It’s important to use plenty of great study materials when studying for that next Microsoft certification exam. There are many great paid resources available on the video course front. You can always read the official Microsoft documentation too. However, if you need some hands-on guides to step you through performing tasks, it’s great to use hands-on lab guides to speed up the learning process. There are some great paid resources available, but there are also some really great free resources as well.
The Microsoft documentation is a great resource that includes several “step-by-step” type guides on performing tasks and getting things done with various technologies. Also, the Microsoft Learn site has many great labs and other instructions that can be used. However, the Internet is ripe with a ton of really great hand-on lab content that is free, and even much of it is released as Open Source too!
FREE Microsoft Certification Hands-on Lab Guides
Below you’ll find a list of some really great FREE hands-on lab resources for helping you study for many of the different Microsoft certification exams!
Free labs from Microsoft Learning
Microsoft Learning builds lots of instructor-led training courses and even the Microsoft Learn content. A somewhat obscure fact (at least until this article was published) is that they release TONS of hands-on lab guides free and open source over on Github under the “MicrosoftLearning” organization account.
Here are several of the Free and Open Source projects available in the MicrosoftLearning organization on Github:
- AI-900 Azure AI Fundamentals Exam Labs
- AZ-104 Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam Labs
- AZ-120 Planning and Administering Microsoft Azure for SAP Workloads Exam Labs
- AZ-140 Configuring and Operating Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop Exam Labs
- AZ-204 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure Exam Labs
- AZ-220 Microsoft Azure IoT Developer Exam Labs
- AZ-300 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies Exam Labs
- AZ-301 Microsoft Azure Architect Design Exam Labs
- AZ-400 Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions Exam Labs
- AZ-500 Azure Security Exam Labs
- AZ-700 Designing and Implementing Microsoft Azure Networking Solutions Exam Labs
- DP-100 Designing and Implementing Data Science Solutions on Microsoft Azure Exam Labs
- DP-203 Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure Exam Labs
- MS-700 Managing Microsoft Teams Exam Labs
Basically all the Microsoft official hands-on labs for all the Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC) certification training courses are all hosted and available for free on GitHub. It’s not the training content, but only the hands-on labs, however, this is an amazing resources available for anyone looking to learn and train up to pass these certifications!
The GitHub organization with all the repos for the Microsoft Learning hands-on labs is located at https://github.com/MicrosoftLearning
It’s always good to remember that Microsoft Learn is Microsoft’s own resource with a ton of great learning content. There are learning paths that are geared towards specific Microsoft certification exams, and there are paths geared towards specific technologies. Some of the training contains hands-on lab type content, and others are just text and videos. Overall, Microsoft Learn is a great learning resource that is available completely free!
Microsoft Learn is located at https://learn.microsoft.com/
Microsoft Cloud Workshops
The Microsoft Cloud Workshops have a ton of really great hands-on labs for various technology and business scenarios. There are also design session guides that can be used as well. All the Microsoft Cloud Workshops can be found at https://microsoftcloudworkshop.com and they are hosted on Github as well!
There are many other Free and Open Source hands-on lab resources available across the Internet. Many are hosted on Github and others are hosted elsewhere.
Here’s a list of some more lab resources to look into:
- Azure DevOps Labs
- Azure IoT Labs to build end to end IoT solutions from azure-samples/azureiotlabs on GitHub
There are a lot of really great hands-on lab guides available online for free. Remember, Microsoft Learn is a really great resource, but so are many of the free lab resources available too. Another great aspect to things is there are many that are released, not just for free, but also as Open Source!
Happy studying and learning!