“I was surprised how much things had changed, much more than I thought they would between two versions,” Byron Schaller notes of the VCP exam he took last year. (He was certified as a VCP3 years ago and recently got recertified and moved up to VCP5-DCV.)
“I was kind of shocked by how much I didn’t know, but [recertifying] really made me such a better architect and engineer by having to prepare for those exams,” he said. Plus, the exams keep him from going off of old notes and keep him current in an industry that changes often.
Byron works for VMware partner Pomeroy as a National Solutions Architect for Virtualization and Enterprise Design, living in Minneapolis, MN. In his day-to-day work, his role doesn’t expose him to everything he would necessarily learn for an exam, so he finds the exams to be an incredibly useful tool for maintaining his knowledge.
He found the VCP recertification process to be quite straightforward. As a partner in the Accelerate program, he took the classes he felt would benefit his career, though they were not required of him – putting in four to five nights per week in a lab to maintain his knowledge.
The Upside of Recertification
When Byron heard about VMware’s recertification policy, he noticed a backlash within the community, specifically from people who didn’t want to lose their certification numbers—many of whom have had their numbers for many years.
“The [VMware] community management folks did a nice job of allaying those fears. It’s not the end of the world!” Byron saw how community leaders helped people see the ways in which recertification would be good for the community and inspired them get more advanced certifications.
Byron sees certifications and recertification as a good thing, not just for the community and VMware, but for customers as well.
“VMware vSphere is easy to set up and install, but very hard to do it right,” he said. “Without [the exams] you aren’t going to know these things: the systems won’t work well. So then you won’t know why things aren’t running well; you’ll miss stuff. Once you fill those gaps, you’re better at your job and a better engineer. The certifications are worth that alone.”
For those who don’t want to take the exams or are nervous about recertifying, Byron says, “Worrying never hurt anyone. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. Even if you don’t want to study, these exams will help make you better at your job.”
Looking Ahead to VCDX
Currently, Byron is looking ahead to his next step: studying for his VCDX exam with a couple of his peers. He is constantly amazed by how much he’s learning as he studies—and not just technical knowledge.
While the exams and certifications have made Byron stronger as a technical architect, the added benefits he says are, “I’m more confident with my clients, I design better, and my ability to execute has improved.”
Check out more on Byron’s journey and get advice from his blog.
For more information on the recertification policy, please visit http://www.vmwarerecertification.com/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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