It has been awful quiet on my blog. As some of you might know, I’m working towards my VCDX5-DV certification and all the spare time I was not spending with my family got eaten up by VCDX. There simply was no time left to blog. Thankfully the finish is near and I will be submitting my application for VCDX5-DV on March 10th. Yep, thats next Friday! I am now taking some time to do a bit of self reflection:
VCDX is an intense journey. It consumes a lot of time and bringing your architecture skills to VCDX level can be quite a challenge. It is often said you should consider the VCDX defence as a real life customer scenario in which you are asked to present your solution and get challenged by the customer. I understand the logic in that, but I don’t know about you guys but most of the times I do not get challenged by three VCDX architects on my designs.
All VCDX journeys bring a lot of pressure. There are two additional pressure points for me personally: I have devoted all my study time to VCDX so I have not yet upgraded my VCAPs to version 6. I always figured to upgrade my VCAP to version 6 áfter VCDX. This will be the last chance to do a VCDX5-DV defence so failing VCDX means first upgrading my VCAPs before I can retry. Thankfully, I am already submitting a vSphere 6.0 design so worst case, I do not have to rewrite my design.
The second pressure point is pricing. Last week was #VCDXGate. VMware raised the exam price for VCDX with a pretty steep increase. Enough has been written and said about it so I will not get into another discussion about it, but for me personally, failing VCDX this time means I probably have to deal with a € 4.000 exam fee for the retry. Yikes, thats some additional pressure for you there 😉
Pressure is good. It gives me focus and that extra bit of drive to be successful. I believe I have prepared well and I am confident I have delivered a solid design. I am getting my final “roast” tomorrow evening. I will be discussing my design with a couple of smart minds at ITQ over steaks. When you are intensely working on a single set of documents for a loooong time in the evenings + weekends and work on several other documents for different customers at work, it is hard to stay sharp. Blind spots are a given. It helped a lot to simply print the entire design document and do an old school red pen review from front to back but I know for sure new blind spots will arise when I will be TELLING about my design tomorrow. I just hope there is not going to be a lot of rework that needs to be done. The clock is ticking…
It has been a long journey. I was originally aiming for a submission last summer but there was simply too much work that had to be done and I could not combine it with my personal life the way I wanted. I want to do this right the first time, so I choose to postpone my application and really take the time to deliver a design I am confident about. VCDX is too important to rush! I believe the key to a successful VCDX submission and defence is proper preparation.
I am very grateful I work for a great company that supports … no, drives professional development. Where people in other companies need to fight over who gets to pursue a certification like VCDX, ITQ simply makes it a strategic goal to get as many people VCDX certified as possible. Where other companies focus on VCP, VCAPs are the standard at ITQ. VMworld? No problem. The entire team attends VMworld. ITQ explicitly reserves a big chunk of billable hours for professional development for every consultant, every year. We get to travel the world for the best training programs and we like to share knowledge with the community. Working at ITQ is awesome and to be honest, as employees we don’t always stop to reflect on how special ITQ actually is. If you are passionate about VMware technology and want to do awesome projects and grow as a consultant, ITQ is the best place to work. Period. Thanks Paul Geerlings and Francisco Perez van den Oord!