How do you classify Level 100-400?

We all have varying levels of experience and skillsets. And “experience” is relative. Perhaps I’m considered to be an “expert” in Azure Site Recovery (ASR), but that doesn’t mean I’ve worked with ASR in every configuration scenario possible (case in point, I haven’t used it for on-prem to on-prem replication). Does that make me less of an “expert”? Some may say yes, but I feel it just means I haven’t experienced that scenario yet.


Commonly, when you attend a conference, there may be a tag, label, or indicator to the depth of the material. Sometimes it may be called “Beginner”, “Intermediate” or “Advanced”,  but other times it could be classified as “Level X”.

From a skill assessment perspective (ie. your experience with something), here’s an example of “levels”.

Level 100FoundationalBasic understanding of the fundamental scope of technology and opportunity to integrate without practice/hands on experience
Level 200IntermediateAble to credibly discuss, offer perspective and integrate technology from minimal practical experience
Level 300AdvancedDemonstrated expertise and differentiated perspective of technology built from repeated and diverse practical experience. Able to coach others
Level 400ExpertIn demand expert and thought leader with skill mastery. Delivers complex work pushing boundaries with technology built from extensive and unique practical experience. Frequently coach others in their development of this skill

But, if you look at sites like aka.ms/Learn, or the Microsoft Ignite Session catalog, you will see there is no consistency.

MS Learn – Levels Filter
MS Ignite – Session Levels Filter

The big question

In my new role as a Cloud Solution Architect – Azure Apps & Infra, I am called upon to deliver Technical Briefings, Technical Deep Dives, Architecture Design Sessions, etc. But, when a client/customer/partner asks for a “Level 200” presentation on, say Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery (ASR), how would you determine which information is “Level 200” versus something deeper?

For designations like “Foundational” or “Level 100”, I estimate these as very high-level (though not just “salesy”), on what a technology is, and it’s position/use-case, etc.

So the question for the audience is: What criteria do you use when determining either a skillset level or presentation level?

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