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Learning Azure From the Web

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Learning Azure From the Web

Got a problem? Turn to Google. Well, not really. But sort of. Search engines are great to find resources, but be sure you don't set yourself up for failure.

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I’m working on a technical blog post that I hope to be putting up soon. I’ve run into a number of configuration issues that I’m working through. However, it’s these issues that sparked this blog post.

See, we’re learning Azure all wrong.

Use Google/Bing

What’s the first thing you do when you hit a problem on your computer, regardless of the language, the technology, etc.? Wrong! You don’t call your son-in-law who “works in computers.” That’s what my mother-in-law does. We already “work in computers” so we have another resource. Bingle/Ging/Boogle. We run a search.

So, let’s say for example I’m interested in learning about an Azure PowerShell command: Set-AzureRMDiagnosticSetting. Here are the first two results from Google (as of this date, 4/3/2017, or for all my UK friends, 3/4/2017, in text, April 3, 2017):

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And here are the first two from Bing:

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Great, right? Wrong. The first result in each case is for an older version of the documentation. Yet, it’s coming up on top on both search engines. If you go there and read it, you’re going to be getting incorrect (worse, incomplete) documentation on the latest version of the AureRM model.

What to Do?

Short answer, we can’t rely on default searches. You have to go to “Advanced Search” in Google. Select the option to only show the results that have been updated within a year. There you’ll find this as the top result:

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That is the correct result. Now, Bing... well, I tried several different ways of filtering the dates, but none of them put this result at the top. In fact, I tried several different search criteria and it didn’t even show up in the list anymore once I started filtering by date. Bing must only go by the Create Date instead of some kind of Modification Date, which Google takes into account

So You’re Saying to Use Google


Well, yes. Maybe.

No, that’s not the intent of this post. The main thing I’m saying is that we all rely on the results of quick searches against Internet search engines. However, for some searches, we may be getting bad and/or out of date information. In fact, especially when talking about Azure, we are. Look up any of the Azure technologies and if not the top result, certainly within the top 5, will be all sorts of information showing off the old Azure portal (or even the older one). I guarantee that large amounts of that information are no longer applicable.

If you’re learning Azure and you research things using a search engine, then I strongly recommend you use the ability to limit your searches to the last year. Otherwise, you may be getting incomplete or incorrect data. At this precise moment, I’d say you need to limit your searches to Google (although I honestly hate recommending one of these tools over the other, let’s keep the competition fierce) because I was able to easily get the correct information within a couple of mouse clicks.

microsoft azure ,search engine ,documentation ,cloud

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