Name: Rebecca Fitzhugh
Twitter Handle: @rebeccafitzhugh
Blog URL: technicloud.com
Current Employer: self-employed
VCDX #: 243
How did you get into using VMware?
I was voluntold! I learned VMware while serving in the military. My direct supervisor instructed me to upgrade an ESX host; I had no idea what VMware, ESX, or virtualization even was at the time.
What made you decide to do the VCDX?
It seemed like the next logical step. I had achieved multiple VCAPs and VCDX was next. It was more of a self-validation than anything. I also hoped that it would help open up doors in order to take my career to the next level.
How long did it take you to complete the whole VCDX journey?
A little over three years. I attained both VCAP certifications on v5 in 2013. As for actively pursuing VCDX, it took 10 months. I began rewriting my design (had briefly started the previous year) with my VCDX partner in February 2016, submitted in May, unsuccessfully defending in July, resubmitted in August, and succeeded in November.
What advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing the VCDX accreditation?
If you are considering pursuing the VCDX, I would recommend doing a self assessment and evaluating your strengths and weaknesses. Work to shore up the weaknesses because as an architect you must be well rounded in many technical areas. Secondly, practice public speaking. Your soft skills matter as much as your technical expertise. And lastly, set realistic goals for yourself and find a study group that will hold you accountable.
If you could do the whole VCDX journey again what would you do differently?
Generally speaking, I wouldn’t change much. Failing was a huge learning experience and helped me get a clearer understanding of what the panel was looking for. I would spend more time up front doing mocks with more people and working on my presentation earlier.
Life after the VCDX? How did your company respond? Was it worth it?
My company was super supportive because I own it! Ha! As for post VCDX life, it has mostly returned to semi-normalness. But, I would say that the process and my preparation have changed my perspective and how I approach the design process. I’d say it was worth it for the personal growth and the people you meet along the journey.