Just about a year ago Microsoft made the MCPD (Microsoft Certified Professional Developer) certification for Azure available by releasing Exam 70-583 (PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Azure Applications).
I started off by browsing through the Microsoft “Learning Plan” for the certification which was kind of slow so I skipped through most of it.
A better start were the videos presented at the Learn Windows Azure event held in December 2011. All sessions were recorded and can be viewed or downloaded on Channel 9. They won't give you the depth you need to pass the exam but they do provide a good starting point for getting to know Windows Azure and getting familiar with the various services and tools.
Here's a summary of the videos:
- Keynote: Getting started with Windows Azure with Scott Guthrie on getting started building applications for Windows Azure with the Windows Azure SDK & Tools.
- Cloud Data & Storage with Dave Campbell on SQL Azure and Windows Azure storage services in your cloud applications.
- Channel 9 Cloud Cover Show Live, Steve Marx and Wade Wagner show some short demos about the Access Control Service (ACS), AppFabric Caching, Blob Storage with Node.js and some cool Kinect Powered Windows Azure (Node.js and Kinect are not part of the exam of course!).
- Developing Windows Azure Applications with Visual Studio with Jay Schmelzer showing how to use Visual Studio to develop, debug, and deploy cloud applications.
Last but not least, I spent most of my study time going through the Windows Azure online training courses over at Pluralsight.com. I strongly recommend getting a subscription if you don't already have one! Watching the videos via their mobile app while commuting is truly timesaving.
Some other references:
- The main MSDN site for the Windows Azure Platform documentation
- The Windows Azure Training Course includes a comprehensive set of hands-on labs and videos that are designed to help you quickly learn how to use Windows Azure services and SQL Azure.
- Exam topics with links, The road to getting the MCPD Windows Azure credential
- On SQLblog.com there's a good article with the six learning plan areas from the “Skills Being Measured” section with various references and notes covering each topic (some links broken).
- CloudXplorer for browsing Windows Azure blob storage
- Azure Storage Explorer for inspecting and altering blobs, queues and tables.