In a recent article, VCP 5 certification course deadline looms over VMware pros both vNinja.net contributors (Christian and Ed) are quoted in relation to the VCP 5 certification upgrade deadline of February 29th 2012.
While I can´t speak for Ed, I can clarify my own comments a bit. The following is a quote from VMware, taken from the article in question:
“That requirement is in place to maintain the integrity of the certification. If people could pass the VCP 5 without exposure to and hands-on experience with vSphere 5, it would devalue the certification,” a VMware spokesperson wrote in an email.
While I do see why VMware has that stance, and why they try to keep the exam «real», my problem is that there is no way for anyone to do the VCP certification without classroom training. I don´t mind that VMware has a training requirement, and I don´t mind that you have to pay for it. What I do have a problem with is that I´m required to sit a 5 day training class. Why not offer an online VCP-prep course that you can complete in your own pace, complete with a pre-exam test that you can use to validate your skill set? That way VMware can still require a minimum of training pre-exam, get paid for it, and students can do their training in their own pace and when they have available time for it. Seems like a win-win (bingo!) situation to me?
As far as I´ve heard the VCP5 exam focuses less on minimum and maximum configuration limits than the VCP4 which is a good thing, but at the same time I don´t think the Install, Configure and Manage course by itself is enough to pass the exam, so in essence VMware is already «devaluing» their own exam by requiring training that does not cover the entire curriculum.
The hands-on requirement is a good one, and I applaud it, the best way to ensure that would be to turn the VCP exam into a hands-on-lab environment where you get tasks to complete, instead of multiple choice questions.
Disclaimer: I have not yet tried to do the VCP 5 exam and I´m only commenting based on feedback provided by others who have.
As far as the time available for existing VCPs to upgrade from VCP4 to VCP5, I also believe the timeframe is too short, and to be completely honest I don´t really see why there should be a time limit at all? After all, if you have the VCP4, you pretty much know what you´re in for with regards to the VCP5. Why rush it, and have people attempt to upgrade before they are ready? Let people do this on their own, in their own schedule, I don´t see how VMware benefits from enforcing a timeframe at all. Unless the motivation is selling more training, of course.