Study Habits for Certification Success

As I’ve stated before, I highly value certification. I think they provide a good goal and can encourage someone to dig deep and learn features of a technology they may have never looked into otherwise. I recently had a discussion which started with the question “can certifications make a career?” The even split came down to “yes, they prove your knowledge” and “no, it’s too easy to cheat for them to be valuable”.

My VCAP6-DCV Deploy Beta Experience

I sat the VCAP6-DCV Beta last night. First off the test was extremely fun, much like the VCAP5-DCA. In a live lab your skills are really tested. The new interface provided some challenges but is overall better than the legacy interface. The console is faster and it’s a lot nicer to be able to open the manual over the interface. It is very cramped though. My center maybe had an 18 inch monitor so I was still minimizing my manual a lot.

Strategy Going into the VCAP6-DCV Deploy

As I prepare to take an advanced test on a version of VMware I had never touched prior to dropping my $100 I knew I needed a strategy. I searched the blueprint for what was new and hoped my notes from the DCA were enough to patch me through. Plenty of articles exist to study by. I used many of them to prepare myself. When the time comes for me to take my seat here is how I’ll prepare:

VCAP6-DCV Deploy Blueprint Changes from VCAP5-DCA

VMware recently announced a 2 week availability for the VCAP6-DCV Deploy beta. After some debate I signed up to sit the exam on June 28, 2016. They provide a beta version of the blueprint so I started there to see what had changed from my VCAP5-DCA 5.5 blueprint and notes. I made some quick notes and want to share them here. As a disclaimer my list is quick first pass.

My Head has been in the Cloud

About two years ago I just happened to read an article in CIO magazine about “The Cloud”. I’ve always been a huge fan of virtualization and getting the most computing for my money. Reading about AWS in particular really excited me. I thought of Amazon as a fantastic retailer and this article and the research done afterward really opened my eyes. I’m all about infrastructure and approached my studies from that perspective.

Keeping Organized

Being in technology is hard. You have multiple priorities, projects, implementation, and break-fix issues that come your way. If you’re anything like me you want to fix everything and sometimes something could slip through the cracks. It happens to everyone occasionally and we’re all human. I spend a significant amount of time trying to stop that from happening to me. Being a successful technician and team member means you try to mitigate missing priorities.

My VCAP5-DCD Experience

On March 29th I posted about VMware’s announcement regarding the retirement of the VCAP5 exams. Passing these exams have always been a bucket list item for me. I feel that they confirm a technician’s ability to actually use and conceptualize VMware more beyond the typical multiple choice exam. The VCP has become required for many job so having the next level up should set me apart from the competition. So after my March 8th pass I started gathering material to sit the DCD.

How to Check Negotiated Speed on Fibre Channel HBAs

Fibre channel storage is great because it mostly “just works”. You provision storage, assign it to the WWPNs, rescan the adapters, and the luns are presented. There isn’t a lot of configuration in the GUI and, honestly, it can be hard to detect link speed or even if a link is up. In the Storage Adapter tab you can see if a path is down, but how do you detect the link speed?

VMware Announces VCAP5-DCA and VCAP5-DCD Exam Retirement

On March 23rd VMware officially announced the retirement of their VCAP5 Datacenter exams. Read the official information here: 4 Exam Retirements in June It’s an interesting move as the VCAP6-DCA and DCD exams aren’t even available to book right now. You can still book and sit the exam up until the expiration dates (June 4th for DCA, June 24th for the DCD). I expected this but am a little disappointed. I booked my DCD for May 27th with the backup plan of taking a second shot at VMworld should I need it.

Study Habits for Certification Success

I don’t have a degree in Information Technology or in Computer Science. I’ve occasionally entertained going back to school to formally cement my education but never taken that step. Since I don’t have that education I’ve always looked to certification as a way to “prove my worth.” Some people may argue that certifications are just paper and aren’t worth anything, however I strongly disagree. I feel having a focus and a goal to work toward sharpens my continued education.