Cloud & Virtualisation

Deep Impact - Microsoft Azure Impact Academy

QA’s Head of Cloud Solutions, Mark Crump, introduces the Azure Impact Academy.

Start off by imagining this in the voice of Morgan Freeman.

"Years of the traditional ways of learning had left people less receptive to new ideas and ways of thinking. People couldn't spare all the time to sit on a course and not still carry on with their day-to-day work and so some vital learning opportunities were unknowingly lost. Companies were spending training budgets on off-the-shelf products like they were buying tins of beans from a supermarket and never realised there was an alternative for the people that didn't fit in to the 'traditional' course model. As mankind yearned for a new way of learning one company stood out from the rest with a new bold idea… The Microsoft Azure Impact Academy."


Ok ok, so this is not a $75 million dollar disaster movie and there are no well known (or even B Movie grade) actors in this (we did try – Bruce Campbell has now blocked me on Twitter). But in partnership with Microsoft, QA has launched its latest Impact Academy for Microsoft Azure and starring in it there are a whole bunch of enthusiastic, qualified and inspiring people.


So what is the Impact Academy?

Well imagine an online/in-person blended training school for would-be cloud Ninjas and Jedi's that teaches them disciplines ranging from Azure cloud Infrastructure, Development to Architecture. Add in to the mix some Vendor certifications, a stack of real world experiences and challenges and you're on the right track.


Want more details? Ok…

The academies are 12-week long learning programmes incorporating bi-weekly technical challenges. The challenges can range from creating the technical documentation required for the implementation of a piece of essential Azure cloud infrastructure, designing a secure Identity and Access Management plan, to saving the planet from a killer meteor *.

*meteor challenge almost certainly a lie – at the moment

The challenges are to be completed as both part of an agile team for your programme along with some independent hands-on practical work. The expert guidance of our Microsoft Azure accredited QA coaches will be on hand to answer questions, give tips and sound out ideas. The coaches will be there to assist participants virtually so they will be able to undertake the challenges with their cohort at a time that is suitable to their needs. Being allowed to take control of the tasks this way will enable learners on the programme to deliver results on projects based on real-world scenarios in a real world manner. The interactive, yet sandboxed nature of the programme ensures active skills development in a risk-free environment.

Okay, I guess you are probably thinking by now:

"So mostly all I get to do is create some documents? Sounds err…dull, right?"



This is an innovative, fully blended learning experience. Our delegates will not only work independently as well as in teams to create and present technical documentation. They will also engage directly with the technologies in the Azure platform. Learners will build, break and fix almost everything that is covered during the theory parts of the course by completing the preselected hands-on Azure technical challenges from the Learn on Demand platform. They will also sit the entire vendor track for that certification pathway as well as prepare and sit the vendor exams. At the end of the 12 week programme all successful participants will have not only gained ninja level Azure cloud knowledge, industry standard Microsoft Cloud certifications, they will have also gained the vital day-to-day skills needed to implement Azure solutions in the workplace.

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