One of the traps with social media is that people tend to just post nice things. Or everyday things but with a filter applied to make it look better than it really is. But life is not always nice. Things don’t always work out the way you hoped. Some days are successful, other days not so much, and we don’t often hear about the latter.

So allow me to redress the balance on my blog by following up my recent post about passing the Microsoft exam AZ-400, with how I subsequently failed to renew my Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate.

A lot of the newer certifications from Microsoft require an annual renewal. Rather than having to pay Prometric to sit another exam, instead, the renewal is hosted by Microsoft, doesn’t cost anything, has fewer questions and (importantly for me) you can retake the renewal test multiple times until you pass. You’re also still bound by a non-disclosure agreement.

I’d had the notification that my Azure Developer Associate certification needs to be renewed before 18th July (12 months since I first earned the certification).

The information about renewing the Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate includes a summary of what will be tested:

  • Create a long-running serverless workflow with Durable Functions
  • Execute an Azure Function with triggers
  • Choose the appropriate API for Azure Cosmos DB
  • Optimize the performance of Azure Cosmos DB by using partitioning and indexing strategies
  • Control authentication for your APIs with Azure API Management

To be honest, I kind of skimmed over that and just jumped straight in. Hey, I’d passed AZ-204 last year, so this should be easy, right?

I quickly discovered that I’d forgotten a lot of the things that were being asked. And in the end, not surprisingly, I failed.

In hindsight, looking back at that list of skills being measured, I think the problem is I haven’t actually been working with all of those technologies recently. Yes, I’ve been using Azure Functions, but not Durable Functions. I’ve been working with Cosmos DB, but just one aspect of it. Likewise, I haven’t done anything with API Management recently.

So yeah, that was disappointing. But if the point of the assessment is to validate my knowledge of the skills listed above, then a ‘fail’ is unfortunately accurate.

The good news in all this is that I can take the test again.

But also, as part of the screen shown at the end of the test, you’re provided with a customised list of learning material that you could review, based on how you went in each of the skill areas. So I’ve got some homework to do, then I’ll have another go.

Sometimes things don’t work out the way you’d hoped. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to change that. But sometimes, you do get a second (or third) chance.