I’m studying for VCAP-DCD (VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Datacenter Design) en route to hopefully achieving VCDX (VMware Certified Design Expert). The DCD exam is the final pre-requisite step for application and submission into the VCDX process. That is a personal goal of mine I plan to achieve next year.
I did the DCD exam last Wednesday at VMworld in Barcelona, but I wasn’t actually planning on taking the exam for another 4 weeks or so. Due to the very generous 75% off the exam price, if taken at VMworld, I decided to try it there.This makes a big difference – from over €370 to less than €100.
Unfortunately I came up just short with 255 and needed 300 to pass.
I felt I knew exactly what I had left to do (from gut feeling) to pass the exam. Guess What – Due to nocturnal activities at VMworld – parties, get together’s and other – I didn’t have the chance to “brush up” on areas I knew would be important. I knew this would be the case i.e. that the conference would be a haze, and assumed that were I to fail, I could use the experience to understand the exam environment and pass later.
When it gets closer though the feeling of unease about NOT passing started to kick in. That little gut feeling was calling out. Normally when you’re very well prepped, you’re nervous, but not uneasy. After all, nobody wants to fail when taking on ANY challenge.
There’s no harm done but I learned a valuable lesson. When you have a plan – stick to it !. Saving a couple of hundred bucks and generating some bad feeling about an experience is not worth it.
On the exam itself – yes it is insane the amount you have to do. I expected a much more “business” focused exam but it in fact tests how deep your vSphere technical knowledge goes, much more so IMO than the DCA which I passed a while back.
And it finds your weaknesses in areas where you just fall a bit short.
On the environment itself, the bug where you cannot go back to previous questions was supposed to be fixed, but it wasn’t – I couldn’t go back. It only affected me in terms of the larger design activities – it would have been great to review one design question in particular which I know I messed up, partly due to not being used to the design tool.
Also, when you’re performing design tool activities and you drop objects onto other objects, you need to make sure they “stick” i.e. when you move the combined set of objects that they move as a group. Otherwise I’m guessing that “drag and drop” has not completed and doesn’t register our work.
Overall it’s not a complaint really – it’s an extremely tough exam but in many ways is a fantastic test of your ability to think on your feet. I did actually enjoy the exam (much more so than a VCP).
I’m working on a vSphere design today and found it easier to think fast. thanks to the exam and study I had done prior to it.
I can also see how it will help with the VCDX defence which requires the same speed of thought and thinking on your feet.
So ……. back to re-reading Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman 5.1 HA and DRS deep dive, followed by best practice compilations and performance white papers, plus some vBrownbags I think….and next time I’m going to ace it