Now that the smoke has stopped coming out of my ears, I think I can finally put pen to paper about taking the new VCAP-DCA Exam, for which I sat the beta yesterday

Just in case you have been living in a darkened datacentre for the last few months, the VCAP is the new mid tier cert launched by VMware to bridge the gap between VCP and VCDX. In reality its giving a certification to some of the exams that you would need to take in order to achieve VCDX , which works quite well as I suspect there must be quite a few people who have worked very hard towards their VCDX but not had anything in the way of letters to show for it.

The blueprint for the exam was officially published last week , if you would like to read it , ensure you are sitting down with a stiff drink, and click here . Its quite an intimidating read – if like me you just look after the 1 infrastructure , while it might be quite sizable, the chance of you using every single product off the vSphere shelf is relatively unlikely. This is where people from a more consultancy / outsourcing background might well have a slight advantage as they may well have had a chance to deploy some of the more outlying add-ins in the field while the rest of us have to make do with a Lab setup, which brings me onto my next point….

without wanting to sound too Baz Luhrmann on you, if I could offer a single piece of advice on how to pass the VCAP-DCA ( and I don’t know at this point if I’ve passed or not )  it would be Get a Lab… Get a Lab and play with it lots , try every product you can get hold of an eval for. If there are two ways of setting something up , make sure you try them both , blow it away and start from scratch.

Due to NDA restrictions there isn’t much I can say about the content of the exam itself , especially as its possibly not quite finalised but it was my first experience of a pure live lab exam and can honestly say it was one of the toughest exams I’ve sat in 15 years ! I knew time was possibly going to be an issue , so skipped questions I knew would take a while with a view to coming back to them at the end , however due to the time constraints I didn’t get a chance to go back. This could have been because I was a bit slow on some issues , it could also have been affected by the operating speed of the lab environment , which left a little something to be desired.

Now begins the long wait ( including “VMware Time” 😉 ) before I get the results back – I’d better not hold my breath but will be a nervous wreck until then…

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