VCDX Attempt, Strike One – Part 1

MuppetSports-Animal-BaseballLet me open by saying that getting Karl’s email on a Friday morning saying I wasn’t able to pass my VCDX defense this time around was a kick in the nuts – no sugar coating, it’s simple as that.

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I really hoped that my first VCDX post will be around success but sometimes it is what it is, no worries, this just makes me more motivated!
For me, the VCDX journey is far from being over as I’m definitely going to take another shot at this bad boy next year. Although this post can easily become a collection of cliches I will try to give it to you as straight as possible (without saying anything that will break the VCDX disclosure of course).
 
Family
Many said this before and I will say it again. Sit down with your wife or husband and explain them about the process you are about to go trough together – yes, TOGETHER!
I have no words to describe how supportive my wife Irena was and still is. You gotta appreciate the fact that she has given on tons of weekends, family and friends visits, vacations, house duties and many more.
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Partnership
I took the VCDX-CMA track as I have a vCloud Director design that I’ve been working on with my VCDX partner Omer Kushmaro for more than a year now. I’m not going to spend too much time talking about the writing process but all I can say is that it was a challenge, to say the least. Both Omer and I are busy dudes and trying to work together required devotion from all sides.
With that being said, eventually we were able to produce a 316pg of an Architecture Design document (and all the other docs as well of course). The amount of pages doesn’t mean anything, I just want to emphasise the fact that we had a lot (!) of work so for those of you who are working or planning to work in pairs, the first tip I can give you is to choose a partner that is technically equal to you and can challenge you (and vice versa as well, obviously).
 
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vFriends
This a critical piece in your preparation. Besides Omer, I had so many vCommunity friends willing to help throughout the process. They helped me with reviews, mental talks, and defense preps. I want to mention and say thank you to some of those great guys:
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  • Andrew Nelson – Andrew was my official mentor from the get go. He provided me TONS of feedback, design reviews, late night talks, preps and was an asset throughout the process. Finding someone who can provide honest feedback is crucial and luckily Andrew was there for me.
  • Larus Hjartarson – Larus is just an awesome guy with an “always here to help” kinda approach! I connected with him fairly late in the writing process, but he was one of my go-to guys for defense prep and we had a lot of sessions during VMworld which helped me a lot. If you haven’t touched base with his blog you really should do so.
  • Gregg Robertson – The thing with Gregg and why I enjoyed working with him on defense prep so much is very simple – he reminds me of myself. For me, Gregg is kinda of vCelebrity but when I approached him I was fortune enough to discover a real genuine and humble guy. Throughout the defense prep we quickly discovered we are working very well together (man, the amount of screenshots exchange was huge :-)). I am very proud of him being able to get his VCDX and I know I can count on him for my second shot preps.
  • Sam McGeown – Besides myself and Gregg, the third guy in our study group was Sam. I really enjoyed working with Sam – easy going, humble and funny kinda guy. We both had similar vCloud designs and we were able to effectively bounce ideas. Sam was able to achieve his VCDX-CMA and I am so proud of him as well. Like Gregg, I know I can count on him as well with my second shot. 
  • Rob Nolen – When I started the VCDX journey, Rob was my first mentor. Not many know this, but I actually started with a DCV design which eventually I decided to drop. Rob was a great vBuddy and a mentor for my old DCV design. I know he will be willing to help in the near future (assuming he will not be busy flying something :-))
In the next post, I will share some of the feelings and experience I had from the defense day itself. If you are a returning player or a rookie I think you will find it useful so stay tuned…

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