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Tag Archives: VMware Certification Exam

Where in the World are VCPs? [Infographic]

It’s that time of year! 2016’s “Where in the World are VCPs” infographic was such a hit, we decided to refresh it for 2017. The VMware Education Services team is proud to announce that the VCP community grew (11%) to represent a total of 190 countries this year. Which country do you represent?

 

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*Note: This infographic has been updated to reflect the number of unique VCP holders per country

Twitter Responds: How has Certification Benefited your Career? Part 2 of 2

A few weeks ago, we shared part 1 of our 2-part blog series highlighting VMware Certified community insights and motivations. Please enjoy more valuable advice from your VMware IT community:

Question: What’s your best piece of advice for becoming #VMware certified?

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  • Advice for Certifications: Know the blueprint. I can’t stress that enough. It tells you what’s on the test.” –@ALDTD
  • “Stick to official exam prep guide for topics to prepare and practice, practice & practice” – @harezzebra
  • “Best piece of advice: Sign up for VMware Learning Zone – Certificate Test Prep. Also setup home labs, this is what got me over the hurdle.” –@duukie
  • “My best advice is to have a home lab, know the blueprint!!, and ask questions if you are unsure of something since the VMware community is amazing (and know the blueprint haha)” – @bbazan

Thank you to everyone for sharing your valued responses, if you’ve already received your t-shirt be sure to send us a pic of you reppin’ your new #vmwcertified tee! If you were not able to participate, please share your motivations and/or advice in our comment section below or send us a tweet!

Threepeat!! First Ever Triple VCDX Certification Holder: Matt Vandenbeld

As anyone who’s pursued a VMware certification can attest, holding three VCDXs is quite an achievement. We recently talked with Matt Vandenbeld — the first person to earn three VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) certifications — to learn the secrets of his success. (Spoiler alert: Matt really enjoys working with and learning about VMware technology. That helps a lot.)

Question: Congratulations, Matt! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your three VCDX certifications?

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Matt presenting VCDX insights

Matt Vandenbeld: Thank you, sure. I joined VMware about three years ago as a Solutions Architect in the Global Services Advanced Architecture Support organization. Before that I’d worked with VMware products for about 10 or so years. I earned my first VCDX certification, the VCDX-DCV (data center virtualization), in 2013, prior to moving to VMware. A year after that I got the VCDX-CMA (Cloud Management and Automation). And then in March of this year [2016] I got the VCDX-NV (network virtualization).

 

Question: And of course, to even pursue a VCDX certification requires the attainment of lower level VCAP (VMware Certified Advanced Professional) and VCIX (VMware Certified Implementation Expert) certifications. So, does it get easier as you go? Were your second and third VCDX certifications easier than the first?

Matt Vandenbeld: I get that question a lot, but I don’t really have a yes or no answer. In general, I would say the experience definitely gets more relaxed, because you’re familiar with the what’s required, especially the “verbal defense” of your design, which is part of the VCDX certification process. “Verbal defense” is too strong of a term. It’s really an opportunity to explain the rationales behind your design decisions. I found it to be one of the more valuable and enjoyable parts of the process.

But that’s not to say it gets any easier. Getting a VCDX is a challenge, no question. In my specific case, I was least familiar with network virtualization. So, I found this last one to be a bit tougher than the previous two.

 

Question: Now for the BIG question: What’s your preparation process like? What’s your secret?

Matt Vandenbeld: Well, I don’t have any secrets. Sorry. But my approach to all three was pretty similar. I’m the kind of person that needs to commit, to put a stake in the ground. So, for VCAP or VCIX, the first thing I do is schedule the exam on the Pearson Vue website. Then I work backwards from the exam date. For VCDX, I look at the design due date, which means I’ll need to be finished with it a month or so early, so I can get feedback from colleagues, etc. etc., until I finally have a plan. For me, it wouldn’t work as well to say “I’m going start working and then signup when I’m ready.” Without a hard due date, it might not happen.

Then I do an inventory, or gap analysis, of my strengths and weaknesses mapped back to the certification blueprint. I strongly encourage candidates to spend a good chunk of time reviewing the blueprint so they can target the areas they know least about. Also, if I had it to do over, I’d likely get more formal training in each area. I took the self-study route, but that’s probably the harder way.

Finally, I think a VCDX certification candidate will really benefit from having some level of design experience with a customer. I’m not saying you can’t get a VCDX without it; in fact, pursuing a VCDX can help position you to get into a design role. I just think it would be more difficult without any customer design experience.

 

Question: What has getting these three VCDX certifications meant to you both professionally and personally?

Matt Vandenbeld: Professionally, I would not have the job I have today without the VCDX, period. And I really love my job. Once the VCDX on your resume, it just moves you to the front of the line. It provides a lot of recognition and credibility, and therefore more opportunity. There’s no better way to demonstrate that you know something than to get a VCDX in it.

On the personal side, I’ve always liked setting and achieving challenges for myself. I remember when they first announced the creation of the VCDX-DCV. Because it was the pinnacle certification, I immediately wanted to do it. It’s given me great sense of satisfaction, increased my confidence, and of course improved my skills as an architect exponentially. Plus, the recognition that’s come with being the first to get the triple has also been a lot of fun. It’s definitely raised my profile among senior management and clients.

 

Question: Any plans to get the fourth VCDX in desktop and mobility? And do you have any last thoughts for readers?

Matt Vandenbeld: I don’t have any plans to right now. Maybe someday. It’s a big time commitment. As for advice, I would just encourage people not to let fear of failure stand in their way. A lot of people don’t get certified on their first attempt and then succeed afterward. Failure is the best teacher. And if getting a VCDX was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. So, just forge ahead. Regardless of the outcome, the experience will be positive.

New Exam Prep Bundles Available from VMware and MeasureUp

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VMware and MeasureUp have partnered to bring you three VMware VCP Preparation Bundles that provide a 20% savings on the official VMware Certified Professional (VCP) practice test from MeasureUp, along with a VCP exam voucher.

These practice exams can be a valuable resource for helping you get ready for your VCP exam:

  • Each practice test includes over 200 mock questions.
  • Detailed explanations for both correct and distractor answers reinforce the study material.
  • Study Mode covers all exam objectives in-depth so you will be ready for any question on the exam.
  • Timed Certification Mode helps you prepare for exam taking conditions.
  • Instant drill-down score reports tell you exactly the areas you need to focus on.

Take advantage of this great bundle offer and become VMware certified today!

Certification Stories – Words of Wisdom from VCAPs

We recently added a dozen new videos to our Certification Pros page, where VMware certification holders share their experience and advice. As many point out in their comments, the community supporting VMware certifications is an important element of their success. We’re doing our part to strengthen the community by regularly highlighting certification stories here on the Education and Certification Blog, starting this week with VMware Certified Advanced Professionals. Have your own story to share? See the note at the bottom and get in touch!

Why should I get certified?

Timothy Patterson, VCAP-DCD, VCAP-DCA, mentions two of the most common reasons for getting certified—challenging himself to improve his skills and opening new doors along his career path. But we especially like his third reason: “It taught me a lot about myself,” he says.

Timothy urges those considering their certification exam not to wait because they feel they’re not ready. “Don’t be afraid of failure; you can always retake an exam,” he reminds us. “It teaches you about your strengths, your weaknesses, and how to succeed in the industry.”

Where do I start?

In addition to the authorized training classes, there are a plethora of other resources available to help you prepare for your exam, including books, online communities, and webinars. For Gurusimran Khalsa, VCAP-DCD, VCAP-DCA, preparation always begins with a VMware exam blueprint.

“If I can read through the blueprint and understand everything that’s on there, I know that I’m on track,” he explains. “I’ve never taken an exam where they asked a question that somehow wasn’t related to the blueprint—I’ve never been surprised by content.”

How do I prepare?

As a certified instructor, as well as VCP-Data Center Virtualization, VCP-Desktop, VCP-Cloud, and VCAP-DCA, Shawn Bolan has an expansive perspective on how to successfully prepare for a VMware certification exam. He stresses the importance of a “multi-layered” process, combining studying with hands-on experience.

Labs provide students with an opportunity to experiment with tools they might not be able to in their work environment, he points out. That way they “learn how to use that technology correctly before putting it in place, getting the hands-on experience to make the right decisions back in their business.”

Shawn also urges anyone who has finished a certification class to “strike while the iron is hot.” “You’re making the investment and going to a class; don’t let that knowledge sit stale,” he implores. “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.”

Remember, your company made a big investment in the right technology; now it’s time to invest in the people who support that technology. By helping your company grow stronger, you’re also strengthening your own career opportunities.


What’s your certification story? We’d love to feature it on this blog. Contact certificationpros@vmware.com and help strengthen the community by sharing your experiences and insights. We are especially eager to hear about VMware Certified Associates!