This morning I sat the VCP4, official name VCP410, at Dimension Data premises. I like to seat exams at DD because the coffee is courtesy and I never failed an exam there.
I passed but I feel I was not as prepared enough. This led me to conclude that the exam is actually very hard and require some good hands on experience and deep dive into the documentation. Jason Boche had already alerted us in his VCP4 Exam post.
The exam is definitely harder than VCP3 however there is more emphasis on your working knowledge than maximum configurations. I recall only a single question about maximum configuration during the 90 minutes and 85 questions exam.
I don’t really understand the point system used as the passing mark is 300, 350 for VCI and maximum 500. Each questions must have a different weight but this is not clarified by VMware as far as I know.
Starting the exam I had to mark the first 5 questions for later reviewing. At this point I was really saying bye-bye to AU$250.00 and thinking my studies were not enough. However subjects I knew better started to appear and at the 40 mark question I still had almost 1 hour of exam to go.
I was then relaxed and started to take more time reading and understanding the questions. When I finished the exam there were about 20 spare minutes to review incomplete and not answered questions.
My wife works in Learning & Development and she told me that when reviewing exams normally we downgrade the final score. Apparently there is a study about that. So, I reviewed my questions and I am not sure if it helped or made it worse.
Anyway, I passed but because I did not pass the exam during VMworld I didn’t get the pin, the baseball cap or the flashy battery powered glasses but I am happy to be one of the first VCP4 in Australia. I would like VMware to provide the VCP numbers across all continents.
I previously posted an article containing VCP4 learning path however I am reviewing that list based on what I consider the most important and the ones I used as my main study sources.
Simon Long Online Exams – Simon did an amazing job putting together a number of questions extracted from VMware documentation in an exam format. I personally find a lot easier to remember when I have to answer and review. I ran through those questions several times.
VMware Communities Podcasts – I now realize how powerful these podcasts conducted by John Troyer @jtroyer are. I have been downloading them from iTunes and systematically listening in the car, on my way to and back from work, and the amount of information about VMware products and technologies generated is of great importance.
vSphere4 Documentation Notes – The vReference document created by Forbes Guthrie provides an easy way to memorize quick facts about vSphere and it’s correlated products.
Scott Lowe’s (@scott_lowe) new Mastering VMware vSphere 4 that can be purchased from Amazon.com Mastering VMware vSphere. This is not a quick-fix guide for your VCP exam. it will provide you will the vSphere Foundations and build up to advanced techniques.
Lastly, I would recommend reading posts from experts via RSS at PlanetV12n and unbelievably following those same experts on Twitter. They always come up with amazing links and information.
I’m a VCP4. What now?
I don’t believe anymore in certification towards salary/money. However I have been following the Australian job market closely and I have noticed that VMware and Citrix professionals are still in high demand despite the economic downturn.
All the big players in this market are throwing all their dimes towards marketing to create a need for virtualisation, consolidation and cloud computing. I’m loving being involved in this third IT wave.
1 – Personal Desktop Computing
2 – Internet
3 – Cloud Computing
Not sure if there is more money waiting for us around the corner but at the end of the day this is something that we can certainly add to the resume and if there is a good background experience and most important, you interview well, the job is yours.
Update: I like the fact that VCP exams are not as easy as Microsoft ones and that professionals need to go through VMware training prior to certification process. I believe this give us a considerable advantage on the job market. However VMware need to take care to not hype up VMware professional prices too much otherwise organizations will start looking for solutions with lower TCO.
“at least we love what we do”