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Using Certification to Achieve Success

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linkedinWilliam Huber is a Principal Architect at VCE and VCDX #81. As a technical design authority within the Cloud Practice he is responsible for leading some of the larger and more complex cloud implementations for both service providers and large enterprises globally.

With years of training and expertise, the United States Navy SEALS are among the world’s most elite military forces. Hours of physical training on land, in water, and in tactical operations mean only most mentally and physically fit can become SEALS. Similarly, the VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDXs) are the highest level of VMware certification with experts who have trained for years, studying, creating logical designs, preparing for interviews, and taking exams. Not everyone can complete the rigorous physical challenges the SEALS face in training, just as this rigorous set of VMware exams means that only the most elite professionals can join the VCDX ranks.

We talked to William Huber who is VCDX #81 about his experience in achieving the highest level of VMware certification, what the process was like, and how becoming a VCDX has helped launch him into a very successful career.

How did you become interested in certification?

I pursued my first technology certification as a high school student, as a part of the classes I was taking. It was a quick way for me to show that I had the skills needed for the career I was planning to pursue. While it wasn’t a guarantee of getting a job, it helped to open doors and start conversations. My whole career has been built off that first job interview, which certification helped me get.

Since then, I’ve gotten my VCDX certification, and it has been a huge game changer. I started with VCP [VMware Certified Professional], then VCAP [VMware Certified Advanced Professional], and eventually moved up the path to join a group of people who are really dedicated to understanding this technology.

The VCDX community is full of people I respect, and since becoming certified I have felt that respect in return.

I achieved VCDX in May 2012 and since then I have nearly doubled my annual income. It’s opened doors that would not have been opened, afforded me the opportunity to meet people I would never have gotten to meet, chances to attend amazing events and build relationships with the best of the best in my business. It has really given me huge opportunities for success. My current project is incredibly fun, challenging, and an opportunity to pave new ground using the VCE cloud technologies centered around vCloud.

What are your thoughts on recertification?

No one looks forward to taking a bunch of tests, and that can feel frustrating when looking at the need to get recertified. That said, it’s a necessary step that ensures that your certification stays valuable and relevant in the marketplace. As people change roles and responsibilities, they may gain or lose technological information relevant to their certifications. Fortunately, we can now recertify at our highest level, rather than having to go back and renew lower level certifications that are not necessarily the most reflective of our abilities.

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What is being a VCDX like? Are there any perks you didn’t expect?

I worked on getting my certification with some other guys who were doing it at the same time – we joke that we’re like VCDX brothers. We studied together, did mock panels, and really helped each other succeed. I can count on them to help out whenever I have questions, or may have an issue with a client. Being part of the VCDX community gives me some quick access to extremely brilliant people who put a lot of effort into helping.

I’ve started working on a mentoring program with a lot of the other guys who were on my team to help out other people interested in pursuing it. Some people do it and finish it up, some people don’t, but everyone gets something out of it. There are really good blogs out there from people who tried, and get some reflection or information out of it. I would encourage anyone to start on the path of certification and see where it can take them – the benefits are often immediate and fulfilling.

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VMware Certified Design Experts are part of an elite group of architects leading virtualization implementations around the world. Join this community of experts by earning your VCDX certification for Data Center VirtualizationCloud, or Desktop.

Want to share your experience? Drop us a comment below and we could feature you in an upcoming post. For more information on the recertification policy, please visit www.vmwarerecertification.com or contact certification@vmware.com.