VCAP6-DCD Beta Exam Experience

It’s been a week since I sat the VCAP6-DCD exam and I’ve been meaning to blog about it since, I’d say the number of people who’ve posted vcap6-dcd experience blogs has already past double figures so if you’ve read them you’re unlikely to get anything new from my post, we’re also approaching the end of the Beta period so I’m not exactly sure how much use this post will be when the exam goes GA.

With that said, I feel I can add some value by providing some study material for those prepping to take the exam when it does go GA and also by providing some hope to those wanting to obtain VCIX status but are worried that their lack of design exposure may affect their chances of passing the VCAP6-DCD.

From what I can make out from twitter & blog bios, nearly all who have sat the VCAP6-DCD beta are from an architecture background, I’m not. I’m an escalation engineer at VCE so while my role is heavily VMware focused its not design focused, I’ve been an OPS guy for the majority of my career. That’s not to say I haven’t designed a VMware environment, I’ve implemented many out of the box environments in my time which obviously have required design decisions, it’s just those decisions have never manifested themselves the way VMware present them in the exam or more importantly, I’ve never had to represent those decisions the way VMware would expect them to be presented in the exam!

I’d like to think I have a deep understanding of vSphere, I’m a VCAP5-DCA a VCP4 & VCP5, I felt comfortable that my knowledge & understanding meant I wouldn’t struggle on a technical level & the only thing I would probably struggle with would be implementing a design mythology & how to represent my designs & decisions the way VMware expects using the tool provided in the exam.

I’ve been interested in progressing to VCDX ever since I passed my VCAP5-DCA so I’ve been looking into design mythologies such as TOGAF which I hoped would at least be of some assistance.

The exam was made up of 31 questions, a mixture of design questions & drag and drop. The design questions varied in complexity which of course meant they took varying times to complete.

At times I was frustrated by the limited instructions provided to complete a design task which meant with questions I could adequately answer in a real world scenario I wasn’t convinced that my representation would be marked as correct when it came to the exam.

This wasn’t down to limitations with the Visio style tool which I found functional & responsive all the way through the exam, it was my lack of exposure to design representation.

With that said, I completed the exam with 40 minutes to spare. I’m not the kind of guy to second guess & finished the exam after ensuring I’d answered every question. I left feeling that the exam was passible, whether I’ve done enough this time around or whether I have to reseat it I don’t know.

I’ve yet to get my results & I won’t until the DCD goes GA, so as yet I don’t know if I’ve passed but I’d say my score is likely to be in the high 200s or the low 300s (assuming they still mark VCAP exams out of 500)

Overall I really enjoyed the exam experience, what separates the VCAP from any other exams I’ve taken is there’s no real way to “guess” your way through, so there’s a real sense of achievement if you pass. I think this helps ensure you don’t cut corners when it comes to revision, you put in the hours and you become better at your job as a result… whether you pass or not!

I’ve detailed how I approached the exam in a separate blog post here, it’s more of a reference guide than a study guide but hopefully some of you may find this useful.

If anyone is reading this blog and thinking of taking any of the VCAP exams I’d thoroughly encourage them to do so, I’m already studying for the VCAP6-NV Deploy exam (I’m hoping to become a VCIX-NV before the design requirement is added to the pre-reqs, lazy I know!)

After that I’m going for VCIX-CMA, I’m hoping to finish all of these by the end of 2016, a tad ambitious when I don’t even know if I’m a VCIX6-DCV yet!!

I may end up being a bit top gear… ambitious but rubbish!!