Name: James Charter
Twitter Handle: @DavesRant
Current Employer: Long View Systems
VCDX #: 106
How did you get into using VMware?
I first saw VMware Workstation 4 and was really impressed with what you could do with it. When we first adopted ESX 2.5 at my workplace I was totally hooked, and within a couple years was working as a consultant in the virtualization team at my current employer.
What made you decide to do the VCDX?
A friend I have a lot of respect for was pursuing it and I thought it was an interesting challenge. I applied to the VCDX3 program and completed the enterprise admin and enterprise design exams, and started refining an existing design I had completed for a client.
How long did it take you to complete the whole VCDX journey?
A couple of years. I was planning to apply for a VCDX3 defense, but with a young family I was finding it very challenging to make the deadline, and put it on hold. Some friends asked why I hadn’t picked it back up, so at VMworld 2012 I took a deep breath and said I would submit an application to defend at Partner Exchange.
What advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing the VCDX accreditation?
Support is really important, and your family needs to be behind you, it’s a lot of work and time away from them. Employer and peer support is incredibly important and makes a huge difference. I was fortunate on all three counts.
If you could do the whole VCDX journey again what would you do differently?
I would have followed a more structured preparation plan and started earlier. I can’t stress that one enough, have a structured plan with contingency and follow it – life gets busy.
Life after the VCDX? How did your company respond? Was it worth it?
My company has been extremely supportive and believes in the value of investing in advanced certifications and training. It was definitely worth it, and has helped me advance my design and consulting skills. For our consulting practice it has changed the way we approach designs and solutioning