TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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VCDX Preparation Special

On Thursday the 22nd May the EMEA #vBrownbag which I co-host weekly, ran a VCDX Special with Rene Van Den Bedem (VCDX 133) , Craig KilbornBobby Stampfle and I. The special was an expansion of the London VMUG lightning talk that both Craig and I did on the 15th of May. The #vBrownbag session was recorded (after some early audio problems which meant we had to restart it) and the recording of the session is embedded below.

The session proved a major success and we may run another one as the amount of questions we received during and have been receiving post the session is really positive.

Gregg


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VCDX Spotlight: Hersey Cartwright

Name: Hersey Cartwright

Twitter Handle: @herseyc

Blog URL: http://www.vhersey.com/

Current Employer: ABS Technology Architects

VCDX #: 128

How did you get into using VMware?

I started using VMware back in late 2006/early 2007 when I was working for a community Credit Union. I was really impressed with HA. Prior to VMware getting the same level of availability was costly and complex, HA greatly simplified this. By the time I left the Credit Union about 85% of the environment was virtualized on VMware.

What made you decide to do the VCDX?

I saw it as a learning experience. I learned a tremendous amount about myself and my abilities through the process of designing the solution, preparing the documentation, and participating in the defense.

How long did it take you to complete the whole VCDX journey?

I completed the VCAP-DCD in December 2012. I made the commitment to pursuing my VCDX in February 2013 and set a goal for defending at PEX 2014. So a little less than a year of actually preparing.

I started the design I submitted in October 2013 and it was implemented in November. I had somewhere between 120 and 180 hours of preparation for the VCDX defense outside of the work that was done directly for the customer. This included preparing the design documentation, studying, and participating in mocks.

What advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing the VCDX accreditation?

Set a goal and work towards it. I think that setting the goal on defending at PEX 2014 helped me keep focus. Attend the VCDX boot camp if you can, or at least watch the ProfessionalVMware.com vBrownBags on it. This will give you a lot of insight into the defense. Sign up for one of the study groups and participate in as many mocks as possible.

During mocks don’t forget about the Design and Troubleshooting scenarios. Be sure to practice these also!

Another piece of advice I would give is to choose a design you find interesting. The design I submitted and defended was for a 911 call center. It was a small environment but I found the availability requirements for the solution interesting. I also really enjoyed working with the customer to meet their requirements. I was very involved through the entire project, from design to implementation, and that definitely helped me defend the design.

If you could do the whole VCDX journey again what would you do differently?

More mocks!

I did a bunch of them but they were all with the people I worked with. The “unfriendly” mock defense I participated in the day before my actual defense, with people that I did not know (other than the occasional tweet), was extremely beneficial. During the “unfriendly” mocks the participants dug much deeper into my design decisions than the folks that I worked with on a regular basis did.

There was a lot of benefit in both the “friendly” and “unfriendly” mocks, but the “unfriendly” mock really helped to prepare me for the defense panel.

Life after the VCDX?  How did your company respond?  Was it worth it?

Preparing for and successfully defending the VCDX was definitely worth it, especially for the learning experience. In a short period of time it has benefited both me and my company.

If I had to do it all over again, I definitely would!

A little more on my VCDX experience can be found here: http://www.vhersey.com/2014/02/vcdx-cxxviii-128/


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Presenters wanted for the EMEA #vBrownbag

The EMEA vBrownbag team are currently looking for presenters to present on the EMEA #vBrownbag which is run live every Tuesday at 7PM GMT/BST. Currently we are covering several tracks which include:

-VCP5-DT exam blueprint objectives

-VCP5-IaaS exam blueprint objectives

– VCAP5–CID exam blueprint objectives

-VCAP5-CIA exam blueprint objectives

– Anything related to VMware or would interest VMware focused IT people. These can be VMUG presentations or even prep for a conference

If you are interested in presenting then please fill in the form here: http://professionalvmware.com/brownbags/vbrownbag-presenter-sign-up/

Also please spread the word about the podcast and that we are always looking for presenters.

Gregg


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EMEA #vBrownbag

vBrownBagLogo-150x150That’s right, after having spoken to the infamous APAC and US vBrownbag teams at VMworld and via the VMware vExpert communities Arjan Timmerman and I have thrown our hats into the ring and have asked to borrow the guys vBrownbag’s and show the world that the EMEA VMware guru’s are the some of the best in the world.

We are looking to start doing them within the next few weeks and need all the VMware talent in EMEA to put their hands up and come present and for everyone to join the calls/webinars and contribute. We are looking to possibly follow two different tracks so as to not repeat what the APAC and US guys have done and so will be looking for people to present on objectives in the VCP5-IaaS and VCP5-DT exam blueprints. You can do any of the objectives so if you want to do the last objective for the IaaS then first come first served/booked.

We are thinking of doing it every fortnight on a Tuesday starting on the 23rd of October although if there is a very good amount of interest which I trust there will be then we can make it a weekly occurrence. We are currently looking to do it at 7PM GMT to allow everyone in Europe the time to get home.Please spread the word and lets show the VMware community the talent EMEA has to offer. You can register here for the webinars

We have created a Google form for people to start putting in their interest and what they want to talk about here.

Gregg and Arjan