Infographic Update Alert! Given the popularity of last year’s “Where in the World are VCAPs?” infographic, we decided to check out how things look in 2017. Unsurprisingly, VCAPs are everywhere! It’s exciting to see our VCAP community grow and evolve each year! Which country do you represent?
Changing jobs is an exciting time, with lots of people to notify and documents to update. If you use your employer email address for your VMware Education & Certification (myLearn) account, you’ll want to make sure you change your account information before your last day. Here’s how:
- After you log into your VMware Certification account, click on the myProfile link in the sidebar
2. When your profile opens, make any changes needed to your address or phone number, then select the change email option
3. Enter your new email twice, then click on the authentication link when you receive it.
Introducing a new certification: VMware Certified Professional 6.5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6.5-DCV)
VMware vSphere 6.5 enables companies to accelerate their digital transformation to cloud computing and introduces a number of new features and capabilities that increases business agility. With that much change, this new certification provides you an opportunity to prove your expertise in the latest version of the industry-leading virtualization platform.
For those who already have your VCP, this new VCP provides a new path and recertification opportunity.
There are three exams associated with this new certification:
- vSphere 6.5 Foundations (exam # 2V0-602)
Ed. note: registration for this exam opens on 4/24/17
- VCP6.5-DCV elective exam (exam # 2V0-622)
- VCP6.5-DCV delta exam (exam # 2V0-622D)
More details on the certification requirements, and the specific exam objectives can be found at the links above.
This month the VMware Education Services team released several new VMware vSphere® 6.5 courses, a free elearning course on VMware Horizon® Cloud Service™, plus a new video series to help you prepare for the VCP6-NV exam based on NSX v6.2.
This three-day training course equips you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to design a VMware vSphere 6.5 virtual infrastructure. You’ll follow a proven approach to design a virtualization solution that is available, scalable, manageable, recoverable, and secure, and that uses VMware best practices. This course also discusses the benefits and risks of available design alternatives and provides information to support making sound design decisions.
This extended-hours course takes you from introductory to advanced VMware vSphere® management skills. Building on the installation and configuration content from our best-selling course, you will also develop advanced skills needed to manage and maintain a highly available and scalable virtual infrastructure. Through a mix of lecture and hands-on labs, you will install, configure, and optimize vSphere 6.5. You will also explore the features that build a foundation for a truly scalable infrastructure, and discuss when and where these features have the greatest effect.
This five-day, hands-on workshop teaches you the advanced knowledge, skills, and abilities to troubleshoot the VMware vSphere® 6.x environment. This workshop increases your skill and competence in using the command-line interface, VMware vSphere® Web Client, VMware vRealize® Log lnsight™, and other tools to analyze and solve problems.
This intensive, extended hours course focuses on installing, configuring, managing, and troubleshooting VMware vSphere® 6.5, including VMware ESXi™ 6.5 and VMware vCenter Server® 6.5. Featuring plenty of hands-on training, this course prepares you to administer a vSphere infrastructure for an organization of any size. It is the foundation for most other VMware technologies in the software-defined data center.
This free eLearning course provides information on how VMware Horizon Cloud Service helps IT meet the expectations of today’s mobile workforce. This course explains the architecture, features, benefits, and functionality of the two service offerings of Horizon Cloud and demonstrates how to install an agent and create a desktop image.
VMware Certification Exam Prep: VMware Certified Professional 6 – Network Virtualization (VCP6-NV) Exam v6.2 (2V0-642)
This comprehensive, 110-video training course focuses on preparing you to take the VCP6-NV exam #2V0-642. It includes tips for preparing, an in-depth review of each objective, and sample questions. These videos provide a time-saving and methodical study plan designed to let you review exam topics and identify and close knowledge gaps – building both your knowledge and your confidence before taking your VMware Certification exam.
Written by Guest Author Lourdes Soler
Over the past year, the VMware certification team has been hard at work making enhancements to our development processes, exams, and delivery infrastructure. Since many of these changes are behind the scenes and not immediately apparent, we are going to begin telling you about what these changes are and how they will improve your certification experience.
For example, what if I told you that you didn’t have to wait for weeks to receive your beta exam results and subsequent certification status update, but could receive your score immediately?
How It Works
With the traditional beta exam process, all test-level and individual question-level analyses occurred after the beta period ended, which meant candidates had to wait until after the final production exam launched before receiving their beta exam results.
With our new process, under the direction of a trained measurement specialist (more formally referred to as a psychometrician), Subject Matter Experts participate in a rigorous process (called the standard setting process) before the exam release to ultimately select the best set of questions for inclusion in the exam and determine an appropriate pass score. This means that test candidates can walk away with their exam results at the end of their testing event.
Other than the immediate scoring, benefits include:
- Less time burden: With traditional beta exams, candidates must sit through and answer the entire pool of questions, even taking time to answer questions that do not make it into the final exam. With our new process, candidates are presented with a subset of questions that were considered valid during the standard setting process, providing a shorter exam time compared to past beta exams.
- No blackout period for analysis: With traditional betas, analysis begins after the beta period closes and a blackout period is instituted, during which candidates are unable to register for or take the exam. The blackout period was needed to review and analyze question and exam data and participant comments to determine which items will appear on the final production exam. Depending on the amount of data to be analyzed and the time needed to construct the production exam, this blackout period could take from 6 to 10 weeks. Because all of this analysis will now be done before exam launch, there will no longer be a blackout period.
- No retake restriction: Traditional beta exams can only be taken once by each candidate. With production exams, candidates can retake exams under the standard retake policy.
- No risk for recertification: With traditional betas, if taken for recertification purposes, scoring may not be completed before an individual’s recertification deadline and certification status could be in jeopardy. Candidates would need to plan accordingly and allow enough lead-time to retake the exam after they receive their results, in case they did not pass, or pursue an alternate route to recertification. With the immediate scoring factor, this is no longer an issue.
- No “set-it-and-forget-it” mode: In the case of traditional beta exams, there is one health check done during the post-beta analyses. Now, since every effort is taken ahead of time to eliminate questions that are ambiguous, too easy, too difficult, or just bad, there is increased confidence in the quality of the content. Even so, VMware will still conduct periodic exam health checks throughout the life of the exam and make improvements as needed.
Keep an eye out for future blog posts describing further program enhancements and improvements.
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?
*Note: This infographic has been updated to reflect the number of unique VCP holders per country
In can be tempting to create a new account if you can’t remember your previous information, or if you’ve changed email addresses due to a job change. But, that leads to multiple accounts which causes its own set of problems down the line.
Instead, here are some simple ways to find your old account information.
First, click the “login help” link from the VMware Education or Certification log in screen.
From that page you can request to have your password or user name sent to you. If you don’t remember either one, start by requesting your user name, then use that information to request the password.
If you no longer have access to your old email account, then please email our support team for further assistance.
I am excited to announce that we are going to pilot doing a full length VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) Workshop online in roughly two weeks on April 7. Previously all of our VCDX Workshops have occurred at large VMUG UserCons along with both VMworlds. Sadly this model hasn’t allowed us to reach a larger audience due to people being unable to physically get there. A couple years back we did a couple half-length VCDX Workshops online that were listen only. While these were well attended, it lacked the interaction that made the in person workshops so successful.
In thinking about how to reach more people, I had the idea to pilot a new model of full length workshops online with smaller groups. In order to get the interaction that makes them so useful to the attendees, we will limit the number of registrants to 45. This is so that true Q&A can happen without it becoming chaotic. On April 7 at 10AM EDT I am going to run the first one of these workshops for up to 45 people. If it is successful, I will be doing many more of these in the coming months.
If you are thinking about registering, for this first run I ask that you fit one of the following categories:
- Have at least one VMware Certification and want to learn about the VCDX
- Have decided you want to do the VCDX and would like to learn more
- Are already down the path to submit your VCDX or have already submitted and want to try again
- Can focus on the entire 4 hour session, won’t be multi-tasking, and come ready with questions
- Fill out a short web survey at the end of the session
The reason I ask for the above is to make sure we get a good idea of the success of this pilot, I don’t want people half paying attention or the content does not apply to.
If you are interested, get registered here! Remember, first come first serve for 45 people!
Details on the WebEx will be sent to all attendees after registration fills up.
Last month we added four new videos to the Certification Stories series on our YouTube channel. Begun in 2013, the VMware Certification Story series brings you informal interviews with current certification holders about the impact VMware certification has had on their career and their advice for others on the path to certification.
The VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) is the holy grail of VMware certification. Those who opt to pursue the VCDX have already achieved at least one VMware Certified Professional (VCP) and two VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) certifications. They are truly VMware experts.
We had a chance to speak with Brett Guarino, a Senior VMware Certified Instructor (VCI) who recently gave a presentation at VMworld Europe on preparing for the VCDX Defense. Brett has been teaching various courses with VMware over the past seven years. Recently, he’s been preparing for his second attempt at the VCDX Defense. In this interview, he shares ideas, tips, and insights for those working toward this prestigious certification.
Before getting into the VCDX process, tell me a little bit about why you love instructing?
The most rewarding part of it is working with students who come into the classroom and have needs. One of the first things I ask my students is “What are you here for?” I don’t think anyone’s come into my class without hearing that question. By the end of the course, students leave with something tangible that helps them do their jobs better, saves them time, makes them more of an expert. For me, knowing that I’ve given my customer (in this case the student) something to take away with them that’s going to empower their career is very rewarding.
Tell me a little bit about the VCDX. What’s it designed to prepare people for?
It’s more about validating your existing skillset. The VCDX doesn’t teach you how to become an architect. However, strengthening your skill as an architect is definitely one of the side benefits of going through the process of VCDX preparation. Assuming that you go through the preparation and successfully achieve the VCDX, you’re going to learn and hone skills and tools that will ultimately make you a better designer and architect.
VCDX preparation requires quite a bit of time from what I’ve heard. What do you recommend in terms of time management?
You cannot prepare for the amount of time it takes. You just can’t. I’ve had discussions with several people who are VCDXs and they all say the same thing. You really can’t prepare for it. From design to documentation, to preparing for the defense presentation, you just need to plan to make this what your life is about for a while.
That being said, when you go into this type of commitment, you’ve got to let the people who are important in your life know that this is what you are going to be doing. You need to prepare your friends, family, colleagues, whoever, that for the next several months, your spare time is going to be dedicated to the VCDX. Many people are under the impression that once you’ve finished your design, you’re basically done. But actually, at that point, you have to create a presentation for the initial half of the defense, and that’s not a trivial task. That presentation is something that you’ve got to know inside and out.
It’s a simple suggestion, but I recommend getting out a calendar and setting deadlines. Know when you will have certain parts of your design finished, know when you will send them off to peers for review, build in time so that when you get behind, you have enough room to double down if you need to. For an extended project like the VCDX, this type of planning goes a long way.
In your presentation, one of things you spoke about was the SMART methodology. Can you elaborate on this?
SMART is a goal achievement ideology and stands for Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. When preparing for VCDX, you’ve got to have milestones. Breaking things up, knowing what will be done when, knowing which days you will be working on which things — these are all very important elements of the process. The idea is that you are going to work smart as you prepare. Taking the time to apply the SMART methodology to each of your goals will help you both stay sane and get what you need to have done when you need to have it done.
One of the things you hear about from other VCDXs is the importance of assembling a group or community of people to help you as you prepare. What are your thoughts on finding a group as you pursue the VCDX?
First, you want to make use of all your resources. Find out who you know that’s an expert in specific technologies. Find out who can give you their time. Find out who is really willing to help you. There may come a time as you go through your process when you’ve gathered too many people, and not everyone is actually helping you get to where you want to be. At that point, you may need to drop people. The idea is that you want to make sure the people you surround yourself with are people who are going to challenge you, tell you the truth when something’s not working, and ask you questions that you haven’t thought of yourself.
There’s also the current VCDX community. In seeking assistance from VCDX mentors, who may be identified at https://vcdx.vmware.com/ (use the Mentor Option under Optional Flags), be respectful of their time. They have full-time jobs beyond their desire to volunteer to assist VCDX candidates. Reach out to them after having achieved the VCIX certification (i.e., have both your VCAPs already).
VCDX mentors may aid you with design preparation, mock panels, etc. They should not be expected to draft your design for you. Use the volunteer VCDX mentor resources sparingly. Initially to help define design considerations (requirements, constraints, risks, and assumptions), then to review initial drafts, and finally for panel mocks.
How do you recommend people prepare for the defense itself? What soft skills are important?
Public speaking. It’s one of the key things that people have trouble with, especially if they don’t deal with public speaking in their jobs on a day-in-day-out basis. When you’re standing in front of the panel, you’re going to be challenged, and you need to be prepared for that.
There are a few elements of public speaking that you really should master, things like making eye contact, never speaking with your back to the audience, and whiteboarding. Whiteboarding is a key soft skill, and few people pay attention to developing it. Learning how to stand at the front of the room, write out complex concepts on a whiteboard, and then explain it in a clear way to an audience does a lot for keeping your viewers engaged and translating your mastery and comfort level with a given subject.
Although you won’t necessarily be judged on your public speaking ability per se, having these skills in your pocket helps you establish confidence and comfort so that you can be positioned to really demonstrate your expertise and mastery to the panel.
The other thing that I would say is that part of learning how to speak publicly means learning how to guide a discussion and direct a narrative authoritatively. As the presenter, you’re going to be driving the conversation. Making sure you’re driving the conversation in the direction you want it to go will help you gain points as you present.
The last question is kind of a fun question, but what’s the best way to celebrate once you’ve completed your defense?
Well, my first answer is that I’ll let you know when I pass!
But seriously, rewarding the people in your life who’ve helped to get you to where you are is huge. Make sure you acknowledge your mentors, reviewers, mock panelists. And then also do something for the people who’ve made sacrifices and supported you emotionally — your spouse, your kids, your significant other. I’d say that’s a good way to celebrate as you come back to normal life.