TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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VCDX-Cloud and DT VCAP Requirements Waiver Extended

A quick posting for those who may have missed it that the waiver of the VCAP requirements to submit for VCDX-Cloud or VCDX-DT has been extended to the October defences. This means if you are thinking of defending VCDX in either of these paths you have until August 25th to build a design and submit it as long as you have the VCP in the track.

waived

 

I know a number of people who were working tirelessly to get their submissions created before the April 1st submission delaine for June defences and this will certainly relieve some pressure there and will also mean a second shot opportunity for those who submit in either of the tracks for June using the waiver and don’t achieve the certification.

 

Good luck to all of those looking to submit for June and those now thinking of submitting for October.


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VCDX Spotlight: Magnus Andersson

Name: Magnus Andersson

Twitter Handle: @magander3

Blog URL: http://vcdx56.com

Current Employer : Nutanix

VCDX #: 56

How did you get into using VMware?

I start using VMware Workstation back in 2001 and the reason was to lower the number of physical desktops i had to use at the office. Worked for a service provider and different customers required different images when joining their network for administrative purposes.

I started with server virtualization about 10 years ago.

What made you decide to do the VCDX?

The reason for giving it a try all comes down to the personal challenge to see if i had what it takes to:

· Master the technical aspect of the VMware software, Virtual Infrastructure 3 at the time I started the VCDX journey.

· Putting my thoughts and decisions on paper in a structured way.

· Stand in front of a couple of very skilful persons and explain what i have done and why.

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

From the time I decided to give the VCDX certification a try it took 18 months before i completed the VCDX defence. I had already completed the VCP 3.0 so my first leg was the Enterprise-Level Systems Administration Exam, which is the VCAP-DCA these days. This was back in August 2009.

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

Don’t rush and be prepared to put a lot a hours into this certification. In addition, take time to get experience in all the areas included in the VCDX path you’re interested in. Include as much customer facing activities as possible.

It’s not about creating the best design, it’s about showing you understand the customer needs and being able to explain why you chose one kind of component over another,”

Have fun!”

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

Don’t think I would change much in the actual process but obviously in the design choices because other alternatives are available today. I would try to connect with other VCDX candidates, which I didn’t back in 2010, and join study groups or at least find someone to discuss my design with. Now, VMware also offers a VCDX mentor program, which I would definitely sign up for.

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

The VCDX journey was totally worth it, no question about that.

I think I’m a better architect now and during the certification I improved my skills to document, present and defend my thoughts. The VCDX certification was not that known in Sweden back in 2010 when I completed my first VCDX so it actually didn’t impact my daily job that much in terms of customer assignments. My company benefited from my VCDX certification a couple of times when a potential customer requested it.

After my second VCDX (Cloud) certification there was a lot more recognition via social media e.g. twitter and I was also interviewed by VMware Certification regarding my double VCDX.


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VCDX Spotlight: Garrette Grouwstra

Name: Garrette Grouwstra

Twitter Handle: @VirtualCanadian

Blog URL: vCanadian.ca

Current Employer: Long View Systems

VCDX #: 127

How did you get into using VMware?

I was working for a small ISP in 2009, and began a consolidation project to go hand-in-hand with their upcoming infrastructure refresh. As soon as I started using ESXi 3.5, I thought that the whole idea of virtualization was something I needed to focus on professionally.

What made you decide to do the VCDX?

For the past 2.5 years, I have had the privilege of building and architecting a public cloud offering to help diversify the services that the company I work for offers to clients. VCDX-DCV had been on my mind at the time as I watched others in the organization (@vcloudmatt and @DavesRant) go through the process. Once the Cloud track was announced, I knew that would be my next goal.

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

That is a tough question, as the VCDX-Cloud certification is still brand spanking new. I had to complete all of the prerequisites first, I received the VCP-Cloud in August of 2012, followed by the Beta’s of the VCAP-CID, and VCAP-CIA, which I received in February 2013.

I started writing my design documentation in March of 2013, putting it aside while I planned a wedding and went on a honeymoon, and picked back up in August 2013. With the help of my design Co-author, Matt Vandenbeld (@vcloudmatt), I was able to complete the application by the end of December, and was fortunately invited to defend in February 2014.

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

1. Get support from your family, and work. I was lucky that both my husband and Long View Systems gave me time, and supported me on this journey. I could not have remained sane without them.

2. Set milestones to complete sections of your design doc, and within all supporting material. Keep to the deadlines.

3. Don’t work in a vacuum. There are many great resources out there, both blogs and people (Inside and outside of your organization). Use them

4. Know your design inside and out. Really, I mean it.

5. Accept that you may have submitted a design with mistakes. Own those mistakes and call them

6. Practice, practice, practice! Find others in the community that are able to assist you, and do mock defences, design and troubleshooting scenarios. Brad Christian (@BChristian21) organized mock defences between most of the candidates defending at PEX. The group ripped my design apart more so than they did in the room, and were amazing help preparing.

7. Breathe. Take a time out before the actual defence to compose yourself.

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

The only thing I would do differently is more mocks. I saw myself grow so much as a consultant and VCDX candidate during the weeks leading up to the defence, and the mocks were a LARGE part of that. I wish I would have done more troubleshooting and design mocks.

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

The VCDX is a certification I achieved for myself, not for my company. They have been supportive along the way, and all congratulated me, however I did not, and do not expect much to change from a company perspective.

The biggest change personally, is that I have free time again. I’m still trying to come to terms with that and debating how to fill the void that VCDX prep has left.