DP-200 Implementing an Azure Data Solution Exam preparation guide

 Background

Most of us are working from home due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. This has saved some time in travelling for me personally. I managed to utilize some of this time to prepare for Azure Role-based certifications. In the past 3 months, I managed to clear AZ-301, AZ-400 and DP-200 certification exams. Many people have asked me about how did I go about preparing for these certifications. This post and the accompanying YouTube video is about my preparation for the DP-200 exam.

DP-200 Implementing an Azure Data Solution Exam

In case you are new to Microsoft Role-based certifications, have a look at this excellent post by Thomas Maurer about selecting the right exam. The DP 200 exam is focused on Data Engineer role and falls under the Data & AI category of tests. It is for the Associate level. I have been part of Data Engineering teams since late 2015. I have worked with Big Data technologies on Hortonworks Data Platform and also on Microsoft Azure. The exam consists of 3 main areas:

  • Implement data storage solutions (40-50%)
  • Manage and develop data processing (25-30%)
  • Monitor and optimize data solutions (30-35%)

Your skills are tested against following core services from Microsoft Azure:
  • Azure Data Lake Storage (ADLS) Gen 2
  • Azure Data Factory
  • Azure Databricks
  • Azure SQL
  • Cosmos DB
  • Azure Stream Analytics
  • Azure Key Vault
  • Azure Monitor
Since the test is focused towards implementing the Data solutions, we need to know the different options available for securing, managing, integrating and monitoring the solutions. I used the Linux Academy course for DP 200 to prepare for this exam. If you are new to Azure I recommend going through the MS Learn paths related to DP 200. Following learning paths are available on MS Learn

We need to understand batch processing, stream processing, structured & unstructured data, different APIs supported by Cosmos DB, different consistency levels. In terms of Data Integrations, it is important to understand the capabilities of Azure Data Factory. For Data Processing, Azure Databricks, Synapse Analytics and Stream Analytics play a very important role. If you are not familiar with the stream processing and real time data integration, focus on understanding the different Windowing mechanisms like sessions window, sliding window, tumbling window, hopping window etc. 

The questions are all multiple choice questions (MCQ) based on case studies. For some questions, there is more than one correct answer and in such cases, we are also required to sequence the steps in the correct order. An example could be the data integration process which requires 5 steps. We are required to sequence all the steps correctly. The practice is very important due to this requirement.

Refer to the below YouTube video for more details about how I prepared for this exam


Conclusion

It is very important to practice as much as possible. The questions are not straightforward and involve selecting the right choices as well as making the right sequence of steps. I would also recommend using more than one reference material. Do not rely only on one source of information. I prefer to combine the eLearning courses from one of the platforms like Linux Acadamy, Pluralsight, Udemy etc. with MS Learn. I also do not recommend using dumps. In my opinion, dumps reduce the actual value of the certification. Please don't take shortcuts when learning new technology. 

Until next time, Code with Passion and Strive for Excellence.

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