Tag Archives: VCP

Tips and Hints on Preparing for VMware Certification Exams

It’s no secret that VMware Certifications require dedication.  Whether you’re just getting started with VCA or preparing for your VCDX defense, the first step is to commit to preparing for the exams.

Everyone has their own goals for obtaining VMware Certifications.  Some enjoy the challenge of keeping their skills sharp and relevant in this fast-paced and ever-changing technology landscape.  Others seek to advance their careers or open up new opportunities. Still others may solely seek the personal satisfaction of the accomplishment.

Whatever your reason may be, we’re here to help you get started.  Benjamin Franklin once warned, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” So let’s jump in.

In this video, Linus Bourque, VMware Certified Instructor, provides guidance on how to prepare for your VMware Certification exam, regardless of which exam you plan to take.

Linus walks through the following recommendations for how to prepare:

  • Set a schedule – plan ahead, rather than trying to cram
  • Set up a lab – the practice will give you a chance to apply your knowledge
  • Study with partners – discussions will aid in understanding
  • Tap into available resources:
    • VMware Certification Forums
    • Free practice exams & exam demos
    • Use your reference materials:
      • Exam Blueprint
      • Training courseware manuals
      • Review appropriate vSphere documentation
      • VMware Press Official Cert Guides
      • Watch free, online instructional videos
      • Hone your skills with Hands On Practice

In addition to leveraging the community in VMware Certification forums for help, study tips and program questions; we suggest that you take advantage of our strong community of certification holders.  Having been through the process, they offer a wealth of excellent insight on how to succeed.  This month, we highlight advice from Ray Heffer, VCDX #122.

In these blog posts, Ray recounts the experience of working to achieve VCDX and offers tips for those looking to achieve a similar goal:

Read Part 1 of Ray’s VCDX Preparation & Tips*

Read Part 2 of Ray’s VCDX Preparation & Tips*

We hope these hints help you get started on your path to certification!

* The views expressed in these blog posts and comments of this blog do not reflect the positions or opinions of VMware. The views and technical information are solely those of the owner and have not been validated by VMware.

New Recertification Policy Offers Growth Opportunities

Certifications are valuable assets for any IT professional. They validate your technical expertise. They demonstrate your ability to learn. And they prove that you have the initiative to invest in your future.

If you’ve earned a VMware Certified Professional (VCP) certification, you have already demonstrated exceptional competence in employing current VMware products using best practices in operational environments. But maintaining currency in the expertise gained and proven by VCP certification is just as important as becoming a VCP in the first place. If your skills are not current, your certification loses value. The technical and business communities expect that every VCP will be current on the latest technologies and capable of implementing VMware products with the required level of skill. To ensure that all VCPs meet these expectations, VMware has instituted a recertification policy.

Recertification is widely recognized in the IT industry and beyond as an important element of continuing professional growth. It enhances your credibility and demonstrates a commitment to your career, your employer, and your customers. The new VMware recertification policy works like this:

VCP holders must recertify by taking a VCP level exam or advancing to VCAP or VCDX level certification within two years of earning their most recent VCP certification. Prerequisite course requirements are waived, but the exam and exam cost are the same as those required for initial certification. Failure to recertify by the required date will result in revocation of your certification.

In other words, your three recertification options are:

  • Pass the current exam for the VCP certification you currently hold. For example, a VCP3 could recertify by passing the current VCP5-Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV) exam.
  • Earn a new VCP certification in a different solution track. For example, a VCP-Cloud could recertify by earning a VCP-Desktop (VCP5-DT) certification.
  • Advance to the next level by earning a VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) certification. For example, a VCP5-DCV could earn VCAP5-DCA certification.

The choice is yours. But we hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to extend your certification resume, which will help you add more value to your projects and earn greater recognition throughout your career.

For more information on the recertification policy, please visit www.vmware.com/go/recertification or contact certification@vmware.com.

 

 

Online Certificates and VMware Press Discounts for VMware Certified Professionals

Wait and labor no longer ­– now you can show off your certification the minute you receive it. Print it, hang it, share it with your online community. If you tag us (@vmwareeducation) on Instagram, you may even be featured.

Download a print-ready certificate for your VCA, VCP, VCAP, or VCDX right from your online transcript page at vmware.com/certification. The new e-version replaces the old, physical mailings. Electronic delivery of your certificate is faster, convenient, and eco-friendly!

As a bonus, we’re now offering VMware Certified professionals 30 percent off all VMware Press products, including books, certification and study guides, video training and learning tools. Check out vmwarepress.com and enter the discount code VMWARECERT at checkout.

Four New Certification Videos Available

bourque

To help you understand the content and requirements for VMware certification we have just released three new overview videos:

And to help you get ready to pass the exam, we’ve also put together some recommended study tips and best practices from our instructors: How to Prepare for VMware Certification Exams.

New vSphere 5.5 Based Exam for VCP5-DCV Available

We have released a new exam to qualify candidates for the VMware Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV) Certification.

This new exam (exam code VCP550) is based on vSphere v5.5, where the existing exam (exam code VCP510) is based on vSphere 5.0/5.1.

Passing either of these exams will earn VCP5-DCV certification if you have also taken an approved qualifying course.

Download the exam blueprint or request exam authorization here.

Make your 2014 Certification Plan Today

By Erik Ullanderson

IT professionals need to spend around 10 hours per week educating themselves in order to stay relevant in today’s fast-changing technology landscape, David Day noted in his October blog post.

As you look back on 2013 and think about making the most of 2014, I’ve got a couple questions for you: Did you stay on top of current trends and add new skills that will help you solve problems faster and better? If you wanted to get a new certification, did you achieve your goal?

A goal is a dream with a deadline.

“A goal is a dream with a deadline,” according to Napoleon Hill, the original success guru. And now is the perfect time to give yourself a deadline for a new certification, and to make a plan to help you meet it. Below you’ll find advice on achieving your certification goals from IT pros who have received advanced VMware certifications.

Strike while the iron is hot

If your goal to become a VMware Certified Professional (VCP), your plans will necessarily start with a VMware certified class. When the class finishes, “don’t let that knowledge sit stale,” advises Shawn Bolan, a certified VMware instructor and VCAP-DCA.

“While it’s fresh in your mind, go back to work and set a study plan for yourself; work with the practice tests; build your own lab environment.” Especially for the advanced certifications, Bolan stresses how important it is to prepare by both studying the material and building hands-on experience—it’s not enough to simply do one or the other.

Assess your own abilities

Where should you begin when you’re creating a study plan for yourself? VCDX #97, Travis Wood, outlines a helpful strategy that starts with understanding your current strengths and weaknesses.

Starting with the exam blueprint, he creates a spreadsheet that lists every element of the exam and then ranks himself one-to-three of whether he knows it, whether he needs to develop it, or whether he doesn’t know it. “Once I’ve developed that, I can target the areas I need to develop better, then I go through and research those areas, then go back and reassess myself until I get green down the whole spreadsheet,” he explains.

Engage with the community

One thing that VMware certification holders consistently point to is the size and strength of VMware’s certification community. An easy place to start is with the VMware Certification community forum or by joining your local VMUG chapter. It’s also a good idea to put together a study group, where you can share tips and hold each other to deadlines. Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to current certification holders for advice. Magnus Andersson, one of the first “double” VCDXs, said he has helped several colleagues prepare for their VCDX defence by reviewing their designs and even hopping on calls to walk through questions.

Use all available resources

When we ask certification holders to tell us how they prepared for their exams (their answers can be found on our Certification Pros page), the list of resources seems to lengthen every time. There are hundreds of blogs, plus webinars, accelerated training bootcamps, books from VMware Press, and a bevy of free instructional videos. In fact, if you’re looking for the perfect place to start your VMware certifications, the new VMware Certified Associate does not require a VMware-approved class at all; training is done entirely through free online videos.

I hope these tips have gotten you excited about achieving your certification goals this year. We’ll be sure to have a glass of champagne ready on New Year’s Day 2015 to toast your accomplishments!

Driving Excellence with Education and Certification

by John Yani Arrasjid, Principal Architect, VCDX-001, VMware Inc.

Excellence in developing and maintaining IT infrastructure requires a foundation driven by education and certification. VMware has seen this proven at customer and partner locations worldwide.

This article provides the value proposition, an overview of VMware’s certification levels, the testing centers used, and tools that help a candidate be successful.

Value for Individuals and Companies

There are many reasons for individuals to use education and certification as tools to develop their career paths. The benefits can be career advancement, project opportunities, and the validation that certification holds. These individual benefits extend to a company as well, especially for those that are doing consulting work.

Let’s take a look at the different areas that certifications provide a positive impact on. Your mileage will vary based on your role within your organization and the company you work for.

  • Career path and promotions: Certifications are only one aspect of an employee’s review process. When these certifications further the value of an employee by making them more effective, followed by the experience of using the knowledge gained, they are more likely to meet the expectations of the next career level. Certifications can also allow the individual to move into new areas within their organization.
  • Credibility: Certifications provide validation of an individual’s knowledge and skills.
  • Value: Certifications can influence compensation adjustment during an employee review or during the interview process for a new position. Certifications can also open doors on projects requiring specific skills.

Individuals get recognition and differentiation, while also driving a higher earning potential. Customers get higher productivity, increased stakeholder satisfaction, and as evidenced by various metrics, lower external management and support costs. Partners get increased market credibility, increased customer satisfaction, and greater success in differentiating themselves from competitors.

VMware Certification Overview

Let’s now look at what the VMware certification levels and tracks are about and how they support the benefits above.

VMware currently offers four types of certifications, including VCA, VCP, VCAP, and VCDX. All certifications and their related tracks are role based. Each certification level has three tracks for Data Center Virtualization, Desktop Virtualization, and Cloud. In the future these will be expanded with the first one to be in Network Virtualization. Watch for a future article that will provide more detail on this new track.

The lower tiers are typically extrinsically motivated. Someone, likely a manager or project lead, specifies required skills that are gained through training and experience with validation through certification.

The higher tiers are mostly intrinsically motivated. Many individuals will go above and beyond the time allocated by their organization to achieve advanced certifications. Although the certifications may not be required to maintain a role, they can help and also provide a competitive advantage to the certification holder.

I believe that organizations holding these advanced level certifications have an advantage that makes them experts in developing, implementing, and operating a successful solution that supports business objectives. I also believe that VMware top tier partners that are doing advanced solutions design and implementation should have employees holding vendor specific advanced certifications. For those partners doing design work that hold these top tier certifications need an appropriate matching title to qualify them. As an example, I believe a partner with two or more VCDX and a compliment of VCAP certified team members should be VMware Certified Design Partners.

Testing Centers

Except for the VCA, all other certifications are proctored exams. As a proctored exam, the individual must test in an authorized testing center or at a VMware conference where a temporary authorized testing center is set up for candidates. Pearson VUE provides the testing centers. Please note that there are different levels of testing centers. VMware provides details on the minimum requirements for the testing environment based on the exam taken.

Pearson VUE has a test center network that has four categories testing centers including Pearson VUE® Authorized Test Centers, Pearson Professional Centers, Pearson Test Centers, and Pearson VUE™ Authorized Test Center Selects. For full details on the differences, please see their site. Testing at the first two types of centers provides the optimum conditions for VMware certification candidates.

Tools for Success

There are several tools for success summarized here:

  1. Training – classroom, online, and self-paced learning ensures consistency on what is learned for all candidates and ensures the skills of a Minimally Qualified Candidate are taught. It is up to the student to learn, practice, and study for the exam.
  2. BooksVMware Press provides multiple books that can be used to learn more about the certifications. They also can be used to learn the technical and operational details of each test track.
  3. Boot CampsVMware Education offers a series of boot camps for advanced certifications. These 2-4 hour boot camps provide details on the blueprints, recommendations for studying and taking the exam, and also examples related to each track in each certification level. Boot Camps are offered for VCAP Administration, VCAP Design, and VCDX certifications. They are offered quarterly in various regions, through #vBrownbag online, and as recorded training videos on the VMware certification site.

Conclusion

To open the door to new or advanced opportunities in a job and within a career ladder, education drives success and certification validates an individual. These lead to minimally qualified candidate with skills for success in the area of study.

I encourage you to find the right path to success based on your role, your projects, and your organization.

Although there is no guarantee for an individual on the outcomes of their certifications, all candidates achieving VMware advanced certifications have provided their stories to my team. These stories all demonstrate that education and certification has driven the career path they are in. It also drives the opportunities presented to them. I have yet to find one individual that has not had a positive impact at their current position, or in a position they moved to, once they completed their certification.

I wish you the best on your endeavors. You can follow me on my Twitter handle @vcdx001.

John

Training & Certification Opportunities at Partner Exchange 2014

Make the most of your trip to Partner Exchange 2014 in San Francisco, and take advantage of the pre-event training boot camps and discounted certification exams.

Pre-Event Training Boot Camps

Partner Exchange is a great time to take training. We bring our most popular courses, making it easy for you to get the training you need to succeed. For information and registration details on the boot camps, visit the Partner Exchange site.

  • VMware vCenter Operations Manager: Analyze and Predict [v5.x] – Wed 2/12 – Thu 2/13
  • VMware vCenter Configuration Manager for Virtual Infrastructure Management [v5.x] – Sat 2/8 – Mon 2/10
  • VMware vSphere: Design Workshop [v5.x] – Sat 2/8 – Mon 2/10
  • VMware Horizon Mirage: Install, Configure, Manage [v4.0] – Sat 2/8 – Sun 2/9
  • VMware View: Design Best Practices [v5.x] – Sat 2/8 – Mon 2/10
  • VMware Horizon View: Install, Configure, Manage [v5.2] – Sat 2/8 – Mon 2/10

 

75% Off Certification Exams

There’s no better place to get certified than at Partner Exchange – especially since you can save 75% on any VMware Certified Professional (VCP) or VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) exam. Seating is limited so register now to guarantee your spot.

  • VCP5-DCV
  • VCP-Cloud
  • IaaS Exam
  • VCP5-DT
  • View Exam
  • VCAP5-DCD
  • VCAP5-DCA
  • VCAP-CID
  • VCAP-CIA
  • VCAP-DTD

 

Europe Save 50% on VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale [V5.5] – BETA

Save 50% on VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale [V5.5] – BETA for experienced VMware vSphere® personnel, teaching advanced skills for configuring and maintaining a highly available and scalable virtual infrastructure. The course is based on VMware ESXi™ 5.5 and VMware® vCenter Server™ 5.5. and prepares your for the VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Datacenter Administration [V5] certification (VCAP5-DCA). Course completion also satisfies the prerequisite for taking the VMware® Certified Professional 5 exam.

VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale [V5.5] – BETA
Location: Frinley, Surrey, United Kingdon
Time: 5 days starting 3 Feb 2014 @ 9:00 AM
See Prerequisites, Course Details, and Register

Beta courses fill up quickly, so sign up today to lock in your savings.

Say Hello to the World’s Youngest VMware Certified Associate

The photo Christian tweeted of a happy Fredrik after passing his VMware Certified Associate exam.

When we saw Christian Mohn’s tweet about his 16-year-old son passing the VMware Certified Associate (VCA) exam after VMworld Barcelona, we had to find out more.

The VCA is designed to offer a more affordable entry point for VMware certifications, but it’s by no means a cakewalk. Christian found that out when he took the exams for VCA–Data Center Virtualization and VCA–Workforce Mobility himself before challenging his son, Fredrik, to do the same.

Notes from one of Fredrik’s study sessions.

“I was impressed with the level of questions on the VCA exam; a lot are similar to the VCP exam,” observed Christian, who is a VCP5-DCV, a vExpert, and a member of the Norwegian VMUG leadership team. “That made me happy because I didn’t want it to be some sort of paper certification where you could pass the exams without having to work in the product.”

So how does a high-school student pass a VCA exam? Well, it helps to have a dad who is the server virtualization “tech champion” at a consulting firm in Bergen, Norway (where Christian, Fredrik, and their family live). And it doesn’t hurt when dad also has a VMware home lab to help you understand the details of a VMware installation.

“I always thought it was fascinating what he does at his job,” Fredrik said. “After explaining to me how virtualization works, I had an interest in it myself.” But when his dad challenged him to pass the VCA exam, he thought, “Oh no, now I really have to figure out how this works!”

Fredrik in the lab.

Fredrik relied on VMware’s free training videos to study for the VCA exam—his dad only gave him two weeks to prepare.

“I wasn’t sure how many questions there would be or what they would be like; plus it was in English, so I was nervous,” Fredrik recalls. But like any good test taker, he first focused on the questions he knew well, then went back to work on the harder ones. “It turned out it was actually quite fun,” he said. He passed with a 420/500, and proudly tweeted a photo of his certificate.

What’s next for the world’s youngest VCA (that we know of, anyway)? Fredrik says he is interested in working in IT and currently has his eyes on becoming a VCP. “Hopefully he won’t finish his VCDX before I do!” says Christian, who plans to defend next year.


Do you have your own story of becoming a VCA, VCP, VCAP, or VCDX? We’d love to hear it and consider it for a profile on this blog. Email certificationpros@vmware.com and tell us about your experience.