What's new with the MS-600 exam for the Microsoft 365 Dev Cert | December 2021

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Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash

In this post, I want to update you on some of the changes Microsoft has recently made related to the exam & offer guidance if you’re planning to take the exam soon. I’ll also answer a few common questions that keep coming up.

We’re also looking at some more significant changes coming in 2022! While it’s too early to know exactly what will change, I’ve got a pretty good idea on the direction they’re going.

Join me for my webinar discussing what's new with the MS-600

If you’re interested in becoming a Microsoft 365 certified developer you should join me on January 20, 2022 at 1 PM & register for my webinar: What’s new with the MS-600 exam - January 2022.

We’ll discuss what you can expect and I’ll take your questions!

TL/DR;

Microsoft released the Microsoft 365 Developer Associate certification in 2020 in response to customer demand. Customers kept asking Microsoft “What makes someone a Microsoft 365 developer?” This certification was created to answer that question. This certification measures developers on five different workloads:

  • Microsoft identity (aka: Azure AD)
  • Microsoft Graph
  • SharePoint Online
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Office Add-ins

I, along with many other people including people at Microsoft in different product groups as well as people from the community, worked together to define what it meant to be a Microsoft 365 developer associate. The result of our work was used to create the MS-600 exam, the single test developers must pass with a 70% or higher to achieve the certification.

Looking back

About a year ago, in late November/early December 2020, I launched my MS-600 exam prep course to help developers get ready to take & pass the exam. Unlike other exam prep courses, I don’t try to charge you thousands of dollars and take up days of your time.

Most of the content you need is already freely available! Instead, in my course I explain what you need to focus on, what you can ignore, and provide tons of curated freely available resources you can use.

After the course was published, I added over 300 practice questions in early 2021!

Since release, I’m happy to report hundreds of our students have passed the exam! You can see what they’ve said for themselves checking out the course page on our site.

An evolving exam

As we all know, this cloud developer & service oriented world we currently live in is always evolving. New features are added & to be honest, some things aren’t nearly as important today as they used to be.

Every few months, Microsoft reviews the exam & trends to see if changes need to be applied to the exam & associated certification. Each time they make a change, I review what changed if update my course so you’ve always got the most current guidance!

What’s new with the MS-600

Unfortunately, I’ve already passed the MS-600 & because Microsoft doesn’t allow M365 certified developers to retake the exam, so I can’t take a peek to see first-hand what’s changed… so, we look to the best information we can gather.

Recently, I’ve taken the statements from Microsoft about what’s changed and I’ve talked to people who’ve recently taken the exam. After compiling & analyzing this information, I wanted to share it with you. So…

Let’s start with looking at what’s new with the MS-600 exam!

These are all changes you’ll see in the MS-600 exam today - the exam was lasted updated on November 29, 2021.

Most workloads remain untouched

First, I’m happy to point out most of the workloads remain untouched.

If you follow the changes Microsoft has made in the last few skills checklists, almost all changes are simply grammatical. For instance you see lots of stuff like this:

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Example of minor sentence case changes to the skills worksheet

I’m not going to bother with those as they have zero impact on testing your skills. Unless you still spell it Sharepoint… then we need to have a little talk… 🤷‍♂️

The only workload where it appears any changes have taken place are in Microsoft Teams. Two were expected and one is relatively new.

Microsoft Teams: single sign-on

As I covered in my course, when the exam first came out, developers weren’t being tested on their knowledge implementing single sign-on authentication either with a bot or a tab in a custom app.

But, as expected, Microsoft has added questions associated with implementing single sign-on in both custom apps that utilize tabs or bots.

Microsoft Teams: Developer portal

In the latest exam update, Microsoft added questions related to the Microsoft Teams Developer Portal: https://dev.teams.microsoft.com. The Microsoft Teams Developer Portal is a web replacement to the App Studio Teams app. Developers can use the portal to create, view, and modify the settings and manifest for Teams apps.

Answers to common MS-600 questions

Now that we’ve covered what’s new with the MS-600 exam, I want to address one question I keep seeing from students taking the course.

In the course, I explain that developers need to consider the timing & update history of the course in order to determine what they need to know. A good example of this is MSAL.js v2 & how it’s related to the implicit grant flow & updated auth code flow.

I cover the details around the implicit flow, the updated guidance that developers should use the updated auth code flow for client side apps in the course, so I won’t go into detail about it here. The point I make in the course is that developers aren’t tested on this aspect in the MS-600 exam.

When the MS-600 was initially published, while Microsoft identity recommended using the auth code flow over the implicit flow for client-side apps, the MSAL.js v2 SDK wasn’t yet available. Thus, Microsoft was still using MSAL.js v1 which didn’t support the auth code flow, rather it only supported the implicit flow.

So far, we’ve yet to see Microsoft mention any updates about MSAL.js v2 or the updated guidance from Microsoft identity when it comes to the MS-600 exam. Furthermore, my conversations with developers who’ve recently taken the MS-600 confirm that this isn’t on the test.

What does that mean? To those who ask “is MSAL.js v2 on the MS-600, or do we need to know how the auth code flow works for client side apps?”, my answer: no.

But, to mirror the guidance I had for SSO in Microsoft Teams apps - I fully expect this will make it into the MS-600 exam. Regardless, as a developer, you should know it.

Looking forward… what’s next?

It’s hard to say, definitively. Now that we’re just past the one year anniversary of the MS-600 exam, I’d expect Microsoft will make some changes to the certification in early 2022.

Join me in my January webinar discussing what's new with the MS-600

If you’re interested in becoming a Microsoft 365 certified developer you should join me on January 20 at 1 PM & register for my webinar, What’s new with the MS-600 exam - January 2022.

We’ll discuss what you can expect and I’ll take your questions!

Andrew Connell
Founder & Chief Course Artisan, Voitanos LLC. | Microsoft MVP
Written by Andrew Connell

Andrew Connell is a web developer with a focus on Microsoft Azure & Microsoft 365. He’s received Microsoft’s MVP award every year since 2005 and has helped thousands of developers through the various courses he’s authored & taught. Andrew’s the founder of Voitanos and is dedicated to delivering industry-leading on-demand video training to professional developers. He lives with his wife & two kids in Florida.