How do I get started with Microsoft Azure?

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I receive messages from individuals asking, “how do I get started with Microsoft Azure?” The messages I receive come from individuals who work in Tech and want to explore the world of Microsoft Azure. I thought it would be a good idea to create a post to help anyone looking to get started with Microsoft Azure.

There is a ton of useful information out there when wanting to learn Azure, and it can be difficult to select the resources to get you started which can in turn cause confusion. In this post I recommend a few learning resources to allow you to get started and learn Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, basically allowing you to take your first steps into the world of Microsoft Azure. This is what I recommend and may not be what others recommend.

I have previously documented a list of Azure resources at the following link, Useful Azure Resources, which you may find useful after going through the learning content below. The link includes a larger number of useful learning resources and tools. However, the aim of this post is to help you get started without having to search through lots of resources.

1. Free Azure Fundamentals Learning Path

  • Learning path >> Azure Fundamentals
  • Estimate time to cover content: 1 hour, however, take your time with the content and ensure you understand it before moving on. Your progress is saved so you can always return and continue from where you left.

I find that most people I come across are surprised to learn that there is free content available to anyone wanting to get started with Microsoft Azure, and therefore, I would like to start with the Azure Fundamentals course available for free via the Microsoft Learn website.

Microsoft Azure fundamentals is a three-part series that teaches you basic cloud concepts, provides a streamlined overview of many Azure services, and guides you with hands-on exercises to deploy your very first services for free.

I am sure that most people you speak to will recommend that anyone wanting to get started with Azure, should start with the Azure Fundamentals course.

Microsoft Learn offers lots of free self paced courses that you can go through in your own time. It is one of my favourite learning resources and a website I will visit when wanting to learn and prepare for new Microsoft certifications.

2. AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals Study Cram YouTube

YouTube >> AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals Study Cram
Estimated time: the video is 3 and half hours in length

John Savill owns a YouTube channel, a hobby of his, where he enjoys sharing knowledge about Microsoft Azure related content. John is a well known individual in the world of Azure. His AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals Study Cram video has had over 900,000 views and from the comments you’ll see how his video has helped individuals pass the Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900) certification. John covers the content from the Microsoft Learn website I posted in point 1 above in a visual/whiteboard format. I would recommend you go through the Microsoft Learn content in step 1 above and reinforce your knowledge with John Savill’s study cram on YouTube.

3. Free Microsoft Virtual Training Days

Free online (Registration required) >> Microsoft Virtual Training Days
Estimate duration: Azure Fundamentals usually covered over two days (3 hours per day). Duration of other courses may vary.

If you’re looking for a free online course which covers the fundamentals of Azure with live moderation where you can ask questions and get them answered live, let me introduce to you the Microsoft Virtual Training Days. Microsoft Virtual Training Days will show you how to be purposeful and ready to take on your next transformation challenge. Whether it’s the fundamentals of the Azure cloud, developing native apps, migrating servers, or managing cloud operations, or more complex skills like modernising web apps and data, implementing AI, or building data warehouses.

Check to see if there is a course available for Azure Fundamentals and get yourself registered. Explore other virtual training days later to grow your Azure knowledge further.

4. Practice test questions

You may want to take an exam and become Azure Fundamentals certified. The certification code is AZ-900. A common question I come across is, are there any free practice test questions I can go through to practice before taking the real exam. Yes, there are Microsoft official practice assessments available for free. You can take the assessments as many times as you like. These assessments have been created by the same team that develops the real Microsoft certification exams and are updated in step with certifications to keep them relevant and up to date.

Here is how you can access the free practice questions,

  1. Visit the official Azure Fundamentals certification page, Exam AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
  2. Scroll down (half way ish) and click Take a free practice assessment as shown in the image below. Login with a personal account such as hotmail, outlook or live email account.

If you’re interested in a list of all free practice assessments currently available for the different Microsoft certifications, here is the link, Practice Assessments for Microsoft Certifications.

I hope you find the above resources useful and I wish you all the best in your learning journey. I’m sure you may have further questions, incase you do, please have a read of the FAQ section below. If your question is not covered, use the comments section below to post a question.

FAQ’sFrequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of frequently asked questions. If you have any further questions, please feel free to comment below. If you’re totally new to Azure, some of the questions below may not make sense just yet, but I’m sure they will once you have got through your Azure Fundamentals. Good luck!

  • How do I book the exam?
    1. Visit the official AZ-900 certification page, scroll down and click schedule the exam
    Exam AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals – Certifications

  • Can I book the exam for free?
    You must pay for the exam, but from time to time, Microsoft offer exam discounts at events allowing you to book the exam for free, such as the Cloud Skills Challenge. If no such offer is available, I would recommend you reach out to your companies training department to find out if they are able to help with a discount code. If you’re a student you may be eligible for a discount, visit the Microsoft Learn student hub to find out more.

  • Is the exam moderated?
    Yes, you will be moderated by an individual when taking the exam.

  • I have never taken a Microsoft exam before, what does the exam look like?
    Microsoft offer a free exam sandbox environment which will give you an idea of the exam format, and the different types of questions which may appear, here is the link, Exam Sandbox

  • Do I need to go into a exam test centre to take the exam?
    No, when booking the exam, you have the option to visit the nearest test centre or take the exam from home. Exam guidelines/rules are provided when you book the exam. There are additional rules when taking the exam from home. These will be provided to you when you book the exam, however, if you’re wanting the information now, visit the following link About online exams with Pearson VUE

  • Once I pass the exam, does the Azure Fundamentals certification expire?
    No, Microsoft fundamental certifications do not expire and are with you for life. The advanced certifications do expire every year, however these certifications can be renewed for free, are open book and not moderated. Further details on renewing non-fundamentals certifications at the following link, Microsoft Certification Renewal

  • Can I retake the exam for free if I fail?
    No, you must book again and pay for it or use a free code if you have access to one. I would recommend you visit the Microsoft Exam policies page below for details
    Exam policies and FAQs | Microsoft Learn

  • What if I have further questions when learning about Azure?

    You can ask for advise or seek help via,

    Microsoft Learning Rooms – Join a learning room for free. Facilitated by Microsoft Learn experts, learning rooms are designed to offer you a dedicated and safe environment where you can directly engage with an expert and dive deep into topic-specific questions via asynchronous discussions and virtual sessions.

    Microsoft Support Community – Get answers from a community of experts

    Microsoft Q&A – Find it on Q&A — the home for technical questions and answers at Microsoft.

  • Do Microsoft offer a free trial of Azure?
    Free Trial: Create Your Azure Free Account Today
    Free Trial for Students: Azure for Students – Free Account Credit

    There is also a 365 developer program which provides you access to 25 free Entra ID P2 licenses. Note that you can not build resources such as Virtual Machines, Virtual Networks etc in this sandbox subscription. For further details visit the following link, Developer Program. Not to be used for production use.

  • Do you have a personal list of useful Azure resources?
    Yes, here it is. This list may come in use to you as you grow and learn about Azure. The list includes a list of learning resources and useful links/tools.
    Useful Azure Resources | Cloud Build

  • Are there any free Microsoft verified credentials I could take to help me in my job and career?
    Yes, Microsoft have recently announced (October 2023) a new initiative called Applied Skills Credentials. These credentials are based on targeted validation for real-world scenarios which allows you to skill up for in-demand technical scenarios to demonstrate proficiency in specific, scenario-based skill sets so you can make a bigger impact on every project, at your organisation, and in your career.

    These verified credentials are focused on a specific skill set, are lab based so you are required to complete a few tasks. These assessments are open book so you can carry out some research if you’re not sure how to complete a task and are not moderated. A list of these free Microsoft verified credentials are available at Applied Skills Credentials. Stay tuned as more are being added. If you wish to learn more about Applied Skills Credentials, here is the official Applied Skills announcement page, Announcing Microsoft Applied Skills

  • How did others get started with Microsoft Azure? it would be great to read about their experiences and what they recommend?
    Check out A website where you can read written interviews from existing users of Microsoft Azure and how they started their journey.

  • My question is not listed
    Please post your question in the comments section below