My VCP 5 exam experience

Like many others I was a VCP 4 and needed to upgrade to VCP 5 by Feb 29th to avoid a pricey class and possible ribbing from my peers.  I was well aware of this deadline since mid December, however, I procrastinated on studying and was mostly flinging myself around the globe doing implementations and having an all around good time.  When Feb 1st came I was sitting on a flight from Saigon to Frankfurt and that is when panic struck.  I realized I had until the end of the month to finish the requirement.  I instantly pulled out my iPad and began frantically combing thru the VCP 5 Blueprint and reading countless documents over the 12+ hour flight.

When I returned home that is when I really began to crack the books.  When I was too tired to keep reading official vSphere Docs or playing in my lab Cody Bunch’s Professional VMware Brownbags were perfect to sit and listen and absorb some info.  It was really helpful as they go thru each point of the specific objective of the day and also get some insight from some guests who had already taken the exam.  Another great resource is Andrea Mauro’s vInfrastructure VCP 5 notes – there was tons of helpful information there.  Also not to be forgotten is MW Preston’s VCP 5 resources.  Finally, I would never study for a VCP exam without using the great practice exams available from Simon Long of the SLOG Blog.  While there are many other great resources available there are too many to list here as this is an experience post.

So after combing thru all these resources hours per night for a couple of weeks I finally booked my exam for Feb 28th.  Then that is when the nerves really set in.  I started to doubt if with 3 weeks of studying I had prepared enough or if I was going to be surprised with a lot of new content.  So I pushed on and continued reading and possibly obsessing over particular objectives I was not 100% comfortable with until the days ran out.

Test day I left work after lunch and drove to the test center.  During check in I was a bit nervous and began having trouble speaking Swiss German to the testing center staff.  I sat down and first took the survey which made me even more nervous knowing the test was coming soon.  When the test began and I got thru the first 20 questions and my nerves began to lighten.  I realized all the vSphere 5 implementations I did recently along with reading up on some of the new features was the ticket.  Without getting to much into details as I am bound by NDA, this exam was more about knowing the product and working with it on a day to day basis rather than straight memorization.  For the VCP 4 I remember spending countless hours memorizing Configuration Maximums and other things that promptly left my head after the test was completed.  After all that is what the Configuration Maximum documents are for!

In conclusion I think that for actual Virtualization professionals that have their hands on the product everyday VCP 5 is much easier than VCP 4.  In the end I only spent an hour and 10 minutes on the exam and passed with a score I was highly pleased with.  My message to current VCP 4 holders is go ahead in and take a shot at the exam.  You might be pleasantly surprised with how VMware has changed the structure of their exams.


Being Neil Armstrong

Now there is an ambitious post title if there ever was one, but it seems fitting as the next 12 months promises to be my most ambitious professional year to date.

Like Neil, I´ve started a journey that could either crash and burn, or end up with my very own personal moon landing.

Those of you that follow my antics on Twitter already know what I´m talking about, but I´ll spell it out once and for all:

I´ve decided to go for the VCDX certification, and hopefully complete it within a timeframe of about 12 months.

With my new role as a Senior Consultant for EVRY, certifications all of a sudden play a major role in my day to day work, so why not go all in and go for the top? I´ve been considering this for a while, but the last few months have solidified the idea that I should just go gung-ho and aim for the stars.

So here I am, sticking my neck out and making this public knowledge. I´ll try my best to stick to the plan newly accredited VCDX Hugo Phan published after his defense.

In much of society, research means to investigate something you do not know or understand.

Neil Armstrong

So there you have it, this norwegian has lost his mind and (for now) lives to tell about it. Wish me luck, I am certainly going to need it.

VMware Virtual Customer Labs

I´ve mentioned this earlier, VMware hands-in labs going public in 2012, but finally it seems like something is happening in that regard!

Scott Sauer has announced the availability of “VMware Virtual Customer Labs” (vCL) where he walks us through the setup and delivery of the new vCL offering.

At the moment it´s only available to “selected customers”, supported by a VMware pre-sales engineer, and the number of labs are limited. It´s still a work in progress, and I´m sure great things will come out of this!

Now, how do I get access to it as a partner? Also, I wonder what possibilities that lies in this with regards to alternative VCP requirements?