My Journey to Double-VCDX

It was back in 2011 when I started my journey to VCDX which was a fantastic learning experience which has helped improve my skills as an Enterprise Architect.

After achieving VCDX-DCV in May 2012, I have continued to put the skills and experience I gained during my VCDX journey into practice, and came to the realization, of how little I actually know, and how much more there is learn.

I was looking for another certification challenge however there was no additional VCDX certification tracks at the time. Then VCDX-Cloud and VCDX-Desktop were released, I figured I should attempt VCDX-Cloud since my VCDX-DCV submission was actually based on a vCloud design.

At the time I didn’t have my VCAPs for Cloud, so as per my VCAP-CID Exam Experience and VCAP-CIA Exam Experience posts explain, I formed a study group and sat and passed both exams over a period of a few months.

Next came the VCDX application phase, I prepared my design in a similar fashion to my original application which basically meant reviewing the VCDX-Cloud Blueprint and ensuring all sections have been covered.

I sad part about submitting a second VCDX is that there is no requirement to redefend in person. As a result I suspect the impression is that achieving a second VCDX is easier. While I think this is somewhat true as the defence is no walk in the park, the VCDX submission still must be of an expert standard.

I suspect for first time VCDX applicants, the candidate may be given the benefit of the doubt if the documentation is not clear, has mistakes or contradicts itself in some areas as these points can be clarified or tested by the panellists during the design defence.

In the case of subsequent applications,  I suspect that Double-X candidates may not get the benefit of the doubt, as these points cannot be clarified. As a result, It could be argued the quality of the documentation needs to be of a higher standard so that everything in the design is clear and does not require clarification.

My tips for Double-X Candidates:

In addition to the tips in my original VCDX Journey Post:

  1. Ensure your documentation is of a level which could be handed to a competent engineer and implemented with minimal or no assistance.
  2. Ensure you have covered all items in the blueprint to a standard which is higher than your previous successful VCDX submission
  3. Make your design decisions clear and concise and ensure you have cross referenced relevant sections back to detailed customer requirements.
  4. Treat your Double-VCDX submission equally if not more seriously than your first applications. Ensure you dot all your “I”s and cross your “T”s.

I was lucky enough to have existing Double-VCDX Magnus Andersson (@magander3) and Nutanix colleague review my submission and give some excellent advice. So a big thanks Magnus!

What next?

Well just like when I completed my first VCDX, I was already looking for another challenge. Luckily I have already found the next certification and am well on the way to submitting my application for the Nutanix Platform Expert (NPX).

The VCDX-DCV and VCDX-Cloud have both been awesome learning experiences and I think both have proven to be great preparation for my NPX attempt, so stay tuned and with a bit of luck, you’ll be reading my NPX Journey in the not to distant future.