Tips for learning Azure in the new year

As 2020 is upon us, it's natural to take time and reflect back on the current year’s achievements (and challenges) and begin planning for the next year. One of our New Year’s resolutions was to continue live streaming software development topics to folks all over the world. In our broadcasts in late November and December, the Azure community saw some of our 2020 plans. While sharing, many others typed in the chat from across the world that they’d set a New Year’s resolution to learn Azure and would love any pointers.

When we shared our experiences learning Azure in the “early days,” we talked about the number of great resources (available at no cost) users can take advantage of right now, and carry their learnings into the new year and beyond. 

Here are a few tips for our developer community to help them keep their resolutions to learn Azure:

  1. Create a free account: The first thing that you’ll need is to create a free account. You can sign up with a Microsoft or GitHub account and get access to 12 months of popular free services, a 30-day Azure free trial with $200 to spend during that period and over 25 services that are free forever. Once your 30-day trial is over, we’ll notify you so you can decide if you want to upgrade to pay-as-you-go pricing and remove the spending limit. In other words, no surprises here folks!
  2. Stay current with the Azure Application Developer and languages page: This home page is a single, unified destination for developers and architects that covers Azure application development along with all of our language pages such as .NET, Node.js, Python, and more. It is refreshed monthly and your go-to-source for our SDKs, hands-on tutorials, docs, blogs, events, and other Azure resources. Check out our recent Python for Beginners series to jump right in.
  3. Free Developer’s Guide to Azure eBook: This free eBook includes all the updates from Microsoft’s first-party conferences, along with new services and features announced since then. In addition to these important services, we drill into practical examples that you can use in the real world and included a table and reference architecture that show you “what to use when” for databases, containers, serverless scenarios, and more. There is also a key focus on security to help you stop potential threats to your business before they happen. You’ll also see brand new sections on IoT, DevOps, and AI/ML that you can take advantage of today. In the more than 20 pages of demos, you’ll be diving into topics that include creating and deploying .NET Core web apps and SQL Server to Azure from scratch, building on to the application to perform analysis of the data with Cognitive Services. After the app is created, we’ll make it more robust and easier to update by incorporating CI/CD using API Management to control our APIs and generate documentation automatically.
  4. Azure Tips and Tricks (weekly tips and videos): Azure Tips and Tricks helps developers learn something new within a couple of minutes. Since inception in 2017, the collection has grown to over 230 tips and more than 80 videos, conference talks, and several eBooks spanning the entire universe of the Azure platform. Featuring a new weekly tip and video it is designed to help you boost your productivity with Azure, and all tips are based on practical real-world scenarios. The series spans the entire universe of the Azure platform from Azure App Services, to containers, and more. Swing by weekly for a tip or stay for hours watching our Azure YouTube playlist.
  5. Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock sample application: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock is the geek version of the classic Rock, Paper, Scissors game. Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock is created by Sam Kass and Karen Bryla.
    The sample application running in Azure was presented at Microsoft Ignite 2019 by Scott Hanselman and friends. It’s a multilanguage application built with Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code, deployed with GitHub Actions, and running on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). The sample application also uses Azure Machine Learning and Azure Cognitive Services (custom vision API). Languages used in this application include .NET, Node.js, Python, Java, and PHP.
  6. Microsoft.Source Newsletter: Get the latest articles, documentation, and events from our curated monthly developer community newsletter. Learn about new technologies and find opportunities to connect with other developers online and locally. Each edition, you’ll have the opportunity to share your feedback and shape the newsletter as it grows and evolves.

Additional resources

Here are some bonus tips to help you keep up with Azure as it changes:

  • Azure documentation is the most comprehensive and current resource you’ll find for all of our Azure services.
  • See how Microsoft does DevOps: Customers are looking for guidance and insights about companies that have undergone a transformation through DevOps. To that end, we are sharing the stories of four Microsoft teams that have experienced DevOps transformation, with guidance on lessons learned and ways to drive organizational change through Azure technologies and internal culture. The stories are aimed at providing practical information about DevOps adoption to developers, IT professionals, and decision-makers.
  • Azure Friday is a video series that releases up to three new episodes per week to keep up with the latest in Azure with hosts such as Scott Hanselman.

Source: Azure Blog Feed

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