Advice from a Recent VCDX

By Guest blogger: Steve Dunne, VCDX #261

Ed Note: The following are excerpts from Steve’s blogs…we recommend reading the full series including all his guidance and recommendations.

Getting Started

“…One of the biggest pieces of advice I could offer on reflection, is consuming all the information out there and then deciding how to aggregate this together into your own submission. It’s effectively pulling all the tips, tricks and lessons learnt together and moving forwards with this.  Looking back I feel this was key to my success along with the level of preparation and detail I went into…”

Building the Design

“…I had covered some of the areas for the customer design, but other areas I was lacking. I wrestled with actually finding a flow and storyline to my design, which was readable and made logical sense, rather than throwing the reader around to different areas of the design. I’d partly done this from my customer design, but needed to make some more changes for the blueprint…[Be sure] you are writing in your own style and customising based on your interpretation of the blueprint, instead of purely copying someone else’s layout…”

Risk Management

“…Every design decision you make has some sort of risk associated to it. Every decision table (logical or physical) must have consideration around the risk whether it’s technical, project, people or process, with a stated mitigation to eliminate or reduce the impact of the risk. This is the role of the architect, identify the risks, consider, manage, eliminate\reduce and track…”

Staying Motivated & Focused

“…There’s different ways to go about achieving any goal really, it’s not specifically tied to the VCDX, it would be no different targeting a degree or similar. At the end of the day, if you want really want something, then something has to give (sacrifice). There are no shortcuts!..

Planning Pre-and Post Submission

“Below are few tips around strategy and planning from my preparation. There are many effective ways to tackle any problem or project, however being organised, knowing how to prioritise and forming a strong plan of action, is vital in this process…”

For the rest of Steve’s advice, please read the complete series.


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