Learning Azure From The Web

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 3rd 2017):

And here are the first two from Bing:

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:

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 any more 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, 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 However, for some searches, we may be getting bad and/or out of date information.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 I guarantee, large amounts of that information is no longer applicable.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.


3 thoughts on “Learning Azure From The Web

  • Carol Zeumault

    Hi Grant – we are working hard to bring down those legacy versions and created redirects for this legacy content to our new site on docs.microsoft.com. You should see this situation starting to improve on Wednesday when more of our PowerShell and .NET content moves to docs along with a ‘version picker’ for everyone.

  • ScaryDBA

    Thank you so much.

    I’m not picking on you guys in any way. I know how hard this is. I’m sitting here wondering if I should nuke old blog posts or maybe go and update them all.

    I’m actually quite sorry if it came across as critical of you people doing the work of documenting Azure & Powershell. No, no, no. I need you too much to be mean to you. Thank you so much for all you do. It’s appreciated.

    Now, the Bing people… I have some disappointment there.

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