#81 Roadmap to conquer Microsoft Certified: Data Engineer Associate certification exam (DP-203)

Hang Nguyen
4 min readJan 30

Since I am closely working with Azure Databricks and Data engineering in general, this exam turned out to be surprisingly easy for me. If you have been working for a while with Azure Databricks, Azure Data Factory and Synapse, this exam is tailored perfectly for you. Don’t hesitate and take the exam right away :) (I personally only went through some free questions on Exam Topics of roughly 120 questions and used my common sense from work experience to pass this exam. However, I think a proper preparation is essential for general audience and those that are quite new to the field).

Alright, no more chit-chating, let’s get right to the main part: Preparation phase. Tbh, this is real challenging for me to go through each single bullet points while writing this blog post since I have taken this exam some months ago and question myself even how I could pass this exam. Surprisingly, I did?

Structure of DP-203 exam

  • Design and implement data storage (40–45%)
  • Design and develop data processing (25–30%)
  • Design and implement data security (10–15%)
  • Monitor and optimize data storage and data processing (10–15%)

Focuses of exam

Next, let’s discuss some of the centrics in preparation phase of this DP-203 exam.

Basic data and cloud knowledge

If you are not yet familiar with data engineering and cloud technology in general, I suggest taking first all 900 series, especially dp-900 to grab all basic concepts and terminology regarding data engineering and cloud technology before taking this exam.

An example


To the surprise of many, data engineers spend an abundance amount of time working around with SQL. It is of importance to deeply understand SQL queries and how to manipulate data with SQL. This exam requires you to be extra careful to query data from different sources.

Below example actually returns error rather than giving any data since the the source that data is retrieved from is invalid (with extra .dbo in the middle while…

Hang Nguyen

Data Engineer based in Finland. Certified across: Databricks, Snowflake, AWS, Microsoft Azure.