Microsoft Learn

Introduction

As IT professionals we should always be learning. Some people like in person classroom based training, some video based training like Pluralsight, blog posts, labbing, etc. One platform I don’t hear so much about is Microsoft Learn which is a very nice (and free!) way to learn about Microsoft technologies. Lets explore it in this post.

What is Microsoft Learn?

The FAQ page states:

Microsoft Learn is a free, online training platform that provides interactive learning for Microsoft products. Our goal is to help you become proficient on our technologies with fun, guided, hands-on, interactive content that’s specific to your role and goals.

Microsoft Learn covers the following technologies:

  • .NET
  • Azure
  • Dynamics 365
  • Microsoft 365
  • Microsoft Graph
  • Office
  • Power Platform
  • SQL Server
  • Visual Studio
  • Windows

Each of these technologies is broken down into various sub topics. For example the Azure section has 60+ modules

Microsoft Learn Structure

The platform is built on learning paths, modules and units:

  • Learning Paths are collections of modules that are focuses on a specific learning outcome. Some example paths are Azure fundamentals, Take you first steps with C#, Manage security with Microsoft 365, etc.
  • Modules are courses that are a collection of articles, labs and videos. Multiple modules make up a Learning Path
  • Units are small pieces of content that are included in a module

Units are the basis of Microsoft Learn. A unit is typically some text covering part of a module, but it can also be a video, and in some cases even labs! What is cool in the Azure modules I have gone through there are sandboxed labs running directly in Azure. this makes Microsoft Learn not just a static learning method but an interactive one which I really enjoy.

At the end of each unit there questions to check your knowledge and once you complete a module your are issued a badge. Once you complete all modules in a Learning Path you are issued a Trophy. These can be shared on your public profile. Here is mine as an example.

What I like about Microsoft Learn

Any free training that is available is always welcome! The quality of the material is on par with paid for platforms as you would expect from the people that make the technology. The units are well written and of a good length (typically around 5-10 minutes) so it feels like you are making progress instead of one monolithic 2 hour unit of work. It’s easy to do a module in a lunch break or a spare block of time.

If a certification is your goal then Microsoft have associated multiple learning paths to a certification. For example on the AZ-103 Certification page there are 11 learning paths to aid your learning for passing the exam. With Microsoft Learn and some lab time I think you could successfully pass the exam.

If certification is not your goal, you can filter modules down to a skill you need to pick up. For instance if you wanted to focus on Azure DevOps practices you can filter down on the appropriate modules. This means you can focus on what you need to skill up on quickly and easily.

Wrap Up

I would highly recommend you have a look at Microsoft Learn if you need to up-skill on modern Microsoft technologies. I have found it useful while learning Azure and certainly complements other training platforms. Great job Microsoft!

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