Hi everyone, it’s Alastair here, @DemitasseNZ. I missed out on the chance to do the VCAP5-DTD beta exam at the end of last year, primarily because New Zealand shuts down from Christmas for a couple of week as it’s the middle of our summer. So when the exam was released to general availability last week I wanted to get it booked and sat as quick as possible. This morning was the appointed time so I went down to my local Person VUE testing centre and spent a while staring at a screen.
As with all the VCAP exams you must first request authorization to sit the exam. The certification check that you meet the pre-requisites and let Pearson know you are authorised to book. Then you get the email back that you can book your exam.
I didn’t do any specific study for the exam but I suggest you do, teaching the View Design Workshop a couple of times last year and having worked on several View design and implementation project was helpful. A reasonable knowledge of ThinApp and the Windows parts around a View deployment is also important.
The exam itself is 115 questions and 3 1/4 hours long, it has multi choice, drag and drop and diagramming questions just like the vSphere Design VCAP exam. Also just like the VCAP-DCD exam you need to watch the exam UI demo that you will find on the certification page for the exam, this helps you understand how the diagrams should be laid out.
Something I like about VMware’s recent exams is that the questions are phrased much more as a customer would phrase things and you need to then work out what feature of configuration option is the right solution for them. This is a lot better than a feeds and speeds kind of question since it is how design actually works. I’m less impressed with questions that were phrased around a particular methodology which I have never come across, maybe I would have come across them if I’d read more of the documents that are linked from the blueprint.
The exam is tough and requires both deep and wide Knowledge, as you’d expect at VCAP level. It is a marathon exam and you should aim to arrive at the testing centre in top condition and expect to leave it quite drained. I did get a little disheartened in the middle of the exam as the wording and diagramming drained my enthusiasm, but in the end I scored well over the 300 pass mark so don’t let the long exam get you down and don’t give up if it’s getting frustrating.
The exam page has the usual list of paths to certification as well as links to the blueprint, exam UI demo and the request for authorization.
Next week I’m sitting the VCP-IaaS exam to get started on the whole Cloud certification stream, since I’m slated to start teaching vCloud in the next couple of months.