100 Days of Cloud — Day 17: Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge 2021 (What is it, how does it work, and should I do it?)

Welcome to Day 17 — today I’m changing track slightly and going to talk about something a little different.

Microsoft Ignite is again a virtual event this Autumn/Fall, and runs from November 2nd to 4th. You can register for the event at this link, and build your timetable from the sessions available. I attended my first Ignite in Spring 2020, its a great conference to attend (I hope to do one in person some day!!).

The Cloud Skills Challenge — What is it and how does it work?

For the last few Ignite Events, Microsoft have run the Cloud Skills Challenge. This normally opens at the same time as the conference and finishes 28 days later. The concept is simple — you complete a Microsoft Learn Module in your chosen specialist subject across a number of different disciplines (Azure/Teams/M365/AI/Developer etc) and this qualifies you for a free voucher for your choice of Microsoft Certification Exam from a list. This years list of exams to choose from is:

Previously, this list would have included only Technical Certifications, but as you can see from the list above there is something to choose for everyone across Admin, Sales, Supply Chain and Technical disciplines. You only have between December 7th 2021 until March 15th 2022 to take the exam, it is non-transferable and cannot be extended outside of these dates.

The other important thing to note here is that you can do as many Learn Tracks as you wish, but you will still only qualify for ONE Exam Voucher. So whether you do one Learn Track or five, you still only qualify for one exam voucher.

You can register for the Cloudskills Challenge here, and the rules are here.

Should you do it?

Having done 2 myself at different Ignite events already, it is worthwhile doing it as the cost of a Microsoft Certification Exam is normally €/$165. Its also worth doing if one of the exams listed above is in your goals or field of study for the coming months.

Its not worth doing it if the only reason if for a free voucher and you don’t really know what to use it for, and the just take an exam for the sake of it because you have the voucher. However, because of the broad range of topics covered, there’s no reason not to do it.

So jump in and keep learning folks, I’m going to!!

Hope you enjoyed this post, until next time!!