Like many others my journey towards earning the VCDX certification has been a long one. I thought a short write up on the final phase was in order. These are some of the things that I did in the last day before to help me prepare technically, mentally and physically for what awaited me.
The night before the defense
This was my second try at the VCDX defense so I was a lot more comfortable with what would be taking place the next morning. But to work on improving my chances and confidence I wanted to make sure that there were no surprises. So the evening before I wanted to make a dry run on getting to the defense location. This was not a big deal because I was able to book a hotel room in the same location as my panel. But still, I did not want there to be any confusion. So I took the long journey down from the 30th floor to the 2nd floor of the hotel where the defense panel would be hosted.
The location was easy to find with these posters letting everyone know what was going to take place here the next day. That lead me to the meeting room that I would defend in. I had the room name from my invite but the name did not strike me until I saw it in person. Olympic was the room name, at the time I felt like there would be an Olympic session happening behind those doors in less than 24 hours.
After doing a dry run on finding my way to the meeting location I would need some food and then back to final preparations. So I found a local burger place and grabbed some food. There would be no food eaten that would make me sick or affect my performance in any way. Then it was back to the hotel room to continue preparing for tomorrow. The image below shows what I was facing for the evening. At this point I was just hours from my panel was not going to be learning anything I did not know already. But I needed to revisit some important topics and be sure that I was familiar with all the little parts of my design.
I will need to make sure I remember why I made decisions for or against certain methods or technologies. I should be able to intelligently talk about all options and understand the customer project and the constraints, risks, requirements and assumptions related to this project. Make sure I don’t get confused with other customer projects and then the most important part. GET A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP!!
Then the email arrives
If you have ever waited on good or bad news to arrive via email in the past you have some idea of what the feeling is like. You wait for the email to arrive then there is anxiety about opening the email to find out the results. Well in my case I was saved this anxiety. Turns out that I elected to sleep in the day after my defense and traveling back home made me exhausted. So to recover and start off the holiday weekend I grabbed some extra sleep. Little did I know that Mark and the VCDX team kicked butt and got the results out right away to everyone.
After awaking and looking at my phone, the home screen was filled with missed calls and texts congratulating me. Still being a bit confused I raced to my work email and checked, sure enough there was an email from Mark Brunstad. Could this be real and so fast? I opened up the email and then the attachment which the top portion is shown below. I had passed and was now awarded the VCDX certification, after some loud cheering and announcing to the family I was a bit in shock.
Can’t say thanks enough
There a bunch of people that I need to thank for helping me at some point during this journey. But most of all my family and co-workers for supporting and helping with this goal.
About Brian Suhr
Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design