Beginner to Azure Expert : Interview with Deepak Goyal

Welcome to the fourth interview of the series, where I would be interviewing the Azure experts all around the world, the focus will be on getting the insights on how to become expert and what experts did to become expert. 

And trying to find answers for following -- How to start Learning Azure, path to be followed, Should you go for certification, free resources to get started with Azure Learning?

Today's Azure expert/guru is Deepak Goyal.

I was impressed with his intention of helping the people who lost their job by imparting the knowledge he has by conducting free sessions.

Azure Expert Interview Deepak Goyal

Deepak Goyal is a certified Big data and Azure Cloud Solution Architect.

He has over 14 Years of experience in the IT industry and 10+ Years of experience in Big data world.

He is among the few who has worked on Hadoop Big data analytics (since the Year 2011) before the popular advancement and adoption of Public cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

He help businesses to define the data-driven architecture and make robust data platform over the cloud to scale up their business.

Writing about Microsoft Azure technologies is one of his favorite works outside the office. 

He helps people to understand cloud concepts and technologies like Azure Data Factory, Azure DataBricks, Apache Spark, Azure Synapse Analytics, Azure Key Vault, Encryption Decryption, Azure Blob Storage, Azure monitor, logging, Snowflake cloud data warehouse, Fivetran and many more complex tools and technologies.

He is a famous Azure blogger, the aim of this blog website is to share his expertise and experience as SME, to help people - learn by tutorials bundled with his personal experience, crack interviews, get their dream job and elevate themselves to the next level without paying anything.

He is also a Youtuber having more than 2K+ subscribers, having videos on technical content like Hadoop, Mapreduce, pySpark, python, Snowflake, and many more.
He is active on Linkedin as well, where he talks and write about Azure Data engineer, Azure certifications like Az-900, DP-203 study guide, DP-900, Az-104, Az-305, also solves people's technical queries and challenges.
Below are his social media handles and details

Youtube:     @ItSkillsUpgrade
Email :

Lets start the interview....

Mahesh: Who are you and what you do?
Deepak: I am Deepak Goyal, having 14+ yrs of working experience in IT industry. I am into big data world since last 10 yrs. I am certified Azure Solution Architect and Microsoft certified Trainer.

I am cloud advocate who loves to write and share my knowledge. I am LinkedIn influencer with having over 43k+ followers.

I actively take sessions and train people to help people become Azure Data Engineer.

Mahesh: When did you start working on Azure?
Deepak: I am working in the big data field since 2012. I started with Hadoop and then moved to spark. I started Azure around 2015 and since then actively working on it.

Mahesh: How did you master Azure (Learning path, amount of time)?
Deepak: Honestly when I started learning Microsoft Azure I didn't get time to learn because it was a project requirement which forced me to learn and start working on it but if I have to suggest to anyone who wants to learn azure I will say that Microsoft has a very good documentation. 

Somebody can even Directly start with the Microsoft learning portal and they can start learn from there if you are looking for having basic understanding of the azure cloud(as an azure fundamental) then hardly 3 weeks is a good enough time.

Once you move to a specific roles like data engineering, devops or data scientist then you may have to put give some extra efforts to master those concepts.

Mahesh: Which are the major Azure projects you handled so far?
I have worked on the couple of project ranging from Data migration to Data Analytics to streaming and machine learning.

Mahesh: What do you think is the most challenging part while working on Azure project?
Deepak: The challenging part while working on the azure project is same like in any other project. 

The challenge is not about the technology but the challenge is about meeting the business requirement.

Mahesh: What as per you is must to know(prerequisite) to become an Azure Expert?
 Ideally there is no perquisite to learn as such as it is nothing but a cloud platform which is quite similar to a computer, the expert knowledge is required when you are drill down to a very specific stream like data Engineering devops or data science or maybe you wanted to become as azure administrator.

Then based on the specific stream you have to master specific technology and the service which is involved and available within azure .

Mahesh: Should one consider Azure certifications? Do they add value to individual or it’s only for organization to get partnership?
Yes definitely you should go ahead for the Azure certification. 

The certification adds a lot of value in your resume and specifically the certification validates and authenticates your knowledge and add the credibility it also helps you to shortlist your resume and give weightage to your resume.

Mahesh: Microsoft keeps changing things around certifications (retiring some, bringing new ones, updating the content etc) – what’s your thought on this?
I agree this it is difficult and quite frustrating but that's a part and parcel of this business you have to keep on changing the things because the technology and the IT industry itself is quite dynamic so we can't expect that everything will remain constant but this happens not that very frequent so somebody can plan it properly and even Microsoft announced it quite long before they actually make any changes so I think this can be manageable.

Mahesh: What are your thoughts on Azure forums, blogs and articles etc.?
Azure forums and blogs are good but still, I  feel they are at a initial level only,  there is a lot of scope for improvement and I feel as more and more people started working within the technology you will get a lot of things within the forum and the blogs.

At times I have find myself in quite difficult situations where I am looking for some help and there is no information available over the forums but this is common for any niche technology, so as time progresses all of these things will improve on its own.

Mahesh: Your suggestion to newcomers? What should be the approach to get started with Azure?
Deepak: My suggestion would be that start as early as possible in the cloud because cloud is now equivalent to a basic computer understanding skills.

So this is more or less must to have this basic understanding, you also need to pick your roles maybe developer data engineer devops data science and then start identifying those services which is there in the cloud and which is related to your profile and start mastering them

Mahesh: What is the future of Azure?
Future of the azure is quiet bright I have a couple of reason behind that. 

1. The reason number one is that it's a Microsoft product so Microsoft has already a long pipeline of products and they've already a very good market penetration so for them it's very easy to sell any other product to their clients because they already have a customer base. 
2. Also Azure is a Microsoft product so it has a very good integration with other Microsoft product it easy to sell easy to integrate.

Mahesh: Do you think the cost of using cloud services for long time will be more than having infrastructure on prem.? (Where transactions are in millions or more)?
Someone can argue on this point but I feel if somebody plans well then it can be managed and reduce the cost because for example if you go with the reserved capacity plan for three years then your pricing could be cut to half.

Second thing which we don't taken into consideration is the the problem of the hardware getting old and outdated, over a period of time the hardware also get outdated with the technological advances.

So with the cloud you can always be updated with the same price so that also needs to be taken into consideration while just thinking about this renting cost.

Mahesh: How do you see Azure compared to other cloud platform?
 Azure started late compared to the other players, other players have a better market penetration at this point of time but the way the Azure is growing is very fast as well as capturing the market very fast.

I feel, the look and feel of the UI and the the usability from the developer point of view of the Microsoft azure beats AWS by long margin. 

Google started even after Azure and still the response is slow for the Google Cloud hence out of this three I feel Azure is at the very sweet spot.

Mahesh: What motivates you to do the community work?
I feel that whatever the knowledge we have, which we have gained over a period of time we should share that knowledge because sharing is also very important even in our day-to-day work . 

We always go to the stackoverflow or other forums to check for any error which we face ,there we get solution. How you get those answers because somebody has shared their knowledge to you right?

So its kind of a social responsibility to go forward and answer peoples query and share your knowledge and help others to grow as well.

Mahesh: Can you please share your experiences around the mission you have started?
 I recently started two missions. 

Mission 1 was to make 100 Azure data engineer and it was joint by not just hundred but almost 400 people.

I taught them about Microsoft Azure data engineering in the step-by-step manner and many of them has already migrated to data engineering and got a very handsome package and switched their job.

Mission 2 which I have started is like teaching the people who are are recently laid off and they are finding it difficult to get the job and they are not in a position where they can spend money financially in upgrading themselves.

So I am running a mission where I am taking sessions for all of these people free of cost and give my best to to help them to get the job in the latest technology.

Mahesh: Any thought/suggestion to the readers/community out there?
 My only suggestion would be that go ahead and upskill yourself, don't stop yourself just by thinking whether this technology could be good or bad for me or whether it will help me or not learning will never be a loss making decision and don't overthink just go ahead and keep on learning and share your knowledge.

Anyone of you who want to become azure data engineer, you can join my mission that is #mission100AzureDataengineeer you can find the link here:

You can also do follow me on LinkedIn for getting the latest update on the Azure.

Thanks a lot Deepak for taking out time and sharing your valuable thoughts with us.

If you have any questions for Deepak then feel free to ask questions to Deepak in comments section below!!!

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