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A wrap-up of my own VCDX Jurney #291

A wrap-up of my own VCDX Jurney #291

This is a post I was about to write already 2 months ago as a summary of 2020 as it’s imporant to wrap-up a long time I spent preparing for VCDX and also say Thank You. However, due to other tasks, engagements, etc. I just managed to complete it right now!

So first things first – finally, after a very long and extremely informative journey at 15 Dec 2020, I finally received probably the best e-mail ever.

Hi Pawel,
Congratulations! You passed! It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the VMware Certified Design Expert community.
Your VCDX number is 291.

Initially I was about to write a long story here about my VCDX journey, but then I decided to just make a few points that can be treated as advice, that hopefully might help someone.

  1.  Don’t blindly trust everything you read on the internet about the VCDX process -> it’s like an assumption and if you already started the process already then you know what’s wrong with assumptions 😉
    -> E.g. for me back in 2017 after passing both VCAPs when I decided to set the next goal to be a VCDX.
    Along with my colleague we just completed a very good project which at that time seemed to be a perfect fit for the VCDX. I’ve read also some stories about VCDX jurneys taking 150-200 hours in total to prepare for that exam. That was almost like nothing after dozens of overhours spent with the project we just completed to get it on time. So the decision was made 200 hours is not much after all. So we took the docs we prepared for the Customer, translated them into english, submitted and apparently we were invited for the defense during which we immediatelly and brutally realized we are not even close to make the cut.
  2.  Don’t try to be a hidden hero and brute-force doesn’t work here.
    -> At the beggining I completely ignored the community aspect. I wanted to make it on my own and then just shine with the number. I didn’t participate even a single mock session, didn’t have a mentor, nothing. I’ve read lots of blog posts stressing the importance of it, but I just ignored it. Everything I knew about the defence was from blogs without the real experience with any mocks. I did work with customers at that time so I belived it’s enough. It was wrong, though. If you plan to go that way – just don’t. VCDX community is amazing, you don’t need to be an expert in each area. The community can help you – same with peers at work. If there is someone who can explain you some networking, storage, backup or other aspects – just take that ask for help. There is no need to re-invent the wheel! And this is still an exam which has a formula, that you must be aware of.
  3.  Be realistic and honest with yourself about the time and schedule.
    -> The truth is that along with my peer we went for the first defence completely not prepared. It was back in 2017 and our defence was scheduled just 2 days after my own weeding. It was definitely wrong. Consequently, we started working on our slide deck for the defense in the evening before the defense in the hotel room after landing in UK. It was just unnecessary waste of money, our time as well as panelist time, not good for life balance too!

It was a long jurney and I could find much more examples like those but in my opinion that were the key mistakes I did.
However, there is always a positive side. In reality thanks to those failures ( I know it’s a cliche 🙂 ) it was a huge learning curve for me, that help me not only to pass the exam eventually but most importantly learn the methodology and how to be methodological, soft skills and be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. That’s something I can use right now on the daily basis while working with customers.

I also owe a public kudos to everyone who I met and who directly or indirectly helped me during this long jurney! (Following list is in alphabetical order based on the first name :)).

Abdullah Abdullah
Asaf Blubshtein
Bilal Ahmed
Chris Noon
Chris Porter
Daniel Zuthof
Fouad El Akkad
Gerard Murphy
Gregg Robertson
Igor Zecevic
Inder S
Jason Grierson
Faisal Rahman
Miroslaw Karwasz
Paul Cradduck
Paul McSharry (before becoming a panelist)
Paul Meehan
Pawel Omiotek
Phoebe Kim
Rene van den Bedem
Shady ElMalatawey
Szymon Ziółkowski
Wesley Geelhoed

Everone who attended my mocks to provide feedback and I forgot to mention above!

+ All panelist of course 🙂

Hope I didn’t miss anyone! If I did – sorry it wasn’t intentional I do appreciated all help and hints that helped be expand the knowledge and develop.

VCP Datacenter 6.5 Beta

VCP Datacenter 6.5 Beta

VMware announced the VCP Datacenter beta exam updated according to new features in vSphere 6.5.

It is expecially valuable for those who need to recertify or who do not have a valid VCP certification. People who already have active VCP6-DCV exam, passing this beta exam will not give any big reward, while even the title is the same. So there won’t be VCP6.5-DCV or so, it’s still VCP6-DCV Certification.

Anyway, as others VMware beta exam it costs only 50$, so it’s worth to consider it if your certification is going to expire soon.

Just keep in mind that beta exams contains far more questions than normal exams 🙂 In this case that’s 150 questions and 180 minutes.

Good luck!

VMware VCP7-CMA exam

VMware VCP7-CMA exam

A few months ago in this post I wrote about a new VMware exam which wasn’t listed in the official exam list in these days. Nevertheless, that was time when I almost finished my lab deployment of vRA and taking into account that the exams in beta phase costs only 50 $, I decided to try myself.

I scheduled the exam at 5 september during at the beginning of my holiday. The exam consisted 180 questions! There was 240 minutes for that – thats whole 4 hours, it’s even longer than VCAPs.. After 2 hours and almost 100 questions I was already exhausted. However I tried to stay focused and finished it. Since that time I didn’t have any update about my results on PearsonVue site I was able to see only the information that the exam was taken, whilst the official non-beta exam was released at 1st December. So technically you were able to take it and get the results immediately, while the Beta-takers still didn’t know if they passed or not 🙂

Yesterday in my mailbox I found the envelope from PearsonVue – it was quite strange for me because I’ve never received any envelope directly from PearsonVue. It was a nice suprise for me when I realized that there is my “summary page” with my results inside. Happily I passed – next goal achived by the end of the 2016 🙂

VCAP6-DCV Design exam experience(s)

VCAP6-DCV Design exam experience(s)

Finally, I’m pround to announce that VCIX6-DCV goal is achived!

Previously I passed the Deploy Exam (you can read about it in this post) which for me personally was far more intuitive and effortless. If you are a practitioner person than visioner and designer it would be quite tought to get used to these kind of questions and reasoning. In my opinion there are a few points which I can not agree with and I would be glad to discuss with the authors of these questions about their points of view 🙂

However, as I read on one of the blogs this is a VMware exam and they could have their own point of view and opinion about best practicies in designing virtual environments.

As you realized I used plural in word experience – it’s not so hard to guess why. Yes, I had to take the exam twice. Nevertheless, I finished the first try quite satisfied and full of hope the reality was brutal. 243 points appeared not to be enought to pass it…That was a food for thoughts.

That made me aware that I need to prepare better and figure out about the key used in design quiestions. It’s not exacly the key but the way of designs constructions. As usually Internet was priceless. First of all I found tips that the exam is similar to VCAP5 version and fallowing this idea I read the VCAP5-DCD Official Cert Guide. This was quite useful. Then I tried to think about the design questions I met and gind out what could be wrong there.

After a few more white papers, blog articles and other readings I took the second try and happily this the reult was much more better and of course I finally managed to pass and gain complete VCIX title.

The few tips from me:

  1. Be fresh and rested at the exam day ( there are 205 minutes, it’s quite a long to sit in front of the screen).
  2. Stay focused and read carefully all the questions and instructions at least twice.
  3. Start from the design questions which would take you a little bit more time.
  4. Be prepared.

Materials I found usefull during preparation time:

  1. VCAP6-Design Blueprint and all associated documents especially those from objective 1.2 and 1.3 should be read more than once
  2. VCAP5-DCD Official Cert Guide
  3. Study Guides of other people
  4. Google+ VCAP-DCD Study Group

I also recommend to get yourself familiar with scoring methodology described at The Cloud JAR’s Blog