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Feb 25

VMware PEX – VCDX Boot Camp

The VCDX Boot Camp was actually one of my primary reasons for making the trip to attend VMwarePEX. I mean there are a lot of other great sessions that I am looking forward to but this one is really all about me and my professional goals.

Over the past year or so I have earned the VCAP-DCA and VCAP-DCD on vSphere 5 and just recently took on a new role as a Datacenter Architect for a VMware Partner. I have been spending some time thinking about where I want to go with my professional development. The thought of pursuing the VCDX has crossed my mind but until recently I had not really decided if it was the path I wanted to take.

The VCDX Boot Camp started at 8:30 AM and was led by a panel of VCDXs including Joh Arrasjid, Mostafa Khalil, Mahesh Rajani, Ben Li, Michael Webster, and I know I am missing at least two others. The Boot Camp covered the paths and prereqs before submitting for and up until the defense. They panelist also talked about the different parts of the defense in detail including time limits and what they are expecting. The session was 4 hours long with a couple of short breaks.

I have about 10 pages worth of notes I took most of them are of defense tips including things like: “Think out loud, we want to know how you are arriving at a solution”, “The journey is just as important as the solution”, “If you are unable to verbalize your thoughts use the whiteboard”, “if you are not into public speaking, get over it”, and “Do it right the first time, don’t rush it.”

One of the biggest takeaways that I have is that the VCDX panelist want you to succeed. The “defense” really makes it sound like you are going to get in a room in front of a few people and they are going to take shots at you and your design for a couple hours. Perhaps it is kind of like that but the panelists are interested in understanding your design and the process you took to arrive at your design decisions. At the end of the day they want you to be successful and that means making sure you have the knowledge and skills required to be a VMware Design Expert.

The session included four scenarios, two design scenarios and two troubleshooting scenarios. This was another fantastic part of the session. The focus was on asking the right questions, trying not to focus too much on a single point, and walking the panelists through your thought process (thinking out loud). Really good stuff there and great to get some insight into the process.

The slide deck from the VCDX Bootcamp can be found on the VMware VCDX site at http://www.vmware.com/go/vcdx. Look in the VCDX Resources Box.

vcdxbootcampVMwarePEX2013
The VCDX Boot Camp Panel

There were several guys attending the Boot Camp that are doing there defense here at PEX. Sending some thoughts their way – you guys are going to be awesome!!! Good luck!!! You guys will rock it!!!

The VCDX process is going to take a lot of work, it sure as hell ain’t going to be easy, and I know I need a bit more design experience, but I can do this.

If you attended the VCDX Boot Camp at PEX or if you have attending one in the past, I would love to here your thoughts. Also if any VCDXs out there have some tips or thoughts to add those would be much appreciated.

About the author

vHersey

Hersey Cartwright is an IT professional with extensive experience designing, implementing, managing, and supporting technologies that improve business processes. Hersey is Solutions Architect for SimpliVity covering Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland. He holds the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX-DV #128) certification. Hersey actively participates in the VMware community and was awarded the VMware vExpert title in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012. He enjoys working with, teaching, and writing about virtualization and other data center technologies. Follow Hersey on Twitter @herseyc

1 comment

  1. Rob Cox

    Great insight into the VCDX process Hersey. Good luck in you endeavor, I know you can do it.

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