Saturday, October 22, 2011

VCAP-DCA: now I wait...

And now I wait.  I think the test went better than I had expected, but I would still be surprised if I passed.  Overall it was a great test and I actually had fun doing it.  I am very much a hands on learner and I work best when I am told to just get it done, and that is 100% the nature of this test.  Everything was very relavent to real life with no real abstract scenarios or trick questions that I could see.  My test was 34 questions/scenarios and in the end I counted about 6 total that I knew I had missed, didn't finish, or didn't even start.  Even though 3.5 hours seems like a lot of time, it really isn't.  You either know it or you don't and if you don't, move on and come back if time permits.  Having VMware documents available for reference was nice, but you cannot rely on them due to the time limitations.

Regardless of if I passed or not, I learned a lot in studying for this and will be able to apply everything to my job role.

I wanted to give a shoutout to the following people who's blogs about their experiences, their study notes, or just generally good articles helped get me to a point where I felt more confident and ready to try:

Sean Crookston:
David Davis:
Edward Grigson:
Kendrick Coleman:
Eric Sloof:
"Virtual Vargi":
Duncan Epping:
Ray Heffer:

And everyone who has posted their experiences on the VMware Community Forums:

Hopefully within the next couple of weeks I will be able to post that I passed!  And if not, I will post that I am scheduling my re-take!

Also wanted to say thanks to Brad Butler and Acropolis for rolling the dice with me :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

VCDA410 Tomorrow! A LOT nervous!

From what I am reading, very smart people are saying this is the hardest test they have ever had to take for an IT certification.  There are apparently about 40 exam questions, all of which require configuration in a real lab environment, and there are ONLY 4 hours to do it.  4 hours seems like a lot right?  I am starting to sweat bullets here because doing the math on that, it is about 6 minutes per question, which means I will be expected to just get it done and move on.  This is not my style.  I tend to analyze, configure, re-analyze, and then re-analyze again.  And the worst part, I won't know my results for up to 2 weeks after.  Again, not my style!  I like instant gratification!  Agh!!  Back to studying.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Exam prep for VCAP-DCA

I really wish that I had an unlimited budget of time and money.  Unfortunately, I have neither so I study when I can and work with what I have.

I've been preparing the VMware Certified Advanced Professional Data Center Administrator certification exam and wow, it is daunting.  I've been working with VMware for a few years now and I got my VCP back in March of last year.  I manage a small data center and have been fortunate enough to get my hands on a lot of really cool technology that I thought I knew quite a bit about.  But in studying for this exam, I realize just how much I still need to learn.  I will be taking it on Friday, fully expecting at this point to fail, but it has opened my eyes so much during my studies that it will only make me better at what I do.

I have to applaud VMware for putting together a fantastic "exam blueprint" for this exam.  It is loaded with great references.  Also, I found several people who have done a great job at posting their study notes and taking deep dives into specific areas.  I am planning on doing the same once I get done with the actual test.

I'll post again on Friday after I take it but I will not know the results until up to 10 days after since it is a lab test and the results will be reviewed by a human being.  If you have any interest in specific objectives, please let me know and I'll do what I can to help.  Wish me luck!