Name: Ron Wedel
Twitter Handle: FD_Hauza
VCDX #: 227
How did you get into using VMware?
The company I was employed with in 2007/2008 wanted to implement ESXi. We only had two four node clusters with shared storage. That company sent me to the vSphere 3.5 ICM class. My instructor in that class John Krueger was so passionate about the technology that it rubbed off on me.
What made you decide to do the VCDX?
My current director pushes his staff to stay current with advanced certificates. After I passed my DCA & DCD it seemed like a natural progression. I also enjoy the challenge of something like this.
How long did it take you to complete the whole VCDX journey?
I wrote my first outline for my design in April 2015, so about 15 months total. This includes my three defences, I failed the first two.
What advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing the VCDX accreditation?
Read the blueprint, find a mentor, find a study group and read the blueprint. This journey can be accomplished alone depending on your knowledge and job roles, but with an ever growing community why risk it? Be prepared to sacrifice a fair amount of your personal time. I wrote the bulk of my design during the summer, and was unable to attend many things. Also, make sure your family is prepared to support you. My kids didn’t really understand why I had to disappear into my office for 2 hours at random points during the day for mocks with my study group.
If you could do the whole VCDX journey again what would you do differently?
I probably wouldn’t have submitted for the October 2015 defences. I was very unprepared. Also increasing my T-Skills, I was a bit short on storage and that showed very much in my first defence.
Life after the VCDX? How did your company respond? Was it worth it?
It’s feels amazing to get this weight off my shoulders after 15 months. I honestly did not realize how much it stressed me out until it was over. My company was extremely supportive of the whole process and was excited for my success. I would say yes, it was worth it. I learned more about the entire infrastructure stack than I ever thought. In addition, I’ve made some good friends via study groups.