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 email@example.com and tell us about your experience.