Name: Samir Roshan
Twitter Handle: @kooltechies
Blog URL: http://thinkingloudoncloud.com
Current Employer: Nutanix
VCDX #: 124
How did you get into using VMware?
It’s been more than a decade of my adventure and journey with VMware and Virtualization. I started using VMware workstation as a customer in 2004 when I was working for Safenet. One day I got a call from a recruiter hiring for EMC2 in their project team which was working on VMware products. At that time VMware was not an independent company in India and it was still under the banner of EMC2. I was so impressed by Workstation back then that I decided to go ahead and joined them in 2005 then I moved from New Delhi to Bangalore. I spent around 8 years working in 3 different teams of VMware in two stints. The most recent was as a Senior TAM where I was leading the TAM practice for India and SAARC before joining Nutanix.
What made you decide to do the VCDX?
For me it was about the next level and being a better technical person in the journey. When I look back at my journey I think it was all well worth the effort.
How long did it take you to complete the whole VCDX journey?
The roots of my journey dates back to 2009 when VMware launched the advanced exams for VCDX. I was working in VMware R&D back then as Lead in the CPD team. My curiosity in the exam was due to the fact that it was the next level in VMware cert having achieved VCP and VCI I thought to conquer this exam. So I decided to take the exam on 3rd October 2009 and I got my results 17 days later with a score that I passed.
I was very serious about getting VCDX that I decided to leave my excellent job in VMware R&D and moved to IBM Software Labs in a consulting role. I knew that I can’t do VCDX without having a consulting/design experience. However I couldn’t pursue other necessary certification for next 2 years. Then in 2011 an excellent opportunity again knocked on my doors, I got a call for a position of Senior Consultant in VMware PSO when VMware started their consulting business in India. I grabbed the opportunity and started as the first consultant in the VMware PSO India team.
This was an excellent platform for me to start the journey again but at this time the VCDX was at version 4. I needed to take the same journey again so I cleared VCP 4, VCAP DCA, and VCAP DCD. I couldn’t focus on creating a VCDX proof design in that time period.
Then VCDX5 was announced and I thought lets do it on version 5, same process again, I cleared all the prerequisites and then started working on my design. This time I got it through; I paired with one of my colleagues Shankar Garikapati for the design and then we both submitted our design. It took 5 months from completing all the prerequisites, working on the design and then clearing the Defense.
What advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing the VCDX accreditation?
Don’t loose the sight on the goal, even though it’s the toughest and will take a longer time. Remember there is no glory in achieving something simple and timid. When you feel like quitting remember why you started.
I like the below quote by Mario Andretti
“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
VCDX is such a goal and you need to be prepare well, you have to pace yourself through the journey. You have to make sure that you are not burning yourself through the process it’s all about learning at each and very step.
If you could do the whole VCDX journey again what would you do differently?
I would not change anything much. I did what I could do best by keeping my work life balance. I didn’t burn myself and was able to spend time with my family and my newborn Son.
I was fortunate enough to pass in my first attempt and I am thankful to my family for that. Being the first VCDX in India was a special feeling for sure. I can’t forget the below message on 4th Nov 2013 by Mark Brunstad.
The first thing I did was to touch the feet of my Mother/Father for their blessings and thanked God (It’s an Indian thing you can say ;-)).
Life after the VCDX? How did your company respond? Was it worth it?
VCDX is worth every second, every minute every hour, every day that you spent on doing it. The VCDX process changed my perspective on many things, made me aware of my strengths and weaknesses. Made me a confident person, again it’s not the tag it’s the whole journey that’s matter.