Certification: VCA and beyond!

VCA Certifications

We recently released the VCA certification program that covered Datacenter (DCV), Desktop/Workforce Mobility (WM) and Cloud (no acronym). The Network one will be released eventually (if absolutely need a release date, it should be within the next 10 years!). This certification track is geared towards those new to virtualization in general; for the decision makers that don’t necessarily need the deep-dive training; or for the techie that needs a better understanding of other technologies for either an eventual deeper exploration of the topic or just to be able to talk about it a little better.

To help you with that we are currently offering a discount code of VCA13ICS which will make the VCA exam FREE.

Yes.

I said it.

Free.

You can find more about each of the certifications and the overall roadmap here:

VMware Certification Roadmap

VCA-Cloud Certification

VCA-DCV Certification

VCA-WM Certification

..and Beyond!

Now that said, I often get asked why we put in the class requirement for the VCP exams. People say we’re doing it just for a money grab.

Honestly?

No.

Yes, we do make some money off of it. But there are a couple of benefits that come out of it:

1. Global Support (GSS) receives less calls from customers because customers are more educated and able to resolve most issues on their own. Remaining calls are due to actual bugs rather than misconfigurations. That means you, as a customer, spend less time on the phone and, hopefully, more time doing things that matter.. like playing Warcraft. And with less customers calling that means wait times should be lower when you absolutely have to call.

2. We do not want paper VCPs. We want a certification that actually matters in the workforce insofar as raises and new jobs. Global Knowledge earlier this year released their top 15 paying certifications of 2013 (January 13, 2013) . It was ranked 7th. As someone who has interviewed a fair number of people with a certification that has no class requirements and hears that they want the job so they can see how the product actually works is kind of scary.

There are approximately over 100,000 VCPs (rough guessitimate) worldwide so it’s still a pretty exclusive group.

3. You do not have to take the vSphere Install, Configure, Manage class to meet the requirement. You can take the Fast Track, Optimize and Scale, or the Troubleshooting class. This means that if you have years of experience you can kill two birds with one stone (so to speak). Get experience extremely relevant to the day-to-day along with meeting the class requirements. Right now, VMware Education in the US and Canada are guaranteeing the run of all classes to the end of the year. Additionally, you could take either the Fast Track or ICM class and get a voucher, Bill Ferguson’s VCP prep book and your choice of shirt, pullover or a bag.

Once you have the certification, re-certifying (done when the first digit of the product changes) becomes far easier. Additionally, it makes it easier to go to other certifications. For example, if you get the VCP-DCV but are doing more with vCloud Director and cloud in general, you can go and take the VCAP-CIA or VCAP-CDC exam. Passing one of those will automatically get you the VCP-Cloud certification.

4. We never teach to the certification. We teach to the product and the exam is designed towards a complete look at how a new administrator might use the product. Keep in mind how you use it in your environment (small, medium, large, public vs private vs academic, etc.) is very different than others. When I left VMware GSS I had honestly thought that our product was really broken because the only way I saw it was based on the tickets filed by customers.

If the exam had been based on that, it wouldn’t have been an accurate look at how a new administrator might use the product. So we cover everything in the exam. However, since we only have 40-odd hours in a week to cover things, we cannot accurately cover everything. Even in the Fast Track (which is 60-odd hours) we cannot completely cover every piece of the product. So, a little homework needs to be done.

So unless something changes and we decide we do not want to ensure that VCP candidates have some experience along with an understanding of how we see the product being used, the class requirement will remain. I, as a VCP, am glad we do. It means I can be proud to say I’m VCP certified.

So… are you certifiable?

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