Name: Brian Suhr
Twitter Handle: bsuhr
Blog URL: www.virtualizetips.com
Current : Ahead
VCDX #: 118
How did you get into using VMware?
I was working for a large enterprise at the time and they had already begun to deploy some workloads into VMware 2.5. I was looking for more ways to expand my skills and learn new things. So I kept asking my manager to let me start working with this new virtualization stuff. This got me hooked on VMware early and fast, soon came amazing things like vMotion that blew my mind.
This was really a pivotal point in my technology career that set me on a course that led me to the point I’m at today. Without getting that early opportunity I would have not likely been introduced to VMware for several years.
What made you decide to do the VCDX?
I remember back about three years ago, thinking that I was pretty bored at the time. I was looking for a new challenge and I would need to make a career move. So I took my time and looked for a company that would provide me with the support and environment that would allow me to earn the skills necessary for me to make a VCDX attempt. This was the early days of VCDX and I was impressed with the level of people that were already certified then.
How long did it take you to complete the whole VCDX journey?
If you count the point from which I made the job change about 2.5 years. But for me it was about 18 months ago. That was when I began taking my VCAP5 exams and selected which one of my projects I would use for the submission. Anything before that point was preparation that I needed to hone my consulting and architecture skills.
What advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing the VCDX accreditation?
I would say that while its possible to pursue VCDX by yourself it’s much easier if you have a support system. This could be co-workers or other technology people. You can then use these people for technical reviews and practice answering their questions. Even if you are a consultant and work with customers daily and are good at presenting, the VCDX defense session is at another level and you will want to be ready for it.
If you could do the whole VCDX journey again what would you do differently?
I am pretty proud of my VCDX journey, don’t think that there is anything that I would change about it. Well I would have loved to pass on my first attempt. I should have taken a few more vacation days before each defense attempt to feel more prepared.
Life after the VCDX? How did your company respond? Was it worth it
It’s only been a short time since I was notified of my success. But my company values the VCDX program very highly and offers unprecedented support to those who wish to pursue.
For me it was absolutely worth it. To make the VCDX attempt it required me to push my technical and soft skills to a much higher level. So whether I was successful or not that was worth it for me. Granted being awarded the certification brings with it a lot of recognition both from the community and customers. But it was really about challenging myself and that was accomplished.