Pluralsight + Azure home screen
Cloud solutions have little to do with the solutions we have on-premises. Cloud solutions are built with ambitious and monstrously huge goals in mind, so, often it feels like no previous technology has been reused. In addition to some understandable concepts, like file storage, database services, and all-purpose functions, Cloud solutions allow us to use such things as machine learning and massive parallel compute by virtually hiring a lot of hardware and infrastructure, which otherwise wouldn’t be available for most of the potential users.
If a company decided to move into the Cloud, it means that all the IT staff need to acquire a lot of new skills as quickly as possible. Personally, I found that the unguided learning path offered by the Cloud technologies is quite difficult. It feels like your previous experience can’t help you with the flood of information. There are so many tools available, it is hard to keep track of all of them. But (for me) the hardest thing was figuring out how to wrap your head around how to make the different tools you picked talk to each other.
Microsoft has realised the need for guidance on the learning paths, so they have partnered with Pluralsight to deliver their free role-based training for Azure. Current roles include Administrator, Solution Architect, Developer, also AI Engineer, Data Engineer, etc., which is aligned with the Microsoft certification you can get.
Each role includes a number of skills. You can evaluate your current skill by taking a test. Tests contain 20 questions, time to answer each is limited. You are asked to measure your skill before accessing the courses. The learning paths for each skill include beginner, intermediate and advanced courses. If you showed that you are experienced in a skill, Pluralsight will suggest you to skip the beginner level, although all of them are still available to you. All courses contain video lectures and demos, i.e. no more quizzes. However, to understand if you have learnt anything, you can test your skill again any time.
Courses include downloadable resources, like slides, links, transcript etc. For example, for the Data Engineer course, it is possible to download the data files and scripts used in demos, so that you can try to reproduce the demo yourself.
Another cool feature of Pluralsight is notes. You can pause a video at any time and add a note there, so that you can return to this specific bookmarked place on the video any time.
I like how the courses combine different tools and techniques, or provided examples of architecture, that can work together. This really helps with understanding.