Explore Meta’s Front-End Developer Certificate on Coursera. Our review helps you decide if it’s the right investment for your web development career
Aiming to become a certified Azure Developer Associate? This Coursera program, created in partnership with Microsoft, is an eight-course series designed to prepare you for the AZ-204 certification exam. Ideal for those with some experience in Azure, the program spans a wide range of topics, from serverless computing to cloud security. With its flexible scheduling and emphasis on hands-on labs and real-world applications, it is a valuable resource for both aspiring and current cloud developers. Completing this program not only prepares you for the certification exam but also equips you with practical skills that are in high demand, making it a worthwhile investment for your career.
Cloud computing is reshaping the tech world, making it more innovative, scalable, and efficient. As more organizations move to the cloud, the need for skilled developers is growing, and Microsoft Azure is often the platform of choice. The Microsoft Azure Developer Associate (AZ-204) Professional Certificate available on Coursera aims to prepare you for the AZ-204 certification exam and to enhance your expertise in Azure development. It covers a broad range of Azure topics, from the basics to more advanced areas like serverless computing.
It’s important to clarify that while completing this Coursera program will earn you a certificate of completion, it doesn’t grant you the actual Azure certification. For that, you’ll need to take a separate AZ-204 exam and pay an additional fee. This Coursera course serves as an in-depth preparatory program for that exam, covering essential topics and offering practical exercises to make you exam-ready. Another point worth noting is that the course is labeled as a “Professional Certificate,” but it prepares you for the Azure Developer “Associate” exam, not a “Professional” level exam.
The course is best suited for those with some 1-2 years of recommended Azure experience. So, whether you’re an experienced developer looking to broaden your cloud skills or aiming to break into Azure development, this course offers a structured way to learn.
Ready to learn more? Let’s have a closer look at this program!
Table of Contents
The Microsoft Azure Developer Associate (AZ-204) Professional Certificate on Coursera in partnership with Microsoft is an intermediate-level program designed to prepare you for the AZ-204 certification exam, covering a wide array of topics such as cloud computing, cloud applications, and cloud management. It’s aimed at those who are looking to advance their career in cloud computing and gain an industry-recognized certification.
The course is structured to last around two months, requiring a commitment of 10 hours per week – but it can be completed faster if your schedule allows for it. It’s best suited for those with 1-2 years of professional development experience, particularly in Microsoft Azure, .Net, and C#. Although the course doesn’t offer academic credits, it does provide thorough preparation for the AZ-204 exam, equipping you with the skills to develop, secure, and optimize Azure solutions.
The curriculum is thoughtfully designed to guide learners through various aspects of Azure development. It covers topics such as serverless computing, Azure Functions, Azure databases (Cosmos DB, SQL Database), and storage solutions (Blob Storage, Table Storage). The inclusion of practical labs and a capstone project ensures that learners not only gain theoretical knowledge but also have ample opportunities to apply what they’ve learned in real-world scenarios.
If you’re still on the fence, it’s worth noting that while I was enrolled in the full, paid version of the course in order to review it, Coursera offers the option to audit the program’s courses for free. This allows you to explore the content before making a financial commitment.
The course is taught by professionals directly linked to Microsoft, ensuring credible and current content. Their expertise simplifies complex Azure topics and keeps the course aligned with industry standards.
The program is eight course-series, designed for those with some experience in Microsoft Azure and programming, each with a specific focus:
- Create Serverless Applications
- Connect Your Services with Microsoft Azure Service Bus
- Data Storage in Microsoft Azure for Associate Developers
- Deploy a Website with Azure Virtual Machines
- Manage Resources in Azure
- Deploy a Website to Azure with Azure App Service
- Secure Your Cloud Data
- Prepare for AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure
I’d suggest going through the courses in the given order, especially because the Qwiklabs projects often build on prior lessons. Now, let’s take a closer look at each course to see what they offer.
Detailed course review
Course 1: Create Serverless Applications
The “Create Serverless Applications” course is the first in the Microsoft Azure Developer Associate (AZ-204) Professional Certificate series. It serves as a strong foundation for anyone looking to specialize in serverless computing on Azure.
The course covers essential topics like Azure Functions, Logic Apps, and event-driven architecture, teaching you how to build scalable and cost-effective serverless applications. If you are new to serverless computing, this course will help you get up to speed. The instructors guide you through the basics and complexities of serverless applications, setting the stage for the courses that follow.
The course employs a mix of video lectures, hands-on labs, and quizzes, which not only test your understanding but also prepare you for real-world application. It is particularly strong in its real-world applicability, offering hands-on labs that simulate actual serverless projects you might encounter in a job setting. The instructors are adept at breaking down complex topics, making it easier for newcomers to grasp the essentials of serverless computing. Overall, this course is an excellent starting point for those new to serverless architectures and looking to get their feet wet in Azure.
Course 2: Connect Your Services with Microsoft Azure Service Bus
The second course, “Connect Your Services with Microsoft Azure Service Bus,” is designed for those with some prior knowledge of Azure and cloud computing. The course dives deep into the intricacies of Azure Service Bus, a key component for cloud-based communication. It is recommended for those interested in architecting and managing distributed applications, as it covers a range of topics, from basic messaging patterns to advanced features like message sequencing and dead-letter queues.
What sets this course apart is its focus on enterprise-level messaging solutions, preparing you for challenges you might face in larger organizations. It is particularly strong in its hands-on approach, offering labs that allow you to implement the messaging patterns you learn about. This practical aspect is invaluable for anyone looking to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios. The instructors are experienced professionals, adding a layer of credibility to the course. However, this also means that the course can sometimes feel like an extended tutorial on Azure Service Bus, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but something to be aware of.
It is a solid course for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of Azure messaging services. However, it requires a dedicated approach to fully grasp the nuances of distributed application design. If you’re looking to specialize in cloud-based communication, this course is a must.
Course 3: Data Storage in Microsoft Azure for Associate Developers
The third course, “Data Storage in Microsoft Azure for Associate Developers,” is aimed at those who have some experience with Azure and wish to deepen their understanding of data storage solutions. This course is all about data storage solutions in Azure. It covers a wide array of services, including Azure SQL Database, Cosmos DB, and Blob Storage. The course stands out for its in-depth coverage of data partitioning, indexing, and optimization strategies, which are crucial for any data-intensive application. The hands-on labs focus on implementing these strategies, giving you a practical understanding of how to optimize data storage and help learners become proficient with Azure’s data storage solutions. If you’re interested in the data aspect of cloud computing, this course will be invaluable for those aiming to understand and work with Azure’s versatile data storage services but be prepared to invest time in grasping the intricacies of each storage option.
Course 4: Deploy a Website with Azure Virtual Machines
With a different approach by focusing on deploying websites using Azure Virtual Machines, the fourth course, “Deploy a Website with Azure Virtual Machines,” is designed for those who are looking to understand the scalability and management of websites on Azure. It provides a comprehensive look at Azure Disk Storage and Azure Networking, essential components for any web deployment. It employs a mix of video lectures, hands-on labs, and quizzes, which not only test your understanding but also prepare you for real-world application. Unique to this course are the labs that simulate the deployment of different types of web applications, from simple static websites to complex, data-driven applications. If you’re a web developer looking to understand the nitty-gritty of deploying websites on Azure, this course is for you.
Course 5: Manage Resources in Azure
With ‘resource management’ as the main focus of this course, this fifth course, “Manage Resources in Azure,” is aimed at those who already have some experience with Azure and are looking to manage resources more effectively. It examines areas like Azure Resource Manager, Azure Policy, and Azure Blueprints, teaching you how to manage resources effectively across multiple Azure subscriptions and resource groups. The course is unique in its focus on governance and compliance, crucial aspects of resource management in larger organizations. The labs simulate real-world governance scenarios – a standout feature, making this course particularly relevant for those in or aspiring to managerial roles in cloud computing.
Course 6: Deploy a Website to Azure with Azure App Service
The sixth course, “Deploy a Website to Azure with Azure App Service,” is designed for those who are looking to understand the scalability and management of websites on Azure and who want to deploy websites but prefer a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) approach. If you’re a developer who wants to focus more on code and less on infrastructure, this course is ideal.
With five modules, the course covers essential topics like Azure App Service, Azure Web Apps, and Azure Mobile App Backends and teaches you how to deploy web apps and mobile backends with minimal fuss. What sets this course apart is its focus on DevOps integration, teaching you how to set up continuous integration and deployment pipelines for your web applications.
Course 7: Secure Your Cloud Data
The seventh course, “Secure Your Cloud Data,” is aimed at those who are looking to secure data and resources in Azure. Security takes center stage in this course, as it covers various topics like Azure Active Directory, Azure Key Vault, and Azure RBAC, providing a comprehensive look at securing your cloud data and resources. Unique to this course is its focus on identity management and data encryption, both crucial aspects of cloud security. The labs are designed to simulate security breach scenarios, teaching you how to secure your cloud resources proactively. If you’re concerned about cloud security, this course is a must. It employs a mix of video lectures, hands-on labs, and quizzes, which not only test your understanding but also prepare you for real-world application. With a duration of nine hours, it is a comprehensive yet manageable course that offers a deep dive into Azure security, along with ensuring the integrity and privacy of data in the cloud.
Course 8: Prepare for AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure
The final course in this series is designed to prepare you for the AZ-204 certification exam. Unlike the other courses, this one serves as a comprehensive review, tying together all the skills and knowledge you’ve gained throughout the program. It covers a broad range of topics, from Azure compute solutions to Azure security, providing a holistic view of Azure development. What makes this course unique is its focus on exam preparation, including tips and strategies for tackling different types of questions. The course also includes practice exams that closely mimic the format and difficulty level of the actual AZ-204 exam. If you’re aiming to get certified, this course is essential as it provides the final push to ensure your exam-ready.
What do others say?
Views on the Microsoft Azure Developer Associate (AZ-204) Professional Certificate are mixed. On Coursera, many learners praise the course for its comprehensive and practical content, but some find the pacing challenging.
On Reddit and Class Central, several suggest complementing the course with Microsoft Azure’s official documentation and practice exams for a more well-rounded preparation for the AZ-204 certification exam. This aligns with the general consensus that, while the course is a valuable resource, especially for hands-on experience and real-world applicability, it shouldn’t be your only avenue for exam preparation.
Is the Microsoft Azure Developer Associate Professional Certificate worth the cost?
Coursera’s Microsoft Azure Developer Associate (AZ-204) Professional Certificate involves completing a series of courses and exam preparation resources, spanning roughly two months if you dedicate around 10 hours per week. The financial aspect is something to consider; the course itself comes with a monthly fee, and if you’re aiming for the official Microsoft certification, that’s an additional $165 for the exam.
The program is included in Coursera Plus, so if you already hold a subscription, it won’t cost you anything extra to complete this program. If you opt for Coursera Plus at $59 per month, you’re looking at a total of $108 for the two-month duration. This subscription not only gives you access to this Azure course but also to a wide array of other Coursera offerings. And if you’re highly committed, you could potentially finish the program within a single month, cutting your costs.
Just like most Coursera courses, you have the option to audit the course material for free, but this won’t give you access to hands-on exercises or a certificate of completion.
Although the program does require a financial investment, especially when you add the separate certification exam fee, it could be a worthwhile expenditure depending on your career aspirations in Azure development. The Coursera Plus subscription could be a more budget-friendly alternative, especially if you plan to take multiple courses.
Alternatives and complements to this certificate
While the Microsoft Azure Developer Associate (AZ-204) Professional Certificate on Coursera is a strong choice for Azure certification prep, there are other avenues you could explore. Some might prefer self-study using Microsoft’s own Azure documentation and whitepapers, or they may opt for other online courses that cover similar grounds. Your choice could depend on your specific needs or learning preferences.
For those who prefer a one-time payment model, Udemy‘s AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure could be an alternative. It covers a broad range of topics and includes practice exams, although it lacks the hands-on labs that Coursera offers.
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure (AZ-204) by Pluralsight could be worth considering. While it covers similar content, it comes at a lower subscription price.
However, if you’re asking for a course that excels in-depth, hands-on experience, and industry alignment, Coursera’s Microsoft Azure Developer Associate (AZ-204) Professional Certificate would still be my top recommendation.
If you’re serious about becoming a certified Azure Developer Associate, this course is a must. The comprehensive syllabus, hands-on exercises, and industry recognition make it a valuable investment for anyone looking to advance their career in cloud computing. While the course does require a significant time and financial investment, the payoff in terms of skills and career advancement is well worth it.
In general, the Microsoft Azure Developer Associate (AZ-204) Professional Certificate is an excellent program for anyone looking to gain a deep understanding of Azure and effectively prepares learners for the AZ-204 certification exam, although the additional exam fee should be factored into the overall cost. Ultimately, the value of this program depends on individual career goals and the dedication to mastering Azure development.