My ramblings about all things technical

#VCDX Mentor Rallying Call


First off let me give you a bit of background as it does apply to this posting and my reason as to me posting this.

As you may or may not be aware the VCDX certification team decided to remind people of the current policy (even though it seems some people only have heard about it recently) that VCDX panellists are not allowed to help potential candidates with reviews, mocks or mentoring. For this I have had numerous heated discussions with Chris Colotti who I must apologise to as my frustration at some of it he received and he is honestly trying to make it better and in actual fact my frustration is grossly misdirected.


It is in fact directed at the lack of mentors who are willing to help grow the VCDX community and help out people who are at varying stages of the process. Now I do want to say there are  VCDX who are amazing at giving back ( good friend VCDX133 is one of these but there are MANY like him who have also been doing it for years) but like I know this community has proven so many times before I am asking current VCDX to give back even if you didn’t have it during your preparations and am sending out a rallying call to all VCDX to become a mentor.


There are currently 186 VCDX holders with some even being double VCDX, but at my last count there are only 32 people listed on the VCDX directory who are open to being a mentor for those looking to obtain this illustrious  certification. Yet there are at my last count 53 people listed as panellists and this is where I am asking current VCDX to think about becoming a mentor. Disclaimer I am fully aware VCDX holders also have full time jobs, family and it is something you have to realistically be honest if you have the time to help that person you are mentoring to help them think about their design and open their mind to see their design in a whole new holistic way /Disclaimer


I was asked by Chris that when I get my VCDX will I try help build the VCDX community and I certainly will by not becoming a panellist (if I was asked, although at present they are trying to keep it to VMware employees) and becoming a mentor to help people looking to obtain the accreditation. Now there have been a few blog postings about the fact that just because you got the VCDX it doesn’t mean you’ll get that promotion or mean you’ll instantly get an architect role which I think is really valid but the amount I have learnt and continue to learn in my second attempt at the VCDX is certainly preparing me in my role as a senior consultant and on other projects as an architect (Ray come join Xtravirt and I’m sure we have architect roles for a double VCDX Smile ). Also from the number of people i have spoken to who have been mentors or helped people with reviews that have said it has helped them become a better architect it really can be a win win situation.

So if there are any VCDX reading this or you know of a VCDX who isn’t listed as a mentor nor a panellist then please think about becoming a mentor/get them to think about being a mentor and let us disprove those who say the VCDX can’t have a large community structure around it like Matt Cowger rightly feels it should.

vcdx mentor

Lastly Chris is talking about a “cool off” period for those who don’t want to be a panellist anymore and would rather give back to the community and be a mentor to keep the community strong. So keep an eye/ear out for that if you do want to answer my battle cry and be a mentor.


8 thoughts on “#VCDX Mentor Rallying Call

  1. Gregg,

    Great post. While I agree with most of your thoughts and comments, I think its important for the community to realise that you don’t get help unless you ask for it. When I was going for my VCDX, I reached out to Josh Odgers, Grant Orchard and others in Melbourne for help. They all were happy to accommodate me and spend their time helping me out. I helped review a potential VCDX candidate from Perth. He approached me on twitter and I was happy to help him structure his documentation etc. He didn’t make it this time for defence but I am sure he is not far behind.

    What I am trying to say is, there are very few VCDXs in the world (and these are people who are super busy) who wouldn’t say yes to spend a few hours a month helping someone else out. But the onus is on the people in the community to make the first contact. If one is afraid/concerned/lazy/ of making a contact with a VCDX, how is going to go defend in front of 3 or more ?

    Harsha Hosur.

    • Hi Harsha,

      Oh i totally agree that the person aiming for the VCDX needs to find the people to do their reviews for them and I’m actually very fortunate that I have a number of smart people who are VCDX and non VCDX who are helping me with reviews and mocks. My reason for the posting wasn’t so much for me but for mentors in general to put their name down as what if someone isn’t active on twitter and they use the VCDX directory to find a mentor but say non of the mentors are within their timezone or region? Or maybe the mentors on there don’t have the bandwidth to help that person then what? The more people who are willing to be a mentor no matter if they only help out with certain reviews the better the community will be in my opinion.

      Also if people want to do none of it as they don’t see any financial gain from it then that’s fine also I am just asking current VCDX to think about becoming one.

  2. Hi Gregg,

    I do understand your frustration. I did trial mentoring last year for a bit, one officially that John Arrasjid forwarded to me and a few others who approached my direct (both external and VMware). This year I decided to be on the panel, but there is nothing stopping me switching back to mentoring again in the future.

    I actually moved to a architect role at VMware just before I got my first VCDX in 2013. I’m part of EUC Tech Marketing now. It really put me on a pedestal, especially when everybody in my new team were all saying I’d get it. What if I didn’t pass!? – But this is what my blog is highlighting. I got promoted to an architect after a series of rigorous interviews and past customer engagements. I then proved my abilities with the VCDX, not the other way round.

    I really feel the program is improving and heading in the right direction and I’m sure any concerns are being noted.


    • Hi Ray,

      Not sure about the “nothing stopping me switching back to mentoring again in the future” as i think there is going to be a “cool off period” before you can become one again that is still being ironed out as at present even past panelists cant be a mentor.

      Of course there are loads of things additional to the VCDX you did to become and architect and I know loads of architects who aren’t VCDX so it certainly doesn’t mean if you have one or not you cant become an architect. But the process does help and validate your skill set as you say.


  3. “….made the decision a few months back….” You need to get your facts straight.

    As I have stated repeatedly the Panelists code of Conduct was written back around 2011 and this statement has been on file since then. This is not a new decision, this is in fact transparency about an existing policy that was not always followed. The facts here need to be clear, this is not new, it’s new information to some, but was always there.

    Every panelists got and signed, or was supposed to get and sign, along with READ this code of conduct. If there were ones who did not, that was in error by others not present representatives of the program. People who did in fact get it, signed it, and never bothered to read it….well….never sign anything before reading it is my mantra.

  4. Gregg – I think there’s a wrinkle in the idea that mentor flag = mentors. 🙂

    What do I mean by this? I am already mentoring two other individuals and have others whom plan to pursue it with my mentoring in the future. Thus, I have not enabled my mentor flag (which advertises that I’m available to mentor) because I’m already engaged with others. I’ve talked with others in the same boat.

    Shining a spotlight on the mentoring option in your post = great. Call to action for more to engage = great. But calling out a specific quantity of folks who are flagged in the website and assuming that is the total availability of mentors = shaky at best.

    • Interesting point Chris and I agree as I have a few people who are doing reviews for me who aren’t mentors and some not even VCDX actually.

      I’m pleased you saw what I was aiming at with the posting and even though I seem to have caused a furor amongst a number of people by them feeling I was saying they don’t give back, which i certainly wasn’t. I was just asking people to think about being one if they don’t, that is all.

      Interesting you say about availability of mentors as if I wasn’t someone who knew people within the community and was looking for a mentor surely the official list is where I would look but maybe VMware need to put out that you can ask people to be a mentor even if they aren’t on the official list if you have a friendship with someone (not even a VCDX tbh) to ask if they can mentor you?

      I’m not putting words into your mouth and your decision for sure but if someone like yourself wrote exactly what you said here it would certainly show people that there are loads of people that can help them on their journey to become a better VMware Admin/Architect?

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