Virtual Design Master 5 – 3rd Place Winner Kyle Jenner Q&A

So now that Virtual Design Master Season 5 is in the books, I’ve decided to do a quick Q&A with our 3 finalists and pick their brains around the experience, what’re their key takeaways and of course which mascot was their favorite this year.  

Kyle Jenner was this year 3rd place winner. He showed a great deal of coming out of his comfort zone as he tried to tackle solutions and methodologies which were a stranger to him while showing constant improvement during the season. Congratulations Kyle for making it to 3rd place!

  1. What was the best thing about the Virtual Design Master experience for you?
    For me it was the community spirit during the event, I was one of 4 UK contestants where we were constantly in contact and sharing ideas. When I signed up it was never a competition for me, but more of an experience and the UK guys were all of the same mind set so we ending up sharing and helping each other along the way.  Even just knowing someone else has hit the same block as you was enough to carry on and fight through it.

  2. What was the hardest part for you?
    The hardest part for me would have been the defense, is there to test you on your decisions but a lot of my decisions were out of my comfort zone and would be new tech I have just researched.  It was difficult to defend where I didn’t know the tech inside out.

  3. What are your top 3 takeaways?
    Top takeaways would be my further progression on architecture documentation, further looking into AWS technologies and looking into open source products such as Terraform and Docker which I wouldn’t normally.

  4. What was the challenge you struggled the most with and why?
    The hardest challenge for me was the final challenge, the other challenges I tackled by looking at products and solutions that met the requirements but the final challenge required me to do that but also go and deliver it.  The delivery part is where a lot of time was given the subject was all new to me.

  5. What would be your recommendation for future VDM’s candidates? Any study and learning tips you can share with the community?
    Yes, I would absolutely recommend it, I surprised myself how much time I spent researching and documenting each challenge but in a good way.  This forced me to look into things I would have previously put off.  I’m only starting my public cloud journey after being focused on on-premises solutions and a VMware SME for the past few years and this forced me to really focus on areas that I was aware of but had never spent time looking into to.

  6. What unknown tech you had a chance to work with you enjoyed the most?
    For me, it was deploying a Docker container running on Amazon Container Services through Terraform.  Although it what was a simple deployment and a simple script, all 3 components were new to me and within only a few days of giving the challenge, I had my own script that worked.  It may be simple for others but for me, it felt like a big achievement.

  7. What are your future plans? How would you leverage the new knowledge you acquired?
    Like contestants in the past, the VCDX is of interest and I have the pre-requisites to aim for it but the industries moving so fast at the minute I feel the time it would take for VCDX may be better spent on skilling up on things like AWS and Azure.  I’m currently studying for the associate level AWS exams and would hope to complete them soon and Azure certs are on the list.  After that, we’ll see maybe I pick the VCDX back up in 2018.

  8. Which mascot was your favorite?
    Megaman is a longtime favorite so it’s good to see that he made an appearance

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