8 Replies Latest reply on Dec 30, 2010 2:28 AM by depping

    Path to vcdx certification

    TheVMinator Master

      I wanted to ask about the path to obtaining vcdx and get some pointers from some vcdx's who have gone before.  Obviously this takes an extremelly large committment of time, planning, strategy and discipline.  I would like to get your tips on what you found helpful as far as obtaining this certification.  For example:


      1.  The kind of work environment that best lends itself to building this kind of knowledge.  Is it best to work as a reseller, seeing multiple environments on a regular basis, as opposed to administering one environment?  As many vcdxs work for VMware, are there some helps you get from VMware like extra paid training time and resources and other "ins" that they invest to help people get this that might not be available to outsiders?


      2.  What are some guidelines for studying / certifying in other knowledge areas that vcdx ties closely to like networking, storage, and other areas?  For example, you need the equivalent of CCNP level networking knowledge, EMC certified level knowledge in storage, etc?


      3.  What are some strategies for the practical difficulties of finding enough time to study for a cert like this?  Are there companies that tend to pay for training time and classes more than others?  Are many vcdx's private consultants that can make their own hours and so can take 3 weeks off at their own discretion through the year to study for a test?  Does it help to be a VCT and teach the classes all the time so you have the knowledge always in front of you during your 40 hour a week job instead of trying to do all your studying outside your regular job?


      4. Do vcdx candidates spend a lot of time answering questions on communities to build a knowledge base?  What other ways besides training classes and books read and home lab should a potential candidate utilize to prepare themselves?


      Thanks for any input, pointers, etc.

        • 1. Re: Path to vcdx certification
          AndreTheGiant Guru
          User ModeratorsvExpert

          1. A VCDX is not a Sales people. You must be able to design and implement the solutions.

          The skill is technical, with some pre-sales aspects and several management/organization aspects.


          2. You must know general aspects on most of networking and storage solutions.

          And then know well at least one product for each area (the products that you will use for the application).


          3. Experience is very important, and more project you see, more experience you get


          4. It can help... you can learn a lot from the community.


          PS: see also: http://communities.vmware.com/people/AndreTheGiant/blog/2010/10/16/my-thoughts-on-vcdx-certification-part-1

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Path to vcdx certification
            logiboy123 Expert

            My post is only referencing your first question.


            The pro's of working for a vendor.


            1) You are part of a larger pool of very talented people with specialist skills who (if you are good at cultivating relationships) will be only to happy to share their skills, knowledge and experience.


            2) You will get to build, design, use and support a very diverse range of technologies and implementations. Every client is different, has different requirements, budgets and preconceived ideas. This forces a good consultant to build a customized solution that fits the customer.


            3) You are often at the forefront of technologies. You will be constantly installing and upgrading client solutions. This forces you to keep up to date with changes in the industry if you want to get the work and maintain the relationships.


            The con's of working for a vendor.


            1) Often you will be budget driven with severe workloads and timeframe's.


            2) Customer's bitch about everything and nothing. Sometimes it's your fault and sometimes not. To keep the relationships you often have to bite your tongue, smile and apologize, even if it isn't your fault. Apologizing when you are wrong is easy, when you are right it can be very hard.


            3) Customer's will stab you in the back despite your extremely long hours and loyalty if it means that they made a mistake but need someone to blame.

            • 3. Re: Path to vcdx certification
              TheVMinator Master

              OK thanks.  When I mentioned working for a reseller, I didn't mean working as a technical sales person - I was really more thinking this:

              When you work for one company you get to know their datacenter but only their datacenter - there could be many technologies implemented in many envirornments that you never see or touch because they are alternatives to what your datacenter has chosen to use.  If on the other hand you are an engineer/administrator who is employed by a reseller and responsible for building or designing multiple different deployments, then you are constantly seeing many new things as the post below mentions.  In addition, a reseller has to make sure that they look good to customers, and they look better when their engineers have the best certifications and they have the highest partner status and so on, so there may be more motive for them to invest time and money in training time and training classes that lead to certifications than there would be otherwise.  That is what I meant by working for a reseller - hope that clarifies

              • 4. Re: Path to vcdx certification
                AndreTheGiant Guru
                User ModeratorsvExpert


                Work for a VMware Partner is really a plus... You have NFR license, access to Partner University, access to Partner Central material, SET tool and template... and of course you can see more projects.



                • 5. Re: Path to vcdx certification
                  logiboy123 Expert

                  Despite what most people think, vendors don't actually like to spend money on their staff getting certifications. They are after all motivated by money. Often when they spend money it is only because they have to meet a requirement for partner status or rebates etc.


                  Some bosses see the impotance of certification and push quite hard for it, but it often comes down to the ethos of the company you sign up with.


                  Currently I am a contractor and I pay for my own training. I have budgeted $3000 per year for self certification and I am very happy with my decision. The vendor I am currently working for is apparently a very good employer and from what I've seen so far that perception seems to be true. But I'll probably stay a contractor because it means I'm removed from the politics.


                  You are correct in that working for a vendor will expose you to the widest range of technologies and ways of implementing solutions.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Path to vcdx certification
                    TheVMinator Master

                    Thanks again for input

                    • 7. Re: Path to vcdx certification
                      RickBoyett Enthusiast

                      I definitely agree with Andre's statement about working for partners.  It just opens the door to more opportunities for you.


                      My experience with funding for certification and training has been quite the opposite of what logiboy123 mentioned.  There were definitely training cutbacks at my company after the economic fallout in 2008, but the best people still got funding (it was just harder).  My company has been really good in funding my certification path and is now pushing me harder to get my VCDX completed by the end of 2011.  So I'm targetting VMWorld 2011 for my VCDX design defense.


                      The great thing about working for HPES (formerly EDS) is that in a fairly short time I got hands on experience with multiple clients in a variety of environments.  Each customer had very diffferent needs and I had to come up with very different solutions.  I've even gotten into VDI engagements.  Those kinds of engagements force you to get your hands dirty in storage and networking for each solution your build.  You also get very deep into hardware.  For me it was HP blades and virtual connect solutions.  I think that each of these is going to greatly benefit me when I start assembling my VCDX application.  I'm now pushing my boss to get me on another engagement where I start designing a new environment from the ground up so I can use that as the basis of my submitted design..

                      • 8. Re: Path to vcdx certification
                        depping Champion
                        User ModeratorsVMware Employees

                        most questions have been answered, but if some asks me what the quickest way is too learn as much as possible about virtualization than spending time on the VMTN forum is.


                        Try to answer every single question you see even if you don't know the answer. Make sure you download all the documentation and look the answers up. That is how I learned 70% of the stuff I know today, just by reading every single document there is.


                        Duncan (VCDX)

                        Available now on Amazon: vSphere 4.1 HA and DRS technical deepdive