Preparing for the SharePoint Server 2016 certification

Here's what you can expect when pursuing the SharePoint Server 2016 certification.

microsoft sharepoint logo

Microsoft has announced the certification process for SharePoint 2016. It is similar yet different than the certification for SharePoint 2013 -- here's what you can expect when pursuing the SharePoint Server 2016 certification. Keep in mind this is subject to change if Microsoft changes their mind.

The certification path is similar to SharePoint 2013 in the sense that you take the SharePoint Server 2016 specific exam to obtain your Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016 MCSA certification. However, in order to receive your SharePoint 2016 MCSE, you also have to take the two Office 365 exams (70-346 & 70-347). The way that it is different, at this point, is that there is only one SharePoint Server exam you need to take: exam number 70-339.

Cool, right? Well, maybe.

I am guessing that exam is going to be brutal, because of the fact that they combined two exams into one. If you have taken Microsoft exams before you know they aren’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, so with them combining two exams into one -- Holy Cow!!!

The 70-339 beta exam was made available on June 20th, and a few of my SharePoint friends who took it and indicated to me it was very challenging. After hearing that I decided to learn what we can expect on the exam, and all I can say is WOW and advise you to be prepared.

With that said, here is an idea on what you can expect on the exam. The SharePoint Server 2016 70-339 exam is broken into seven areas and the percentage of impact on each is as follows:

  • Design SharePoint infrastructure (15–20%)
  • Plan authentication and security (15–20%)
  • Plan workload optimization (15–20%)
  • Plan productivity solutions (15–20%)
  • Manage search capabilities (10–15%)
  • Plan and configure cloud services (5–10%)
  • Monitor and optimize a SharePoint environment (10–15%)

Two words in particular from that breakdown make me think this exam is going to be exceedingly difficult: plan and design. While both are quite important in the real world, including them in an exam is difficult because every environment, network topology and budget is different.

With that in mind, there are specific areas that you should to be familiar with -- in addition to the normal deployment and configuration of web applications and service applications -- that haven’t always been on previous SharePoint certification exams. Those include:

  • Designing an information architecture
  • Planning for a hybrid cloud environment
  • Plan and configure web content management (WCM) workloads
  • Plan and configure enterprise content management (ECM) workloads
  • Plan and configure a search workload
  • Plan and configure a BI infrastructure
  • Create and configure work management
  • Plan and configure cloud and federated hybrid search

Are you nervous? I am! SharePoint has always been considered the SOS (System of Systems), and it seems like it just continues to grow, integrate, and expand further with every release.

Now that I have you nervous about the SharePoint Server 2016 70-339 exam, please remember that, as is always the case Microsoft exam preparation, you will need to complete the three P’s: Practice, Practice, and Practice using a SharePoint Server 2016 trial environment so you have hands on experience with the installation, configuration, and maintenance of SharePoint Server 2016.

As always, the information available today is subject to change by Microsoft, so be sure to frequently check Microsoft’s site that contains the updated information about the 70-339 exam to be sure you stay current with any changes they may make regarding this exam.

Best of luck to you -- and I will be sure to update you on any information I hear about regarding this exam.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
Windows 10 annoyances and solutions
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.