Microsoft DevOps Solutions AZ-400

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0:09 Miko Pawlikowski

Hello and welcome to another exciting episode of Conf42Cast. My name is Miko Pawlikowski, I'll be guide and today with me, I've got Swapneelkumar Deshpande, author of "Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps solutions AZ-400 Exam Guide", Second Edition. Hello Swapneel, how are you today?

0:29 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

Hey, Miko, I'm very good. Thank you. And thank you for having me here

0:34 Miko Pawlikowski

Did I get the title, right? It's a long title "AZ-400 Exam Guide".

0:39 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

It's mouthful, yeah.

0:41 Miko Pawlikowski

But before we jump into that, as with every guest we have, we start you off with a difficult question. And yours is, if you could go faster than the speed of light, where would you go?

0:52 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

I would certainly try to go out of our Milky Way galaxy, and would like to see you know, the different galaxies. If I could have that, you know, superpower to go faster than the light and roam across the galaxies. Intra-galaxy traveller.

1:07 Miko Pawlikowski

Well, I imagine your Instagram feed would be amazing when you come back. So we don't have authors every single time we have an episode. So let's jump in straight to your book. First of all, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself and why you ended up writing a book with such a serious title?

1:31 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

Okay, the title is not that serious, alright? About me, I have been in the industry for now almost two decades, right? Been working on Microsoft platform since I think from long time back. So have a rich experience across the development, executing the large scale enterprise projects. Coming to when we deliver the projects, the biggest challenge has been, okay, how to deliver the quality? When it comes to the quality people want to be proud of what they delivered. But how do we ensure that everyone is capable, or everyone is empowered to deliver that quality code out to the production? So that's where the DevOps, which is like a collaboration between the multiple teams comes into picture. It is out there, people know about the DevOps in certain contexts, but there are tools how to use those tools, what are the different products are there in the market, which are going to be helpful to do this DevOps effectively. There was a need, which I saw that AZ-400, is I'll talk about the AZ-400 in a while, but the AZ-400 exam is a comprehensive on the DevOps. So I thought this is a good opportunity, and leverage my previous experience on to the DevOps and author this book.

2:51 Miko Pawlikowski

I see. So you saw the need, and one day you woke up and you decide that, it's time, I'm gonna write a book about it.

2:58 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

When I interacted with the forums and interacted with the groups, we realize that okay, each and every project, you take in the data, machine learning AI, your normal web applications, mobile applications, different technology stacks. But what is a common there is your DevOps cycle, the tools which are there, so which is essential for all of the folks to know about it. And there was opportunity as well. It was a long-given thought it was like, hey, you know, using the groups, using the YouTube, or some of the other groups, other meetup groups and everywhere, but yeah, this was the one of the better opportunity to author the book and share the experience and the knowledge.

3:39 Miko Pawlikowski

Got it. And you're at the second edition now, right? So what was the first edition?

3:44 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

It was the same, the book version, the name was the same. It was, I think, three, four years back. And the people who wrote it is Maik van der Gaag and Henry Been, and they were quite happy that the topics, the subject is still in demand. And we are working on to the version two, it was the same topic on this one.

4:04 Miko Pawlikowski

Okay, so maybe let's try to demystify now the AZ-400 Exam. What is that?

4:11 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

Alright, so for the Microsoft has different different exams. And for Azure-related, they came up with the prefix as AZ, and the 400 is the number given for the DevOps-related exams. So when we talk about the DevOps solution, AZ-400. It covers what is a DevOps? Why do you need a DevOps? What is SRE? What are the different tools for your dependency management, for your security? Like say for security, Azure has his own Azure security, Azure defender. Then we have the for monitoring purposes Azure monitor, Azure application insights, log analytics. If we go a little bit forward, then we have the Kubernetes, you have the Kubernetes cluster. Then we have Azure app services, all other services out there, which are going to, you have continuous integration, continuous delivery. In fact, now we have a GitHub as well. And with the GitHub, there is a GitHub actions as well. But Azure 400 covers, when we go through this exam, you will be the confident the person will be confident enough that yes, if there is assignment is there, they can deliver, they can work on those assignments. Or the person is a little bit aware of the diverse activities like using the TerraForm scripts, or templates, like a little bit work on the Kubernetes side as well. It will cover your level 200. So there are different different levels like level 100, level 200, level 300. So this will cover up until the level 200. And you go a little bit deeper onto each of the chapters, each of the exercises, then you will be the expert into the DevOps site. So the AZ-400 exam, which is the one-step solution to understand various aspects of the DevOps.

5:55 Miko Pawlikowski

And how much of that is actually Microsoft-specific? Because what you're describing sounds fairly broad. How much of that is actually Azure or Microsoft specific versus, you know, applicable anywhere?

6:10 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

So the concepts are pretty generic, alright. When we say, hey, I want a continuous integration, there are different different tools, like multiple tools in the market. GitLab is there, Jenkins there, multiple things are there. If we go for dependency management for NPM, it's a different thing for Java, there is a different thing than for Microsoft. For dotnet, there is a nougat. So there different available things in the market. But as a concept wise, when we talk about, okay, how do I deliver? How do I make it more effective formatting? Then the continuous integration is there, continuous delivery is there. How do you monitor your applications, when you deploy to your mobile to your website, or when we go for large scale application? When we say about the large scale, like when running on, you know, 1000s of your app services are running the same code. Each is running in a different regions, then how do we monitor it effectively, that's where these tools which are coming from the Azure will come hand it to us. And this exam focuses on those concepts and the tools which are developed by the Microsoft.

7:11 Miko Pawlikowski

So basically, you've got everything that you're going to need. If you're preparing for one of those exams, at the same time, you're going to learn a whole bunch of things that are applicable. I guess, regardless of the actual technology stack that you use. Tell me, which part did you find people were the most excited about? Because you're obviously touching a broad spectrum of things, when I read through the table of contents, you start with source control, through continuous integration, build, all the way to containers, and stuff like that. I'm wondering, is there any particular one that people find the most exciting? How many questions do you get about the different parts of the book?

7:56 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

I mean, the feedback which I have is, if the person is new, definitely they find the application insights, so how to instrument your applications, they find it very interesting. The reason is when we go to the cloud hey, you cannot just debug your applications, because it's a different thought process, to instrument your mobile applications to instrument your web applications running large scale in the cloud, and then monitor those applications using the Application Insights, writing those queries and see that okay, my application has, okay, these many different requests, these are my dependencies, this is my latency. When the person gets that visibility, people like that, and when they find it, okay, you know, when I came to know about this tool, this is helping me a lot. And the second part is, when we talk about the SRE, Site Reliability Engineering, that's something the overall ecosystem is still catching up on those things. Okay, how to install, how to implement the SRE or how to get to know about the SRE. Those are the two major things which I've seen people liking those about. People when they read about it, okay, this is something which has been very helpful for us, but there are different chapters as well there, which is about the Kubernetes cluster. There is a different sets of groups. If somebody is a developer, they will talk about the dependency management, the instrumenting your applications. And if there is a testing person, or who is the project manager, he will talk more about the like, okay, I like the DevOps part. It's a different sets of chapters are there which are and all of these things are essential. We cannot just choose one, it goes as per your role, your role you're playing to the project.

9:37 Miko Pawlikowski

Okay, so tell me what's going to come in the third edition. What editions are you planning on making when you refresh the book the next time?

9:46 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

That has not been, we just settled down, alright? We just finished a couple of months back to finishing the second edition. I've been working with the Packt as a first time author for this book. The support from Packt was very nice considering the timeline and considering the review process, they have a very thorough review process across the contents, there are multiple review processes there. Possibly as a next one, it could be focusing on a specific chapter as a security or specific onto the Kubernetes cluster. This is a broad concept. Now we have to deep dive and double click on to each of the section. That's where we will jump into. But there are different different exams as well there. Like, if we go for security, AZ-204 exam is there. But that covers only the security, like how to do a deep dive into the security, let's say Azure Defender. Azure Defender has multiple features. Like when you upload a file to the blob, it automatically scans for is that like a malware? Or is there a problem with that file? Not many people know about it. So when we deep dive into those parts, but nothing is planned at this minute, but let us see how things go after this.

11:01 Miko Pawlikowski

And you mentioned that the packed team offered good support and review. But I wass curious how your overall experience as a first time author was. Did you have to classic, 'Oh, this is great', 'Oh, no, I hate this', 'Oh, I'm glad it's done', kind of curve? Or was it all easy and nice and relaxed for you?

11:25 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

Oh no. I mean, when I started I was not excited. Let us get it going. I have the weekend off, these days holidays. So I could spend some time. I was like, okay, not a difficult thing. I know everything about it. But when we sit down and try to articulate into the words, try to put it concisely into the chapters. That's where like, after first chapter, I was like, 'No, I don't want to do this again'. Because the experience, the revision was there, multiple revisions coming around. The experience was like, it was worthwhile. I mean, it was a good learning curve for me as well. The support system, there was a support system available to me with from the Packt, as well as my quarters. So initially, it was very bumpy ride. I mean, look, no, no was I will, I don't want to do it anymore no. But when I gradually from first to second to third, then I got the gist of it like, hey, how do we put it across? I think I will definitely do it one more time.

12:24 Miko Pawlikowski

One more time. How long did it take you?

12:29 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

Initially, the book was planned for six months, six to seven months. But due to the some of the changes into the topics and the multiple revisions, as well as the availability of the reviewers, it got a little bit delayed, and it took nine months overall to the final revision and the publication.

12:46 Miko Pawlikowski

So almost on time, that doesn't sound too delayed.

12:51 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

Nine months like you want to get it done. Because if you remember your first chapter you wrote, wrote like six months back, what I was thinking, like, you know, when you write your code, you write something when you implement it. What was I thinking when I implement this logic? Bring back that thought process, go into that kind of zone, where have you aligned with your previous thought process. And don't go on rewriting the complete chapter. That's where we are to work on it more.

13:21 Miko Pawlikowski

Definitely. Okay, so one more question for you. Looking into the future. And you know, given your experience with this DevOps space, what kind of developments do you expect to become more and more significant? Are there any trends that you've been seeing become more important? Let's say if we talk about 2023, what would you expect to become the next big thing?

13:51 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

I see the more interest around the Kubernetes definitely, the people want to go serverless. They do not want on the servers. So more kind of like a platform as a service, platform on the serverless functions. If I talk about, you know, the deployment style, this is the way I want to deploy my applications. So I worry less about it, about the scaling part about managing those parts. That's where the most companies will try to adopt it, they can, once you go to the Kubernetes, it becomes a neutral to the provider like the things can move from one cloud to another cloud, or from that cloud to your own data center. Or it may be one of the machine which is running under your desk. So I mean, as well as that machine supports your infrastructure requirements. But it's very easy when you have Docker images. When you go for that kind of deployment, that adoption to the Docker, I see as more becoming more adoptable and people will be running less across to the without Docker applications.

14:59 Miko Pawlikowski

Not that long ago, were promised we would have flying cars by now. But sounds like serverless is the second best thing and we're gonna have to make do with that.

15:18 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

There was this question, but if you asked me about the flying cars, right, is something like, Hey, okay, there is a flying car going above my head. I don't want to go to the anxious mode. Like, okay. I don't know when he's going to have the glitch and going to fall down. But fair enough. Yeah, it would be good to have the flying cars.

15:40 Miko Pawlikowski

Yeah, that's true. Have a little caveat. Hopefully they're more reliable than most of the software out there. Alright. Swapneelkumar Deshpande, author of "Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps solution, AZ-400 Exam Guide", Second Edition, everybody. Thank you so much for your time Swapneel. For everybody who wants to grab a copy of your book now, where did they go? How do they buy it?

15:40 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

Okay, the book is available on Amazon. If you just search for the AZ-400 on Amazon, then you'll be able to find the link. And please buy it from the Amazon or you can buy it from the Packt site as well.

16:22 Miko Pawlikowski

And for anybody who wants to follow your adventures specifically, do you use Twitter, LinkedIn, what's the best way to connect with you?

16:30 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

LinkedIn is the best fit for me to connect to. So my LinkedIn is my name. So you just look for and Swapneel Deshpande. I'm reachable on LinkedIn and pretty responsive on LinkedIn as well.

16:44 Miko Pawlikowski

Awesome. And with that, thank you very much. And I guess we'll touch again on the third edition.

16:53 Swapneelkumar Deshpande

All right, thank you very much and it was a good experience. Thank you, Miko. Thank you very much again for having me.

16:58 Miko Pawlikowski


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