My ramblings about all things technical

VCDX Prep Advice Series – The X in VCDX

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For every VCDX round, I normally run unofficial face to face mock as the last hurdle and prep for all those defending the VCDX that round in the UK and for anyone wanting to come to assist with the mocks and learn from them. I have run these for a number of years and have got really great feedback from them but last year alike to so many things I was unable to run any due to Covid and who knows if I can this year. So I thought I would do an updated series of postings around the advice I normally give in these mocks, advice I give in the VCDXPrepGroup slack channel I founded and run and link to postings where I summarised previous advice. I will break the series into distinct areas along the path to VCDX to try help people wherever they are along the path *NOTE* All advice here is keeping within NDA’s and despite me now being a VCDX panellist it is the same as when I wasn’t one.

The X in VCDX

If it isn’t obvious the X in VCDX is for eXpert but this posting isn’t about that simple answer but about what that X means in relation to the certification and how it relates to what level you should be prepared to show in your submission and defence so that your panelists can validate you are indeed that level.

The VCDX is about showing that you are at the level to be able to lead a project as the Lead Architect/Enterprise Architect and despite your submission being about the track you chose you have to have a holistic view of how other designs impact your design. I have always told people to think of it like I did when I was preparing for my VCDX defences where you are proving to the panel that if any of them had to leave a project then they would be certain that they could bring you in to replace them at any stage of the project and you could deliver at the required level that they hold themselves to.

Being an amazing architect of a certain product set be it vRA,vCD,NSX,vSphere,DTM is something you have proven when you passed the VCAP design level and is something a very good senior consultant can do. Taking it a level above and being able to validate, drive and deliver the business objectives of your customer via technology is where that VCDX level comes in and even though for your submission and defence you are showing you know a certain track very well you also have to have that Lead Architect skillset to know that all the other designs that underpin or work in tandem with your design aren’t going to impact your design as well as impact the success of the project and most importantly deliver the business outcomes the business requires.

I tell people often that despite the VCDX being a VMware certification the skills learnt and proven in it transfer to all types of architecture design and the ability to take business initiatives and meet them with technology is applicable for any architect role. Just look at how many VCDX are working at all the cloud providers and you can see that the skills they learnt in the journey to VCDX are now benefiting them in their current roles.

So if you are submitting your design or are due to defend I would recommend looking at your design and seeing how are you showing that expert level knowledge. How are you showing that knowledge not just of your product set which certainly is very very important but how are you also making sure all the pieces your design relies on whether it be technology or processes are met and not conflicting with your design to ensure the success of your project?


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