Name: Yves Sandfort
Twitter Handle: @yvessandfort
Blog URL: Not really blog… comdivision youtube channel
Current Employer: comdivision consulting GmbH
VCDX #: 203
How did you get into using VMware?
I started with VMware workstation and my company back then also operated a datacentre for hosting where we adopted ESXi with Version 2. While I did my VCP on V3 I was asked to become a VMware Instructor by VMware on V4, back then the classes were far more tech than today. I immediately went from standard to all the advanced topics. Then I evolved and was one of the first evangelists around first vCloud Director, then worked a lot on what is now called vRealize Suite (vR Ops, vRealize Automation etc.). My team has been embedded in parts of the vRealize BU within VMware and we do PSO and Training still for VMware but also direct.
What made you decide to do the VCDX?
To be honest VCP and VCAP was a great experience but even in my early days I always wanted to go one way up. But you know it’s something which you keep saying and never really do. Then a while back we had a team meeting at a customer site and three of us decided we go for it. Currently we help others who are looking into it to stay focussed.
How long did it take you to complete the whole VCDX journey?
We really started last year in Summer with preparation and then attended the one time 5 day prep offering at VMware HQ in Palo Alto last year. That really helped us get things straight. Then we aimed for the February date, but couldn’t make that so we moved the defense to June. Jens Hennig passed, I had to redo now in October.
What advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing the VCDX accreditation?
Set clear target dates and stick to them, no excuse. And don’t set your targets purely based on defense dates. Most people expand their VCDX design of a customer story, which you should. You can always add fictitious parts, but do not go 100% fictitious! Treat it like a real customer project, a customer does not accept being pushed out again and again. Find people to work in teams. We had such a good experience working on the design and so many long and good discussions during the design creation process. You need to be friends or you need to become close friends, as there will be times you would like to kill each other. And every level of honesty must be allowed, it doesn’t help if someone tells you: “Ah that’s great” and thinks “Oh that is useless”.
Think graphical, a lot of people tend to create text graves in both the design and even more the presentation. Have workflows and pictures allow a more fluent explanation.
If you could do the whole VCDX journey again what would you do differently?
Actually not that much, I would pursue it again as a team, two people were ideal in our scenario. The only thing: Work on the presentation while you write your design! By your submission ideally your deck is ready. Many people had the same experience that they found areas they would like to edit when they did the presentation afterwards.
Life after the VCDX? How did your company respond? Was it worth it?
It’s all still new, as I own most of the comdivision group there is not much change directly, however I think I will change my way how I do work. I would encourage people not to go for VCDX for a raise, it’s personal development and it will pay off on maybe different levels.