-6) - give yourself a deadline and work toward it
- Practice, Practice, Practice and some more
- Can't emphasize it enough. Do the hands-on labs, run the labs and demos. Try out. Explore. Get comfortable with the areas you are targeting.
- It's of no use to just pass the exam if you don't have any hands-on knowledge. Even if you haven't done any real life project and want to learn about any new area, do the labs and get the hands-on experience. There are plenty of resources available for any technology you want to get into. Put some hours in.
- Know your Azure IoT
- Pricing Tiers of IoT Hub
- JSON structure of various components like Digital Twins, Module Twins, Device Deployment etc.
- Clean your resources once you are done with the labs (to save cost)
- MS Learn modules provide you the Sandbox environment - use them as it'll save you cost
- Some resources are bit more expensive than others i.e., Azure Time Series Insights (make sure you delete them after you are done)
- Take notes
When you are reading documentation or watching video content, take notes along the way. This will be helpful when you want to revise before the exam. You will save plenty of time with these notes.
- Mix it a bit Studying for the exam can get boring, so make sure you mix it up a bit. If you are reading, add in bunch of videos along the way so you are consuming a mixed content during your preparation. You will loose the focus and end-up wasting a lot of time. Mix up various types of contents and hands-on on regular basis
My Exam and Impressions
- I got 57 questions in my exam
- 42 questions (multiple choice types - radio / check boxes / drag & drop etc.)
- Set of questions (5 - can’t go back to review)
- 2 case studies (5 questions each)
- Time was not an issue. You get ~3 hours for this exam and even though there were quite a lot of questions but I easily managed the time
- For me case studies were at the end which I find good since you end up spending quite a bit of time on case studies and I find them better to have toward the end (unlike other exams which started with a case study)
- I can't list the exact questions I received but there were quite a number of questions with Azure CLI commands, IoT Edge and around security.
- What helped me solidify the knowledge was doing hands-on (the labs that I have listed above and MS Learn modules), I did the more than once. Also for each services (like IoT Hub, IoT Central, Device Provisioning service),familiarize yourself in the Azure Portal. Just just checkout various options you have for these services.
- Since I needed to provision resource a number of time (saving cost etc.), I tried to provision them from Portal, Azure CLI, Cloud Shell to just get the feel of different approaches)
- I didn't spend too much time on PowerShell though.
Hope you find this guide helpful and wish you all the best.
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